Shihab Immigration News: October 2013

Shihab Immigration News: October 2013
Our purpose is to bring you the latest and most relevant immigration news. Immigration law is in constant flux, and laws are constantly being revised. Congress is about to change immigration in a drastic manner. Check out our Newsletter and Blog page to stay on the cutting edge of current immigration news.

Gus M. Shihab, Esq.
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93.pngWe are excited to launch this month's issue with a brand new format including several new contributors and features. Contact us if you need more information about the topics we cover or about any area of immigration law.

David P. Dentinger, Esq.
Staff Attorney
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Effects of Mergers and Reorganizations on Green Card Applications

86.jpgCompetition in the global market place, the recovering economy in the United States and the continued rise of emerging markets are giving rise to mergers, acquisitions and business restructuring at an increased pace. These types of transitions can often affect employment based applications for permanent resident status. It must be determined whether there will be a change in ownership of an employer, or whether the target employer will cease to be an employer. Successorship-in-interest is important because if the new company is determined to be the successor of the old company, many green card applications will not need to be re-started. 
Employees who are in the final stages of the green card process may be able to file what is called an AC-21 letter with the USCIS. If an employee has filed a green card application (Form I-485) that has been pending at the USCIS for over six months, and the employee will have a similar job and duties, the employee may be permitted to "port" an old green card application to a new employer. Read more here...
Contributed by Matthew M. Nierman, Esq.
Foreign Entrepreneurs: You May Have
Several Immigration Visa Pathways
Foreign entrepreneurs who are interested in coming to the United States to start up a business may have several immigration pathways to choose from. There is a wide range of visas available that allow for either temporary or permanent immigration visa status, which may be available depending upon the specific circumstances of each case. These are broken down into two major categories: nonimmigrant visas and immigrant visas. Nonimmigrant visas allow for temporary stay in the US, while immigrant visas allow for permanent residence and can lead to US citizenship after five years. Often, a foreign national can begin in a nonimmigrant visa category, and then later adjust status to an immigrant visa category.

Immigrant Visas:

If you are a foreign national and an entrepreneur interested in starting a business in the US utilizing any of the above immigration visa pathways, a competent and experienced immigration attorney can plan a strategy for you based on your specific circumstances and goals. 
Contributed by David P. Dentinger, Esq.
Good News for Those
Seeking Provisional Waivers

78.jpgAs of six weeks ago, the National Benefits Center (NBC) has suspended adjudication of Provisional Waivers where there is a "reason to believe" that the applicant is inadmissible for any reason other than unlawful presence. This is good news because adjudicators were denying all applications where the applicant had any type of criminal conviction, but all criminal convictions do not make someone inadmissible. Almost 50% of all denials were based on reason to believe. A new policy is in the works to ensure that Provisional Waiver petitions are given a fair review. Currently, the provisional waiver approval rate is at 59% and the NBC is hopeful that once the process is streamlined the approval rate will increase significantly.

The NBC also announced that the processing time for provisional waiver applications is between 90-103 days, a relatively quick turnaround. The provisional waiver process should proceed normally for those who have never been convicted of a crime and can show extreme hardship to a U.S. citizen spouse or parent.
Read more here...
Contributed by Barbara M. Fernandez, Esq.
Medical Exception to Language and Civics Requirements for Naturalization

88.jpgDo you believe that you are eligible for naturalization but are unable to complete the English and civics requirements due to a physical or developmental disability or mental impairment that has lasted, or is expected to last, 12 months or more? If yes, you may be eligible for a Medical Certification Exception. The Medical Exception should be filed with your application for naturalization.

Only medical doctors, doctors of osteopathy, and clinical psychologists licensed to practice in the United States, may certify the form. A disability or impairment that is the direct result of illegal drug use cannot be used to receive a medical exception. If you claim to be illiterate, the medical exception is only available if your illiteracy was caused by a medical or developmental disability or impairment.

Your doctor must complete the Medical Exemption very specifically in order for USCIS to accept the exception and grant you a waiver of the English and civics requirements. If you have any questions regarding the Medical Exemption, The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates has an experienced staff that would like to help you and your family members become United States citizens.

Contributed by Matthew D. Minor, Esq. 

The Fall of the House of Boehner:
Has Comprehensive Immigration Reform Been Buried Alive?

85.jpgAfter the Senate successfully passed the bipartisan Senate bill, S.744 in June, it seems the Republican-led House of Representatives via Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), has buried Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) alive, covering it with the ominous budgetary catastrophe and subsequent government shutdown. Cataleptically focusing on immigration reform, the House has passed five piecemeal bills since June:
  • The Agricultural Guestworker Act (the "AG Act");
  • The Strengthen and Fortify Enforcement Act (the "SAFE Act);
  • The Legal Workforce Act;
  • The Supplying Knowledge-based Immigrants and Lifting Levels of STEM Visa Act (the "SKILLS Act"); and
  • The Border Security Results Act of 2013.
In the spirit of October, the House Democrats announced the resurrection of CIR by introducing H.R. 15, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act.  H.R. 15 is modeled after S.744, trading the zealous Corker-Hoeven border-surge amendment for the more bipartisan Border Security Results Act of 2013. Read more here...

Contributed by Brittany S. Stenger, J.D. 

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