Articles Posted in Professionals

In this video, our clients speak about their unique experience with the Law Offices of Jacob J. Sapochnick. Our law office specializes exclusively in immigration and nationality law. We work with a broad range of clientele including entrepreneurs, investors, business visitors, foreign workers, U.S. employers, asylees, students, athletes, performers, families seeking to immigrate their family members and much more. Throughout the years, we have established a proven track record of success and a high level of customer service that is unparalleled in the legal industry. Contact our office today to schedule your free first time consultation.

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In this video, attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick discusses the Final International Entrepreneur Rule recently published by USCIS effective July 17, 2017. Approximately 2,940 foreign entrepreneurs are set to benefit from the new rule on an annual basis beginning July 17.

What will it do?

The rule will make it easier for eligible start-up entrepreneurs to obtain temporary permission to enter the United States for a period of 30 months, or 2.5 years, through a process known as “parole,” for the purpose of starting or scaling their start-up business enterprise in the United States. The decision about whether to “parole” a foreign entrepreneur under this rule will be a discretionary determination made by the Secretary of Homeland Security on a case-by-case basis (INA Section 212(d)(5), 8 U.S.C. 1182(d)(5)).

“Parole” will be granted to eligible entrepreneurs who can demonstrate that their company’s business operations are of significant public benefit to the United States by providing evidence of substantial and demonstrated potential for rapid business growth and job creation. Such demonstrated potential for rapid growth and job creation may be evidenced by: (1) significant capital investment from U.S. investors with established records of successful investments or (2) attainment of significant awards or grants from certain Federal, State, or local government entities.

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The H1-B visa season is fast approaching. In this video, Attorney Ekaterina Powell, Esq.,  shares our top tips on how to prepare for the H-1B visa lottery and the eligibility requirements for this popular visa.

To read more about the H-1B visa please read our H-1B guide.

For more information and eligibility questions please contact our office.  Remember to follow us on FacebookYoutubeTwitter, and Instagram 

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In this video attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick discusses the new decision in Matter of Dhanasar, 26 I&N Dec. 884 (AAO 2016) handed down by the USCIS Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) which has changed the analytical framework for determining eligibility of national interest waivers. This new decision will affect foreign nationals who are pursuing a green card based on employment in the EB-2 category, and who are eligible for a “national interest waiver.”

The new decision reached in Dhanasar, will invalidate and replace the three prong-test established in the prior AAO landmark decision reached in Matter of New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDoT), a case which governed the adjudication of national interest waivers since 1998.

The new three-prong test established by Matter of Dhanasar is a more flexible standard that will allow a broader population of foreign nationals in the EB-2 category to qualify for the discretionary national interest waiver. Under the new test, the EB-2 petitioner must meet all criteria established by the new test by a preponderance of the evidence. USCIS must determine whether on the whole the petitioner demonstrated by strong evidence that the requirements for the discretionary waiver were met.

The NEW three prong-test established by Matter of Dhanasar is as follows:

  1. The foreign national’s proposed endeavor must have both substantial merit and national importance. Dhanasar indicates that under this first criterion, a wide number of employment fields may qualify for a discretionary waiver such as: business, entrepreneurialism, science, technology, culture, health and education.  Dhanasar does not require that the petitioner show that the endeavor will bring immediate or quantifiable economic benefit to the United States. Providing such evidence however may help meet the preponderance of the evidence standard to the petitioner’s benefit.  Under this criterion, the petitioner is still required to show that the proposed endeavor has “national importance,” or is “national in scope” as in Matter of New York State Department of Transportation. Endeavors that may be considered as being national in scope are those that have a significant potential impact for job creation or substantial potential for economic growth, and which are focused in an “economically depressed area” such as an area of unemployment, or economically disadvantaged region.
  1. The foreign national must be well positioned to advance the proposed endeavor.This criterion will be analyzed by assessing the foreign national’s education, skills, knowledge and proven record of success in related or similar efforts. Other ways in which this prong can be proven is by providing a model, diagram, or plan for future activities, evidence of progress in reaching the endeavor, and evidence demonstrating interested stakeholders. The petitioner does not need to assess whether the endeavor will succeed.
  1. On balance, it would be beneficial to the United States to waive the job offer and labor certification requirements of the EB-2 category. In assessing this prong, the endeavor’s importance will be weighed against the national interest and be based upon the overall benefit the United States will receive from the foreign national’s contributions. USCIS may also consider other factors to determine whether granting the discretionary waiver would be beneficial to the United States taking into consideration whether there are any qualified U.S. workers who can undertake the endeavor, and whether there is a sufficient national interest to justify a waiver of the job offer and labor certification requirement.

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If you have questions about this new decision contact us for a free consultation.

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In this video, attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick discusses the most popular visa options for hospitality workers. For more information just keep on watching.

Overview: 

The top visas used by Hotels and Restaurants to bring foreign workers to the United States are the J-1, H-3, H-2B, L-1, E-2, TN, and H-1B visas.  Whether transferring employees between international properties or employing management trainees, immigration is an integral part of the hospitality industry. The appropriate visa type will largely depend upon the foreign worker’s qualifications and the type of position the worker will be occupying.

The J-1 visa is a cultural exchange program between the United States and foreign countries bringing foreign workers to the United States. There are 2 types of J-1 visas. The first category is a trainee J-1 visa. To qualify the trainee must have at least 5 years of experience working in the position or a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent, with at least 1 year of experience. Workers who come to the United States on a J-1 trainee visa, may work in the United States for a hotel or restaurant for a period of 18 months. The J-1 trainee visa allows the foreign worker to develop their skills, gain experience, and return to their home countries taking those skills with them. The second category is for interns, who are in school in their home country or have recently graduated, and have less than 1 year of experience. Interns may come to the United States for a 1 year period to train in a hotel or restaurant. The work and travel category of the J-1 allows foreign workers to come to the United States for up to 4 months during the summer time. The J-1 visa is generally an easy visa to obtain. It takes approximately 6 weeks for this visa to get approved by the Department of State.

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In this podcast, attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick discusses the all new International Entrepreneur rule. To hear more about this exciting new rule for entrepreneurs, please click below.

Overview: 

What is it?

The International Entrepreneur Rule will allow certain entrepreneurs the opportunity to seek ‘parole’ into the United States, based on his or her role in the startup company, provided the company can demonstrate substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation in the United States. Not all entrepreneurs will be eligible. Qualifying entrepreneurs must demonstrate that their entry would create a significant public benefit in the United States, and provide ‘substantial’ and ‘demonstrated potential’ to create more jobs and business growth in the United States, and not merely provide income to the entrepreneur and his or her family members.

What are the requirements?

Entrepreneurs must demonstrate:

  • At least a 15 percent ownership interest in their startup enterprise;
  • That they take on an active and central role in the startup enterprise’s operations;
  • That the startup enterprise has been formed in the United States within the past three years; and
  • That the startup enterprise has proven to yield a substantial and demonstrated potential for rapid business growth and job creation as evidenced by:
  1. Having received a significant investment of capital of at least $345,000 from certain qualified U.S. investors that have a proven track record of success i.e. showing established records of successful investments;
  2. Having received significant awards or grants of at least $100,000 from federal, state, or local government entities; or
  3. By partially satisfying one or both of the above criteria, in addition to presenting other reliable and compelling evidence to show the startup entity’s substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation in the United States.

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In this segment Attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick Esq. discusses a new proposed rule referred to as the International Entrepreneur Rule. This new rule is expected to make it easier for certain foreign entrepreneurs to receive temporary permission to enter the United States, also known as ‘parole,’ for the purpose of starting or scaling their start-up business enterprise in the United States. For more information please keep watching.

Overview: 

Under this new rule, DHS would have discretionary authority to grant parole to eligible entrepreneurs of start-up companies who can demonstrate the following:

  • At least a 15 percent ownership interest in the startup enterprise in question;
  • That they take on an active and central role in the startup enterprise’s operations;
  • That the startup enterprise has been formed in the United States within the past three years; and
  • That the startup enterprise has proven to yield a substantial and demonstrated potential for rapid business growth and job creation as evidenced by:
  1. Having received a significant investment of capital of at least $345,000 from certain qualified U.S. investors that have a proven track record of success i.e. showing established records of successful investments;
  2. Having received significant awards or grants of at least $100,000 from federal, state, or local government entities; or
  3. By partially satisfying one or both of the above criteria, in addition to presenting other reliable and compelling evidence to show the startup entity’s substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation in the United States.

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In this video, attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick answers one of your most frequently asked questions: I have a minor US Citizen child. Can I get a green card?

Overview:

This is a very common question. This question comes to us from a Chinese national who is currently in the United States on an H-1B Visa. This person asks: Can I get a green card based on the fact that I have a minor US Citizen child that was just born in the US?

In this situation because the child is under the age of 21, your child cannot file a petition for permanent residence on your behalf based on the fact that you have a minor child born in the United States. This is a very common misconception. Your child can only file for your immigration benefits once they reach the age of 21. A child must be at least 18 years old in order to petition for immigration benefits for their siblings, and then the sibling must wait for a visa number to become available based on the visa bulletin. You cannot obtain a green card just by having a US Citizen child. If you are in the United States on a visa you must find another way to remain legally in the United States until the US Citizen child reaches the minimum age or find another way to obtain a green card through employment. Parents of US Citizen children, residing in the United States unlawfully, can obtain cancelation of removal for their parents to shield them from deportation/removal proceedings. In this case the child does not need to be 21 years or older.

For more information about this topic please contact our office.

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In this segment, attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick tells you all about the visa bulletin. Who is it for? How does it work? Why do we need it? For more information about the visa bulletin, please click here.

Overview: 

What is the Visa Bulletin?

The Visa Bulletin exists due to congressional numerical immigrant visa limitations for family-sponsored and employment-based preference categories established by the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The visa bulletin is for foreign nationals wishing to immigrate to the United States through a relative or employer. Family-sponsored preference categories are limited to a minimum of 226,000 visas per year, while employment-based preference categories are limited to a minimum of 140,000 visas per year. The Visa Bulletin is a useful tool for aliens to determine when a visa will become available to them so that they may apply for permanent residence.

You can check the status of a visa number by checking your priority date on the Department of State’s Visa Bulletin published every month. A priority date is the date when your relative or employer properly filed the immigrant visa petition on your behalf with USCIS (Form I-130 Petition for Alien Relative or Form I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker).

Family-sponsored preference categories

Family based immigrant visas are divided into preference systems and priority dates. This refers to one of the various categories under which an individual qualifies for U.S. residency, and must wait for a visa to become available.

  • First Preference: unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens. This category refers to the adult children of U.S. citizens or those who have reached the age of 21 years prior to issuance of the immigrant visa;
  • Second Preference: a) spouses and children under the age of 21 of U.S. permanent residents; b) unmarried sons and daughters over the age of 21 of U. S. permanent residents;
  • Third Preference: married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens;
  • Fourth Preference: brothers and sisters of adult U.S. citizens.

Employment-sponsored categories

  • First Preference:  Priority Workers:  28.6% of the worldwide employment-based preference level, plus any numbers not required for fourth and fifth preferences.
  • Second Preference:  Members of the Professions Holding Advanced Degrees or Persons of Exceptional Ability:
  • Third Preference:  Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Other Workers
  • Fourth Preference:  Certain Special Immigrants
  • Fifth Preference:  Employment Creation: not less than 3,000 of which reserved for investors in a targeted rural or high-unemployment area, and 3,000 set aside for investors in regional centers (EB-5)

For more information regarding the immigrant process for family members and the Visa Bulletin please click here. For a legal consultation please contact our office to speak with our legal consultants.

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