Do Not Let Your International Travel Jeopardize Your Immigration Status

If you are scheduled to travel to the US, please be advised that yesterday the CDC issued an Order requiring all air passengers arriving to the US from a foreign country to get tested no more than 3 days before their flight! You will need to provide proof of the negative result or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 to the airline before boarding the flight. This Order will go into effect on January 26, 2021.

Important! Remember!

If you or someone you know are travelling internationally, and are awaiting your final interview at USCIS, please remember that you will not be able to enter a USCIS field office without first having been in the U.S. for a minimum of 14 days!

USCIS field offices are automatically cancelling scheduled any final interview for anyone who has been outside the U.S. within 14 days prior to it.

USCIS is using its own information to track if you have been outside of the U.S. We caution you to schedule your international travel accordingly.

As always, we are here to help. If you have any questions or need assistance with any of these new developments, please do not hesitate to contact us.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/testing-international-air-travelers.html

Image credit: “A Trio of Surgical Masks” by Wootang01 is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Update – Citizenship Changes

USCIS News
Applicants for naturalization filing after December 1, 2020 will be required to take the 2020 version of the civics test. They will need to study 128 questions about American government and history. 

The naturalization test has two parts: an English and civics test. The English portion has not changed. In fact, the officer will read through your application with you in the office to confirm that all of your answers are correct and that there have been no changes since you filed.  You have the opportunity to add and correct information at the interview.

With the 2020 version of the civics test, the USCIS officer will ask you to answer 20 out of the 128 civics test questions which can be viewed here:  https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/document/crc/128%20Civics%20Questions%20and%20Answers%20(2020%20version).pdf in English.  There is even an audio version!  https://www.uscis.gov/citizenship-resource-center/the-2020-version-of-the-civics-test/128-civics-questions-and-answers-with-mp3-audio-2020-version.  You must answer at least 12 questions correctly to pass the 2020 version of the civics test. All questions on the test are asked orally.

There are no changes to the English portion of the naturalization test. You must demonstrate an understanding of the English language, including the ability to read, write, and speak basic English.  

As always, should you need assistance with your immigration matter, we are only one phone call away! You can also chat with an assistant 24/7 by using the chat icon on the bottom-right of the page.

Or you can leave us a longer message if you wish, on our Contact page

Dramatic Reversal on DACA

A federal judge has reversed the Trump administration’s restrictive rule on the DACA program. This Obama administration legislation protected undocumented immigrants who came to the country as children from deportation.

“#DACA for #Dreamers Unidos soñamos #dreamact #cir #immigrationreform #cirnow #immigration” by Steve Rhodes is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

According to N.P.R., yesterday “Judge Nicholas Garaufis of the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn instructed the Department of Homeland Security to begin accepting new applications for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program as soon as Monday”

Court documents state that DHS has until Monday to post a public notice “displayed prominently on its website and on the websites of all other relevant agencies, that it is accepting first-time requests for consideration of deferred action under DACA.”

Approximately 640,000 undocumented young immigrants are protected under DACA. As of this July, due to restrictions imposed by the Trump administration on this Obama-era program, about 300,000 young people from other countries living in the U.S. were ready to apply This new decision effectively green lights the process for them.

Read more about this at NPR’s web site.

USCIS Announces a Revised Naturalization Civics Test

WASHINGTON — U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced today plans to implement a revised version of the naturalization civics test. The agency first announced plans to revise the civics test in July 2019.

USCIS revised the civics test as part of a decennial update to ensure that it remains an instrument that comprehensively assesses applicants’ knowledge of American history, government and civic values.

The civics test is administered to applicants who apply for U.S. citizenship and is one of the statutory requirements for naturalizing. Applicants who apply for naturalization on or after Dec. 1, 2020, will take the updated version of the test. Those who apply before Dec. 1, 2020, will take the current version of the test.

“USCIS has diligently worked on revising the naturalization test since 2018, relying on input from experts in the field of adult education to ensure that this process is fair and transparent,” said USCIS Deputy Director for Policy Joseph Edlow. “Naturalization allows immigrants to become fully vested members of American society, with the same rights and responsibilities as citizens by birth, and offering a fair test, which prepares naturalization applicants for these responsibilities, is of upmost importance to our agency.”

The revised test includes more questions that test the applicant’s understanding of U.S. history and civics, in line with the statutory requirements, and covers a variety of topics that provide the applicant with more opportunities to learn about the United States as part of the test preparation process. The revised test will not change the passing score, which will remain at 60%. Candidates must answer 12 questions correctly, out of 20 in order to pass.

USCIS will maintain the current guidelines for statutorily established special considerations for applicants who are 65 years old or older and have at least 20 years of lawful permanent resident status. These applicants will be asked 10 questions and must answer a minimum of six questions correctly in order to pass.

The test items and study guides can be found on the Citizenship Resource Center on the USCIS website. USCIS has also updated the USCIS Policy Manual (PDF, 323.82 KB) accordingly; see Volume 12, Part E, English and Civics Testing and Exceptions, Chapter 2, English and Civics Testing.

USCIS piloted the test with community-based organizations and volunteers across the country in summer 2020. The data collected from this pilot was used to help USCIS make determinations about the language and grammatical structure of individual test items, linguistic and cognitive weights assigned to each test item, and to identify those items appropriate for applicants who are 65 years or older, have held lawful permanent resident status for at least 20 years and are granted special consideration by statute.

Trump’s Immigration Decision Blocked by California Judge

“us visa” by bastamanography is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

“This court rejects the position that the proclamation implicates the president’s foreign affairs powers simply because it affects immigration,”

US District Judge Jeffrey White

The statement refers to the June ban on H1-B, H-2B, J and L visas, which effectively halts granting those types of visas to multi-national companies looking to hire foreign nationals, as well as investors and cultural exchange beneficiaries.

Though limited in scope, US District Judge Jeffrey White’s injunction effectively allows thousands of companies to continue counting on an influx of foreign nationals to fill positions that have suffered from a shortage of US nationals.

The ruling applies exclusively to organizations that sued the administration and challenged the June ban on the visas mentioned above: the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers, National Retail Federation, TechNet, a technology industry group, and Intrax Inc., which sponsors cultural exchanges.

While Judge White explicitly stated that his ruling is limited to only those organizations, he also outlined its importance, stating that it will benefit “hundreds of thousands of American businesses of all sizes from a cross-section of economic sectors,” including Microsoft Corp. and Amazon.com Inc.

The National Association of Manufacturers represents 1,400 companies that would have been directly affected by the June ban. They stated the ruling will help with “crucial, hard-to-fill jobs to support economic recovery, growth and innovation when we most need it.”

This is the second time in three days that White blocked a significant change on immigration. On Tuesday, he stopped a wave of incoming fee increases for citizenship and several other immigration benefits benefits. Those increases were due to take effect within three days from the decision.

EB-5 Regional Center Program Reauthorized Through December 11, 2020

Congress Passes Continuing Resolution Beneficial to EB-5 Investor Visa Applicants

As part of the Continuing Resolution passed on Sept. 30th, Congress has ensured continuation of the EB-5 Regional Program, which effectively means investor visa applications will suffer no lapse or delay in processing.

H.R.8337 – Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and Other Extensions Act is the bill that establishes appropriations to federal agencies and extends expiring programs that address health care, surface transportation, agriculture, veterans benefits, and other issues.

“As a job-creation program, EB-5 will continue to be an effective tool for job growth and recovery during this difficult time for our country. As an immigration tool, it will provide our clients an expeditious path to permanent residency in the United States.” – CMB Regional Centers

As always, contacting our firm to help you navigate through the uncertainty of your particular situation is also a safe bet. Our experience and expertise is sure to be one of your best allies.

Injunction Stops USCIS Immigration Fee Hike

Immigration Breaking News
Immigration Breaking News: Fee Hike Halted by US District Judge

Great news for immigration benefit applicants! Today, a US district judge in California issued a preliminary injunction that temporarily halts implementation of major fee increase for most US Immigration applications. This injunction has nationwide effect.

On August 4, 2020, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a final rule to drastically increase fees on most immigration benefit filings. These new fees were scheduled to be effective for cases postmarked on October 2, 2020 or later.

In all likeliness, USCIS these increases might still take effect. For the moment, however, immigration applicants may file cases using the current USCIS filing fee structure. We will keep you up-to-date with this and any other major development in the immigration landscape. To be sure you are promptly alerted, we recommend you bookmark our Immigration News page and come back to it often.

As always, contacting our firm to help you navigate through the uncertainty of your particular situation is also a safe bet. Our experience and expertise is sure to be one of your best allies.

Exceptions to the Presidential Travel Ban Proclamations

“Mayor Garcetti welcomes Mr. Vayeghan at LAX. He is the first person subjected to the President’s travel ban who was able to return to America as the result of a recent court order” by Mayor of Los Angeles is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Many immigrants are apprehensive about the travel bans instituted by the President at the beginning of the year. The situation seems to change from a day to the next. Executive Orders and Proclamations that affect immigration abound. There seems to be a silver lining in the otherwise clouded immigration landscape. There are exceptions to the travel ban, and the State Department updates us on those quite regularly.

The latest update advises that National Interest Exceptions to Presidential Proclamations 10014 & 10052 include, among others: certain business travelers, investors, treaty traders, academics, and students from the Schengen Area, U.K., and Ireland.

Most Important Update

What is the most important information in the State Department’s update? The one that advises concerned travelers to the US to inquire at the nearest Consulate or Embassy if they may be in one of the categories of National Interest Exception:

“Until complete resumption of routine visa services, applicants who appear to be subject to entry restrictions under P.P. 10014, P.P. 10052, and/or regional-focused Presidential Proclamations related to COVID-19 (P.P. 9984, 9992, 9993, 9996, and/ or 10041) might not be processed for a visa interview appointment unless the applicant also appears to be eligible for an exception under the applicable Proclamation(s). Applicants who are subject to any of these Proclamations, but who believe they may qualify for a national interest exception or other exception, should follow the instructions on the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate’s website regarding procedures necessary to request an emergency appointment and should provide specific details as to why they believe they may qualify for an exception.”

Travel.State.Gov

The stated motive for the travel ban was the protection of US workers, especially those in essential services. It might be helpful to consult the Homeland Security’s ADVISORY MEMORANDUM ON ENSURING ESSENTIAL CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE WORKERS ABILITY TO WORK DURING THE COVID-19 RESPONSE

We advise that you take the time to parse the detailed update on the State Department’s web site. It will help you determine whether you are possibly subject to the travel ban exceptions.

As always, contacting our firm to help you navigate through the uncertainty of your particular situation is also a safe bet. Our experience and expertise is sure to be one of your best allies.

EB-5 Investor Visas: USCIS Clarifies Guidance on Initial and Further Deployment of Investment Capital

A new USCIS policy memorandum clarifies requirements for deployment of capital for EB-5 applicants (investor visa). This establishes that the purchase of financial instruments on the secondary market will generally not satisfy such requirements. It clarifies that capital may be further deployed into any commercial activity that is consistent with the purpose of the new commercial enterprise, within its lawful bounds.

This clarification supersedes the language that allowed municipal bonds as a specific type of potentially permissible financial instrument in the context of further deployment. It also provides that further deployment must be through the same new commercial enterprise and within the geographic area of the same regional center, including any amendments to the regional center’s geographic area approved before the further deployment. 

It also explains that, based on an internal review and analysis of typical EB-5 capital deployment structures, USCIS generally considers 12 months as a reasonable amount of time to further deploy capital, but will consider evidence showing that a longer period was reasonable.

You can download the .pdf file with the entire update HERE

As always, contacting our firm to help you navigate through the uncertainty of your particular situation is also a safe bet. Our experience and expertise is sure to be one of your best allies.

Immigration News

USCIS began producing a “Security Enhanced U.S. Travel Document.” 

On Thursday, USCIS announced a new version of the U.S. travel document, which functions similarly to a passport. The document can be used by lawful permanent residents in place of Form I-327, Permit to Reenter the United States, and by refugees in place of Form I-571, Refugee Travel Document. The document can also be used instead of a passport in some cases. The enhanced security features include a redesigned booklet cover, four montages containing three images, each of notable U.S. architecture, used throughout the booklet, and a combination of first-, second- and third-level security features (overt, covert and forensic). Previous versions of the travel document are still valid until their expiration date. 

Several USCIS forms have been updated

USCIS posted updated editions of Form N-400, Application for NaturalizationForm N-470, Application to Preserve Residence for Naturalization Purposes, and Form EOIR-29, Notice of Appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals from a Decision of a DHS Officer. The edition dates are 9/17/19, 9/10/19, and July 2019, respectively. For Form N-400, the 12/23/16 edition will be accepted through 12/15/19.

A new PA law will require construction employers to use E-verify

The Pennsylvania state government recently passed the “Pennsylvania Construction Industry Employer Verification Act.” Starting in October 2020, this new law prohibits construction employers from knowingly employing unauthorized employees, and requires them to use E-verify.Use of E-verify will be enforced by the Department of Labor and Industry, but also creates a rebuttable presumption in court that the employer did not knowingly employ and unauthorized person.

The Iowa Supreme Court ruled immigration status can be considered in sentencing

A man was sentenced to prison time instead of probation in part due to his immigration status. The Iowa Supreme Court ruled on Friday that when deportation is a “certainty,” considering immigration status during sentencing does not violate constitutional due process. The court affirmed the lower court decision that prison time was permissible for this reason.

The House introduced a bipartisan bill to reverse a Trump policy affecting children of some service members and federal employees abroad

In August, the Trump administration released policy guidance making it more difficult for some children born abroad to service members and government employees to attain U.S. citizenship. USCIS clarified the impact was low, but affected about 20-25 people per year. On Wednesday, members of the House Judiciary Committee introduced bipartisan legislation to undo the change and make the process for children in this situation to gain U.S. citizenship simpler. 

The Supreme Court has taken a case on the rights of asylum seekers.

 On Friday, the Supreme Court agreed to consider a case on the rights of undocumented asylum seekers to challenge their expedited removal orders. The Trump administration appealed after the 9th Circuit ruled that asylum seekers could make their claim in federal court after they are denied and ordered for expedited removal. Oral arguments in front of the Supreme Court have not yet been scheduled.

Federal authorities will gather DNA from immigrants at the border.

Attorney General Barr announced on Monday that the Department of Justice will collect DNA samples from immigrants and asylum seekers crossing the border. Under the plan, federal authorities would gather an estimated 748,000 individuals’ DNA each year. The stated purpose of the plan is to create a database of immigrants to help fight crime, and the DOJ plans to add this genetic information to the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System. Immigrant advocates have denounced the rule over privacy concerns and the lack of meaningful choice, especially for vulnerable asylum seekers. The rule was published in the Federal Register on October 22, and is now open for a 20-day comment period. 

More flights containing approved refugees have been canceled. 

Last month, many refugees preparing to be resettled in the United States were met with canceled flights when the State Department issued a moratorium on their travel until October 21. On October 18, the State Department announced the moratorium would continue until October 28. This caused already-rescheduled flights with refugees to be canceled again. This is especially concerning for some refugees who have medical exams or security checks near expiration, which was not an issue when they were originally scheduled for resettlement in September.

White House aides determined that Trump’s top DHS picks are ineligible

McAleenan’s departure left the top DHS role empty. President Trump has two top picks for DHS acting secretary: acting USCIS Director Cuccinelli and acting CBP Commissioner Morgan. However, a federal statute called the Vacancies Act limits who can be appointed to act in secretary roles without Senate confirmation. The role must go to a ranked official elsewhere in the executive branch who has already been confirmed by the Senate. The president’s advisors told the president that neither Cuccinelli nor Morgan fulfill this requirement. Either could serve as DHS Secretary if they were confirmed by the Senate, but that route is not certain to succeed. 

As always, contacting our firm to help you navigate through the uncertainty of your particular situation is also a safe bet. Our experience and expertise is sure to be one of your best allies.

New Presidential Directive Attempts to Restrict Asylum Policies

“Horrible and Foolish Loopholes”

President Trump has taken yet another step in tightening asylum policies. In a memorandum released last night, the new presidential order prevents anyone who crossed the border illegally to get a work permit, it considerably reduces the adjudication terms of asylum requests to a maximum of 180 days (it used to take years), and it imposes fees for humanitarian refugee status applicants to the United States.

These are all measures meant to address what the President has recently called “horrible and foolish loopholes” in the immigration law. Lumping the visa lottery in with “chain migration”, “catch and release”, Mr. Trump claims that people coming into the US this way are from countries that “are not giving us their finest.”

The Washington Post has a new article HERE detailing the latest presidential directive, along with a video of his assertions on immigration.

Here at Leslie I. Snyder immigration firm, we want to remind you that asylum seeking is not illegal immigration. People from countries in political turmoil run from oppression and seek asylum.

The United States recognizes the right of asylum for individuals as specified by international and federal law.

As always, contacting our firm to help you navigate through the uncertainty of your particular situation is also a safe bet. Our experience and expertise is sure to be one of your best allies.

Driver’s License for Florida Undocumented Immigrants?

Under current Florida law, in order to obtain a Driver’s License, you need to be a citizen or legal resident alien. This might change in the near future. Both the Florida Senate and House introduced last month two separate proposals. These might allow foreign passports, birth certificates, and Mexican consular cards to be used as proof of identity.

Both proposals are introduced by Democrats. The Senate bill is sponsored by Javier Rodriguez of Miami. Senator Rodriguez justifies his initiative with the following arguments: “It doesn’t matter your immigration status. If you are on the roads, you should have access to a driver’s test and the ability to get car insurance”

The House bill is co-introduced by Representative Anna Eskamani of Orlando. In a statement to Fox News channel 35 Orlando, she affirms: “I always ask the question about why not build trust with those who are already marginalized, versus pushing them farther and farther away from us. I think what this bill does is it helps to build that trust. It also helps ensure public safety.”

If any of the proposals becomes law, Florida will become the 13th state to allow undocumented immigrants to be able to obtain driver’s licenses in the US.

As always, contacting our firm to help you navigate through the uncertainty of your particular situation is also a safe bet. Our experience and expertise is sure to be one of your best allies.

Final Rule for H-1B Visa Program

Effective April 1, 2019, the H-1B Visa Program will have new amended regulations. The final rule reverses the order by which U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) selects H-1B petitions under the H-1B regular cap and the advanced degree exemption. It introduces an electronic registration requirement for petitioners seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions. The rule will be published in the Federal Register on Jan. 31, and will go into effect on April 1, though the electronic registration requirement will be suspended for the fiscal year (FY) 2020 cap season. 

From the USCIS web site:

Effective April 1, USCIS will first select H-1B petitions (or registrations, once the registration requirement is implemented) submitted on behalf of all beneficiaries, including those that may be eligible for the advanced degree exemption. USCIS will then select from the remaining eligible petitions, a number projected to reach the advanced degree exemption. Changing the order in which USCIS counts these allocations will likely increase the number of petitions for beneficiaries with a master’s or higher degree from a U.S. institution of higher education to be selected under the H-1B numerical allocations. Specifically, the change will result in an estimated increase of up to 16% (or 5,340 workers) in the number of selected petitions for H-1B beneficiaries with a master’s degree or higher from a U.S. institution of higher education.

USCIS will begin accepting H-1B cap petitions for FY 2020 on April 1, 2019. The reverse selection order will apply to petitions filed for the FY 2020 H-1B cap season. Petitioners may file an H-1B petition no more than six months before the employment start date requested for the beneficiary. USCIS will provide H-1B cap filing instruction on uscis.gov in advance of the filing season.

Importantly, after considering public feedback, USCIS will be suspending the electronic registration requirement for the FY 2020 cap season to complete user testing and ensure the system and process are fully functional. Once implemented, the electronic registration requirement will require petitioners seeking to file H-1B cap petitions, including those that may be eligible for the advanced degree exemption, to first electronically register with USCIS during a designated registration period. Only those whose registrations are selected will be eligible to file an H-1B cap-subject petition. USCIS expects that the electronic registration requirement, once implemented, will reduce overall costs for petitioners and create a more efficient and cost-effective H-1B cap petition process for USCIS and petitioners.

Additionally, USCIS will publish a notice in the Federal Register to announce the initial implementation of the H-1B registration process in advance of the cap season in which it will implement the requirement. Prior to implementation, USCIS will conduct outreach to ensure petitioners understand how to access and use the system. Once implemented, USCIS will announce the designated electronic registration period at least 30 days in advance for each fiscal year it is required.

For more information on USCIS and our programs, please visit uscis.gov or follow us on Twitter (@uscis), Instagram (/uscis), YouTube (/uscis), Facebook (/uscis), and Linkedin (/uscis).

As always, contacting our firm to help you navigate through the uncertainty of your particular situation is also a safe bet. Our experience and expertise is sure to be one of your best allies.

It’s Official: New York State Will Aid Undocumented Students

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has confirmed he will sign into law a new measure passed by the New York State Senate. The bill offers undocumented students access to state financial aid and scholarships for higher education.

New York Democrats became a majority in the State Senate in November after a decade of being a minority. Immigration protections are now on the front of their agenda. The new bill constitutes a pro-immigrant countermeasure to President Trump’s federal immigration policies that have been seeking to undo the protections of The Dream Act, put into place by the Obama administration over ten years ago.

The provisions of the new law will include allowing undocumented residents to obtain state driver’s licenses and reducing maximum jail sentences for certain misdemeanors that could otherwise lead to deportation.

” The New York bill will affect an estimated 146,000 young people who were educated in New York public schools but have been ineligible to receive financial aid under federal and state law, according to analysis by the New York State Youth Leadership Council and N.Y.U. Law School’s Immigrant Rights Clinic. ” – notes the New York Times in an article yesterday.

Read the entire article HERE.

The Immigration Offices of Leslie I. Snyder, P.A. strive to keep our clients informed with the latest developments affecting US Immigration policies. We provide assistance on immigration issues ranging from family integration, immigrant and non-immigrant visas, business, employment, adjustment of status, citizenship.

As always, contacting our firm to help you navigate through the uncertainty of your particular situation is also a safe bet. Our experience and expertise is sure to be one of your best allies.

January Tech Corner

Immigration Solo Practice and Software Challenges

I am an immigration lawyer who has solved visa issues for clients for more than 30 years. This January as it is the start of a new and hopefully much better year worldwide, I would like to share some of my views and experiences in the field of technology and law in an effort to assist other lawyers or human resource professionals who might be and looking for solutions in the field of global immigration law or transitioning from office to remote and paperless offices.

I have seen the practice of immigration law in Miami and other cities and at the same time legal technology and software options evolve dramatically over the years. When I began working for an immigration firm in Miami in the late 80’s, believe it or not, as associates, secretaries were assigned to us, but we did not even use computers at that time! Shared secretaries would prepare immigration forms using typewriters. Often the secretaries would be tasked with countless time-consuming corrections. Once completed, we would ask them to call the clients to come into the office and review and sign the forms personally.  Finally, when the forms and casework were completed, I and other young and eager associates met in attorneys Larry Rifkin’s and Michael Shane’s offices.  They gave us appointments to file our cases in person that week or the following on behalf of our clients at the Miami District office at 7880 Biscayne Blvd. We relied then more on individuals than on technology.   Now, clients can enter their information easily in our firm portal, reducing errors and saving time and personnel costs, and many processes can be automated.

As Miami immigration attorneys in the 80’s and 90’s we constantly traveled in pairs to the centralized immigration office with enormous files to meet personally with government adjudicating officers who would render decisions on our clients’ cases on the spot! We waited in long lines circling the building just like the general public was forced to do until the building was finally condemned and immigration was decentralized into 5 locations with free parking. 

In person filings included family and business petitions, included famous actors and models, employment-based investors, intra-company transfers and family and business-based residence cases.  A denial would usually mean we would have to return the following week with additional information and resubmit an application.  Following the interview, we would rush back to the office with the approval notices in hand to happily submit to our clients for payment. Personal relationships with other attorneys and immigration officers were nurtured and encouraged. 

The decentralization of immigration and its shift to remote, paper-based filings for all operations created challenges in modernizing information technology across the board, especially with the government itself (https://trac.syr.edu/immigration/library/P460.pdf). Software companies emerged to serve the market. For example, in 1998, according to its website, Tracker Corp was used by approximately 75% of top-rated immigration law firms and many Fortune 1000 companies, hospitals and universities and was at the time a desk-top based product.   There were others available and some attorneys created their own proprietary software.  I started using a desk-top version of Tracker and began training.

It was essential then to have an in-house tech, such as Scott Booth of South Computers, manually update the ever-changing immigration forms provided by Tracker and back up the systems on site and off site monthly at a minimum.  Then, about 10 years later, the company began providing cloud-based services with automated program and forms updates, so theoretically we no longer needed to use our tech for this type of maintenance.   Now, my former tech has retired, I have a new tech who doesn’t really understand immigration forms and software like my old tech did after years of service, and the company has been acquired by Mitratech, a large company with more than 30 years in the market, which does not mention even tracker on its portal  https://success.mitratech.com/.  

I will continue to evaluate and research competitors.  I have personally tested Clio, Practie Panther, Law Logix, INS Zoom, Docketwise and Cerenade, among others, concluded it is best to remain with my current immigration forms provider add another case management and billing program, as the perfect solution may not yet exist.  My immediate concerns though involve wondering whether the company will remain responsive and continue to emphasize excellent tech support as it has in the past with Lina Ordonez and Ben Gigli and whether it will ever end integrate successfully with a billing program such as QuickBooks or something even more tailored.  I must conclude that the main reason I have remained loyal to this provider is that the customer support has been excellent over the years and has exceeded my expectations.