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    Published on 03-24-2017 09:28 AM

    Five Things EB-5 Regional Centers Need to Know about Compliance Audits

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    On March 20, 2017, USCIS announced that it will begin EB-5 Regional Center compliance audits to collect case-specific data to verify information in Regional Center applications and annual certifications filed on Form I-924A, with the goal to enhance EB-5 Program integrity. The Immigrant Investor Program Office’s Compliance Unit will research information in government systems, review commercial and public records, verify information contained in investor applications, conduct site inspections, and interview Regional Center personnel as part of its compliance audit. This announcement was not unexpected, as the Immigrant Investor Program Office (“IPO”) has mentioned compliance measures regarding the EB-5 Program in the past. Here are 5 things EB-5 Regional Centers need to know about handling compliance audits:

    1. Create a Compliance Audit Action Plan. It is advisable to create and implement an action plan in the event of a compliance audit and ensure that all employees understand and strict adhere to that plan. There should be a designated primary individual who has the primary responsibility of answering the Compliance Unit’s questions and guiding them ...
    Published on 03-23-2017 09:33 AM

    Chief Justice of California Objects to Immigration Enforcement Tactics at California Courthouses

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    The Chief Justice of California Tani Cantil-Sakauye has expressed concerns with federal immigration tactics at the California courthouses in the following letter:

    Dear Attorney General Sessions and Secretary Kelly:

    As Chief Justice of California responsible for the safe and fair*delivery of justice in our state, I am deeply concerned about reports from some of our trial courts that immigration agents appear to be stalking undocumented immigrants in our courthouses to make arrests.*

    Our courthouses serve as a vital forum for ensuring access to justice and*protecting*public safety. Courthouses should not be used as bait in the necessary enforcement of our country’s immigration laws.

    Our*courts are the main point of contact for millions of the most vulnerable Californians in times of anxiety, stress, and crises in their lives. Crime victims, ...

    Published on 03-23-2017 08:56 AM

    Employer Not Always Obligated To Pay Return Transportation Cost Of Terminated H-1B Worker

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    In Vinayagam v. Cronous Solutions, Inc., ARB Case No. 15-045, ALJ Case No. 2013-LCA-029 (ARB Feb. 14, 2017) the Administrative Review Board held that an employer’s failure to pay return transportation costs home of a terminated H-1B employee was not fatal when the worker did not return to her home country on her own volition.

    When filing a Labor Condition Application (LCA) – a necessary first step in the filing of an H-1B visa petition – the employer attests that it will pay the required wage to the H-1B nonimmigrant worker. See INA 212(n)(1)(A); 20 CFR 655.731(a). The required wage must be paid until there is a bona fide termination of the employment relationship. In order to demonstrate such a bona fide termination of the employment relationship, the ARB held in Amtel Group of Fla., Inc. v. Yongmahapakorn, ARB No. 04-087, ALJ No. 2004-LCA-0006 (ARB Sept. 29, 2006). that an employer must meet three requirements to effectuate a bona termination of the relationship under 20 CFR 655.731(c)(7)(ii). First, the employer must expressly terminate the employment relationship with the H-1B worker. Second, ...

    Published on 03-22-2017 12:06 PM

    After Many Months of Anticipation, USCIS Announces EB-5 Regional Center Compliance Audits

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    USCIS had been discussing plans for EB-5 Regional Center Compliance Audits for a year or more, but officially announced the beginning of the EB-5 Regional Center Compliance Audit program, yesterday, March 20, 2017. According to the USCIS website, EB-5 Regional Center Compliance Audits will be used to enhance the integrity of the EB-5 Program, ensure a regional center’s compliance with the laws, and ensure that a regional center continues to meet the goals of the EB-5 program, which are promoting economic development and job creation.

    The commencement of the EB-5 Regional Center Compliance Audit program marks a shift in USCIS oversight and enforcement in the EB-5 arena, and will have long ranging effects on how participants in the program operate. The EB-5 Regional Center Compliance Audit Teams will review applications, certifications and records; review public records and information on a regional center; verify information contained in applications, investor petitions, and annual certifications and the ...

    Published on 03-22-2017 09:17 AM

    Does the Education H1B Qualify? Find Out Fast

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    It’s officially down to the last minute! You’ve got a little over a week to get the H1B visa petition filed in time for April 1st, and since this year is predicted to follow the trend of those before, you won’t have long before CIS closes its doors.

    Don’t let the last minute cause you to file an incomplete petition that will only get met with an RFE or worse. CIS educational requirements have changed in the past few years and they’ve ...

    Published on 03-21-2017 10:39 AM

    Advocating for Your Clients at the Immigration Bond Hearings: Recap from a Day in a Courtroom

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    A few months ago, a fellow attorney asked me to handle a bond hearing for his detained client in New York, at a Varick Street location. I arrived early, checked the docket and started waiting. While I was waiting, I discovered that my case was assigned to one of the “tough” judges. Every single attorney who was waiting for the Bond hearing that day anticipated that the bond application either would be denied or the bond amount would be set too high for clients to afford it. I have never had an opportunity to be in front of that judge before, but it did not bother me. I knew I had to focus on my client’s story and his case rather than to worry about the “tough” ...

    Published on 03-21-2017 10:23 AM

    Regional Center Termination AAO Remand

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    ...
    Published on 03-20-2017 03:37 PM

    Trump's VOICE: Office of Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement

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    Immigration Impact looks critically at a new Trump immigration innovation.* President Trump stated that he has “ordered the Department of Homeland Security to create an office to serve American victims during his Joint Address to congress. The office is called VOICEVictims of Immigration Crime Engagement.*This new office was created by on eofPresident Trump's January 25, 2017 immigration executive orders,

    The emphasis on victims of immigrant crimes*serves to scapegoat and demonize immigrants even though the data clearly shows that immigrants, including unauthorized immigrants, are less likely than native-born Americans to commit crimes.

    Immigration Impact identifies these negative impacts of the new office:

    1. Efforts like VOICE may create a climate ...

    Published on 03-17-2017 10:06 AM

    Travel Ban 2.0 Halted by Two District Judges

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    The Trump administration has failed in its attempt to rewrite the executive order banning individuals from targeted Muslim-majority nations in order to pass legal muster. On the eve of the new order taking effect, two district judges have shut it down.

    The first nationwide order was issued by a district court in Hawaii on Wednesday evening. It halted the 90-day Muslim entry ban for nationals of six countries, the 120-day world-wide refugee entry ban, and the significant reduction in the number of refugees who will be permitted to resettle in the United States in 2017. The court stated that it will not stay its order in the event the government files an emergency appeal.

    District Court Judge Watson in Hawaii cited the discriminatory nature of the ban in his decision.

    “Equally flawed is the notion that the Executive Order cannot be found ...

    Published on 03-16-2017 01:40 PM

    Guidelines for Redeployment of EB-5 Capital

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    One of the hottest topics in EB-5 is the requirement of a new commercial enterprise (“NCE”) to sustain the investors’ funds “at risk” following the payoff of a loan by the job creating enterprise to the NCE. This issue will be of increasing importance as more and more 5 and 6 year loans are paid off while Chinese investors with a quota backlog have to wait 8 to 10 years or longer before they can receive a return of their invested funds from the NCE.

    By way of background, USCIS has stated its policy that EB-5 investment capital is required to remain “at risk” in the NCE until each EB-5 investor’s I-829 petition is adjudicated. This has precipitated the need for the NCE to “redeploy” the invested funds. However, USCIS has provided no guidance on what requirements the redeployed investment is required to meet, other than that it must meet the definition of “at risk”.

    This is a critical issue for investors, who would like to know from the time of investment (a) where their money will be redeployed and (b) that there is some assurance that their money will be at the least level of risk possible consistent with the requirements of EB-5 law and policy. It is also critical for investors in deals started before the backlog who did not consider the need for redeployment at the time of investment.

    Because of the importance of this issue, Klasko Immigration Law Partners has collaborated with two top securities law firms to author a White Paper to edify our clients and, hopefully, USCIS as it finalizes its policy.

    The authors of this White Paper have undertaken the task of proposing a set of standards ...

    Published on 03-15-2017 10:32 AM

    Second "Muslim Ban" Meets Renewed Litigation

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    In the week following President Trump’s issuance of a second travel ban targeting six Muslim-majority countries, several states and a number of immigrant rights groups immediately returned to federal courts throughout the country to urge that this ban, like the first, be enjoined.

    Trump’s initial Muslim travel ban, an Executive Order issued on January 27, targeted Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. On February 2, a Seattle district court judge enjoined this order nationally in the case Washington v. Trump. Deriding this decision, Trump immediately asked the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to stay the injunction, a request which the appeals court rejected.

    For weeks after this, Trump and his close advisors indicated that a second Executive Order would be issued soon. They made clear that this second Order would “maintain the same basic policy outcome as the first.” True ...

    Published on 03-14-2017 10:10 AM

    Brown Around Town: The Historical Precedent For The Executive Order Travel Ban

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