EAD Automatic Extensions for Six TPS-Countries

El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Sudan TPS EAD extension

DHS is automatically extending TPS Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) validity listed for El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Sudan through January 4, 2021. These EADs should have category code of A-12 or C-19. Read the automatic extension notice here.

What is TPS?

TPS is a temporary immigration benefit for certain countries suffering from on-going armed conflict, environmental disaster, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions. It allows qualified individuals in the U.S. to stay here for a limited time period as ordered by the President. 

What are my rights at work?

Persons covered by TPS can receive the Employment Authorization Documents (EAD). TPS workers, like everyone else, have the right to provide their choice of valid documentation to demonstrate their identity and work authorization. An employer that treats TPS workers differently in the employment eligibility verification process (Form I-9 and E-Verify) based on the worker’s citizenship status or national origin may violate anti-discrimination laws.

Blanket Extension

When the government extends a country’s TPS,  USCIS sometimes issues a blanket extension of all expiring EADs for that country, to allow time for USCIS to issue new EADs. Such extension can be found here. If USCIS automatically extends your EAD, you do not have to show an I-797C with your EAD to keep working. An employer should not  ask for additional documentation to prove employment eligibility.

Renewal Application

If the government does not issue a blanket extension for TPS EADs, a TPS worker can apply for a renewal EAD, the worker can present the current TPS EAD with the I-797C receipt notice showing that USCIS received the EAD renewal application. This document combination is valid for 180 days after the original EAD expiration date, and are valid for employment eligibility verification purposes. 

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

 

 

 

 

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。

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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.

Parole for International Start-Up Entrepreneurs Delayed and May be Rescinded

International entrepreneurs who are ready to file for parole status will now be delayed until March 14, 2018. DHS further believes the IE final rule may be rescinded.

The International Entrepreneur Final Rule (IE final rule) was initially published at at 82 Federal Register 5238 on January 17, 2017 with an effective start date of July 17, 2018. Unfortunately for the ones who really want to take advantage of this new opportunity, the effective date is now delayed until March 14, 2018. The Department of Homeland Security cites President Trump’s January 25, 2017 Executive Order to improve border security and immigration enforcement as the reason of the delay. DHS is required to exercise parole authority with caution.

The IE final rule provides USCIS with a case-by-case discretionary parole authority. International Entrepreneurs who can demonstrate their parole to the U.S. would provide a significant benefit to the U.S. will be allowed an initial stay of 30 months (with the option for extension for 30 months).

USCIS Confirms Lottery Selection Process for 2018 H-1B Petitions

American Immigration Lawyer’s Association (AILA) confirmed on March 27, 2017 that USCIS will be conducting a lottery for Fiscal Year 2018 H-1B petitions. The process for receiving and receipting H-1B cap cases for 2018 will be the same as with prior years. During the period of April 3-7, 2017, if USCIS receives enough petitions to reach the 65,000 statutory H-1B cap and the 20,000 cap for petitions filed under the advanced degree exemption, a lottery will be conducted. As in the past, a random computer selection will be run first the 20,000 master’s cap petitions. Any petitions not selected for the master’s cap will then be included in the random selection process for the 65,000 regular cap.

Good luck to everyone facing the lottery this year.

2017年3月27日 - 移民局确认,2018年度收到和收到H-1B上限案件的过程将与前几年相同,包括随机抽奖。因此,如果在2017年4月3日至7日期间收到足够的请愿书达到65,000个法定H-1B上限,并且收到高等学位提交的20,000个申请人数,则会像过去一样,随机的电脑选择将首先针对20,000的高等学位请愿书。任何未被抽中的高等学位请愿书将被纳入65,000常规上限的随机选择过程中。

USCIS Bought Back Certain H-1B Visa Premium Processing After a Long Halt

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has brought back premium processing for certain CAP exempt petitions.

On April 3, 2017, USCIS halted premium processing of H-1B visa petitions, for up to six months. While H-1B premium processing is suspended, petitioners will not be able to file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service for a Form I-129. Prior to the halt, employers can request premium processing of H-1B petitions to ensure that USCIS will review the petition within 15 days at a cost of $1,225. Most non-premium processing types of H-1B petitions are currently averaging 6 to 8 months processing time. This suspension will apply to all H-1B regular cap and master’s cap petitions filed for the FY18 H-1B.

The only option for H-1B employers is that they may submit requests to expedite an H-1B petition if they meet the Expedite Criteria. The employer must meet one of these concerns concerns as “severe financial loss,” “emergency situation” or “humanitarian reasons.”

USCIS said the halt is necessary to adjudicate long-pending petitions before the high volume of incoming petitions. However, the plan may cause significant impact on the fee-funded USCIS’s revenue.

USCIS Report on 2015 H-1B Workers Shows Increased Number in Filing But Decreased Rate of Approval

In fiscal year 2015 (Oct 1, 2014 – Sept 31, 2015), USCIS received 348,699 H-1B petitions, a combination of initial employment, concurrent employment, requests for extension, and amended petitions. Among them, 39% were for initial employment. FY 2015 represents a 9% increase in filing form 2014. However, USCIS approved 275, 317 of all the petitions, a 13% decrease from the previous year.

USCIS also reported that 71% of all H-1B Beneficiaries (a total of 195,347) were India nationals, and the workers from the People’s Republic of China represent the second biggest group – 10% (a total of 26,669) of all beneficiaries. Workers with bachelor’s and master’s degrees made up 45% and 44% of all H-1B beneficiaries respectively. The majority of them were employed in computer-related areas with a median salary of $79,000 a year.

Read the full report here: 17022809

USCIS Releases New Form Versions, Effective Immediately

On December 23, 2016, USCIS posted many new form versions without any prior notice. Affected forms include the following: I-90, I-102, I-129, I-129CW, I-129F, I-130, I-131, I-131A, I-140, I-191, I-192, I-212, I-290B, I-360, I-485, I-485 Supplement A, I-525, I-539, I-600, I-600A, I-601, I-601A, I-612, I-690, I-694, I-698, I-751, I-765, I-800, I-800A, I-817, I-824, I-910, I-924, I-924A, I-929, I-942, I-942P, N-300, N-336, N-400, N-470, N-600, and N-600K. The forms all have an effective date of December 23, 2016.

In addition, applications and petitions postmarked or filed on or after December 23, 2016, must include the new fees.

微商微店会属于非法就业吗?

美国移民法律上来说,“就业”一词通常是指个人提供服务或劳动,并为这些服务支付报酬的关系。如果没有工作授权,接受任何服务的报酬可能导致违反签证状态。

移民上诉委员会认为自雇也是“就业”。因此,经营业务是违反非移民类签证的身份,比如是旅游签证,学生签证等等。另外来说,如果在在美国在外国公司工作,也是不允许的 – 任何在美国完成的工作,即使对于外国公司,即使支付给外国银行账户,仍然在美国被视为“就业”,必须要有授业文件。这样来说的话,在美国境内的微商微店都可能触犯非法就业。

在没有工作授权的情况下,持非移民性签证的人可能可以在美国当志愿者或者被动地投资在美国。临时签证持有人可以管理自己的投资,如股票和物业,甚至可以购买正在经营的业务,只要他/她不提供任何劳动或服务,并且不积极经营业务。但是,每个签证都是为特定目的签发的,而且签证持有人预计将花大部分时间从事签发签证的活动。如果没有工作授权,投资管理,和志愿服务应该仍然是临时签证持有人在美国的经验的外围组成部分。

未经授权的雇佣:1)可能违反了非移民签证身份; 2)可能导致逮捕,并可能从美国递解出境; 3)将导致拒绝延长或改变签证; 4)可能在几年后发现签证申请人犯有签证欺诈行为,从而无法转变绿卡; 5)如果加上在I-9表格上对美国公民身份作假,可以导致永久不可受理公民申请递解出境,没有豁免可用。

USCIS to Allow Additional Applicants for Provisional Waiver Process 美国移民局允许更多的申请人申请临时豁免

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced a final rule expanding the existing provisional waiver process to allow certain individuals who are family members of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPRs), and who are statutorily eligible for immigrant visas, to more easily navigate the immigration process.  The provisional waiver process promotes family unity by reducing the time that eligible individuals are separated from their family members while they complete immigration processing abroad, while also improving administrative efficiency。

美国移民局(USCIS)最近宣布了一项最终法规扩大现有临时豁免程序的法令。 新的政策允许一些美国公民和合法永久居民的家庭成员,具有法定资格可以移民的人,可以更方便的经历美国移民过程。这项新的豁免程序允许符合条件的个人减少在境外等候完成移民的处理时间,同时也提高了行政效率,促进家庭团结。

Until now, only immediate relatives of U.S. citizens were eligible to seek such provisional waivers before departing the United States for the processing of their immigrant visas.   The new regulation expands eligibility for the process to all individuals who are statutorily eligible for the waiver. To qualify for a provisional waiver, applicants must establish that their U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouses or parents would experience “extreme hardship” if the applicants are not allowed to return to the United States.

之前来说,只有美国公民的直系亲属有资格寻求豁免。某些由于在美国有过非法居留不能在境内调整身份(adjustment of status)而必须到境外美国使领馆办理移民签证的目前居住在美国的美国公民的直系亲属可以在新规定生效后先在美国境内向移民局提出临时豁免申请并在申请获准后再出境办理移民签证手续。新的规定扩大了此类申请人的资格。现在来说,要获得豁免,申请人必须证明如果申请人不能返回美国的话,他们是美国公民或合法永久居民的配偶或父母会经历“极端困难” 。

If you would like to find out more about the new rule or if you think you have a case, please call us today.

如果您想了解更多关于新规则,或者如果你认为你的案子符合这样情况的话,请给我们打电话吧。本文仅为有关法律知识简介,不为本所法律意见。