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

 

 

 

 

Fiscal Year 2017 – Options for Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (MAVNI Program) Applicants, Enlistees, and Service Members in Delayed Entry Program (DEP)

Options for Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (MAVNI Program) enlistees in the Delayed Entry Program (DEP) – whose entry has now been delayed or cancelled – have two potential options: (1) Deferred Action and/or (2) Naturalization.

  • You should file for Deferred Action even if you have other immigration options pending. New protocol requires each MAVNI enlistee have his or her immigration status checked before basic training. People who have fallen out of immigration status or authorized stay will not be permitted to basic training. In other words, the enlistees need to maintain lawful/authorized status or Deferred Action to save their MAVNI seat. If you are eligible for naturalization, please also consider applying for Deferred Action because of the lengthy delays in naturalization screening and security clearance.
  • In addition, under military naturalization of INA § 329, MAVNI enlistees already serving honorably on active duty, Selected Reserve of the ready reserve, including any drilling Army Reserve MAVNI enlistee whose ship date to BCT is delayed or cancelled, are eligible to naturalize. In other words, one day of service in the Selected Reserve makes a foreign national eligible to naturalize. Further information about the filing process for military naturalization is available through the USCIS web page.

Call 913-717-7112 today to find out about your options as an MAVNI enlistee. Our office has successfully helped many MAVNI enlistees obtain the necessary naturalization paperwork. If your BCT is delayed, you may still qualify to become a U.S. citizen. 

Naturalization Civics Test Answer Updates | 公民考试回答更新

ATTENTION: Naturalization Test Preparers! USCIS updated some of the answers related to the new administration. The following answers are updated –

Question Update
20.  Who is one of your state’s U.S. senators now? The answer to this question may have changed on January 3, 2017, when the 115th Congress began to meet.

Give the name of one of your state’s current U.S. senators. For a list of current members of the U.S. Senate, please visit www.senate.gov.

23.   Name your U.S. representative. The answer to this question may have changed on January 3, 2017, when the 115th Congress began to meet.

Give the name of your current U.S. representative. For a list of current members of the U.S. House of Representatives, please visit www.house.gov.

28.  What is the name of the President of the United States now?
  • Donald J. Trump
  • Donald Trump
  • Trump
29.  What is the name of the Vice President of the United States now?
  • Michael R. Pence
  • Mike Pence
  • Pence
43.  Who is the governor of your state now? The answer to this question may have changed depending on inauguration dates.

Give the name of your state’s current governor. For a list of current governors, please visit http://www.usa.gov/Agencies/State_and_Territories.shtml.

46.  What is the political party of the President now? Republican (Party)

注意:公民考试测试准备! USCIS更新了与新政府相关的一些答案。 以下答案已更新 –

更新
20. 现在谁是你们州的美国参议员之一? 这个问题的答案可能在2017年1月3日第115届大会开始时改变了。提供您所在州的当前美国参议员的姓名。有关美国参议院现任成员名单,请访问www.senate.gov.
23.   命名您的美国代表. 提供您目前的美国代表的姓名。有关美国众议院现任成员名单,请访问www.house.gov.
28. 现在美国总统的名字是什么?
  • 唐纳德·特朗普
29. 现在美国副总统的名字是什么?
  • 迈克·彭斯
43. 你现在的州长是谁? 这个问题的答案可能会根据就职日期而改变. 给出您所在州目前的州长名称。有关当前的州长名单,请访问 http://www.usa.gov/Agencies/State_and_Territories.shtml.
46. 现在总统的政党是什么? 共和党

MAVNI Program Status for Fiscal Year 2017 – Deferred Action and Military Naturalization Options

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) recently received notice from the U.S. Department of Defense. The U.S. Army will not accept Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (MAVNI)  applications for FY 2017 until they complete the revisions.

The MAVNI program is extended for FY2017, starting from OCT 2016 to OCT 2017. However, it is currently suspended due to investigation delay. MAVNI or Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest is an exclusive recruiting program that is beneficial for the immigrants who are interested to be a part of the U.S. military force.

MAVNI enlistees in Delayed Entry Program (DEP) – whose entry has now been delayed or cancelled – have two potential options: (1) Deferred Action and/or (2) Naturalization.

Whether Deferred Action is being granted to reserve members is still a question. DoD seems to permit reserve soldiers fallen out of immigration status or authorized stay to basic training, therefore, DoD no longer views Deferred Action as necessary for reserve members. However, if you are Active Duty, you should apply for deferred action, even if you have other immigration options pending. 

In addition, under military naturalization of INA § 329, MAVNI enlistees already serving honorably on active duty, Selected Reserve, including any drilling Army Reserve MAVNI enlistee whose ship date to BCT is delayed or cancelled, are eligible to naturalize. Naturalization under the wartime naturalization statute does not have a time of service requirement. During the period of hostility, one day of service in the Selective Reserve of the Ready Reserve makes a foreign national, including any drilling Army Reserve MAVNI enlistee that has not shipped to basic training, eligible to naturalize.  

Call today at 913-717-7112 to find out about your options as an MAVNI enlistee.

美國公民入籍 – 如何成为美国公民

如何申请成为美国公民呢?

  • 居民身份要求: 申请公民的时候必须要有合法的居民身份。 您需要在過去五年裏一直是合法的永久居民 (持綠卡人仕)。 如果你已和美國公民結婚, 則需三年。
  • 連續居住要求:你需要在你目前居住的州住满三个月。
  • 境外旅行要求:您每次離開美國的時間不超過半年。 以及您在美国持有绿卡期间至少有一半時間(2 年 6 個月)身在美國。 如果你已與美國公民結婚,則你至少有一半時間(1 年 6 個 月)身在美國。
  • 良好的道德品質的人:在你递交公民申请表之前3到5年的时间内,你有良好的道德品质。如果你在此之间有触犯过法律,你需要尽快跟你的律师联系以免滋生问题。
  • 选择性参军編號: 在美國居住的, 出生在 1960 年後的男性, 年齡介於 18歲到 26 歲, 均應登記參加 Selective Service。 如果你曾经被要求登記, 但是你在滿 26 歲之前仍未登記, 你應當在申請入籍之前諮詢移民律師。
  • 宣誓效忠美國:所有入籍申請者都願意支持和捍衛美國和美國憲法。 您會宣誓效忠美國,会为美国政府尽力,以及在法律要求下保卫美国。

我需要能說流利的英語嗎?

  • 通常来说,你需要用英語回答美國公民知識 (歷史和政府)方面的問題。你需要能夠讀、寫、說一些會話英語。你的回答不需要完美,语法错误没问题。达到一定年纪的老年人可以有优惠待遇。
  • 如果您没有通过公民身份考试的话,你將有第二次機會參加考试(通常在 60-90 天內). 你不必遞交新的申請表。你將收到一封郵寄來的信, 通知你考试的日期、時間和地點。如果你再次考试不及格,你的申請將被拒絕。
  • 同时你也可以请求豁免。 医疗豁免是指如果你有一種妨礙你學習的殘障 需要“特殊照顧”(援助)。 一般性的例子有:帕金森;母语不会讲;听力不好影响你的学习;創傷後壓力症侯;其他很多种类的疾病残障影响你的学习能力。

如何申请公民呢?

  • 把申請材料送到移民局;
  • 在一到兩個月內收到移民局開出的收據表明它已收到你的申請表 ;
  • 移民局告訴你已為你安排好打指模的時間和地點;
  • 打完指模幾個月後, 你將會收到一封信函,告訴你面詴安排的時間和地點。 (3-4 个月);
  • 面詴後, 你將收到你的考试成績,然后在面试过后1-2 月入籍儀式上宣誓效忠美國

如果你想申请公民,感觉无从入手的话,现在就给你的律师打电话吧。本事务所提供免费咨询。我的工作电话是 913-717-7112.