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    Published on 01-22-2016 10:36 AM

    Chartered Accountancy/CPA Around the Globe – Which ones are equivalent to a Degree?

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    It’s complicated, folks. To date, only the Indian and the UK Chartered Accountancy certification are recognized as degrees. Pakistani and Bangladeshi CA certifications have some government recognition, but the issue is not cut and dry. The rest, including the US CPA, are considered professional certifications, but not degrees.

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    Published on 01-22-2016 09:47 AM

    Changes on the Horizon: Discussions of Looming EB-5 Reform

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    EB-5’s TEA Reform Drama

    The last six months have seen a lot of drama for the EB-5 Regional Center Program (“the Program”). Starting with the release of S. 1501 in June of last year – one of the first major bills proposing reauthorization and reform of the Program – an avalanche of draft bills, extensions, and revision attempts seems to have bowled over Congress and the EB-5 community. While the final result has been an extension of the Program without any changes until next September 30th, it is clear that reform is on the way.

    One of the largest looming changes is the overhaul of Targeted Employment Areas (TEAs) – surely in response to well-covered controversy. Some critics have speculated as to whether TEAs allow “gerrymandering,” taking the Program away from “its roots,” and have voiced other concerns. Almost every new bill proposal to reform the Program has included changes to the TEA process, and most approaches have differed considerably. It seems safe to say that the future of TEAs will be drastically different – and likely much more complicated.

    Before delving into our predictions of the future of TEAs in EB-5, let’s review the current process.

    TEAs in Current Practice

    According to the federal legislation of the Program, a project location can be certified as a TEA if it meets the requirements for a Rural TEA or a High Unemployment TEA. This flowchart shows the current practice of determining whether a project location is eligible to be a TEA.

     

    TEA Determination Flowchart, Current Practice

    How to Determine TEA-Eligibility Under Current Legislation
    (Summer Webinar: https://youtu.be/ZxqrWdG1F0o)

     

    If a project location meets the requirements for a Rural TEA according to the US Census Bureau’s most recent decennial Census (currently, the 2010 Census), then it does not need to be “certified” prior to the submission of EB-5 petitions (I-824s or I-526s). Applicants need only include the relevant Census data with their submissions.

    If a project location is eligible to be a High Unemployment TEA, it must be certified prior to submission of the petition(s) – i.e., a certification letter must be included in the materials sent to USCIS. Currently, certification comes from the state where the project is located, ...

    Published on 01-21-2016 11:22 AM

    EB-5 TEAs – Catching up (and looking ahead)

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    With the recent legislative maneuverings occupying the EB-5 world, perhaps lost in the shuffle are some key data items and considerations that will impact TEAs going forward. These updates are important under both the current regulations and also for considering potential legislative changes. For the time being, the current TEA regulations, in which the states have TEA-certifying power for high unemployment area TEAs, are in still in place. As the majority of states perform their annual update from around March to July of each year, and with possible legislative changes on the horizon, it is important to begin looking ahead.

    Below summarizes the newly released data related to ...

    Published on 01-21-2016 10:58 AM

    Is It Time to Change our Cuban Immigration Policy?

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    413494753_bb13c7d960_b

    In December of 2014, President Obama restored full diplomatic relations with Cuba and, for the first time since 1961, opened an embassy in Havana.  Many believe that normalizing relations with Cuba may prompt Congress to change the current laws regarding the treatment of Cuban migrants. Perhaps in anticipation of this happening, over the past year, there has been a significant spike in the number of Cubans coming to the United States.

    Congress passed the Cuban Adjustment Act (CAA) in 1966 to address the hundreds of thousands of Cubans fleeing to the United States after Fidel Castro came to power in January 1959. Under the law and policy currently in place, Cubans who come to the United States, even if they arrive without authorization, can become lawful permanent residents one year after their entry. There are no limits to the number of Cubans that can come in any given year because Cubans are exempt from any numerical caps under the CAA. According to ...

    Published on 01-21-2016 09:27 AM

    Musings on the Application for Replacement Certificates

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    Published on 01-20-2016 12:44 PM

    H-1B Labor Condition Certifications for Multiple Beneficiaries

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    Obtaining a Certified Form ETA 9035/LCA (Labor Condition Applications) is a mandatory part of any H-1B visa petition process, and can take 7 days to obtain from the US Department of Labor (or more if the employer's FEIN first needs to be verified by the I-CERT US DOL System).

    Employers who routinely (or on occasion) petition multiple H-1B Beneficiaries for the same ...

    Published on 01-20-2016 11:12 AM

    Is Ted Cruz Right? The "Invasion" ad couldn't be more wrong

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    In his recent campaign ad, Sen. Ted Cruz argues that the only reason that there isn’t more opposition to immigration is that foreign bankers, lawyers, journalists, and other suit-wearing professionals aren’t the ones crossing the border. If highly educated elites had to face competition from immigrants, he claims, they would turn against immigrants and write stories about “the economic calamity” created by immigrants.

    There is, however, little evidence for this opinion.

    As I demonstrated in a paper last year, a growing majority of Americans oppose cutting immigration levels. According to Gallup, the share of the public favoring immigration cuts fell from 65 percent in 1995 to 34 percent in 2015 — its lowest level since 1965. This flip is confirmed by three other major polling sources: New York Times-CBSAmerican National Election Studies, and the General Social Survey.

    GallupPoll2

    Since 2005, Gallup finds that support for immigration cuts has dropped by 14 percent among whites, 13 percent among blacks, and 3 percent among Hispanics, with a majority of the public supporting immigration by immigrants of all skilled levels — highlow, and unspecified. A very large majority also opposed removal of unauthorized immigrants.

    Support for immigration is consistently the highest among the highly educated. In 2015, the Pew Research Center found that 35 percent of those without college education favor cutting legal immigration, compared to just 25 percent of those with college degrees and 18 percent of those with postgraduate degrees. In 2014, Gallup found a similarly large gap between post-grads and those without any college education over the question of whether to cut all immigration levels.

    Is this due to the lower skilled character of immigration flows? Actually, no.

    First of all, new immigration is currently skewed toward both ends of the skill spectrum —meaning that the highest skilled professionals already face disproportionate competition from immigrants, just like the lowest skilled.

    In 2014, 45 percent of immigrants who had arrived since 2010 had bachelor’s degrees, compared to less than 29 percent of the native-born. About 19 percent had post-graduate degrees, while only 11 percent of the native-born did.

    Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 12.05.07 PM

    The other problem with this line of argument is that the highly educated are most in favor of immigration by workers of their own skill level — meaning they favor workers who compete with them. In 2011, researchers from MIT, Harvard, and Columbia analyzed the immigration views of Americans by education level. They found that support for immigration increases with education level, and that the majority of postgraduates favor increasing immigration by other highly skilled workers, while only a third favors doing so for lower skilled workers.

    We have no reason to believe that if we opened our doors to more immigrants with professional degrees that there would be a backlash. A good example of this is that despite the fact that there is no limit on the number of H-1B work visas for working at nonprofits and colleges, only 16.7 percent of economists who typically work at such institutions believe that “immigration levels are too high.”

    One reason for this view could be that economists who study immigration, including those who think immigration is too high, believe that immigration is a net positive for the average American worker. Even George Borjas, the Harvard economist most noted for his negative views on immigration, agrees with the others who see it as a net benefit — a point I noted in a paper last year.

    In fact, there is reason to believe that increasing immigration in higher skilled fields will increase support for immigration among the higher skilled. After all, as the foreign-born share of the population has grown since the 1990s, the share of the American public favoring immigration cuts has fallen dramatically. In 2014, Gallup actually found that growing majorities of all education levels — including college grads and high school dropouts — oppose immigration cuts.

    Americans just aren’t buying the “they’re-taking-our-jobs” argument anymore. A record 73 percent told Gallup last year that “on the whole,” they saw immigration today as a “good thing.” In 2014, Pew found that Americans believe that immigrants strengthen the country, and do not snatch  jobs or live on welfare — 57 to 35 percent. The same year, only 36 percent told GSS that they agreed that immigrants take jobs away from Americans.

    Americans simply do not agree with Sen. Cruz that immigrants are making America poorer — because they aren’t. Immigrants complement American workers and grow the economy. New workers — foreign or native-born — do not make America poorer. They are not an economic calamity, but rather America’s main source of new wealth and prosperity.

    This post originally appeared on The Foundation for Economic Education. Reprinted with permission.


    About The Author

    David Bier David Bier is an immigration policy analyst at the Niskanen Center. He is an expert on visa reform, border security, and interior enforcement. From 2013 to 2015, he drafted immigration legislation as senior policy advisor for Congressman Raúl Labrador, a member of the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security. Previously, Mr. Bier was an immigration policy analyst at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.


    The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.

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    Published on 01-20-2016 09:30 AM

    Never Give Up!

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    A recent EB-1c (Multinational Manager or Executive) Non-Precedent Decision by the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) got my attention for the tenacity of the Petitioner.

    A Florida Corporation had filed an I-140 application that was denied by the Texas Service Center on 01/10/2015. The Petitioner filed a Motion to Reopen/Reconsider on 02/18/2015 that was denied by the Director on 04/18/2015.

    The Director concluded that the evidence submitted for the motion did not meet the requirements, and that the Petitioner did not overcome ...

    Published on 01-19-2016 01:55 PM

    Supreme Court Places US v. Texas on Calendar for Decision in June

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    The Supreme Court on January 19, 2016, has agreed to hear United States v. Texas, Docket #15-674, in the present term. The case is best known for the DAPA (Deferred Action for Parental Accountability) program, under which a favorable ruling would affect the lives of 4,000,000+ undocumented immigrants, bringing them out of the shadows by making them eligible for a three-year work authorization and safety from deportation upon proving that they have been continuously ...

    Published on 01-19-2016 01:00 PM

    Anti-Muslim Anti-American Codependency

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    Published on 01-19-2016 11:06 AM

    Direct EB-5s in the spotlight as EB-5 becomes more expensive for Brazilians

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    On December 31st the Brazilian Tax Authority let a tax exemption lapse that allowed Brazilian nationals to transfer funds abroad without incurring a 25% tax imposed at the time of transfer of the funds.

    Several categories of transfers benefited from this exemption such as funds transferred from Brazil to pay for educational expenses abroad. In spite of the growing interest in transferring funds abroad, the lapse of the exemption comes at a time where the cost of the dollar for those earning reais (name of the Brazilian Currency) has skyrocketed, making it almost 75% more expensive for a Brazilian national earning reais to invest in the EB-5 program[1].

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    Published on 01-18-2016 02:53 PM

    Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘The World House’ and US Immigration Policy: A Humanitarian Call to Action

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    "A widely separated family inherits a house in which they have to live together. This is the great new problem of mankind. We have inherited a large house, a great “world house” in which we have to live together- black and white, Easterner and Westerner, Gentile and Jew, Catholic and Protestant, Moslem and Hindu- a family unduly separated in ideas, culture and interest, who because we can never again live apart, must learn somehow to live with each other in peace." - Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., ‘The World House,’ 1967

    The national holiday of Martin Luther ...


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