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    Published on 06-27-2017 09:53 AM

    H1B RFE? 5 Questions to Find the Right Credential Evaluator


    It’s RFE season! That means your client has a one in four chance of receiving an RFE on their H1B petition. Some of the most common RFEs for this visa have to do with the candidate’s education.

    If your client has a degree that does not match their field, a degree from outside of the US, incomplete college, or a degree that doesn’t have the word “degree” in the title, you will need to find the right credential evaluator for the job. Many education RFEs occur because the petition was submitted without a credential evaluation, or a credential evaluation ...

    Published on 06-27-2017 09:42 AM

    U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Travel Ban Case – Reinstates Partial Ban


    On Monday, the Supreme Court announced it will hear oral arguments regarding the legal challenges to President Trump’s travel ban. In doing so, the Court has allowed portions of the travel ban to remain in effect until then .

    Specifically, in a per curium order, the Supreme Court stayed the injunctions issued by the lower Circuit Courts “ with respect to foreign nationals who lack any bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States .” This means that foreign nationals ...

    Published on 06-27-2017 09:25 AM

    Spousal Abuse Cases


    Note: The pronoun “she” will be used throughout this chapter because the large majority of abused spouses are women.


    Legislative History

    The Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA) is a United States federal law (Title IV, sec. 40001-40703 of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, H.R. 3355) signed as Pub.L. 103-322 by President Bill Clinton on September 13, 1994 (codified in part at 42 U.S.C. sections 13701 through 14040.

    The Act provides 1.6 billion towards the investigation and prosecution of violent crimes against women, imposes automatic and mandatory restitution on those convicted, and allows civil redress in cases prosecutors choose to leave un-prosecuted. The Act also establishes the Office on Violence Against Women within the Department of Justice.

    In 2000, the Supreme Court in United States v. Morrison struck down the VAWA provision allowing women the right to sue their attackers in federal court. By a 5 to 4 majority, the court’s conservative wing overturned provisions as exceeding the federal government’s powers under the Commerce Clause.

    VAWA was reauthorized by bipartisan majorities in Congress in 2000, again in December 2005, and signed by President George W. Bush. The Act’s 2012 renewal was opposed by conservative Republicans who objected to extending the Act’s protections to same-sex couples and to provisions allowing battered undocumented immigrants to claim temporary visas. Ultimately, after a long legislative battle, VAWA was again reauthorized in 2013.


    Abuse, like persecution, is usually a systemic phenomenon that affects the victim in virtually every area of her life. The victim feels locked into a universe from which there is no escape. The person feels sad, lonely, anxious, fearful, and isolated. The abuser often refuses to leave the home until he feels ...

    Published on 06-26-2017 02:43 PM

    Breaking News: Supreme Court Ends 2016 Term, Agrees to Hear Travel Ban Cases, Punts on Three Immigration Cases


    The Supreme Court's 2016 Term has come to an end.* Today, the last day of the Term, the*Court in the biggest news agreed to review the travel ban decisions in the 2017 Term.*In a per curiam order, the Court stayed the injunction in part.* Justice Thomas, joined by Justices Alito and Gorsuch, concurred in part and dissented in part.** He would have stayed*the injunctions in full.* *

    The Court*did not decide three immigration cases. *

    In Jennings v. Rodriguez**(reviewing the legality of detention of immigrants without a bond hearing) and*Sessions v. Dimaya*(reviewing a Ninth Circuit decision, written by Judge Stephen Reinhardt, striking down a criminal removal provision as unconstitutionally vague), the Court will hear rearguments next fall. * The Court likely was split 4-4 in these cases *Justice Gorsuch will break the tie.

    In*Hernandez v. Mesa*(reviewing a complex case involving a cross border shooting by U.S. immigration enforcement officer of a young Mexican national), the Court in a per curiam order vacated and remanded the court of appeals ruling in light of Ziglar v.*.Abassi.*The order observed that the case involved "a heartbreaking loss of life."* Justice Gorsuch did not participate in the case.

    The Court earlier this Term decided four decisions touching on immigration:

    1.**Sessions v. Morales-Santana*(invalidating gender distinctions*favoring women over men based on antiquated on stereotypes in derivative citizenship laws).


    Published on 06-26-2017 02:40 PM

    Investor Alert: USCIS Publishes I-526 / I-829 Performance Data by Regional Center, but Accuracy of Data Called Into Question


    On June 19, 2017, USCIS published a list of approvals and denials for Form I-526 [link] and Form I-829 [link] performance based on Regional Center, ranging from January 1, 2014 to May 31, 2017. At first glance this seems to be great news for investors: one can now finally use official government data to find which Regional Centers have the best track record for approval and weigh such data when performing due diligence as to which EB-5 investment is right for him or her. But let us be clear, prospective investors should NOT rely upon the I-526 and I-829 reports in determining where to invest, nor should existing investors now be worried about the performance of their projects simply because of these reports.

    USCIS data is often inaccurate. Any immigration practitioner can attest to this pattern when reviewing published processing times, both in the EB-5 and non EB-5 context, that rarely track actual experience. It appears to us that the new I-526/I-829 reports are inaccurate as well. ...

    Published on 06-23-2017 11:21 AM

    Navigating the New Form I-129F


    Starting June 9, 2017, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will only accept the most recent 4/10/17 edition of Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e). The Form I-129F is used by American citizens seeking K-1 fiancé(e) visas for their foreign fiancé(e)s as well as by American citizens seeking K-3 visas for their foreign spouses. K-3 visas, however, have largely become obsolete in recent years, with only 119 K-3 petitions filed in fiscal year 2016, compared to 60,895 K-1 petitions filed during the same time period. [1]

    Here are the most significant changes to the form.

    G-325A No Longer Required . The I-129F no longer requires an associated Form G-325A (Biographic Information) for either the petitioner or the beneficiary. The merging of the two forms eliminates a long-standing redundancy in questions relating to birth dates, prior spouses, current employment and residence, among others, that appeared on both forms. Although the previous I-129F instructions indicated that the applicant need not reproduce on the G-325A the information that is provided on the I-129F, we suspect most applicants played it safe and fully ...

    Published on 06-23-2017 09:09 AM

    “EB-5 Prescription for Reform: Legislation or Regulation?”


    Published on 06-23-2017 09:06 AM

    Changes to Canada’s Economic Immigration Policy Under the New Liberal Government


    Canadians went to polls on October 19, 2015 and elected the Liberals to a majority government. There was much criticism of the Federal Conservative government’s policies on Citizenship and Immigration. However, to be fair some of the policies enacted by the Conservatives were necessary or of a positive nature.

    For example there was an 800,000 backlog in Skilled Workers applications. The Conservatives took the tough decision to return most of the applications and eliminate the back log. Now a quota is set each year and applications that exceed the quota are returned and the quota resets to zero for the next year.

    The Conservatives also implemented the In-Canada Experience Immigration category which allows individuals who have education and work experience in Canada to apply ...

    Published on 06-23-2017 08:48 AM

    An Update from the US Embassy in Russia


    Published on 06-23-2017 08:40 AM

    Redeployment Version 2.0 - Serious Issues with USCIS’ New Policy Manual Changes


    The EB-5 investment visa may be an employment based immigration category for permanent residence in the US, but it has long traversed far out of the realm of simple immigration. It has become alternative financing in a tangible way, with billions of dollars being invested into the US in major projects all over the country. As such, policy changes affecting the health (and wealth) of the investor should not be taken casually.

    On June 14, 2017, USCIS published several important revisions to the USCIS Policy Manual. At the forefront are new vague provisions relating to the redeployment of the investor’s capital. With ever increasing delays in adjudication, redeployment of investor funds can potentially affect every EB-5 investor not just those investors from Mainland China under retrogression.

    It is recognized that USCIS’s new provision relating to the redeployment of capital is a boon for developers, who will now have an opportunity to finance a second or third venture utilizing the same funds, without any additional marketing or legal costs and, importantly, without any real oversight. However, even with the best-intentioned developer, the potential for harm is immense resulting in a negative impact for investors and for the program. In fact, it could well be argued that in putting forth such provisions, USCIS has shown a blinkered vision endangering the program, exposing investors to a new vulnerability, opening the doors to litigation and fraud, and overreaching by USCIS.


    To simplify the position for those not fully cognizant of the nature of redeployment, it occurs when the investment capital, having been returned to the developer, is re-invested in another project. An example of how re-deployment can work is as follows: An Assisted Living home utilizes EB-5 money. The project takes only 14 months to construct and another 6 months to become operational. Within 3 years this project is not only operational, but has also created the required jobs and is in a position to ...

    Published on 06-22-2017 01:04 PM

    Be Careful What You Wish For Because It Might Come True


    Published on 06-22-2017 12:57 PM

    H1B RFE? Whose fault was it?


    It’s RFE season and we project frequency trends will not change. In the past few years, around one of every four H1B petitions selected in the lottery received an RFE.

    When your RFE or your employee or client’s RFE arrives, sit down with your team and read it over and determined who dropped the ball. Finding out who is at fault for the RFE is not about placing or deflecting blame, but rather an investigative tool you can use ...

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