Wednesday, January 30, 2013
A Boston judge today set a Dec. 3 deportation hearing for President Obama’s uncle, Onyango Obama, to determine whether he should be forced to return to his native Kenya. Immigration Judge Leonard I. Shapiro set the date during a brief hearing in a Boston immigration court. Obama joined a crowd of more than 30 immigrants from Pakistan, Guatemala, and Uganda who were facing hearings. After Shapiro’s ruling, Obama’s attorney, Scott Bratton, told reporters that his client’s long-term goal is to remain in the United States. “Everybody wants to stay in America,’’ said Bratton. “Hopefully, on Dec. 3, the case will be over.’’ Despite a deportation order issued against him 21 years ago, Obama, a 68-year-old liquor store manager, stayed in Massachusetts, living and working undetected until Framingham police arrested him in August 2011 on drunken driving charges. He later admitted to sufficient facts in the case and was sentenced to a year’s probation that ends in March. In November, the Board of Immigration Appeals granted him a new hearing based in part on his claim that his prior lawyer, now dead, was ineffective. His lawyers have also pointed out that he has lived in the United States for most of his life, since he arrived almost 50 years ago as a young man to attend an elite boys’ school in Cambridge. Congrats and good luck Scott!
With all the talk of CIR, The "Immigration Innovation Act of 2013" May Double H-1B Visa Cap and will help "LEGAL" business based Immigration According to the ACT 1. Increase H-1B cap from 65,000 to 115,000 2. Establish a market-based H-1B escalator, so that the cap can adjust – up or down – to the demands of the economy (includes a 300,000 ceiling on the ability of the escalator to move) o If the cap is hit in the first 45 days when petitions may be filed, an additional 20,000 H-1B visas will be made available immediately. o If the cap is hit in the first 60 days when petitions may be filed, an additional 15,000 H-1B visas will be made available immediately. o If the cap is hit in the first 90 days when petitions may be filed, an additional 10,000 H-1B visas will be made available immediately. o If the cap is hit during the 185-day period ending on the 275th day on which petitions may be filed, and additional 5,000 H-1B will be made available immediately. 3. Uncap the existing U.S. advanced degree exemption (currently limited to 20,000 per year) 4. Authorize employment for dependent spouses of H-1B visa holders 5. Increase portability of high skilled foreign workers by: o Removing impediments and costs of changing employers; o Establishing a clear transition period for foreign workers as they change jobs; and, o Restoring visa revalidation for E, H, L, O, and P nonimmigrant visa categories Student Visas Allow dual intent for foreign students at U.S. colleges and universities to provide the certainty they need to ensure their future in the United States Immigrant Visas and Green Cards Enable the recapture of green card numbers that were approved by Congress in previous years but were not used Exempt certain categories of persons from the employment-based green card cap: o Dependents of employment-based immigrant visa recipients o U.S. STEM advance degree holders o Persons with extraordinary ability o Outstanding professors and researchers Provide for the roll-over of unused employment-based immigrant visa numbers to the following fiscal year so future visas are not lost due to bureaucratic delays Eliminate annual per-country limits for employment based visa petitioners and adjust per-country caps for family-based immigrant visas U.S. STEM Education & Worker Retraining Initiative Reform fees on H-1B visas and employment-based green cards; use money from these fees to fund a grant program to promote STEM education and worker retraining to be administered by the states
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
From American Immigration Lawyer Association Today, President Obama called for common sense, comprehensive immigration reform, saying unequivocally that now is the time for action. He noted that most Americans agree that it is time to "fix the system that has been broken for way too long" and that immigration reform will strengthen our economy and our nation's future. AILA applauds the President's commitment to key principles at the heart of meaningful immigration reform, starting with an earned path to legal status that eventually could be converted to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented in our communities, and including: Eliminating the extremely long wait times for families to be reunited with loved ones with temporary and permanent reforms to the family-based immigration system. Treating same-sex families just like other families. Eliminating long wait times for employers and prospective employees by reducing backlogs and adding visas. Granting green cards to graduates in science, technology, engineering and math fields, creating a "startup visa" for job-creating entrepreneurs, and expanding opportunities for investors contributing to U.S. economic development. Expediting an opportunity for DREAMers to earn their citizenship. Investing in our immigration courts and providing greater protections for those least able to represent themselves. Providing broader discretion to judges to help keep families together when they face hardship. Imposing tough criminal penalties on notarios who prey on vulnerable immigrants.
Monday, January 28, 2013
A bipartisan group of leading senators has reached agreement on the principles of sweeping legislation to rewrite the nation's immigration laws. The deal, which was to be announced at a news conference Monday afternoon, covers border security, guest workers and employer verification, as well as a path to citizenship for the 11 million illegal immigrants already in this country. Although thorny details remain to be negotiated and success is far from certain, the development heralds the start of what could be the most significant effort in years toward overhauling the nation's inefficient patchwork of immigration laws. President Barack Obama also is committed to enacting comprehensive immigration legislation and will travel to Nevada on Tuesday to lay out his vision, which is expected to overlap in important ways with the Senate effort. The eight senators expected to endorse the new principles Monday are Democrats Charles Schumer of New York, Dick Durbin of Illinois, Robert Menendez of New Jersey and Michael Bennet of Colorado; and Republicans John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Marco Rubio of Florida and Jeff Flake of Arizona. Keep following us for breaking news on CIR
Friday, January 4, 2013
Starting March 4, 2013, certain relatives of American citizens who are in the country illegally and need a waiver of unlawful presence before being eligible for a green card can get a decision on their case before leaving the United States. For those who can take advantage of the new rule, this means peace of mind, knowing that their loved one is likely to successfully complete the immigration process and not be stranded in a foreign country for an unknown length of time. For some, however, the new rule will do nothing to resolve their immigration issues. 1. What is the new rule and how can it help my family? Under current law, many immigrants who enter the country illegally or overstay their visas cannot apply for permanent residence (a “green card”) in the U.S., and instead must finish the immigration process abroad. Unfortunately, just leaving the country—even to pick up a visa sponsored by a family member—automatically makes the intending immigrant subject to a penalty for their “unlawful presence,” potentially separating them from their family for up to ten years. For some, but not all, the penalty can be waived. Before this new rule, immigrants could be stranded outside the country for weeks, months or even years while waiting for a decision on whether they could return to their life in the United States. And all that time, the immigrant was stuck abroad, usually with no legal way to return. Many families endured the emotional strain, financial hardship and dangerous conditions. Others simply were unwilling to take the risk. The new rule means that many immigrants will leave the United States, knowing in advance that their case will probably be approved, and they could be back with their families—as a legal resident—in a matter of days. 2. Who can apply under the new rule? Only applicants who are an immediate relative of a US citizen (spouses, parents and certain children) can apply at this time, though the rule may later be expanded to other relatives. The applicant must be physically present in the United States, and not already have a scheduled interview at a U.S. consulate abroad. Also, the provisional waiver is only available if the sole issue holding up a case is unlawful presence. Applicants who have criminal issues or other immigration violations cannot use the provisional procedure. Individuals who are in immigration court or who have an order of removal or voluntary departure may not qualify unless they get special permission from the government and a court order resolving their case. To be successful, applicants must show that denying the case would be an extreme hardship to their qualifying relative(s); the impact on the immigrant doesn’t count. Hardship factors can include family separation, economic hardship, medical issues, country conditions abroad, and any other difficulty or harm faced by the qualifying relative(s), if the waiver isn’t granted. 3. What does it mean that the waiver is “provisional?” Even if a waiver is granted, the approval is “provisional.” As a practical matter, this means that the government has reviewed the case and believes that the waiver should be granted, but there is no guarantee that a case will be successful if facts change or new information comes to light. For example, if an applicant had previous immigration violations or criminal history, the provisional waiver will be revoked. If any new issues arise, and the applicant is still eligible for a waiver, he or she will be able to re-apply using the existing process, but will have to wait abroad for a decision on their case. 4. When can I apply? The new rule goes into effect on March 4, 2013, and no filings will be accepted before that date. You can only apply for a provisional waiver after an immigrant petition has been approved. If you haven’t filed yet or you’re still waiting for a decision on a pending petition, you can’t apply for the provisional waiver—yet. 5. What else do I need to know about provisional waivers? A provisional waiver is not a legal status, and even an approved waiver doesn’t provide work authorization, a social security number or a driver’s license. Having a provisional waiver will not protect you from deportation or any other consequences of being in the country illegally. If an application for a provisional waiver is denied, there is no appeal. If you have more or better evidence to prove your case, you can re-file, with a new filing fee. Remember, not everyone can be sponsored or qualify for a waiver, and just as importantly, not everyone needs a waiver. 6. Do I need to work with an attorney? The immigration process can take months, even years, and government filing fees and other expenses are significant—it’s best to know your options before investing time and money. A thorough legal consultation should look at all aspects of your immigration history to find the best solution for your family, not just evaluate eligibility for a provisional waiver. Always work with a licensed immigration attorney. Never trust legal advice from an unregulated consultant or notario. Consider consulting with an experienced immigration lawyer before starting the process to make sure that you qualify, and that stateside waiver processing is the best solution for your immigration case. Additional Resources Always turn to reputable sources for immigration advice and information about new developments. Finding an AILA lawyer is a good place to start. Members listed on www.ailalawyer.com meet legal education and malpractice insurance requirements, and have been AILA members for at least two years.
Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Today, Richard I. Fleischer received an EB-1 Outstanding Researcher I-140 petition approved in 2 government working days. His client is employed at the Northeastern Ohio Medical University. USCIS received case 12/26/2012. It was Approved 01/02/2013 after the New Year holidays. This successful EB-1 applicant field of work is drug development and health care related research. More specifically, effects of natural products (such as grapes and other fruits) with anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, in neoplastic and neurodegenerative diseases. Congrats to client and Richard I. Fleischer for outstanding work!
The provisional I-601 waiver will go into effect in March 2013. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano today announced the posting of a final rule in the Federal Register that reduces the time U.S. citizens are separated from their immediate relatives (spouse, children and parents), who are in the process of obtaining visas to become lawful permanent residents of the United States under certain circumstances. The final rule establishes a process that allows certain individuals to apply for a provisiona unlawful presence waiver before they depart the United States to attend immigrant visa interviews in their countries of origin. The processwill be effective on March 4, 2013 and more information about the filing process will be made available in the coming weeks at http://www.uscis.gov/. “This final rule facilitates the legal immigration process and reduces the amount of time that U.S. citizens are separated from their immediate relatives who are in the process of obtaining an immigrant visa,” said Secretary Napolitano In order to obtain a provisional unlawful presence waiver, the applicant must be an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen, inadmissible only on account of unlawful presence, and demonstrate the denial of the waiver would result in extreme hardship to his or her U.S. citizen spouse or parent. USCIS will publish a new form, Form I-601A, Application for a Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver, for individuals to use when applying for a provisional unlawful presence waiver under the new process.