Today, Mr. Charles Oppenheim, U.S. Department of State, Chief, Immigrant Visa Control and Reporting Division, announced at the IIUSA conference in Washington D.C., that effective May 1, 2015, the retrogression of priority date in the EB-5 category for China is May 1, 2013. This means that all investors whose I-526 petitions were filed before May 1, 2013 will be able to continue processing for their conditional permanent residence. However, all investors who filed I-526 petitions on or after May 1, 2013 will not be able to do so.
Further, at the beginning of the new fiscal year on October 1, 2015, the cutoff date will likely be two to three years. In other words, the projection is that in the fall of 2015, the cutoff date might be the fall of 2012 to the fall of 2013.
AAO Holds That Agent, Representative or Liaison Office Doing Business by Only Providing Continuous Flow of Goods and/or Services for Related Foreign Company Can Still Qualify Beneficiary for Permanent Residence as EB-1C Multinational Executive/Manager
I am happy to report that one of our successful cases involving an L-1A intra-company transferee case seeking the green card through the EB-1C multinational executive/manager route, has been designated as a precedent decision by U.S.C.I.S.’ Appeals Adjudication Office (AAO) and will be applied as the law across the country. (Matter of Leacheng, 26 I & N Dec. 532 (AAO 2015) http://www.justice.gov/eoir/vll/intdec/vol26/3830.pdf
In Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC, 26 I&N Dec. 542 (AAO 2015), the AAO affirmed the Service Center Director's decision and revoked the petition's approval. Among other things, the Director had concluded that changes in the beneficiary's places of employment constituted a material change to the terms and conditions of employment as specified in the original petition. The changes included different metropolitan statistical areas from the original place of employment, which USCIS agents were unable to find. The AAO found that the petitioner should have filed an amended Form I-129 H-1B petition corresponding to a new labor condition application (LCA) that reflected these changes, but the petitioner failed to do so. The AAO noted that petitioners must immediately notify USCIS of any changes in the terms and conditions of employment of a beneficiary that may affect eligibility for H-1B status
In affirming the Director's decision, the AAO noted:
A change in the place of employment of a beneficiary to a geographical area requiring a corresponding Labor Condition Application for Nonimmigrant Workers (LCA) be certified to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security with respect to that beneficiary may affect eligibility for H-1B status; it is therefore a material change for purposes of 8 CFR §§ 214.2(h)(2)(i)(E) and (11)(i)(A) (2014).
When there is a material change in the terms and conditions of employment, the petitioner must file an amended or new H-1B petition with the corresponding LCA.
In the not too distant past, employers relied on informal USCIS guidance indicating that so long as a new LCA
On April 9, 2015, the Administrative Appeals Office (“AAO”), an appeals unit of USCIS, issued a decision regarding job site changes of H-1B workers.
The case (Matter of Simeio Solutions LLC, 26 I&N Dec. 542) upheld the revocation of an H-1B worker whose place of employment changed after petition approval. The employee’s initial worksite was in Long Beach, California. Subsequently, the employee began providing services to clients at various sites that were not identified in the application. USCIS auditors conducted a site visit, whereupon they discovered that the employer had vacated the Long Beach
Yesterday, in Crane v. Johnson, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals (the same court deciding whether or not to keep in place the preliminary injunction blocking the President’s executive actions) unanimously dismissed a lawsuit challenging the original 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The court held that the plaintiffs in the case–the State of Mississippi and several Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers displeased with the DACA program–lacked standing, or a sufficient legal interest, to bring the case. Yesterday’s ruling is a significant victory and could be a sneak preview into how the court will view the Texas-led challenge to the President’s more recent executive actions that are currently before it.
Yet the media’s attention so far has missed the significance of the Crane ruling. Instead, reporters have gravitated towards a blustery but completely unsurprising opinion issued by a lower court judge, Andrew Hanen, in Texas v. United States—the case brought by the State of Texas, along with a number of other states, to challenge the expanded version of the DACA program and the new DAPA program for parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents. On February 16, 2015, in a highly
Due to its geographic diversity and natural resource abundance, the United States is one of the world’s leading agricultural producers and suppliers. Indeed, the $374 billion U.S. agriculture sector is critical to the U.S. economy, but its health depends on a functioning immigration system. From migrant workers on farms, to foreign-born scientists at agribusiness and agricultural research centers, immigrant labor is important for U.S. agriculture, and analysts predict that in the absence of immigration reform, the growth of the entire sector may stall.
At an event Tuesday on immigration, agriculture, and the economy, panelists described how the status quo is harmful to employers, workers, the broader economy, and food security. Stephanie Mercier, with the Farm Journal Foundation, and author of Employing Agriculture: How the Midwest Farm Sector Relies on Immigrant Labor, observed that between 2000 and 2012, “U.S. consumption of fresh produce rose by 10.5 percent, while U.S. production rose only 1.4 percent. As a result, imports of fresh fruits and vegetables have increased by 38 percent over that period, with imports in several categories spiking well over 100 percent.” And citing a previousstudy,
Who is Impacted: All Foreign Workers (subject to exceptions set out) and their Employers
Time goes quickly. On April 1, 2011, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) instituted a regulatory measure providing that temporary work permits could only be extended for a total work time of four (4) years. The clock for the new provision began to run on April 15, 2011 – that is, any time already spent in Canada as of that time was not included in the cap, so the first date on which someone could possibly reach the 4 year cap would be April 1, 2015. The future has now arrived.
Factors/Strategies to Consider
Subject to exceptions set out below, any foreign worker in Canada who has now hit the 4 year cap would be ineligible to renew his/her work permit. A few notes about the nature/implications of the 4 year cap provision, and strategies to recognize:
The 4 year cap is ‘real time’. That is, work permits may have
In my last blog, I discussed a number of factors that are having and could have an impact on the market for Chinese EB-5 investors. In this blog, I will list and discuss hot topics and new developments regarding EB-5 projects and agents in China.
Types of projects – While hotels remain at or near the front of the line, the hottest projects appear to be health care-related projects (hospitals, ALFs), residential and multi-family and infrastructure projects or any projects with government money or government support.
Escrow – Among the major agents, there is near-uniform understanding that traditional escrow is no longer feasible given government processing times of 14 months and higher. There is greater receptivity to release of funds upon I-526 filing or at least release of some percentage of the funds with the others held back until I-526 and/or exemplar approval. However, a credible developer guaranty of return of the funds to the investor if the I-526 petition is denied is critical.
Geography – Manhattan is hotter than ever. It is followed closely by Los Angeles