Articles Posted in Work permits

The J-1 is a very popular visa that is administered by the State Department, not USCIS.

How does it work and who qualifies for the J-1 Cultural Exchange Visa?

The J-1 visa allows individuals such as students and trainees to come to the United States to receive practical training or participate in an internship program, to gain experience in a particular field of study, and take that experience and skill set back to the country of origin. The practical training or internship program should be one that is not available in the individual’s country of origin. The J-1 cultural exchange visa program allows the foreign national to obtain experience that they would not have otherwise obtained in their home country.

The J-1 visa requires a third-party sponsor that controls and supervises the J-1 program that the foreign national will participate in, while the State Department administers the filing process of the J-1 visa. The third-party sponsor also ensures that the foreign national will return to their country of origin at the conclusion of the cultural exchange program.

What types of training programs can foreign nationals participate in with this visa type?

Foreign nationals may participate in the J-1 cultural exchange visa program as au pairs, scholars, researchers, trainees, and professionals.

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What’s happening with DACA today?

In this post, attorney Jacob Sapochnick talks all about the state of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and what you should know as a recipient of DACA.

In September of 2017 the Trump administration announced that it would be ending the DACA program, which allows undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children to live and work in the United States without fear of deportation.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke on behalf of the administration and said that USCIS would not accept new requests for DACA but would allow DACA recipients with work permits expiring between September 2017 and March 5, 2018 to apply for a final 2-year renewal of their status including employment authorization.

This announcement put considerable pressure on Congress to pass legislation before March 5, 2018 to protect Dreamers from deportation.

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Overview: 

What is an E-2 visa?

The E-2 treaty investor visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows foreign entrepreneurs from treaty nations to enter the United States and carry out investment and trade activities, for a specified period of two years subject to renewal. Investment activities include the creation of a new business. Foreign nationals must invest a substantial amount of capital in a new or existing business. The investment must be significantly proportional to the total investment, that is, usually more than half the total value of the enterprise or, if a new business, an amount normally considered necessary to establish the business.

Who can get it?

Only foreign nationals from treaty nations may apply for the E-2 visa. To find out if your country qualifies, click here.

Level of Investment

Therefore, the level of investment must be such that it is sufficient to justify presence of the treaty national in the United States. The investment must be in an operating business e.g. a speculative investment in undeveloped land would not qualify, whereas an investment in a real estate development project probably would. Also, a substantial part of the investment must have been made prior to applying for E-2 status.

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In this video, we discuss the difference between adjustment of status and consular processing.

What is adjustment of status?

Adjustment of Status is the process by which a foreign national applies for permanent residence, essentially their green card, within the United States. In order to apply for adjustment of status within the United States, the foreign national must have entered the United States lawfully (typically on a U.S. visa) and be married to a U.S. Citizen. The foreign national must not have entered the marriage within the first 90 days of entry to the United States. Doing so creates a presumption of fraud and the couple will be denied at the green card interview.

Example: The foreign national entered the U.S. on a student visa, and later met a U.S. Citizen. The couple then became engaged, and married in the U.S.

The process begins with the filing of the following forms typically at the same time:

  • I-130 petition for alien relative (signed by the U.S. citizen)
  • I-485 application for adjustment of status aka the green card application (signed by the foreign national)
  • I-765 application for employment authorization (signed by the foreign national)
  • I-131 application for travel document (signed by the foreign national)
  • G-325A biographical information (signed by both the U.S. Citizen spouse and foreign national)
  • I-864 Affidavit of Support (signed by the U.S. Citizen)

The process ends with a green card interview before a USCIS immigration officer at a field office near the couple’s place of residence. The purpose of the interview is to determine whether the couple has a bona fide marriage. Both the petitioner and foreign national must attend this interview.

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In this post, attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses what the President’s March 5th deadline means for DACA recipients and what DACA holders should expect within the coming months. The President while rescinding the DACA program, had given Congress until March 5 to pass legislation creating a path to citizenship for Dreamers. Congress however failed to deliver on their promise, and Senators are continuing their negotiations to reach a bipartisan deal on immigration that would allow Dreamers to apply for permanent residency after fulfilling several criteria.

By court order, individuals whose DACA benefits expire on or after September 5, 2016 may apply for a renewal of their status. In addition, individuals whose DACA benefits expired before September 5, 2016 or whose DACA benefits were previously terminated at any time, may file a new initial DACA request following the Form I-821D and Form I-765 instructions.

It is estimated that approximately 668,000 immigrants have been issued work permits under DACA that will expire March 5th or later, however these individuals may seek a renewal of their status as previously mentioned, and continue working and remaining in the United States for an additional 2 years without fear of deportation.

For more information on the future of DACA please click here.

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En este video, el abogado Jacob Sapochnick habla sobre la detencion de nuestro cliente Orr Yakobi, quien fue detenido tras tomar la autopista equivocada, que lo dirigio hacia Mexico donde oficiales de la aduana y proteccion de fronteras lo detuvieron despues de tratar de entrar de nuevo a los Estados Unidos. Yakobi es un estudiante de la Universidad de California en San Diego y es uno de los 700,000 “Dreamers” viviendo en los Estados Unidos bajo la proteccion de el programa. Nuestra oficina logro liberarlo despues de estar detenido por cinco dias gracias a nuestra comunidad, los medios de comunicacion, y con el apoyo de miembros de el Congreso. Es nuestro orgullo proteger y defender a Dreamers como Orr Yakobi.

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In this video, attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick answers one of your most frequently asked questions: Why can’t the President just give permanent residency to undocumented persons?

Overview: 

Only Congress may pass legislation that will create a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants known as “amnesty.” The constitution of the United States limits the president’s authority to pass laws. The President may only pass executive actions to provide temporary relief when Congress is unwilling to act or there is a state of emergency. A popular belief that many people have is that the DACA program and the now defunct DAPA programs offer undocumented persons a sort of amnesty. This belief is incorrect. The current DACA program offers only temporary relief to undocumented persons living in the United States. It was designed to shield undocumented persons from deportation and provide them an opportunity to obtain temporary employment authorization.

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In this video, attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick discusses job search tips for foreign workers. This video will teach you how to find a job in the United States as a foreign national, how to present yourself to employers as a foreign national, and what to do and what not to do as a foreign national seeking employment opportunities in the United States.

Overview:

This is an issue that many of our clients and foreign job seekers are facing. Many people come to me asking for my help to get them a visa but the problem is that they have not secured a job in the United States. Many people realize that this is kind of like a Catch 22. If you are a foreign worker without a work visa you are not able to get a job. So if you don’t have a work visa how are you able to find a job?

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In this segment, attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick discusses a new development relating to President Barack Obama’s November 2014 executive action on immigration. For more information about President Obama’s executive actions on immigration please click here and here.

Overview: 

  • SCOTUS recently granted a request that secures timely consideration for President Obama’s Executive Actions raising the likelihood the case will be heard in the spring and a decision by the end of June; just a few months before the Presidential election.
  • When the Executive Actions on immigration were announced last year, several states filed an injunction against extended DACA and DAPA and those provisions have been at a standstill ever since.
  • Twenty-six states were involved in the lawsuit, with Texas as the lead plaintiff.

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In this segment, attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick discusses new changes applying to OPT STEM extensions.

The new changes include:

– The new STEM OPT proposal will provide for an extension of OPT optional practical training replacing the 2008 proposal.

– The proposal will increase OPT STEM extensions from 17 months to 24 months.

– This will require employers to implement formal mentoring and training programs.

– In addition, the proposal aims to safeguard the rights of US workers in related fields.

– Students must report to DHS for any changes in their name, address, and employers.

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