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    Published on 03-20-2018 01:39 PM

    What If My Case Did Not Get Chosen In The H-1b Lottery: Exploring Work Visa Options Beyond The H-1b Cap (Part VII of an VIII Part Series)


    Last year USCIS announced earlier that it received approximately 236,000 H-1B petitions for the fiscal year 2017. Once the lottery (also referred as “random selection process”) has been completed USCIS starts to send receipt notices. With uncertainty looming large as to who may or may obtain an H-1B in the 2018-2019 H-1B Fiscal Year Lottery, it is time that prospective H-1B visa beneficiary hopefuls start exploring other work visa options that may allow them to work and live in the United States on a temporary basis. This article provides a snapshot of possible work visa options that may be available to prospective H-1B nonimmigrant work visa beneficiaries who do not get chosen to be among the lucky few who are chosen to be in the 2017-2018 Fiscal year H-1B cap.


    There are certain categories of cap-exempt H-1B visas. One such category is for foreign nationals having (or hoping to have) an employment offer from an institution of higher education (or related or affiliated nonprofit entities), or from a nonprofit/government research organization.

    To be classified as cap-exempt, it not mandatory that the prospective H-1B employee should be employed by the institution of higher education (or related or affiliated nonprofit entities), or nonprofit/governmental research organization. Prospective H-1B employees, employed by any employer, who will perform the majority of his/her work ...

    Published on 03-20-2018 08:37 AM

    2018 immigration trends predictions: Dependents could lose work authorization!


    Factors like geopolitical activities, emerging markets, availability of talent, cost-of-living, country tax schemes to immigration changes, the health of global economies– all have a significant impact on the management and tracking corporate global mobility programs.

    During the past years, people have seen many impacts and shifts on immigration practices and policies, which can all translated to new challenges for employers across the world. However, the demand for a workforce that is globalized will still persist, and more companies ...

    Published on 03-19-2018 04:46 PM

    Long-Residing Liberians Are at Risk of Losing Protection from Deportation by the End of March


    While much of the national immigration conversation has focused on the fate of Dreamers and those with Temporary Protected Status , a little-known protection provided to Liberians is on the brink of expiration.

    This rarely-applied protection is known as Deferred Enforced Departure, a designation made by the president to provide temporary relief from deportation and work authorization for nationals of another country when it’s in our foreign policy interests to do so. Liberia’s Deferred Enforced Departure is due to expire on March 31, 2018. If no action is taken by the Trump administration, many Liberians who have lawfully lived in the United States for decades will find themselves suddenly without protection from deportation.

    When Liberia first erupted in civil war in 1991, Liberians were granted TPS, allowing nearly 10,000 ...

    Published on 03-16-2018 11:16 AM

    How Aggressive Immigration Enforcement Hurts America's Schools


    Immigration enforcement has become increasingly severe, especially in the past year. Yet news coverage often merely scratches the surface of what people across the country are experiencing. Consequently, one topic that often gets left out of the larger conversation is the deep and lasting impact immigration enforcement has on the education of children.

    Increasingly, education and childcare professionals report that this harsh approach to immigration enforcement is harming the environment in schools and childcare centers and, more broadly, the communities of students and families they serve. Two recent multi-state surveys add to a growing body of evidence demonstrating how immigration enforcement negatively affects children in the United States.

    The first, a national survey of pre-K through high school educators conducted by the Civil Rights Project at UCLA, reveals that immigration enforcement has negatively impacted U.S. schools and classrooms. Of the 5,438 teachers, administrators, and other school staff surveyed between October 2017 and January 2018, 73 percent observed potential impacts of immigration enforcement at their school.

    “Fear” and “separation” were the two most common words used when describing students’ immigration ...

    Published on 03-15-2018 09:06 AM

    10 Things to Know About the New EB-5 Reform Act


    On March 8, 2018, a draft of the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa and Regional Center Program Comprehensive Reform Act (the “EB-5 Reform Act”) was released. This new proposal is similar to earlier congressional reform attempts but also includes new provisions that would dramatically affect the EB-5 industry – both in the short-term and long-term. If passed, the Act would authorize the EB-5 Regional Center Program – currently set to expire on May 23, 2018 – until September 30, 2023. This longer-term extension is welcome news, ...

    Published on 03-14-2018 02:45 PM

    Chilling Effect of Proposed EB-5 Investment Amounts on EB-5 Regional Centers in Rural States


    Lawmakers are again considering changes to the EB-5 Program. In fact, before the end of this month, we may see provisions from the “Immigrant Investor Visa and Regional Center Program Comprehensive Reform Act” or “EB-5 Reform Act,” which is still circulating in draft form, packaged into an omnibus appropriations bill. This is consistent with what we thought may happen last October, ...

    Published on 03-14-2018 11:10 AM

    Chain Migration Is Fake News


    I’ve been an immigration lawyer for almost 20 years, since 1999, and I have never heard “chain migration” used in any way, shape, or form when it comes to immigration. We call it family immigration - we always have, and we always should because that’s what it is.

    Why is the media and the Trump administration calling family immigration “chain migration?” It’s because they don’t want you to know that it’s really about husbands and wives, kids, parents, and brothers and sisters. They want you to think of one evil person bringing in 17 people to the U.S., including aunts, uncles, and evil grandparents.

    Since there seems to be a lot of confusion about all of this, I want to explain what family immigration is and what it is not. First off, when you ...

    Published on 03-14-2018 10:41 AM

    EB-5 Change Imminent?


    Will we finally see change in the EB-5 space? Discussions about what the future of EB-5 would entail have abounded for years now, but it seems we finally have some clarity on the state of proposed reforms. IIUSA met with Republican negotiators and recently released new proposed EB-5 legislation that would fund the Regional Center program through to 2023.

    Unacceptably, we were given very little time to digest and comment on the 55-page bill. On the surface, it seems that the bill will make drastic changes to the program as we know it, but in reality, much will remain the same. Most notably, the minimum investment amount will be raised from $500,000 to $925,000 for investments in Targeted Employment Areas (TEAs). However, the maximum amount will only be raised to $1,025,000, rendering the TEA incentive essentially meaningless. To counter this, legislators have included new categories that will qualify for additional incentives, such as visa set ...

    Published on 03-13-2018 12:12 PM

    California’s New Laws Protecting the Rights of Immigrants Are Civil Rights and Should Never Be Found to Be Unconstitutional


    The Trump administration has ramped up its ire against California by filing a lawsuit against three different California laws that aims to protect immigrants from the harsh effects of federal enforcement. The three laws are the Immigrant Worker Protection Act, which regulates the way private employers can respond to federal efforts to investigate workplace immigration law compliance; the California Values Act, which limits communication from state and local law enforcement with federal immigration officials and prevents them from investigating people for immigration enforcement purposes; and A.B. 103, which subjects local detention facilities to twice-yearly inspections by the Attorney General’s office.

    The lawsuit, United States of America v. California , claims that the California laws render it impossible for the federal government to deport people not born in the United States who live in California. It alleges that California has obstructed the United States’ ability to enforce laws that Congress has created, and that the California protections violate the constitutional principle that federal immigration law is the supreme law of the land. All three laws were signed during the Trump administration. Governor Brown signed the Immigration Worker Protection Act and the California Values Act in October 2017, and A.B. 103 in June 2017.The lawsuit, which also names Governor Brown ...

    Published on 03-12-2018 04:51 PM

    Immigration Enforcement Priorities Have Been Abandoned—and That’s Bad News for Everyone


    In order to effectively fight crime, law-enforcement officers must gain the trust of the communities they intend to serve. Trust encourages victims of crime, as well as potential witnesses, to come forward and help solve cases and prosecute criminals.

    However, according to our latest analysis, the Trump administration has abandoned this approach by not prioritizing immigration cases and offenses based on the level of their severity. Prioritization simply means that law-enforcement officers initially focus on getting dangerous people off the street (like murderers), before turning their attention to people who are not a threat (such as workers without criminal records who overstayed a visa in order to get a job).

    More precisely, the administration has expanded the list of “enforcement priorities” to the point that there aren’t any priorities in practice. At present, nearly any non-citizen who has ever been convicted or charged with a criminal offense is a priority. ...

    Published on 03-09-2018 03:51 PM

    ABCs Of H-1Bs (This Is Part Vi Of An Viii Part Series): The H-1B Cap Was Reached; Do I Still Have A Chance Of Getting An H-1B Visa?


    In the first week of April during the last several years the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced that it has received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap, both regular and master’s. Because of the surge of petitions filed, USCIS conducts a lottery (technically referred as “random selection process”), to determine which petitions received in the five-day submission period, the minimum time USCIS can accept petitions, will actually be considered. USCIS then begins sending receipt notices for the petitions selected in the random selection process.

    The H-1B lottery is a very stressful time for thousands of potential H-1B candidates. Until the prospective H-1B employers (or their legal representatives) start receiving receipt notices, and the dark clouds of uncertainty over prospective H-1B visa holders move past, the question worth asking and exploring is: “Do I still have a chance of getting an H-1B visa even if my H-1B petition does not make it to the H-1B cap?” ...

    Published on 03-08-2018 01:58 PM

    Everything You Need to Know About the H-1B Cap


    The H-1B visa is a visa of dual intent that allows foreign nationals to work specialty occupations in the US for three years with the option to extend to six years, and the option to leave when the job is done, or pursue a Green Card. During this time, they can bring spouses and dependents to live with them in the US and go to school, and sometimes even work under H-4 visa status.

    This visa is the most common among employers in STEM industries in the United States, industries with jobs expanding faster than the US workforce ...

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