Category: News

EB-5 Visas Still Not Being Processed: Why This is Problematic

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By: Annika Minton The United States EB-5 visa was created in 1990 to provide a method for foreign investors (and their spouses and unmarried children under 21) to obtain a U.S. visa by investing capital with the goal of financing a business that will employ at least 10 American workers.[1] The US government allocates 10,000 of these visas per year. This particular program has not been renewed since June 2021, when a federal judge struck down the 2019 EB-5 “modernization” regulation, the goal of which was to increase the investment threshold from $500,000 to $900,000 in targeted employment areas (a rural area or an area with high unemployment). This has left many people wondering what the future looks like ...

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Vaccine Mandates Restrict P-1A Athletes in the NBA

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By: Maddie Carlson As of early December, a memo issued by the National Basketball Association (“NBA”)  revealed that any unvaccinated athlete who possesses a temporary visa status will not be allowed to reenter the United States following international travel. This statement primarily pertains to those with the P-1A Athlete visa classification, which allows athletes to compete in the United States temporarily. Concurrently, the Canadian government also announced that non-vaccinated NBA athletes are now not allowed to enter the country to participate in competitions against their Toronto team. Both announcements threaten the legal status of U.S. athletes who have planned, and are expected to, participate in any upcoming basketball competitions in Toronto. Many NBA Athletes are eligible for the P-1A visa based ...

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Visa Extensions Granted for L-2 and H-4 Holders

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By: Annika Minton Spouses of L-1 and H-1B visa holders recently  got some good news. A US court decision is granting L-2 and H-4 visa holders an extension of their work authorization, lengthening the amount of time spouses can remain in the United States on work visas. L-2 visa holders will receive a 180-day auto extension of their work authorization (or an I-94 expiration date, whichever is shorter); and all H-4 visa holders will get extensions of their H-4 employment authorization document (EAD) until the expiration of their I-94s, or 180 days from the expiration of the prior EAD, whichever comes first. L-2 visa holders will get the extension automatically without applying for it, but H-4 visa holders are still required ...

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Business Immigration Today: Chris Thorn’s Perspective

Posted by: Park Evaluations

By Kelsi Swenson It’s no surprise that the business immigration sphere, in addition to the rest of the world, experienced some arduous and unprecedented moments over the past couple of years. The coronavirus pandemic coupled with the former presidential administration created a seemingly impenetrable barrier for visa seekers. However, despite a largely dismal 2020, there were small victories against USCIS—from overturning IFRs to refining the definition of specialty occupation, it seems the path to more flexible business immigration regulations is not as inaccessible as believed. For all the changes happening over the past two years, the future of business immigration is certainly malleable, but also opaque. There are still numerous processing delays, waiting lists, and outdated regulations needing to ...

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Judge Rules Acting DHS Secretary’s Appointment Unlawful

Posted by: Park Evaluations

By: Rachel Horner In New York, a U.S. federal judge has blocked DHS secretary Chad Wolf from restructuring DACA permits. Justice Garaufis ruled that Wolf’s promotion to the position of secretary was unlawful; therefore, Wolf’s decision to reduce the validity of DACA permits, as well as to reject new DACA applications, is beyond the scope of his power.   Chad Wolf proposed multiple restrictions to the DACA program that would significantly harm its recipient by reducing work authorization and protection from deportation from two years to one. He also stated that those who submitted new DACA applications would not be accepted ...

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The Future of the Work Visa Under Biden’s Presidency

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By: Rachel Horner Joe Biden has a long list of pressing issues awaiting him once he is inaugurated as the 46th President. For the immigrants affected by the Trump Administration’s policies on work visas, there’s hope that immigration is towards the top of that list. While the Trump Administration has made attempts to restrict who can enter the country by revising America’s immigration system, the H-1B program became a larger target after the pandemic began to affect the United States. In June 2020, Trump issued Proclamation 10052, which suspended H-1B visas from being issued. Soon after, with the sharp decrease in immigration , USCIS almost furloughed a significant portion of their employees. However, a judge in California ...

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Major Flaw in New DOL Rule Taken to Court

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By: Rachel Horner Only a few weeks after its publication, the DOL’s new IFR, “Strengthening Wage Protections for the Temporary and Permanent Employment of Certain Aliens in the United States,” which restructured the wage level for H-1B employees, has been challenged to court twice. The first lawsuit, ITServe Alliance, Inc. v. Scalia, argued that the data behind the rule is inaccurate. Another lawsuit has since followed suit, led by the American Immigration Lawyers Association. According to Forbes, the lawsuit, entitled Purdue University et. al. v. Eugene Scalia et. al., argues that the new DOL rule unfairly mandates an annual salary of $208,000 for over 18,000 occupations.  Because the percentiles for many occupations have been increased ...

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First of Many Lawsuits Launched against DOL’s Wage Level Hikes

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By: Rachel Horner The federal court in New Jersey is now home to a significant new lawsuit, entitled ITServe Alliance, Inc. v. Scalia, regarding the recent changes to the H-1B program. Filed by ITServe Alliance, Inc., the lawsuit challenges the Department of Labor’s interim final rule, “Strengthening Wage Protections for the Temporary and Permanent Employment of Certain Aliens in the United States.” The IFR was published October 8, just days after the DOL announced its proposal of the rule. The rule raises the wages of H-1B workers by up to 40% (you can read more about the rule here). ITServe claims that both the reasoning behind the rule and the ...

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Texan Immigrants Rely on Courts, Election to Protect Their Status

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By: Rebecca Anderson For many immigrants across the country, the upcoming presidential election will determine a number of factors that affects their temporary status in the United States. And for those living in Texas, everything is bigger—including the stakes. According to the American Immigration Council, one in six Texas residents is an immigrant, while another one in six residents is a native-born U.S. citizen with at least one immigrant parent. Tens of thousands of immigrants hailing from El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti, fled from their native countries to the U.S. over three decades ago due to dangerous gangs, drug cartels, natural disasters, and civil wars. Many received legal permission to stay in the U.S. under a humanitarian program called Temporary ...

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How The DOL’s New Wage-Level Rule will Affect the Work Visa Program

Posted by: Park Evaluations

By: Rachel Horner The Department of Labor has issued an interim final rule just days after a judge in California blocked both USCIS’ fee hike and the Trump Administration’s ban on entry for those with work visas. The rule, titled “Strengthening Wage Protections for the Temporary and Permanent Employment of Certain Aliens in the United States,” will serve as an adjustment to the four-tier prevailing wage methodology used when applying for either an H-1B, H-1B1, or E-3 visa. In the Level 1 tier, the minimum salary paid to those on a work visa will shift from the 17th percentile of their occupation’s income to the 45th percentile. Following the same trend, Level 2 will be moved from ...

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