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Welcome back to the Immigration Lawyer Blog, where we discuss all things immigration. In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses a new and exciting bill called “the Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act” that would speed up the process for nurses and doctors to obtain their green cards.

Keep on watching for more information.


Overview


The Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act was introduced by Senators David Perdue (R-GA), Todd Young (R-IN), Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Chris Coons (D-DE) to increase the number of doctors and nurses available to meet the demand of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

While this bill is only a proposal for the time being, it is a great step in the right direction for the future of highly skilled foreign medical professionals. To become law, the bill must be passed by both houses of Congress and signed by the President. The bill is exciting because it is likely to have bipartisan support and has great potential to become law.


Why was the bill passed?


Currently, significant backlogs exist for nurses applying for a green card under the employment-based third preference category (EB-3). As you know Congress has imposed numerical limitations on the number of green cards that can be issued for immigrant workers. For EB-3 there is a waiting period of several years for green cards to become for EB-3 workers, even those with approved I-140 who are prevented from entering the United States because of these numerical limitations. At the moment, the priority date for nurses under EB-3 is stuck around January 2017 which for many nurses means a very long waiting period.

The Health Care Workforce Resilience Act was proposed to alleviate the strain on the U.S. healthcare system. The United States is currently at the epicenter of the Coronavirus pandemic and has an urgent need for doctors and nurses to help flatten the curve.


What does the proposal say?


The bill would authorize USCIS to “recapture” up to 25,000 immigrant visas for nurses and 15,000 immigrant visas for doctors. Additional immigrant visas would also be recaptured for the families of these medical professionals so that principal applicants and their family members can obtain their green cards at the same time.

This recapturing of unused visas in other preference categories would eliminate the backlog for nurses and doctors with approved I-140’s who are seeking an employment-based green card.

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Welcome back to the Immigration Lawyer Blog, where we discuss all things immigration. In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick goes over each section of President Trump’s new executive order, “Proclamation Suspending the Entry of Immigrants Who Present Risk to the U.S. Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the COVID-19 Outbreak,” which suspends and limits the immigration of certain types of aliens for a 60-day period beginning on April 23, 2020.

Keep on watching for more information.

Overview:


Who is impacted by the Executive order?


The suspension applies to individuals who, as of April 23, are:

(1) outside of the United States

(2) do not have an immigrant visa

(3) do not have official travel documents other than visas and

(4) are not otherwise exempted from the Proclamation.


Who will enforce the Executive Order?


The President’s executive order will be enforced by U.S. Consulates worldwide beginning 11:59 p.m. eastern daylight time on April 23, 2020. Consular officials will have the discretion to determine whether an immigrant is eligible to receive a visa and whether they are exempt from the order.


Who is exempt from the Executive Order (not impacted)?


  • Lawful Permanent Residents of the U.S.;
  • Aliens who are the spouses of U.S. Citizens;
  • Members of the U.S. Armed Forces and any spouse and child of a member of the U.S. Armed Forces;
  • Aliens under 21 years of age who are children of United States Citizens and prospective adoptees;
  • Aliens seeking to enter the U.S. on an immigrant visa as a physician, nurse, or other healthcare professional;
  • Aliens seeking to enter the U.S. to perform medical research or other research intended to combat the spread of COVID-19;
  • Any spouse any unmarried child under 21 years of age of any such alien who is accompanying or following to join the alien;
  • Any alien applying for a visa pursuant to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program;
  • Aliens whose entry furthers important United States law enforcement objectives;

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Welcome back to the Immigration Lawyer Blog, where we discuss all things immigration. In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses the Supreme Court’s recent ruling which will allow the public charge rule to go forward and be implemented by the government.

Overview:

On January 27, 2020, in a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in favor of the Trump administration allowing the government to implement the final rule “Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds” nationwide except for in the State of Illinois, where litigation remains pending.

Following the Court’s decision, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a news release on its website notifying the public that the agency will begin implementing the final rule on February 24, 2020 to applications and petitions postmarked (or submitted electronically) on or after February 24, 2020 (except for in the State of Illinois). For applications or petitions sent by a commercial courier (UPS/FedEx/ or DHL), the postmark date will be the date reflected on the courier receipt.

According to the press release, “The Final Rule prohibits DHS from considering an alien’s application for, certification or approval to receive, or receipt of certain non-cash public benefits before Oct. 15, 2019, when deciding whether the alien is likely at any time to become a public charge. In light of the duration of the recently-lifted nationwide injunctions and to promote clarity and fairness to the public, DHS will now treat this prohibition as applying to such public benefits received before Feb. 24, 2020.

Similarly, the Final Rule prohibits DHS from considering the receipt of public benefits by applicants for extension of stay and change of status before Oct. 15, 2019 when determining whether the public benefits condition applies, and DHS will now treat this prohibition as applying to public benefits received on or after Feb. 24, 2020.” Continue reading

Welcome back to the Immigration Lawyer Blog, where we discuss all things immigration. In this video, we bring Polish citizens an exciting new update regarding the Visa Waiver Program.

What’s happening?

The Department of Homeland Security recently announced the addition of Poland, as a country eligible to participate in the Visa Waiver Program.

What is the Visa Waiver Program?

The Visa Waiver Program allows citizens or nationals of certain countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business purposes without having to apply for a tourist visa at a U.S. Consulate abroad. The period of time that a traveler may remain in the United States under the Visa Waiver Program is 90 days or less.

How does it work?

Citizens of countries participating in the Visa Waiver program may travel to the United States without a visa by using their passports and an approved ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) form that can be completed on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website in a matter of minutes.

Poland Joins Visa Waiver Program 

Beginning November 11, 2019, Polish citizens may travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program. This means that as a Polish citizen or national, you will not need to apply for a visa in order to enter the United States as a tourist or for select business purposes.

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In this segment, attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick answers one of your most frequently asked questions: What is the Execution Action on immigration all about? What will happen if DACA/DAPA passes? For the answer to this question please keep watching. For more information about these executive actions please click here.

Overview: 

On November 20, 2014, President Barack Obama introduced a series of executive actions on immigration. The most important aspects of his executive actions include the expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) program and the implementation of the new Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program. The President also announced new initiatives to crack down on illegal immigration, prioritize deportation of felons and other criminals, require undocumented immigrants to pass a criminal background check, and enforce payment of taxes by granting eligible undocumented immigrants temporary protection from deportation. Applications for the expanded DACA and new DAPA program were supposed to begin to be accepted on February 18th however a federal court order has suspended these programs from going into effect. The Supreme Court will hear arguments for the lawsuit challenging DACA/DAPA (United States v. Texas) today April 18, 2016 with a final decision expected in June.

From the USCIS website:

The Executive Action initiatives include:

  • Expanding the population eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to people of any current age who entered the United States before the age of 16 and lived in the United States continuously since January 1, 2010, and extending the period of DACA and work authorization from two years to three years; 
  • Allowing parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to request deferred action and employment authorization for three years, in a new Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents* program, provided they have lived in the United States continuously since January 1, 2010, and pass required background checks;
  • Expanding the use of provisional waivers of unlawful presence to include the spouses and sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents and the sons and daughters of U.S. citizens;
  • Modernizing, improving and clarifying immigrant and nonimmigrant visa programs to grow our economy and create jobs ;
  • Promoting citizenship education and public awareness for lawful permanent residents and providing an option for naturalization applicants to use credit cards to pay the application fee; 

For more information please contact our office for a consultation.

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In this segment, attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick discusses the modified Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, introduced in November 2014 as part of President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration. The modified DACA and DAPA programs have been temporarily suspended pending a federal court order. The Supreme Court will begin to hear oral arguments for United States v. Texas in April. For more information about these programs and their court proceedings please click here.

Overview: 

President Barack Obama’s announced his Executive Actions on Immigration on November 20, 2014. One of the new programs that was introduced is a modified Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for the purpose of expanding the population eligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, a program that currently grants ‘deferred status’ to young people who came to the United States before turning 16 years old and have been continuously present in the United States since January 1, 2010. The modified DACA program and new DAPA program are currently suspended. The Supreme Court will rule on the constitutionality of both programs this summer.

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The UK Border Agency has issued new policy guidance following the judgment of the Supreme Court in the case of Quila and Bibi v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2011] UKSC 45.

This case challenged the requirement under paragraph 277 of the Immigration Rules for both foreign spouses and their sponsors in the UK to meet a minimum age of 21 before the foreign spouse could be granted a visa to enter or remain as a spouse or partner. Paragraph 277 (along with other paragraphs of the Immigration Rules) was amended on 27 November 2008 to raise the minimum age from 18 to 21.

The Supreme Court has ruled that, whilst they recognised that the Secretary of State was pursuing a legitimate and rational aim of seeking to address forced marriage, the change to the rule (increasing the minimum marriage visa age from 18 to 21) disproportionately interfered with the Article 8 rights of those who were in genuine marriages.

The guidance primarily affects applicants whose applications for entry clearance or leave as a fiancé(e), proposed civil partner, spouse, civil partner, unmarried partner or same-sex partner were refused under paragraphs 277, 289AA, or 295AA of the Immigration Rules solely because they or their sponsor were aged between 18 and 20 and whose application was refused on that basis between 27 November 2008 and October 2011. This applies to applications made within or outside the UK. The guidance sets out how such applicants can apply for a review of the original decision to refuse a visa which might now result in a visa being issued.

Changes to the Immigration Rules have been laid in Parliament today to reinstate a minimum age of 18 for a spouse, civil partner, fiancé(e), proposed civil partner, unmarried partner or same-sex partner and for their sponsor in order to qualify for entry clearance, leave to enter, leave to remain or a variation of leave on that basis. These rules will come into effect on 28 November 2011. The new policy guidance explains how applicants affected by the judgment can request a review of an earlier refusal due to the age requirement by 31 May 2012.

The Government of Canada is planning to welcome more federal skilled workers in 2012, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today.

The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) remains the principal avenue for permanent immigration to Canada. In 2012, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) plans to welcome 55,000–57,000 federal skilled workers, up from 47,000–47,400 in the 2011 Immigration Levels Plan.

““The government’s number one priority remains the economy. We recognize the importance of immigration to our labour market and we value the contributions of skilled immigrants who add to our international competitiveness,”” said Minister Kenney. ““We are committed to facilitating the arrival of the best and the brightest to our country.””
An important milestone was reached this year when the backlog of FSW applications prior to the launch of the 2008 Action Plan for Faster Immigration was reduced by more than 50 percent – two years ahead of schedule. The higher range in 2012 will support labour market responsiveness and sustain progress on backlog reduction.

CIC completed an extensive evaluation of the FSWP in 2010, showing that the program is working well and selecting immigrants who perform well economically. The report found that 89 percent of FSWs were employed or self-employed three years after landing. Moreover, 95 percent of the employers surveyed indicated that FSWs were meeting or exceeding their expectations. The evaluation indicated a strong continuing need for skilled immigrants in Canada.

““CIC will continue to ramp up efforts to modernize our immigration system to make it more nimble and responsive to labour market needs,”” said Minister Kenney. ““Following nationwide consultations this past spring on proposals to improve the Federal Skilled Worker Program, we are actively exploring policy options on the way forward.””

The U.S. Consulate General Mumbai will shift this month from Lincoln House in Breach Candy and the American Center in Churchgate to its new facility in the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC). The new U.S. Consulate General at BKC reflects the expansion in U.S.-India relations, and features expanded space for consulate operations. The number of interview windows for services to visa applicants and U.S. citizens will increase significantly, from 13 to 44.

U.S. Consul General Peter Haas comments “Our new home reflects the overall trend of U.S.-India ties. Our relationship with India is growing and modernizing, and our Consulate must do the same.”
Lincoln House will close its doors to the public on November 15 and reopen on November 21 at the new BKC location. The Consulate cannot provide visa services between November 15 and 21. Consular officers will host a webchat on November 9th at 7:00PM to answer specific questions about the shift and its effect on consular services: https://statedeptasia.connectsolutions.com/mumbai. The American Library at New Marine Lines near Churchgate has already closed and will reopen to the public shortly after consular operations begin at the new Consulate.

The new consulate compound will house all United States Government offices in Mumbai, including the Department of State, the Foreign Commercial Service, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Foreign Agricultural Service. The new consulate will also include the Consul General’s residence. The new consulate features state of the art green technology, including high-efficiency lighting, a gray-water recycling system, and a self contained waste water treatment facility.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Alejandro Mayorkas today announced the launch of an enhanced Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and a redesigned Certificate of Citizenship (Form N-560) with new features to strengthen security and deter fraud.

As part of USCIS’s ongoing efforts to enhance the integrity of the immigration system, the state-of-the-art technology incorporated into the new documents will deter counterfeiting, obstruct tampering, and facilitate quick and accurate authentication. USCIS began issuing the new EADs today and will begin using the redesigned certificates on Oct. 30. The agency anticipates that more than 1 million people will receive the new documents over the next year.

“These enhanced documents are more secure than ever,” said Director Mayorkas. “They advance our efforts to safeguard against fraud and protect the integrity of the immigration system.”
The new features of the EAD will better equip workers, employers and law enforcement officials to recognize the card as definitive proof of authorization to work in the United States.

USCIS worked closely with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Forensic Document Laboratory to incorporate technology and tactile features in order to deter fraud and facilitate card authentication.