Showing posts from March, 2012

The EB-5 Investor Visa

I feel like I have been getting a lot of questions from friends, family and prospective clients about so called "investor visas" lately. As I do not have the most experience with this particular aspect of immigration law, I thought it would be a great subject to research and write a blog post about. The Immigrant Investor Program was established in 1990 to help stimulate the U.S. economy through capital investment and job creation. All EB-5 investors must invest in a new commercial enterprise established on or after November 29, 1990. Qualified investors must create or preserve at least ten (10) full-time jobs for U.S. workers within two (2) years of being admitted as a conditional permanent resident. The minimum qualifying capital investment in the majority of cases is $1 million. Full-time Employment & Job Preservation A common difficulty with the EB-5 program is job creation. If you are interested in participating in this program, the employment created by your

Moving Beyond Pointless State Immigration Bills

On Tuesday, March 6th, I had the pleasure of participating in a lobby day at the Missouri state capitol building with the Missouri Immigrant and Refugee Advocates (MIRA) and Mobilize Missouri. The whole purpose was to express our displeasure with Missouri’s Senate Bill 590 and the bill’s sponsor, Senator Will Kraus. It was a beautiful, albeit extremely windy, March day, which is very rare in Missouri (at least the beautiful part). Even so, I cannot think of anything I would rather have been doing. I was able to meet and spend the day with many passionate, hard-working, diverse and motivated people. Together, we were able to speak with state senators and reps about the harmful effects this bill is already having on Missouri and will surely continue to have if passed. SB590 and similar bills passed in Alabama, Arizona and elsewhere are based on the hypothesis that immigrants are a drain on the state economy, i.e., they do not pay taxes, try to obtain welfare benefits, are more like

H-1B Visas

The H-1B program was developed to allow U.S. employers the opportunity to bring foreign workers to the United States as employees in a specialty occupation. How the government defines “specialty occupation” is not always clear, but typically, the employment will need to be for a professional position requiring a bachelor’s degree or higher in the area employment. H-1B qualifying professions may include engineers, software designers and scientists amongst others. The H-1B is considered a nonimmigrant visa, but it is one of the few visas allowing for “dual intent.” In other words, the beneficiary of an H-1B visa may possess the intent to one day reside permanently in the United States. If the employer decides to file the necessary paperwork, or if the visa holder marries a U.S. citizen, he or she may be able to adjust status to that of a lawful permanent resident (LPR). Even so, the H-1B requires a sponsoring U.S. employer. An individual cannot obtain status alone, no matter how qualif

Choosing an Immigration Attorney

Choosing an immigration attorney can be difficult. This practice area is different from most others. So are those who dedicate their time to it. Immigration law is almost as complicated as the federal tax code. The procedures require creativity and connecting with the communities we serve often requires the mentality of an activist. Even so, countless attorneys will advertise that they have the experience, expertise and passion to help you navigate the process. Here’s our attempt to help you weed through the advertisements and find the right attorney for you: The True Measure of Experience : It is logical to assume that an attorney who has practiced 34 years is automatically better than one who has practiced for one year. In many cases, this may be true. Personally, some of the best attorneys I have ever known were young. Some of the worst attorneys I have ever known had practiced for decades. As with most things in life, balance is essential. Focus on the type of experience an a

Cancellation of Removal

Cancellation of Removal is a form of relief for Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR) or Certain Non-LPRs in removal (deportation) proceedings. Cancellation of Removal cannot be applied for outside of an immigration court. It only becomes available once an immigrant is served with a Notice to Appear (NTA). Cancellation of Removal for Lawful Permanent Residents Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) are not immune from removal. The only way to ensure absolute protection is through naturalization. If an LPR ends up in removal proceedings, he or she can apply to have the removal cancelled if the LPR (1) has been a lawfully permanent resident for five (5) years; (2) has resided continuously in the United States for seven (7) years after having been admitted in any status; and (3) has not been convicted of any aggravated felonies. Often LPRs in removal proceedings have been referred due to a criminal conviction. As a result, the definition of an aggravated felony can be very important. Unfo