Articles Posted in Non immigrant Visas

Welcome back to the Immigration Lawyer Blog, where we discuss all things immigration. In this video, we have some bad news for H1B visa holders, some very very alarming statistics. If you want to know what they are watch this video.

H1B Visas and Rate of Denials

Based on a recent statistic, between 2015 through 2019 there has been a significant increase in H1B visa denials. H1B visa denials have quadrupled in denial rates.

Similarly, the volume of requests for evidence issued to H1B petitioners have increased by 60 percent.

The H-1B season for fiscal year 2021 will bring some important changes. Firstly, USCIS has imposed a new online electronic registration requirement for H1B petitioners to streamline the H1B lottery process.

When we see a quadrupling in the rate of H1B visas denied for strong H1B petitions, it is apparent that the government is trying to send a message, which is that they want to limit the amount of people who can actually file for H1B visas. In the requests for evidence we have received for H1B extensions and transfers, we see a trend in which USCIS is using the most narrow interpretation of what a “specialty occupation,” is which by definition limits the pool of candidates eligible to receive an H1B visa.

We are seeing almost automatic denials for our marketing and business positions because USCIS is being so restrictive in how they interpret and define a “specialty occupation.” USCIS is taking the position that marketing and business positions are not “specialty occupations.”

USCIS has time and time again refused to accept the complexity of these positions, legal arguments in support of a finding that these positions are in fact specialty occupations, and ignored expert opinions supporting such positions as “specialty occupations.”

From what we have seen in our own filings and from conversations we have had with other attorneys and law offices, it is becoming increasingly difficult to get H1B visas approved for positions and occupations are were normally approved without difficulty in the past.

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Welcome back to Immigration Lawyer Blog, where we discuss all things immigration. In this video, we talk about the different investment visa options available under current law.

E-2 Non-immigrant Visa: Visa through Investment

The first option is the E-2 visa. This is a non-immigrant visa that allows foreign nationals from eligible treaty nations to invest in a new business in the United States. The required investment amount will vary depending on the type of business.

Not every country participates in the E-2 visa program. You must be a national of a treaty nation in order to qualify. For a complete list of qualifying countries please click here.

The amount of time a foreign national may remain in the United States with an E-2 visa depends on the applicant’s country of nationality. The average processing time to receive an E-2 visa is approximately 3 to 5 months. In order successfully obtain an E-2 visa, the applicant must be able to demonstrate the source of funds of the investment, hire employees to work for the business, and the business must be real and operating.

It is important to note that the E-2 visa does not lead to a green card but can be extended.

EB-5 Immigrant Visa Program: Green Card through Investment

The EB-5 Immigrant Visa Program allows you to invest half a million dollars into a regional center government approved project, or a million dollars direct investment in your own project. To qualify, your investment must create at least 10 jobs and the business must be succeeding and growing.

After November 21, 2019, the minimum investment will increase from half a million to $900,000 for investment in a regional center, and from one million to 1.8 million for direct investments.

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In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses some new developments regarding the government’s planned implementation of a final rule that would have made certain individuals inadmissible to the United States on public charge grounds.

On October 11, 2019, judges in three separate cases before U.S. District Courts for the Southern District of New York (PDF)Northern District of California (PDF), and Eastern District of Washington (PDF) granted court orders to stop the government from implementing and enforcing the terms of the public charge rule proposed by the Trump administration. As a result, the final rule has been postponed pending litigation until the courts have made a decision on the legality of the rule on the merits. These court orders have been placed nationwide and prevent USCIS from implementing the rule anywhere in the United States.

What would the public charge rule have done?

The public charge rule was set to be enforced on October 15, 2019. The rule would have expanded the list of public benefits that make a foreign national ineligible to obtain permanent residence and/or an immigrant or nonimmigrant visa to enter the United States.

A person would have been considered a “public charge” under the rule, if they received one or more designated public benefits for more than 12 months in the aggregate, within any 36-month period.

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In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses a new rule, effective October 15, 2019, that expands the list of public benefits that make a foreign national ineligible to obtain permanent residence and/or an immigrant or nonimmigrant visa.

Overview: 

Receipt of certain public benefits by a non-citizen may render that individual ineligible to obtain: a visa to the United States, adjustment of status to permanent residence, or ineligible for admission to enter the United States.

The final rule defines a public charge as any alien who receives one or more designated public benefits for more than 12 months in the aggregate within any 36-month period.

Under the final rule, immigration will now be taking into consideration the following benefits to determine whether an individual is or is likely to become a public charge to the U.S. government:

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En este video, el abogado Jacob Sapochnick explica el proceso para aplicar para la visa TN a base del Tratado de Libre Comercio de America del Norte, de Mexico, y Canada.

Que es la visa TN?

La clasificación no inmigrantes TN permite que los ciudadanos canadienses y mexicanos soliciten entrada temporal a los Estados Unidos para dedicarse a actividades comerciales a nivel profesional. El Tratado de Libre Comercio de América del Norte (NAFTA, por sus siglas en inglés) hace posible la entrada de estos profesionales.

Quien es elegible?

Entre los profesionales que son elegibles para admisión como No Inmigrantes T están los contables, ingenieros, abogados, farmacéuticos, científicos y maestros.  Usted puede ser elegible para obtener el estatus de no inmigrante NT si:

  • Es ciudadano de Canadá o México
  • Su profesión califica bajo la reglamentación
  • El puesto de trabajo en los Estados Unidos requiere un profesional NAFTA
  • Usted tiene un preacuerdo con un empleador estadounidense para un trabajo a tiempo completo o a tiempo parcial (no puede estar empleado por su cuenta – vea a continuación la documentación requerida), y
  • Tiene las calificaciones para practicar su profesión.

Cual es el periodo de estadia?

El periodo inicial de estadia es 3 años. Si usted desea permanecer mas tiempo de el período inicial de estadía sin salir del país, usted debe solicitar una extensión de estadía.

Proceso

Si usted es ciudadano mexicano, debe aplicar para la visa TN directamente en la Embajada o Consulado estadounidense en México.

Una vez se le haya aprobado la visa TN, deberá solicitar admisión en el puerto de entrada estadounidense designado o la estación de registro de pre despacho de aduana/ pre vuelo designada.

Para mas informacion, llámenos para una consulta.

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Great news for New Zealand Investors!

In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses New Zealand’s recent addition to the E-2 Investor Visa Program.

With the passage of the Knowledgeable Innovators and Worthy Investors Act (KIWI), New Zealand nationals may now apply for the E-1 and E-2 Investor Visa.

There are two ways to apply for the E Visa.

Applicants Lawfully in the U.S.

Investors who are already lawfully present in the U.S. on a valid nonimmigrant visa may file Form I-129 to change their status to the E-2 visa classification, with the necessary supporting documentation.

Applicants Outside the U.S.

Investors who are outside of the U.S. must apply for the E-2 nonimmigrant visa at a U.S. Consulate near their place of residence. The applicant must submit the DS-160 Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, pay the necessary fees, and schedule their visa interview. Applicants must bring their complete application and necessary documentation to establish eligibility at the time of their interview.

What are the Requirements?

  • The investment funds and the applicant must come from the same Treaty Country.
  • The business in which investment is being made must provide job opportunities or make a significant economic impact tin the United States. The business should not be established solely for the purpose of earning a living for the applicant and his or her family.
  • The investment must come from the investor. The money must be “at risk”. Thus, a loan that is secured by the assets of the business itself will not qualify i.e. if loans have been taken out, they must be secured or guaranteed by the investor personally, and not by the assets of the corporation.

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In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses the P-1A visa for internationally recognized athletes.

Overview: 

The P-1A visa is suitable for internationally acclaimed athletes coming to the United States for the purpose of performing temporarily at an athletic competition or as part of an internationally acclaimed group or team.

To succeed in obtaining this visa, you must be able to provide evidence that you are internationally recognized in your particular field or sport. This can be demonstrated by showing significant honors or awards in your sport, international media coverage, evidence that your competitors are internationally recognized, evidence that you command a high degree of esteem within your sport etc.

The athlete must be coming to the United States to compete at a major event that is internationally recognized within that sport.

The P-1A visa is issued for the period of time necessary to complete the specific competition, event, or performance.

This is a great visa for individuals who compete regularly in the United States and are well known in their field.

Please contact our office to determine whether the P-1A visa is suitable for you.

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Overview:

The H-2B visa is a popular visa for individuals who want to come to the United States to work in a job that is temporary or seasonal in nature. This visa type is suitable for construction workers, landscapers, and housekeepers. These visas are issued for a period of up to one year. Extensions may be granted for a total of two additional years.

Workers may apply for a season that starts in April or a season that starts in October. This means that the immigration filing must be made in advance of the season the worker is requesting.

Cons:

  • There is a 66,000 cap on the number of H-2B visas issued per fiscal year. This cap is divided into two seasons which means that 33,000 visas are available each season.
  • A valid job offer from a US employer is required
  • US employer must demonstrate seasonal need
  • Only nationals of certain countries can participate
  • Not a dual intent visa

Pros:

  • The visa is granted for a period of one year, but may be extended for 2 additional years
  • Good visa for individuals interested in working in the US on a temporary basis
  • Good visa for jobs of a seasonal or temporary nature that experience a shortage in the U.S.
  • The Trump administration is proposing increasing the 66,000 cap

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What’s the difference between someone who is undocumented in the United States and someone who is here illegally?

What does it mean to be “undocumented”?

When someone is in the United States “undocumented,” that means that the person entered the United States without inspection (without the proper documentation), and as a result are currently living in the United States without the proper documentation, hence the term “undocumented.”

What does it mean to be in the U.S. “illegally”?

On the other hand, someone who came to the United States on a valid visa (such as a student visa, tourist visa, etc.) and then lost their status, either because they did not renew their visa, or their visa expired, or for some other reason, are in the United States “illegally.” These individuals were legally in the United States at some point but are now in the United States “illegally” because they are now out of status. This is also referred to as a visa overstay.  That is because the individual has now stayed in the United States past the time authorized by their initial visa.

In both cases, the individual is in the United States without authorization because they do not have the proper visa.

Path to Residency

A person who is “undocumented” meaning that they entered the United States without proper inspection, cannot adjust their status to permanent residency so easily even where married to a U.S. Citizen. Undocumented parties married to U.S. Citizens must file a waiver of inadmissibility and in some cases will have to leave the United States before applying for residency.

By contrast, a person who entered the United States with proper inspection, but who is now in the United States illegally because of an overstay, can apply for permanent residency more easily, where married to a U.S. Citizen. These individuals do not have to leave the United States before applying for residency.

The key difference between the two is in whether the person entered the country with inspection. If you entered without inspection, you would be undocumented. If you entered with inspection, but have overstayed your visa, you are in the country illegally.

If you have questions about relating to your status and legalization, please contact us.

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מעכשיו – ישראלים זכאים לאשרת משקיע (ויזת משקיע)

שגרירות ארה”ב בישראל שמחה להודיע, בעקבות חתימת אמנה בין ישראל לארה”ב, על החלת הזכאות לויזת משקיע מסוג E-2 על בעלי נתינות ישראלית, וזאת החל מ-1 במאי 2019.

אשרה מסוג E-2 היא אשרה זמנית (שלא למטרת הגירה) למי שמעוניין לפתח, לנהל או לספק מיומנויות מיחדות למיזם/פרויקט שבו הבעלים (מבקש האשרה) משקיע סכום הון ניכר. עם החלת האשרה מסוג E-2 נוצרה למשקיעים ישראלים הזדמנות להשקיע בכלכלה האמריקאית ולשלוח לארה”ב עובדים בעלי הכשרה.

באותו אופן, אזרחי ארה”ב יהיו זכאים לפנות בבקשה לאשרה לצורך השקעה בישראל. בכדי שהמשקיע הישראלי יהיה ראוי לאשרה הנ”ל צריכים להתקיים התנאים הבאים:

· ההשקעה הכספית צריכה להיות משמעותית ומספיקה להבטיח תיפעול מוצלח של המיזם/פרויקט.

· העסק צריך להיות מיזם/פרויקט ממשי פעיל.

· המשקיע צריך לנסוע לארה”ב כדי לפתח ולנהל את הפרויקט.

· אם המבקש אינו המשקיע, הוא או היא צריכים להיות מועסקים בפרויקט בתפקיד של פיקוח, או ניהול, או בתפקיד הדורש מיומנות מיוחדת בדרגה גבוהה.

המעוניינים בהגשת בקשה לאשרה הנ”ל לארה”ב מופנים לעיין בתשומת לב ברשימת הדרישות המפורטת באתר האינטרנט של שגרירות ארה”ב בירושלים. יש למלא את הבקשה בקפדנות ולעקוב אחר השלבים הנדרשים.

לאחר שהמחלקה הקונסולרית של השגרירות מקבלת בקשה מלאה ובוחנת את התיעוד הראייתי המצורף לה, יתואם עם המבקש מועד לראיון בתל-אביב.

בראיון יתקיים דיון על פרטי העסק נשוא הבקשה ועל ההשקעה הכספית, על ההסטוריה של העסק ועל התכנית העסקית, וכמו כן ידון הניסיון המקצועי של המשקיע.

If you have any questions please email jacob@h1b.biz or on whatsapp: 1-619-203-9944 to discuss. Please also remember to follow us on FacebookYoutubeTwitter, and Instagram.

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