Immigration Law Articles
Articles written by attorneys and experts worldwide
discussing legal aspects related to Immigration.
As of June 11, 2012, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) has no more slots left for foreign workers in specialty occupations under the H-1B visa program, as the statutory cap has been reached already for fiscal year 2013.
The increasingly popular H-1B visa program, which allows U.S. employers to hire a certain number of foreign workers each year in so-called “specialty occupations” (including occupations in science, technology and engineering) is now coming under more watchful eyes at various federal agencies concerned about employment abuses.
Within the last 30 days, legislators have introduced various bills in the U.S. Congress that would reauthorize the EB-5 Regional Center Pilot Program.
When the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling on the Arizona immigration law last week, public scrutiny of the decision was short-lived because it was eclipsed by the subsequent ruling on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. But the ruling on Arizona law was truly significant for several reasons, not the least of which is that multiple states have passed laws relating to immigration with provisions similar to that in the Arizona law.
The new policy for DREAMERS, while not perfect, finally gives some hope to this group after waiting for eleven years for the DREAM act to pass. The policy will allow these young people to be in the US under the auspices of the law and to obtain work authorization. We hope that the DREAM Act will soon pass.
When Congress passed the L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2004 (the “L-1 Reform Act”) it did so to address a narrow and specific concern about some companies which had “outsourced” L-1B intra-company transferees to third party employers.
It seems that Legacy INS, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (the “USCIS”) and other immigration authorities hold some misconceptions about abuses associated with the L-1B visa program. This is an important program, which allows foreign employees of domestic companies with global operations to transfer to the U.S. when they have “specialized knowledge” needed at home.
Employers who wish to hire foreign specialty workers should immediately consider preparations for filing a petition to sponsor H-1B workers for fiscal year 2013, which starts as of Oct. 1, 2012. Petitions for worker start dates on or after Oct. 1 may be filed as of April 1, and it should be noted that a flurry of early filings are expected this year.
Now more than ever large-scale American companies need the support of global talent in order to compete in an international marketplace. But, as noted by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (“AILA”) our domestic agencies responsible for immigration still sometimes function in a way that restricts American companies by denying applications for L-1B visa transfers on hyper-technical grounds.
As noted by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (“AILA”) there has been a widening gulf between the articulations of policy – in statutes and regulations – and the reasoning of administrative decisions by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (the “USCIS”) regarding L-1B visas.
Congress thought it had solved the problems created by multiple administrative interpretations of the L-1B visa requirements when it passed the Immigration Act of 1990 (“IMMACT90”) which, among other things, gave a statutory definition to the “specialized knowledge” prerequisite for obtaining an L-1B visa.
After the wave of I-9 audits in recent years, employers have become rightfully wary of not documenting their immigrant workforce. Everyone knows by now that the penalties for hiring undocumented workers can be stiff. But what many employers do not realize is that there is a risk to over-documentation as well.
The Department of State (“DOS”) has increased its visa fees effective as of Friday, April 13, 2012. Non-immigrant visa fees for machine-readable visas went from $140 to $190 for H, L, O, P, Q and R visas. Fees for other non-immigrant visas increased from $150 to $160; however, fees for E visas dropped from $390 to $270, and fees for K visas dropped from $350 to $240 per visa.
A recent report by the National Foundation for American Policy has demonstrated that adjudicators for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (the “USCIS”) have intensified their scrutiny of the popular L-1 and H-1B visa petitions utilized by domestic employers who need to import foreign workers with special knowledge or occupational experience.
A report by the National Foundation for American Policy sheds light on the kinds of scrutiny applied to job-related visa applications filed by American employers on behalf of Indian nationals.
The number of green card of immigrant visas available for individual workers from India and China will shrink in months to come, according to pronouncements by Charles Oppenheim, the Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division at the Department of State.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) still has slots available in fiscal year 2013 for foreign workers in specialty occupations under the H-1B program, but petitions have been filed at a very brisk rate so far, and slots might not remain open for very long.
The warmer weather and sunny skies of spring have arrived in the U.S., opening the gates to tourists from around the globe, but one group of tourists should be especially mindful of the legal hazards of visiting the U.S. If you are a foreigner engaged to a U.S. citizen and living abroad, then your petition for a K-1 visa will establish your intent to marry an American citizen and stay here permanently.
The summer travel season is fast approaching, and many foreign citizens are making plans now to visit the U.S., but they won’t be going anywhere without the necessary immigration compliance preparations. Generally, the “necessary preparations” would include obtaining a tourist visa, but it is possible to avoid the paperwork, fees and waiting associated with this step if you are an eligible citizen of a country that is enrolled in the U.S. visa waiver program.
Each year, a large number of undocumented workers are deported who are parents of U.S. citizens. Many of these workers might have been able to avoid deportation and painful separation from their families by simply contacting a good immigration attorney who could help them to pursue a legal avenue to employment-based permanent residency.
According to recent reports in USA Today, during the first six months of last year, 22 percent of the 211,000 deportations during that time involved parents of U.S. citizens.
Earlier this spring, the Department of Homeland Security published a proposal in the Federal Register – for public consideration and comment – that would relax the rules on bar to re-entry for foreigners residing here who are beneficiaries of pending family-based immigration petitions.
It happens more often than you might think and something to watch out for during this election year – a permanent resident’s name somehow appears on a voter registration list, and then he is denied citizenship and sometimes even deported.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) still has slots available in fiscal year 2013 for employers sponsoring foreign workers in specialty occupations under the H-1B program, but more than 60 percent of FY 2013 allocations under the regular cap have been snatched up in less than two months, so employers need to file petitions quickly for remaining slots.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) published in late March a notice in the Federal Register inviting public comments on proposed revisions to Form I-9, which is used by employers to authenticate the identity of their laborers and the legal authorization of those laborers to work in the U.S.
The purpose of this brief is to provide an overview of various work permit schemes available in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Its discusses the Visas, Immigration and work permit for people who want to visit, work, study or live in the DRC.
The issue of same-sex marriage in the context of immigration law has recently come to the forefront of political attention. As the law stands, an illegal immigrant who enters into a state-recognized same-sex marriage is not afforded the immigration rights that are given to an immigrant in a heterosexual marriage.
Dominican Republic has best legal framework for the Foreign Investment - Legal System - The Constitution of the Dominican Republic defines the government system as being democratic, republican and presidential. It also provides that the exercise of power is divided among three independent branches: executive, legislative and judicial.
In a recent decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit the court reversed the Board of Immigration Appeals finding that the Immigration Court has no jurisdiction to hear a motion to reopen filed by a non citizen from outside the United States. This decision has broad implications for the non United States citizen who has been deported.
An immigration hold is placed on an individual who has been arrested for a criminal charge and is taken to jail. ICE (Immigration Customs Enforcement) checks the list of inmates in the jail on a regular basis. When they see that an inmate is deportable they contact the jail and place a hold on the inmate. An immigration hold may be placed on a person who is in the United States illegally because he/she entered the USA without inspection or overstayed a visa.
Overview of Immigration Program for Investors in Dominican Republic: How apply for Residence and Citizenship
Every citizen, no matter the country of origin, can apply for the Dominican residence and then for citizenship, providing that fulfills all requirement set forth by Dominican state for those purposes.
Currently and under most circumstances, a foreign born spouse who has entered the United States with inspection can adjust status through an American citizen spouse. When a foreign spouse has not entered the U.S. with inspection, and a petition to adjust status is filed, the petition will be denied because the foreign spouse is inadmissible. An I-601 Hardship Waiver will be necessary to cure the inadmissibility.
The Board of Immigration Appeals is commonly referred to as the “BIA” or, “Board.”In this article we refer to the Board of Immigration Appeals as the, “Board.” The Board is an the appellate body with in the United States Department of Justice and hears appeals from decisions of the Executive Office of Immigration Review also known as the Immigration Courts. The Board also reviews some decisions of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
The enforcement of United States immigration law through the immigration court system is an administrative process and is not considered judicial. The Board of Immigration Appeals – often referred to as the "BIA" or "Board" – is the highest administrative body. In this article we will refer to the Board of Immigration Appeals as the, "Board."
Based on a memo from the Obama administration dated June 15, 2012, a new policy will be effective immediately; certain young people who were brought to the United States through no fault of their own as young children and who meet specific qualifications will not be removed from the United States or sent to the Immigration Court for removal proceedings.
The intending immigrant goes before the Board by the filing of an appeal from a decision of the immigration judge. The government may also file an appeal with the Board. Filing an appeal to the Board is the final step in an administrative process. Further action taken in the case will be before the United States Court of Appeals.
The government of the Republic of Panama has established a new immigration category, which will enable foreigners of certain nationalities to have a permanent residence in the within the Panamanian national frontiers.
The question of jurisdiction is a hurdle that must be scaled before the court may consider any other question on review. The petitioner must present to the court a basis for its jurisdiction in law and in fact. Sanctions may be imposed against a petitioner who files a frivolous jurisdictional argument with the court.
By DC Law Group
When you are immigrating to the United States or when you have a family member that needs to immigrate to the United States, Seattle immigration lawyers can help. Seattle immigration lawyers work with clients on a number of different immigration issues and can provide assistance with both obtaining temporary permission to remain in the U.S. and with becoming a permanent resident or citizen of the country.
When looking to apply for a visa, it is likely that you will have considerable questions. From wondering which category is best suited for you to the qualifications, it is important that you have all of the information at hand to ensure that the process is as seamless and effective as possible.
If you are planning on visiting any country, it is always helpful to be familiar with the rules governing the import and export of currency and other securities. In Russia these issues are regulated by Federal Law from 10.12.2003 No.173-FZ “On Currency Regulation and Currency Control” and Customs Legislation.
The period of stay for foreign citizens in Russia is, as a general rule, limited. Citizens of countries from within the CIS and who are visiting Russia via a visa-free regime are permitted to remain in Russia for personal reasons for a period of up to 90 days, but are required to exit the country before the expiration of this 90-day period. The number of times they are permitted entry into Russia over the course of a year is not limited.
On Jan. 1, 2010, a single social tax was replaced with insurance premiums paid into the Pension Fund of Russia, the Social Insurance Fund of Russia and Funds for Mandatory Medical Insurance. At its very core, the new premiums do not differ much from the previous system of taxation and represents a tax on wages that the employer pays so the state can provide for the material interests of employees upon retirement, disability, pregnancy, parenthood, as well as the need for medical care.
A Guide on the Order of Obtaining Russian Invitations and Visas for Foreign Citizens to Enter Russia
1. Categories of foreign citizens permitted to visit Russia without a visa. - In accordance with migration legislation of the Russian Federation, entry into the territory of Russia by a foreign citizen requires a valid visa. However this rule does not apply to all foreign citizens. Foreigners who are permitted to enter the country without a visa can be divided into the following categories:
Foreigners are known to cross the Russian border with a valid visa. However, this rule is not applied to all foreign citizens. There are instances where a foreigner may enter Russia without a visa. Citizens of countries within the CIS have the right to enter and remain on the territory of the Russian Federation for personal reasons for a period of up to 90 days.
Citizens of around 20 countries are now allowed to apply for a permanent resident visa with lower investment requirements. Executive Order 343 of 16 May 2012 was published in the Official Gazette, "which creates the sub-category of Permanent Resident in the form of foreign nationals from specific countries which maintain friendly, professional, economic, and investment relationships with the Republic of Panama within the immigration category of Permanent Resident."
Under Italian law extradition is regulated by Law and international conventions. In general, extradition is the process whereby one nation or state (the requested state) surrenders a suspected or convicted criminal to another nation or state (the requesting state).
Unlike the L2 visas, the spouses of H1B visa holders are not allowed to work. Speaking to many of the spouses on such visas, the Shah Peerally Law Group PC has decided to start a campaign to advocate for the spouses (H4 holders) to be able to work and be more independent. As such we are looking for testimonials of those suffering from the "unfortunate" conditions of being on H4 visa. Examples of the hardships can be:
By DC Law Group
Immigrating to the United States can be a challenging prospect as there are many legal requirements to navigate. Seattle immigration attorneys can assist you with the process of determining what method of immigration to use and can answer all of your questions about green cards, visas, the naturalization process, amnesty and other issues related to immigration.
Kadmos Consultants welcome recent comments of the President of the Upper tribunal questioning the legality of the new requirement of the immigration rule making settlement applications for Work Permit holders subject to an arbitrary minimum wage benchmark. Kadmos Consultants are happy to announce another stepping stone in their fight for the rights of migrant workers.
By Jaburg Wilk
ICE has stated that they intend to conduct 3,000 Form I-9 audits. Unsuspecting Arizona employers will receive a Notice of Inspection, giving them “at least three days” to produce the requested I-9 documents. Since 2008, I-9 audits have increased by more than 375%. Employers should not be fooled into thinking that the I-9 auditor is harmless.
This article explains the statutory requirements for a joint venture in Ghana involving a foreign partner. Under the laws of Ghana, a foreign investor or company may collaborate with a Ghanaian businessman or company through a joint venture agreement.
Persons, be either Dominican nationals or foreigners desiring to buy, resell or in any way dispose of real estate in the Dominican Republic should note that Dominican Republic real estate laws and regulations particularities make it preferable to conduct a due diligence and review process through independent counsel in order to verify legal and tax status of the property before any formal decisions or payments are made.
Temporary Protective Status (TPS) is now available to Syrian Nationals and persons who are residents of Syria. The USCIS published notice that Syrian nationals are now eligible to apply for Temporary Protective Status (TPS) - as of on March 29, 2012 and until the September 25, 2012.
Introduction - The proposed changes in the processing of the I-601 Waiver will significantly reduce the time that United States citizens and permanent residents are separated from immediate relatives. In some cases the immediate relative may remain in the United States while the waiver is being processed.
Immigration and Nationality Act (237(a)(1)(H) gives the Immigration Judge the discretion to waive the removal of an immigrant who procured a visa through fraud or misrepresentation. In making a discretionary finding, the Immigration Judge had to balance the alien's undesirability as a permanent resident with the social and humane consideration present. The law requires the alien to have a qualifying relative who does not have to be alive when the deportation proceedings are initiated.
Extreme Hardship,” for immigration purposes is hardship caused to the qualifying family member that is directly or indirectly caused by the inadmissibility of the alien from the USA. The qualifying family member must be a United States Citizen or Permanent Resident of the United States.
Information for this series of articles is taken from the USCIS Adjudicators Field Manual (AFM). The manual provides guidelines to the immigration officer (AKA the adjudicator) who conducts interviews and reviews applications submitted by permanent residents seeking citizenship through naturalization. The manual is an excellent source of information for those seeking an immigration benefit from the USCIS.
Preference Relatives or Preference Categories apply to family members who are relatives but not immediate relatives. There are a limited number of visas available to relatives who fall into the category of preference relatives. The government limits the number of persons who are issued visas by assigning a priority date to each relative who has an approved Alien Relative Petition.
Introduction - The proposed changes in the processing of the I-601 Waiver will significantly reduce the time that United States Citizens and Permanent Residents are separated from immediate relatives. In some cases the immediate relative may remain in the United States while the waiver is being processed.
The Attorney General has discretion to grant applications for adjustment of status. A successful case requires not only good arguments but also credible, well organized and presented evidence. I did an extensive research and wrote compelling legal arguments. But these would have been useless if I did not have credible evidence to back them up.
Those seeking asylum in the United States do so because they are currently being persecuted in or risk persecution by returning to their home country. The U.S. offers protection for those being persecuted, but individuals must first wade through the stringent application process before being approved as an asylee.
The Irish Government has launched two new immigration programs aimed at Investors and Entrepreneurs who are prepared to invest or create jobs in Ireland. - Immigrant Investor Program - The Immigrant Investor Program requires applicants to make substantial investments in Ireland.
In order to retain talent in the UK, The UK Border Agency is making certain changes to the existing routes and is also introducing a new visa category known as Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur). The UK Border Agency with effect from 6 April 2012 will be closing down the existing Tier 1 (Post study work) route. As a result, we have been inundated with questions from students looking to extend their stay in the UK.
An issue of concluding an employment contract by an employer and an employee, who is a foreigner or a person without citizenship (hereinafter referred to as “a foreigner”), is regulated by the national legislation of Ukraine, as well as international agreements of Ukraine, concluded with foreign states in the field of labour and social protection.
The Israeli Tax Authority issued recently a tax circular entitled: Determining the date of ceasing to be Israeli resident and the date when a foreign resident becomes Israeli resident.
The fear of being deported is a daily worry for some. Leaving the country may mean leaving behind friends, family, job as well as the place they have come to call home.
It has been held by the UK Court of Appeal that foreign based speakers will be excluded from the UK if they have exhibited “Unacceptable Behaviour".
Non-citizens of the United States who wish to remain in the country can do so by obtaining a permanent resident card, also known as a green card. One of the most common ways to be granted a green card is through a family immigration visa.
UK Immigration - Are you looking to send a senior employee of your company to the UK to set up a Branch?
Sole Representative of an Overseas Company - An overseas parent company can send one of their senior employees to the United Kingdom as their sole representative in order to establish their subsidiary or register a United Kingdom branch.
When a married couple consists of two U.S. citizens, the estate planning rules treat them differently than if one spouse is a non-U.S. citizen or if both spouses are non-U.S. citizens. Although the differences may only affect the postponement of Federal estate taxes, the marital deduction set forth in the Internal Revenue Code may affect your estate plans.
California leads the nation in the number of undocumented immigrants living in the state, accounting for 2,570,000 of the 10.8 million people illegally residing in the United States in 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Given that the state requires people to provide a Social Security number and proof of residency to obtain a driver’s license, this population undoubtedly contributes to the incidence of unlicensed driving.
Each story is unique and every person may have their own reasons for choosing to immigrate to the U.S. For many looking to gain entry there are various options available. Many individuals have come to the United States seeking a new life with greater rights and opportunities. A large majority of the opportunities provided however, are only available to legal citizens of the U.S. or those who have been granted certain rights by the court.
The Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category is for those investing in the United Kingdom by setting up or taking over, and being actively involved in the running of one or more businesses in the United Kingdom.
The Tier 1 (Investor) category is for those high-net-worth individuals who want to make a substantial financial investment in the UK of £1,000,000 (GBP 1 million) or more.
Quick guide to obtain permanent resident visa for those who have a Brazilian life partner (união estável). The foreigner who has an civil union to a Brazilian (same-sex union or not) can get a permanent visa in about 90 days, thanks to this law: Regulatory Resolution number 77/2008 from Labor and Employment Ministry (Resolução Normativa n. 77/2008 do Ministério do Trabalho e Emprego).
Quick guide to acquire Brazilian nationality. There are two basic ways to become a naturalized Brazilian citizen: ordinary and extraordinary.
Surrogacy is an arrangement whereby a woman carries and bears a child on behalf of the 'intended or commissioning parents'. Under English Law, the woman who carries and bears the child is the legal mother. If she is married at the time she becomes pregnant, English law will see her husband as the legal father, regardless of the genetic make-up of the child.
Our clients who are not United States citizens often nervously ask “will a conviction for DUI cause me to be deported?” They also sometimes ask, “if I leave the United States and try to return to the U.S. after the conviction, will I be turned away?” The usual answer we give is, “well, generally speaking, no.”
The "Residential Visa" program will provide an opportunity for people worldwide to live in the United States by purchasing a half million dollars of Real Estate. Senators Charles Schumer and Mike Lee have recently proposed a program that would allow anyone in the world to obtain a United States visa by purchasing United States real estate.
Obtaining a 212(h) Waiver for the Immediate Relative of a United States Citizen or Permanent Resident
This article summarizes the requirements for obtaining a 212(h) waiver when necessary because an immediate relative has been found inadmissible or deportable as a result of a criminal conviction. You have been invited to visit a friend. The invitation is to stay in their home for six months. You won’t be allowed to work while you are there and you will have to pay for your own trip and your support. You accept the invitation.
If you know a legal permanent resident who is in deportation proceedings, there may be relief available to keep him/her from being deported. Becoming a legal permanent resident (LPR) of the United States is a wonderful accomplishment for many immigrants who leave unfavorable conditions in their home country to live a better life in the United States.
If you and a foreign national who lives abroad are in love, you don’t have to wait until you’re married before you start living your lives together in the United States. Buying a plane ticket to travel abroad has become as common as buying a loaf of bread at the grocery store. Every year many people travel abroad to conduct business or for some sort of pleasure.
According to Article 28 of the Egyptian Labor Law No. 12/2003 any foreign national intends to perform any work in Egypt must obtain a work permit. A fine of not less than EGP 500 and not exceeding EGP 5000 shall be imposed in case of failure to comply with the above mentioned provisions. Said fine shall be imposed on the employer who hires any foreigner without considering the above mentioned provisions.
Under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), a battered spouse, child or parent of a U.S. citizen or green card holder can apply for lawful permanent status without the abuser’s knowledge. Both male and females are eligible.
The Dream Act, also known as the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act, was reintroduced in the Senate and House of Representatives on May 11, 2011. The Dream Act would give conditional temporary residency and eventually permanent residency and U.S. citizenship to illegal immigrants who have been living in the U.S. for most of their lives.
Securing approval for the UK visitor visa does not solely rely in satisfying all the documentary requirements. There are other factors that applicants from Thailand should consider. Usually, these aspects readily determine the application’s success.
Given the new globalization effects in modern societies and the consequences of the financial crisis, EU adopted a new approach towards immigration policy. This European policy intends to establish bilateral and multilateral agreements with EU neighbors and other countries presenting immigration flows towards the EU, in order to benefit the human capital from the countries concerned.
Foreign national citizens are obliged to be granted work permit by the General Directorate of Foreign Capital in order to perform work inside the borders of Turkey. The application to the General Directorate of Foreign Capital is submitted by the Employer.
Age gaps between the petitioner and beneficiaries hardly affect UK tourist visa applicants. This shall be considered only if the couple is applying for a UK settlement visa.
Basically, there are two Australian visa options that would permit the entry of Thais who intend to explore the country or pay a visit to their Australian relatives. These are the tourist visa and the sponsored family visitor visa. While the two (2) share similar functions, they are nonetheless different in terms of the applicants that they cater to.
This article is the third in a series in which we are addressing the recent memorandum from ICE on exercising discretion when enforcing immigration law.
A K-1 visa, also known as a Fiancé Visa, is the permission to enter the United States given to a foreigner fiancé of an American Citizen. Therefore, in the case of a Thai fiancé, he/she shall be granted this type of visa if his/her American partner first files Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancée, in the U.S. Said petition, if granted, enables the Thai fiancé to file the corresponding application for a K-1 visa in his/her home country.
Work in stables can be unsafe, which is why safe labor standards must be in place for all US citizen employees, such as those individuals who are exposed to dangerous work conditions.
France has transcribed the European Directive into internal law, offering new avenues for professional hires in France that are more favorable than French common law rules for new hires. French Application of the New European Blue Card for Immigration of Skilled Foreign Employees : A valid competitor to the American Green Card ?
By TIM Services
Legal procedure for employment of highly qualified specialists.
Family-Based immigration opportunities are based upon a qualifying relationship with a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
The United States has a long history of welcoming immigrants from all parts of the world.
The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) section 212(a)(9)(B)(i) bars certain immigrants from returning to the United States if they accrued unlawful presence, i.e., were in the U.S. illegally.