Orlando Immigration Attorney Addresses US Immigration Issues
Spotlight on Immigration Law
For better or worse, the world of U.S. immigration has been turned on its head in recent months. Since President Donald Trump took office, one of his main focuses has been immigration. Under this administration, numerous changes have been implemented in a short period. While some immigration topics have received national attention – such as the travel ban (which made...
Caught in the Middle: The Major shift in Administrative Closure
The pendulum shift of immigration law swings relentlessly. Left, right, or otherwise, you will often find that with immigration law, justice is less blind and more fickle. One major shift occurred when former Attorney General (AG), Jeff Sessions determined that the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) and the Immigration Judge (IJ) lack the general authority to temporarily remove...
Gaslighting: can it be extreme enough for VAWA?
Congress passed and former President Clinton enacted the Violence Against Women Act (“VAWA”) of 1994 into law, which is intended in part to combat violence against immigrant women (and men) and provide protection to those who have suffered violent abuses. In 1994, violent abuse was very much seen as a physical affliction. However as we have seen...
Immigration Under Trump: Part 5- Will your child be a US citizen?
In a previous article, we discussed the notorious Trump Travel Ban. In his further attempt to inhibit and discourage immigration to the US, President Trump announced that he will end birthright citizenship via an Executive Order. This announcement sent fears among the immigrant community about whether their children, born in the United States, will be U.S. citizens.
New USCIS Policy on the Unlawful Presence 3/10 year bar – F-1, J-1 and M-1 visa holders
Effective August 9, 2018, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) is implementing a more strict rule for calculating unlawful presence for certain visa holders. These include, F-1 student visas, J-1 trainee visas, and M-1 vocational student visas...
Immigration Under Trump: Part 4- How to handle the Travel Ban after the Supreme Court ruling
In a previous article, we discussed the notorious Trump Travel Ban. Then on June 26, 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States, in a 5 to 4 ruling, upheld the latest version of the Travel Ban. This ban is abhorrent as the original motive behind it was to discriminate based along religious and nationality lines.
Now Hiring: Highly Skilled Foreigners Need Not Apply
As I write this article I am in the midst of H-1B season. For those who are not knowledgeable on the topic, the H-1B is an immigration status and/or visa reserved for persons in specialty occupations. To the layperson, stating that an occupation is a specialty seems rather strange...
Immigration Under Trump: Part 3- Preserving your Family’s Immigration
This series of articles is designed to educate the community about how to deal with the new immigration challenges posed by the Trump Administration. Today, we advise how to address the possibility that the Trump Administration and Congress may repeal the law, which allows a US citizen to petition for his or her parents, and brothers and sisters...
The Art of Presenting your EB-5 Petition
Since EB-5 petitioners invest a great deal of wait-time and wealth into their petitions, it is crucial to make an optimal presentation to the USCIS in the investors’ cases. EB-5 petitions possess a complex business component. Yet most USCIS adjudicators do not themselves have a business background.
Immigration Under Trump: Part 2- Beating the Travel Ban
In our previous article, we discussed that the Trump Administration has been deliberately implementing policies to impede immigration and discourage immigrants. This series of articles is designed to educate the community about how to deal with these new challenges. Today, we advise how to overcome the challenges posed by the travel ban.
EB-5 Visa Backlog
Since its inception in 1990, not much has changed with the EB-5 program. For example, the investment amount has remained $500,000 (for Targeted Employment Areas) and $1,000,000 respectively. Equally as notable, the number of visas issued every year has remained at 10,000.
Strengthening Your EB-5 Petition
The EB-5 program was designed to stimulate the economy via foreign investment. However, despite the benefit to the economy, the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) does not roll out the red carpet to these investors. Rather USCIS scrutinizes these petitions heavily, and so it is vital to prepare your EB-5 petition thoroughly and carefully.
Immigration Under Trump: Part 1- Extreme Vetting: What it means and what you can do
In October of 2017, President Trump announced his principles for immigration reform. These proposals, if they were to go through, would heavily restrict immigration. For example, they would eliminate family petitions for parents and siblings of U.S. citizens. Trump’s principles are highly unlikely to pass Congress. The majority of its constituents will not support these principles. However, even without Congressional action, Trump has already begun efforts to impede immigration.
E-2 Visa: Multiple Paths to Permanent Residency
While thousands of foreign nationals apply for the E-2 nonimmigrant visa every year, thousands more are deterred due to the fact that there is no clear path to permanent residency. However, with some creativity, it is possible for an E-2 investor to acquire permanent residency.
Overview of your Rights under Immigration Law
In the United States, immigration and criminal laws are generally considered two separate and distinct bodies of law. For someone without legal training, this may be confusing.
The Executive Orders and your Deportation Defense
On February 17, 2017, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released two memoranda to enforce the removal (deportation) of non-citizens arriving at the Mexico-U.S. border and those already in the United States. With the new harsher and tougher policies, we expect an increased number of ICE and border patrol agents as announced by President Trump; which will result in increased roundups and more arrests.
Travel and Visa ban for Nationals of Certain Countries: Advisory and Tips
Under the Presidential Executive Order, Protecting The Nation from Terrorist Attacks By Foreign Nations, dated January 27, 2017, immigrants and non-immigrants “from” Libya, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, are barred from entry to the US for a period of 90 days. Additional countries may be added to this list.
NEW IMMIGRATION POLICY: US Seeks Certain Foreign Investors!
On January 17, 2017, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a final rule: Certain promising investors who will create jobs will receive lawful stay in the United States. Under this final rule, DHS may use its "parole" authority to grant a period of authorized stay, on a case-by-case basis, to foreign entrepreneurs who demonstrate that their stay in the United States would provide a significant public benefit through the potential for rapid business growth and job creation.
Seeking Asylum: Land of the Free for the Asylee.
On the cusp of a new U.S. President being sworn into office on January 20th, in a country founded by immigrants, many Americans are left wondering about the future of our immigration system. One of the main questions posed is, will our immigration laws continue to provide protections for asylum seekers fleeing persecution?
PRESS RELEASE: Immigration Attorney With NeJame Law Urges President-Elect Trump to Turn to Positive Rhetoric and Move Forward on Immigration Reform
Orlando immigration with NeJame Law and former Orlando Regional Vice-Chair of American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), called on President-elect Trump to turn to a more productive discussion and to work with Congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle to move forward on immigration reform.
Taking the Hate Out of Immigration
Once again as we enter the political season, the opposition to immigrants is at a high pitch. Immigrants are stereotyped as "illegals" or "criminals." To many, the term "immigration" conjures up images of workers in the fields who have snuck through the border and live in the shadows. However, the xenophobic approach to immigration hurts the very ideals upon which our nation was founded.
The E-2 Investor Visa
The E-2 visa is an investor visa for nationals of those countries that have a treaty of commerce (a business treaty) with the United States. It is possible to qualify for this visa with an investment as little as $100,000. Here are the requirements and the procedure for this invaluable visa option.
Asylum -- For Those Who Migrate in the Cause of God
It is one of the great historical ironies that religion, which emphasizes the rights of the weak and the oppressed has been used by the powerful to exploit the very people it seeks to protect. The prophets brought messages of equality and justice. Moses lead the persecuted from the clutches of the Pharaoh to the Promised Land. Jesus exhorted the rich to care for the poor. Muhammad migrated with his followers as he denounced the racial and economic disparity of his society.
The L-1 Visa For U.S. Immigration (Video)
The L-1 Visa is the visa of choice for business professionals seeking to enter the U.S. NeJame Law partner Shahzad Ahmed outlines the advantages of the L-1 and the steps you must take to obtain it.
Your L-1 Visa Petition: Preventing and Surviving the Request For Evidence (or Notice of Intent to Deny)
Many foreign businesspersons have experienced the anxiety and frustration that occurs after filing an L-1 visa petition. Upon filing the petition, the USCIS issues a lengthy Request for Evidence (RFE) or a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID). What are the common issues that cause a RFE or NOID? How can this be prevented and if the government does issue a RFE or a NOID, then how can you overcome it? First, let us briefly review some background of the L-1, and then dissect its legal requirements and its evidentiary criteria.
The Provisional Waiver is Here!
Background: Traditionally, if a foreign national has been unlawfully present in the U.S. for 180 days, then his departure from the U.S. triggers a 3 year bar to return. If he has been unlawfully present for 10 years, then his departure from the U.S. triggers a 10 year bar. This bar can be waived by the Immigration Service, once the applicant has departed the U.S. and applied for an Immigrant Visa at the Embassy, if he can demonstrate that there would be extreme hardship to his qualifying relative. Under the new policy, the spouses and sons and daughters of...
Are you healthy enough to be a Legal Permanent Resident of the United States?
The law defines all sorts of things. It defines mental capacity, intent, contracts, trusts, and even nuisances. Most do not know it, but the law also defines who is healthy and who is not. More precisely, the law defines which categories of noncitizens are unhealthy and thus inadmissible to the United States. Section 212(a)(1)(A)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act states “… any alien who is determined to have a communicable disease of public health significance” is ineligible to receive a visa and ineligible to be admitted in to the United States.
Tis the season for Holiday wishes, and hopefully much more for DREAM(ers) - a look into the controversial DREAM Act
The season for holiday parties, New Year’s resolutions, and wish lists has arrived, and the campaign is finally over. Regardless of our political affiliations, we are all hoping for a continued economic recovery and productive sessions of Congress. Key issues need to be resolved in the next 4 years, and hopefully immigration reform is on the agenda, specifically the DREAM Act.
What is SB 1070; Why is it Understandable, yet Wrong; and What is the Solution
With the Supreme Court's ruling striking down much of Arizona's SB 1070 law, the debate lingers. So who is correct? Is Arizona correct in criminalizing unlawful presence within its borders, or did Arizona usurp too much power in passing this law? This debate isn't easy and emotions can run high on both sides.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals: What Notaries Do Not Know!
The trend is definitely there: Every year, numerous members in the immigrant community become victim to those who commit unlicensed practice of law. And this number increases when the government announces an amnesty program or some other form of relief. Innocent people are lured by the bait of "cheap" fees and become victims of "notaries" who mishandle their cases and destroy their chances of ever adjusting status.
Keeping the DREAM Alive: A Glimmer of Hope for the Undocumented Youth!
On June 15, 2012, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that effective immediately, certain young people who were brought to the United States illegally through no fault of their own as young children will not be removed from the United States.
So you finally got it! Your green card. After so much wait and effort, the day is here. But wait. What? There are travel restrictions? One of the most common concerns of lawful permanent residents is their ability to travel to their country of origin for an extended period of time. This happens most frequently to parents, who acquired permanent residency through their U.S. citizen child...
EB-5 Visa - Investing your way to a Green Card
Now more than ever, with the slowdown of the global economy, investors from around the world are looking to preserve their capital in a reliable and safe haven. Despite its economic challenges, the United States, still offers the best place to live and invest. Thus, the EB-5 Visa, an abbreviation for the 5th preference employment-based category, is increasingly popular nowadays. Currently, the Immigration and Nationality Act allows 10,000 immigrant visas per year for the EB-5, which are available to qualified individuals seeking permanent resident status on the basis of their engagement in a new commercial enterprise.
The "O"ther Visa
One often overlooked visa for professionals or those with advanced skills is the "O" visa. The O visa comes from Section 101(a)(15)(O) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Often foreigners and their immigration attorneys reviewing possible immigration options overlook this possible visa. If an alien does not qualify for the traditional business visas, such as the L-1 or E-2, or certain employment visas such as the H-1B or H-2B, then he may still be eligible as an "Alien of Extraordinary Ability."
Is ICE being NICE? The True Impact of Obama's New Immigration Policy
Ever since the announcement by the Department of Homeland Security on August 18, 2011, that its agency, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), will consider administratively closing some of the deportation cases, there has been confusion in the community about how immigrants without status can benefit from the new policy.
The L-1 Visa: Transferring from your foreign business to a U.S. Office
The L-1 Visa is one of the most common non-immigrant work-related visas. The L-1 Visa is available for foreign national executives, managers and other persons with specialized knowledge who have been working for a non-U.S. company and that may be transferred to a U.S. company. The U.S. company must be the parent company, subsidiary, branch, affiliate or joint venture partners of the foreign company but does not have to engage in the same line of business than the foreign company.
Applying for US Citizenship
Becoming a U.S. citizen is a dream for many immigrants to the United States. But unless if you are born in the United States or have acquired citizenship derivatively through a parent, then you must fulfill certain requirements in order to naturalize in the U.S. What are these requirements? Let's review these.
The B-2 Option-Your Family's Visit to the U.S.
For those who have immigrated to the United States, there are loved ones in their country of origin, who long to reunite with them. However, bringing your relatives to the States for a visit is not necessarily easy. Unless your relative is a citizen of one of the countries belonging to the visa waiver program, or among those few exempt from a visa, he or she must apply for a visa at the U.S. Embassy in their country. Let's review the background and common problems in applying for this visa.
Your TAXES and IMMIGRATION Consequences
It is that time of year again . . . to pay your dues to Uncle Sam! But besides just being the only certainty along with death (as the adage goes), taxes can also be necessary for your immigration status. Let us explore how paying, or not paying, your taxes can affect your status in the United States.
Transferring your Foreign Business to the U.S.
The L-1 Visa is one of the most common non-immigrant work-related visas. The L-1 Visa is available for foreign national executives, managers and other persons with specialized knowledge who have been working for a non-U.S. company and that may be transferred to a U.S. company.
Crossing Borders for Love
As our world becomes more and more intertwined, the romantic metaphor of crossing the seven seas for your beloved becomes a reality. Cross-cultural marriages are becoming part of the norm. But which is better? Filing as a fiance or spouse? Let us explore both options.
New Investor Visa - E-2 CNMI Investor Visa
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has posted a final rule in the Federal Register that creates a nonimmigrant investor visa classification in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). The "E-2 CNMI Investor Visa" permits long term investors to reside in the CNMI through December 2014. USCIS will begin receiving petitions for the E-2 CNMI Investor classification on Jan. 18, 2011.
Criminal Convictions and Immigration Consequences
If a person is not a United States Citizen, a criminal conviction can subject them to deportation/removal from the United States. If a person has been convicted of certain criminal offenses, including simple or domestic battery, they may be subject to deportation regardless of how long ago the criminal conviction occurred, or how long they have been in the country.
More Restrictions for Our Religious Workers
No one is exempt from the complexities of our immigration laws. Not even the clergy. In fact, the religious worker visas have come under more and more scrutiny over the past few years. And now, the new immigration policy creates a hurdle for them to adjust status in the United States.
Planning your Trip to the Caribbean
Traveling to the Caribbean is as simple as buying an airplane or a cruise ticket for most. But before you pack your bags, be prepared for all the immigration requirements. Even if you are a U.S. citizen, there could be some surprises along the way. So let's look at what you need to be prepared for.
EB-5 Visas: Investing to Permanent Residency
During this time of economic challenges, any immigration policy must make economic and political sense. One such program is the EB-5, which is the fifth preference of the Employment-based classification of visas.
A Success Story: Saving a Battered Spouse from Deportation
In November of 2008, a divorced woman of Egyptian origin consulted with us about her immigration options. She was in removal proceedings after her ex-husband, a U.S. citizen, had abandoned the immigration petition he filed for her. Her previous attorney, not seeing any form of relief, had abruptly withdrawn from her case, leaving her unrepresented.
What's Missing from Immigration Debate?
What is missing from today's immigration debate? A simple concept that should not be foreign to anyone's human experience; empathy. A perfect example of this deficit is the cold debate surrounding the Dream Act, a bill composed of uncontroversial humanistic policies.
Family Petitions: Being a Parent in a Visa Petition
Being a parent is never easy and so why would it be any different in the immigration context. Many of our readers have asked questions about issues they have encountered while petitioning for their children. These range from children “aging out” to proving paternity...
The H-1B Visa: Background & UPDATES
Becoming a citizen of the United States is a dream for many immigrants. However, achieving this dream requires careful planning since many find their dreams unexpectedly shattered. This article reviews the basic eligibility requirements for naturalization while warning of some common pitfalls.
Temporary Protected Status for Haitians
Following the devastation from the January earthquake in Haiti, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security took measures to provide protection to certain Haitians in the U.S. For one, the government temporarily halted the deportation of detained Haitian immigrants. Moreover, the government announced a Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program.
Amnesty: Are We There Yet?
Where is a magic mirror when you need one? Much of the immigrant community and the immigration lawyers have been waiting for amnesty or some type of immigration reform. They all wonder when it will arrive. But before we have reform, we must understand why reform is needed; and also what kind of reform is needed.
Success Story - Overcoming Marriage Fraud Issues
She finally discovered Mr. Right. She met him in an online chat room and so their relationship began. But he was abroad. She had gone to meet him several times and ultimately they decided to marry. Accordingly, she filed a fiance petition for him and upon the issuance of a fiance visa, he gained entry to the U.S. As required by law, they married within 90 days and shortly thereafter, he filed for his permanent residency.
Immigration Policy and the Immigrant Communities
FDR's inspiring words encourage a sensitive and humane policy toward immigrants; a policy serving to unite American citizens and immigrants alike. However, during economically and politically challenging times, our government faces the task of observing this principal while preserving the nation's welfare.
New Immigration Change: Renewing Permanent Resident Cards without an Expiration Date
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services published a new rule that will require approximately 750,000 lawful permanent residents carrying ‘green cards’ without expiration dates to apply for a new Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551). The proposal allows for a 120-day filing period for applications.