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    Published on 05-02-2018 03:48 PM

    From Student to Resident: The Scholar’s Path to a Green Card


    As you already know, the F-1 and J-1 visas are often the ideal options for anyone looking to study in the U.S. Also, to a lesser extent, the M-1 might be more viable in certain scenarios. In either case, there common misconception and a dearth of information on the exact process that is involved with making the transition from an F-1, J-1, or M-1 visa to a green card. This post aims to make the pathway as clear as possible without pulling any punches.

    Dual Intent

    The question of dual intent is the misconception that I mentioned earlier. Dual intent, being the attribute that allows holders of certain nonimmigrant visas to pursue lawful permanent resident status without jeopardizing the initial nonimmigrant status, is not granted to all visas. Attempting to apply for lawful permanent resident status while under a visa status that is not dual intent will most likely result in a denial and could be considered a violation of your status, which could have serious consequences such as status revocation or being barred from re-entry.

    Unfortunately, these student visas are not dual intent. ...

    Published on 05-02-2018 03:43 PM

    National-security Experts Outline The Strategic Case For Refugee Resettlement


    The Trump administration was scheduled to release a report on April 22nd from Attorney General Jeff Sessions that examined the U.S. refugee resettlement program’s impact on national security, public safety, and the general welfare, in accordance with a 2017 executive order from President Trump. They missed that deadline and the report is now expected later this month. Readers should exercise caution when reviewing the coming report, given the administration’s interest in distorting the truth about refugees. Last year, the administration suppressed a report when the findings didn’t match its desired outcome.

    Contrary to what is expected in Mr. Sessions’ report, refugee resettlement is not only an important humanitarian program, but one that promotes America’s strategic interests as well. Advancing the national interest and ensuring robust refugee protection are mutually reinforcing — not exclusive — goals. The U.S. refugee resettlement system helps the United States carry out foreign-policy objectives and serves the national interest, according to people who have held the highest-level intelligence and security positions within the government.

    The support of bipartisan national-security experts for refugee resettlement should give critics pause. Former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff wrote in 2017 that “cutting refugee admittances would not only be a moral failure but also damage our national interest abroad.” Michael Hayden, former director of the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and former NATO Supreme Allied Commander James Stavridis wrote in 2016, “It’s ironic, to say the least, that today some politicians are seeking to shut out refugees in the name of national security.”

    Officials and experts have explained that resettling refugees advances U.S. strategic ...

    Published on 05-02-2018 02:34 PM

    Multinational Manager Green Card "1-in-3" Rule Tightened


    Multinational managers seeking a green card under the EB-1C classification will fail if there is a gap in employment in excess of two years with the petitioning company after entering the U.S., according to a recent Policy Memo issued by USCIS dated March 19, 2018.

    What is the EB-1C immigrant visa status? It can be used by a multinational company seeking to bring a high-ranking executive or managerial employee to work permanently in the United States. The employee would normally be transferred from their position in a foreign affiliate to the U.S., although he or she could already been working for the U.S. company ...
    Published on 05-01-2018 01:55 PM

    Give Foreign Spouses Of Temporary Workers The Right To Work


    The Trump administration is expected to reverse a 2015 rule that gave employment authorization to some spouses of H-1B visa holders. Such a rollback would disrupt business, reduce productivity in the U.S. economy, and place new burdens on families, as I detail in a new Policy Brief released today. Moreover, undoing the rule will force thousands of women—who constitute the overwhelming majority of these spouses—out of the workplace during this era of female empowerment.

    In 2015, the Department ...

    Published on 05-01-2018 01:49 PM

    EB-5: The Best Option for Russian Nationals


    Relocating to the U.S. and becoming a lawful permanent resident and perhaps eventually a citizen can be a complicated and difficult process for the Russian individual or family. Many Russians hoping to immigrate to the U.S. are faced with lengthy delays and wait times only to discover their visa applications have been denied for seemingly minor mistakes.

    However, for Russian nationals whose primary motivation is immigrating ...

    Published on 04-30-2018 02:47 PM

    Homeland Security Ends Temporary Protected Status for Earthquake-Ravaged Nepal


    Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen has announced the termination of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Nepal. Designated in 2015 based on a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake, Nielsen found that conditions in Nepal “have decreased to a degree that they should no longer be regarded as substantial.” Thursday’s announcement delayed the effective date by 12 months, permitting Nepalese TPS holders one final opportunity to renew their work permits.

    The earthquake in Nepal displaced millions, destroyed more than 750,000 homes and over 900 health care facilities . It struck just outside of Nepal’s capital of Kathmandu, home to approximately 25 percent of the country’s population of 29 million people . The U.S. State Department itself noted last year the “ widespread devastation ” and displacement of millions from the earthquake. Recovery has been impeded by severe flooding and landslides in the summer of 2017, ...

    Published on 04-27-2018 02:04 PM

    Here’s What Happened Inside the Supreme Court During the Travel Ban Arguments


    The Supreme Court heard arguments on Wednesday in Trump v. Hawaii, one of several cases challenging President Trump’s third travel ban. After two earlier travel bans were partially or fully struck down by federal courts, President Trump imposed the current travel ban . The third travel ban targets foreign nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries who seek to enter the United States as immigrants or for temporary stays. This week’s arguments come after the Supreme Court allowed the third travel ban to take effect while the present appeal was pending.

    During oral arguments ...

    Published on 04-26-2018 12:30 PM

    The Trump Administration Is Placing More Long-Residing Immigrants Into Court Proceedings


    For years, immigration enforcement officials prioritized recent border-crossers over long-time residents with U.S.-born children, clean criminal records, or other evidence of roots in the United States. This was done by exercising “ prosecutorial discretion ” in deciding against whom to initiate deportation proceedings. The basic idea was that scarce law-enforcement resources shouldn’t be wasted tracking down people who weren’t a danger to the public.

    That practice has radically changed under the Trump administration. Now, more cases are showing up in immigration court that involve longer-term residents of the United States rather than recent arrivals, according to an analysis of federal data by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University.

    During March 2018, for example, court records show that only 10 percent of immigrants ...

    Published on 04-25-2018 01:53 PM

    Extraordinary Entrepreneurs Require Extraordinary Evidence: A Review of Recent Non-Precedent EB-1A AAO Decisions Under the Trump Administration


    An international entrepreneur’s options for permanent residence are limited. The United States does not have a “start-up” visa. For many entrepreneurs, particularly those facing long backlogs in other immigrant visa categories, an “extraordinary ability” petition may be the only available path to a green card.

    A foreign national can demonstrate extraordinary ability, and thereby eligibility for permanent residence in the employment-based first preference category (EB-1A), by having obtained a major international prize such as a Nobel Prize or an Academy Award. [1] Such awards are uncommon in most EB-1A petitions, particularly with entrepreneurs. Absent such an award, a foreign national can still demonstrate extraordinary ability by documenting at least three of the following ten criteria:

    1. Receipt of a lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards;
    1. Membership in associations in the foreign national’s field of expertise that require outstanding achievements of their members;
    1. Published material about the foreign national in professional or major trade publications or other major media;
    1. Participation, either individually or on a panel, as a judge of the work of others in the foreign national’s field;
    1. Original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance in the foreign national’s field;
    1. Authorship of scholarly articles in the foreign national’s field, in professional or major trade publications or other major media;
    1. Display of the foreign national's work at artistic exhibitions or showcases;
    1. A leading or critical role for organizations or establishments that have a distinguished reputation;
    1. Command of a high salary or other significantly high remuneration for services, in relation to others in the field; or
    1. Commercial successes in the performing arts, as shown by box office receipts or record, cassette, compact disk, or video sales.

    If these criteria do not apply to the foreign national’s field, the foreign national may submit comparable evidence. [2]

    Given the importance of EB-1A to many foreign entrepreneurs, we sought to find examples of how entrepreneurs are faring in meeting the criteria above under the current administration. To that end, we found three non-precedent decisions issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) since January 2017. In each of the three cases filed by international entrepreneurs, the AAO carefully parsed the evidence, found sometimes non-obvious insufficiencies and vagueness in the evidence, and denied the petition.

    This article summarizes each case, with particular attention paid to the evidence provided and how the AAO treated that evidence. It concludes with some observations on what international entrepreneurs should do to maximize their chances of obtaining an extraordinary ability green card.

    Matter of O-P- , Oct. 18, 2017

    Published on 04-25-2018 11:12 AM

    More Countries (including India) soon to face EB-5 Visa Retrogression


    April 23, 2018, at the IIUSA Annual Conference in Washington DC, Charlie Oppenheim, Chief, Visa Controls Office at the US Department of State delivered the breaking news that more countries will face final action dates, leading to visa retrogression. These countries include: India, Brazil, Taiwan, South Korea – all popular countries for the EB-5 visa.

    What is a Final Action Date? A final action date (FAD) marks the end of a “current visa” status for a country, ...

    Published on 04-24-2018 09:37 AM

    Department of Justice Ignores Its Own Evaluators’ Recommendations on Immigration Courts


    A newly-released document obtained under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) shows that the Department of Justice (DOJ) is making radical changes to the immigration court system that deliberately contradict the recommendations given to the department by its own independent evaluators.

    The recommendations were made in an April 2017 Booz Allen Hamilton report commissioned by The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR)—the agency that houses the immigration courts. The year-long analysis summarized in the report recommended steps to resolve inefficiencies ...

    Published on 04-23-2018 01:37 PM

    EB-5: The Best (and Only?) Option for Many Indian Nationals


    It is not easy being a citizen of India who wants to live and work in the U.S. and become a legal permanent resident and possibly a citizen of the U.S. We know – – we represent many of them.

    Our Indian clients don’t just face a “double whammy”. They face a multi-front coordinated series of hurdles and roadblocks.

    Let’s set out the problem, and then we’ll provide what, for many, is the only solution.

    The present Administration in Washington has been no friend to Indian citizens. Here’s why:

    • Upon completion of studies, our Indian client is often eligible for practical training (“OPT”). The present Administration is actively attempting to restrict OPT, which has been the subject ...

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