Blog

What Does the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy (RAISE) Act Seek To Do

There had been many talks around the Republican-backed proposal: Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy (RAISE) Act. In a nutshell, it will significantly reduce the number of people allowed to legally immigrate to the United States. Although unlikely to pass Congress, what changes does the RAISE Act seek to bring exactly?

First, the RAISE Act seeks to eliminate the Diversity Visa Program. The Diversity Visa Program gives immigrant visas to nationals from countries with historically low rates of immigration to the United States. For a list of countries/areas by region whose natives are eligible for DV-2018 and DV-2017, please refer to the DV Instructions.

Second, the RAISE Act seeks to cap the number of refugees who may be admitted in any fiscal year to 50,000 and requiring the President to “annually enumerate the number of aliens who were granted asylum in the previous fiscal year.” Limiting refugee numbers has always been President Trump’s priority, and it is no surprise the RAISE Act mentions it.

Third, in the family-sponsored immigration arena, the RAISE Act wants to change the definition of “Child” at INA §101(b)(1) from an unmarried person “under age 21” to an unmarried person “under age 18,” and change the definition of “Immediate Relative” at INA to include only children and spouses of U.S. citizens (removes parents of adult U.S. citizens). Similarly, it seeks to only allow children and spouses of LPR (green card) holders to immigrant to the U.S. This will effectively eliminate the following current available categories: (1) unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens (FB-1); (2) unmarried sons and daughters of LPRs (FB-2B); and (3) married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens (FB-3); and (4) brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens (FB-4). Parents of U.S. citizens will remain unaffected because under the new legislation, a new category for parents of USC citizens above the age of 21 will be created. The legislation seeks to cap the worldwide level of family-sponsored immigrants  admissions to 88,000 per fiscal year. The effort will significantly reduce the number of family based immigration and make many ineligible to reunite with their families in the United States.

All the above are part of the administration’s efforts to limit the number of immigrants to the U.S. Further, it seeks to replace of Employment-Based Immigration Categories with Immigration Points System. On the numbers, it seeks to limit the number of points-based immigrants to 140,000 (including spouses and children) per fiscal year. This so-called Points-Based System comes with an online portal and a required fee of $160. President Donald Trump has already announced his support for a the points system.

The immigration point system seeks to prioritize immigrants based on their degrees and skills. If they have equal points and equal educational attainment, they will be further ranked according to their (1) English language proficiency test scores; and (2) age, with applicants nearest their 25th birthdays ranked higher. And every 6 months, USCIS is said to invite the highest ranked applicants to file a petition for a points-based immigrant visa. If you want to see if you qualify to immigrate to the U.S., test your scores from Times.com here: http://time.com/4887574/trump-raise-act-immigration/.

Last but not least, the RAISE Act will prohibit naturalization of an individual if the person who submitted an affidavit of support on his or her behalf failed to reimburse the federal government for all means-tested public benefits received by the individual during the 5-year period immediately after the individual became an LPR. It therefore seems that, at no fault of the individual seeking naturalization, she or he might be barred from it. It is unclear whether the individual seeking naturalization is allowed to reimburse the government.

The Act does not mention temporary work visas such as H-1B and H-2 or temporary visitor (B-1/B-2) or student visas (F-1). Its focus remains on the number of available immigrant visas.

Read the full RAISE Act here: https://www.cotton.senate.gov/files/documents/170802_New_RAISE_Act_Bill_Text.pdf If interested, you can read this excellent summary of each section from American Immigration Lawyer’s Association (AILA): 17080732

 

 

 

 

Hispanic Chamber Lunch and Learn [How Immigrants are Changing Business – Financial & Legal Solutions]

Hispanic chamber immigrants

Wednesday, August 9th 2017

11:30 a.m. – Registration

 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. – Presentation

Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

107 W. 10th Street

Kansas City, MO 64105

Register for lunch tickets:https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07eef0q1j116aef07e&oseq=&c=&ch=

About the Presentation: Do’s and Don’ts of hiring, I-9 compliance, and what to consider in terms of timing, and concerns after hiring. Financial tips that can benefit immigrants and  provide pathways out of poverty.

Pew Research Center – Foreign Graduates Are Staying in the U.S. for Employment

International students choose to study in the U.S. for many different reasons, and many choose to stay and work after they graduate from U.S. colleges and universities. The Pew Research Center analyzed U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) data and found that more and more high-skilled foreign graudates find jobs in the United States under the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program. The OPT program provides an important opportunity for foreign graduates to work in the U.S. for up to 12 months or 36 months, depending on their field.  Many students choose to take advantage of the OPT programs to utilize the skills they learned.

The Pew Research Center found that the federal government approved nearly 700,000 OPT applications between 2008 and 2014. Below are the interesting findings:

  • The annual number of OPT approvals rose from 28,497 in 2008 to 136,617 in 2014.
  • Many of those working in the U.S. under the OPT program go on to apply for H-1B visas to stay longer in the U.S.
  • Those with STEM majors had a higher employment rate (73%) than non-STEM majors (57%).
  • Foreign students from India and China accounted for more than half (57%) of all those who were approved for OPT.

To read the full report by Neil Ruiz: click here.

USCIS to Resume H-1B Premium Processing for Certain Cap-Exempt Petitions

Today, USCIS announced that it has resumed premium processing for certain cap-exempt H-1B petitions. Premium processing will resume for petitions that may be exempt from the cap if the H-1B petitioner is:

  • * An institution of higher education;
  • * A nonprofit related to or affiliated with an institution of higher education; or
  • * A nonprofit research or governmental research organization.

Effective immediately, those cap-exempt petitioners who are eligible for premium processing can file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker. Form I-907 can be filed together with an H-1B petition or separately for a pending H-1B petition. On June 26, 2017, USCIS resumed premium processing for H-1B petitions filed on behalf of physicians under the Conrad 30 waiver program and interested government agency waivers.

你现在抽到了H-1B签证,如何获得工作绿卡

今年10月1号就可以拿到你辛苦多年翘首以盼的H-1B签证。终于可以安心赚钱,报效父母了。但是如何可以长期永久的留在美国呢?毕竟来说,H-1B签证也只有6年期限。答案就是 – 你需要你的雇主为你申请绿卡!

大多数基于就业的请愿都需要美国劳工部 (Deparment of Labor) 的永久劳工证书和永久的全职工作机会。永久性劳动验证计划的运作通常被称为PERM Process。一旦永久劳工证书申请已经由DOL批准,雇主将需要向USCIS申请移民授权。

一般来说, 申请需要三个步骤 1) PERM永久劳工证书短缺证明; 2) I-140移民申请; 3)I-485调整身份或者领事程序申请移民签证。雇主在向劳动局提交永久劳工证书申请前,需要先证明你的岗位的工资应该是多少 (Prevaling wage determination) 。然后大约要三到四个月的时间刊登广告招聘,证明缺乏美国劳动人力 (good faith recruitment effort)。如果这些都成功了 – 表示没有其他人可以胜任你的岗位,你的雇主会提交劳工证书。劳动局通常需要六个月以及更多的时间来审批,然后才能知道结果。

永久劳工证书批准以后,雇主可以为雇员递交I-140移民赞助表格。 I-140表格一般也需要六个月左右处理,但是同时也可以要求加钱申请加速审理。这一步是没有悬念的。除非你在这个起劲啊想要转换工作,或者你被炒鱿鱼了,那你需要找一个有经验的移民律师来分析你的情况。

I-140批准后,申请者需要按照排期表排到以后才能递交I-485调整身份表格。目前的中国排期一般需要两到三年左右。美国国务院每月都更新签证排期看板。也就是说,有H-1B签证的朋友需要尽早进行绿卡申请。在递交I-485调整身份表格之后,一般六个月左右绿卡就会下来了。

estados-unidos-inmigrantes-green-card-visas.jpg

工作就业移民的绿卡有很多种,最常见的是EB-2或者EB-3. 对于在美国读书然后找到工作留下来的留学生来说,这个两种是最常见的。

  • 就业移民:第二优先EB-2。 如果您是拥有高级学位或同等学历的专业的成员,或具有特殊能力的外国人,您可以获得基于就业的第二优先签证。
  1. 在高级学位子类别下,你必须证明你申请的工作需要高级学位,并且拥有这样的学位或同等学历(学士学位以及5年的实地工作经验)。通常,像官方学术记录那样的文件证明你具有高级学位就足够了。
  2. 如果你是一个在科学,艺术或商业方面具有卓越能力的外国人,你也可以申请EB-2。特殊能力文件通常包括,学术成绩,执业专业执照,至少10年的全职工作经验,对成就的认可等。
  3. 最后的一项是,国家利益豁免(NIW)。申请人不需要劳动认证流程,如果您的工作是可以对美国做贡献的。 国家利益豁免申请人通常需要证明特殊能力以及您的就业将大大有益于国家。此外,寻求国家利益豁免的人可以为他或她自己请求,不需要雇主参与。
  • 就业移民:第三优先EB-3。 EB-3类别是为熟练工人,专业人员或其他工人设计的。
  1. 在“Skilled Worker 熟练工人”的子类别中,您必须证明您的工作需要至少2年的培训或工作经验
  2. Unskilled Worker 不熟练工人的子类别,申请人展示执行非熟练劳动力的能力。
  3. 如果您寻求成为专业人士,您必须能够证明您拥有美国学士学位或同等学历,并且学士学位是进入职业的正常要求。经验不能替代学位要求.

USCIS Reminder: Deadline for TPS Re-Registration for Haiti Is Monday, July 24

USCIS issued a reminder that the deadline for eligible Haitian nationals to re-register for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is Monday, July 24, 2017. The limited six-month extension of the TPS designation for Haiti runs from July 23, 2017, through January 22, 2018.

USCIS Affirmative Asylum Scheduling Bulletin as of 7/13/2017

USCIS released updated asylum bulletin after it began prioritizing asylum applications for interview scheduling. USCIS schedules the oldest cases first. The table below lists how asylum offices are currently scheduling asylum interviews for applications pending.

Asylum office directors may consider applicants’ requests for urgent interview scheduling outside of the prioritization categories on a case-by-case basis.

美国移民局一般以申请日期来排列申请人的免谈时间。越早申请的案子会先有机会面谈。以下是个管协会庇护面谈的时间表。

If you live under the jurisdiction of… We scheduled interviews in… For people who filed in…
Arlington, VA June 2017 April – June 2014
May 2017 March – April 2014
April 2017 February – March 2014
Boston, MA June 2017 July – September 2013
May 2017 July – September 2013
Chicago, IL June 2017 October 2014 – February 2015
May 2017 June – October 2014
April 2017 April – August 2014
Houston, TX June 2017 May 2014
May 2017 May 2014
April 2017 May 2014
Los Angeles, CA June 2017 April 2013 – July 2013
May 2017 November 2012 – May 2013
April 2017 October 2011 – March 2013
Miami, FL June 2017 May – June 2013
May 2017 May – June 2013
April 2017 May – June 2013
Newark, NJ June 2017 October – November 2014
May 2017 September – October 2014
April 2017 July – August 2014
New Orleans, LA June 2017 June – December 2013
May 2017 June 2013
New York, NY June 2017 February – March 2015
May 2017 February 2015
April 2017 January – February 2015
San Francisco, CA June 2017 March – April 2015
May 2017 April – May 2015
April 2017 February – March 2015