Category Archives: Immigration

Department of State Releases October 2016 Visa Bulletin

Employment-based China and India First Preference and Worldwide Second Preference cutoff dates become “current” once again. The US Department of State (DOS) has released its October 2016 Visa Bulletin. The Visa Bulletin sets out per-country priority date cutoffs that regulate immigrant visa availability and the flow of adjustment of status and consular immigrant visa application …

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Form I-924 Regional Center Practice Pointer: USCIS Now Wants All Fields Completed

One of the purposes of Form I-924 is to file an exemplar for a specific EB-5 investment project. In so doing, a Regional Center seeks a preliminary determination of EB-5 compliance for a project prior to the commencement of I-526 filings by individual investors so as to have greater assurance that investors will not encounter …

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Proposed Rule to Benefit Certain Immigrant Startup Entrepreneurs

Qualified applicants would be granted parole in United States for up to five years. On August 26, 2016, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published an advance copy of a proposed rule that would extend discretionary parole (temporary permission to be in the United States) to certain international entrepreneurs to allow them to establish new …

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Immigration Through Investment: A Comparison of the U.S. EB-5 Program vs. the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program

There are currently many different investment immigration programs offered by countries around the world, all of which offer their own unique benefits. Two popular programs are the EB-5 Program in the United States and the Quebec Investment Immigration Program (QIIP) offered in Canada. The following comparison provides an in-depth look at the parameters of the …

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September 2016 Visa Bulletin Released

This week, the Department of State released the September 2016 Visa Bulletin. Given that visa numbers are issued based on the government fiscal year, we expect to see significant movement again in October 2016; for September 2016, the last month of FY2016, there were only minor changes with regard to movement of final action dates in …

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Is H-1B Reform On Its Way?

Two bipartisan bills to reform professional-level visa classifications were introduced into Congress this past July. Given the charged nature of the national discourse on immigration issues this election year, it seems unlikely either bill will be enacted before the presidential election. The bipartisan nature of both bills, however, suggests Congress may be able to coalesce, …

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Civil Penalties Nearly Double for Form I-9 Violations

Significantly Increase for Other Immigration-Related Violations Due to the implementation of the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (Sec. 701 of Public Law 114-74) (“Inflation Adjustment Act”), higher fines and civil penalties have now gone into effect for assessments that occur on or after August 1, 2016. These higher penalties can …

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Quota Reserved for Most Desired Immigrant Applicants Retrogresses for Natives of India and China!

The Department of State published its August 2016 Visa Bulletin and it has a few impactful surprises. This is not good news for companies and foreign nationals.  Indian and Chinese foreign nationals, as usual, are the hardest hit.  Specifically, the historically open First Preference Employment Based Category (EB-1) retrogressed to January 1, 2010 for Indian …

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Increased DOJ fines for Immigration-related Offenses go into effect August 1

New fines will apply to violations that occurred on or after Nov. 2, 2015 – Another good reason to conduct regular I-9 self-audits The U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) new penalties for immigration-related workplace violations including unlawful employment of aliens, I-9 paperwork violations and unlawful employment practices tied to immigration (discrimination) will take effect Aug. …

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As Europe divides, Africa Unites with Common African Union E-passport

In 2015, African Union (AU) Commissioner for Political Affairs, Dr. Aisha Abdullahi, indicated that a plan was underway to implement a single African passport. After recent announcements that the AU passport would be unveiled at the AU Summit in Kigali this month, the long-awaited continental e-passport has finally been revealed. The first recipients of the pan-African …

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