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.