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In a live address to the nation on Thursday, November 20, 2014, President Obama laid out his plan to use executive actions to alter the U.S. immigration system. These actions may allow up to five million unauthorized immigrants to stay in the U.S. and obtain work permits. In his address, the President stated that he intends to “make it easier and faster for high-skilled immigrants, graduates, and entrepreneurs to stay and contribute to our economy, as so many business leaders have proposed.”
Soon after the President finished speaking, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Jeh Charles Johnson, published a memorandum addressed to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) directing the agencies to enact new policies and regulations to support high-skilled businesses and workers by better enabling U.S. businesses to hire and retain highly skilled foreign-born workers, while providing these workers with increased flexibility to make career decisions. This Management Alert is intended to inform employers of possible changes to the U.S. immigration system that will impact the hiring and retention of high-skilled foreign born workers.
1.) Clarification of the Meaning of “Specialized Knowledge” in the L-1B Visa Context:
To date, the L-1B visa program has suffered from unclear guidance and erratic interpretation of the term “specialized knowledge by USCIS adjudicators and U.S. consular officers”. A lack of clear guidance has created uncertainty for companies seeking to temporarily transfer essential personnel from foreign operations to the U.S. USCIS is expected to issue a long-awaited policy memorandum by January 2015 to provide guidance on the meaning of “specialized knowledge” and clarify L-1B eligibility standards for adjudicating officers. Secretary Johnson’s memorandum suggests that this L-1B policy guidance “will bring greater coherence and integrity to the L-1B program, improve consistency in adjudications, and enhance companies’ confidence in the program.”
2.) Accelerated Filing of Adjustment of Status Applications:
Currently, many individuals with approved employment-based immigrant petitions (I-140) are unable to file Adjustment of Status (I-485) applications for green card status due to immigrant visa quota backlogs. Changes in the content and format of the Department of State’s Visa Bulletin and changes to the USCIS regulations may permit tens of thousands of individuals to file their Adjustment of Status applications earlier and obtain the benefits of a pending green card application. These benefits will enable affected employees to obtain employment authorization and advance parole, and to take
President Obama’s Recent Immigration Polices and EB-5 Impact
President Obama has recently announced some new proposed changes in immigration policies that, generally, impact the immigration and others that can specifically impact EB-5. The purpose of this article is to outline the measures that could impact EB-5.
On the President’s trip to China he announced that Chinese nationals would be eligible to apply for a ten (10) year tourist visa. This has caused some Chinese to think that there is no reason to apply for residency via EB-5. This reasoning is incorrect for a few reasons. First, while the individual is eligible to receive a visa for
Comment: Legal Authority And Responsibility
Former chief counsel of USCIS and a law professor, Stephen Legomsky, demonstrates in his Wall Street Journal Op-ed that President Obama has the legal authority for his executive action on immigration. Mr. Legomsky is one of the 138 law professors specializing in immigration who wrote to President Obama two months ago confirming the President's authority to use deferred action on a large scale.
The president's legal authority is clear. First, the prosecutorial discretion that the president has exercised is a well-established, vital law-enforcement tool. When resources don't permit 100% enforcement, agencies are forced to set priorities.The immigration statute expressly recognizes deferred action by name, expressly authorizes the administration to grant work permits, and places no limitations on either. The formal agency regulations, in place since 1987, specifically authorize the grant of work permits to recipients of deferred action. And a long line of court decisions expressly recognize deferred action, again without limitation.The president is not creating a new path to permanent residence. He recognizes that only Congress can do that. His decision will be only a temporary measure, one that settled law and layers of executive precedents clearly permit.
The Presidential executive action, by its nature, is only a temporary solution, necessitated by Congress's failure to pass immigration reform. If Republicans in Congress are worked up about it, we invite them to finally rise up to their constitutional responsibly of passing laws that the country needs, and to pass their own solution to our broken immigration system.
If yes, please download the new “Historic Records Report” before Dec 31, 2014.
Effective January 1, 2015, E-Verify transaction records more than 10 years old will be deleted from the system. You will no longer have access in E-Verify to cases you created prior to December 31, 2004.
E-Verify has created a new Historic Records Report. If you want a record of your cases that are over 10 years old, you must download the new Historic Records Report before December 31, 2014. The report will include all transaction records for cases more than 10 years old. The report is only available until December 31, 2014.
It is a best practice to record the E-Verify case verification number on the relating Form I-9. Employers are encouraged to also retain the Historic