A blog about U.S. immigration matters by Paul Szeto, a former INS attorney and an experienced immigration attorney and counsel. Contact Info: 732-632-9888, http://www.1visa1.com/ (All information is not legal advice and is subject to change without prior notice.)

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

DHS Proposes to Remove International Entrepeneur Rule

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is proposing to block foreign entrepreneurs from coming to the U.S. on parole status to create start-up businesses.  On May 29, 2018, DHS published a formal proposal to cancel the International Entrepreneur Rule (IE rule) created in 2017. 

The IE rule was originally formulated during the Obama administration. Its purpose is to encourage international entrepreneurs to start their businesses in the United States. It confers a temporary parole period of 2.5 years during which foreign investors may create and operate start-up businesses in the U.S.  The period can be extended for another 2.5 years if certain conditions are met. The purpose of the IE rule is to provide an opportunity for these new businesses to grow so that they may provide benefits to the public. 

Now, the DHS is proposing to completely remove the IE rule. It cites reasons of lacking protection for domestic shareholders and too broad an interpretation of "parole". In its proposal to scrape the IE rule, DHS also cites other other visa categories under which international entrepreneurs may apply to bring their start-up to America. 

E-2, EB-2 and EB-5 visas are possible alternatives to the IE rule but are not framed as favorably for entrepreneurs. Each of these visas have specific requirements.  The E-2 visa is only available if a trading treaty exists between the U.S. and the foreigner's nation. The EB-2 immigrant visa has strict eligibility requirements based on education, skills, and achievement.  Further, the EB-2 immigrant visa requires sponsorship by a U.S. employer unless a "national interest waver" is obtained. The adjudication standards for such a waiver are quite high. The other issue with EB-2 is that there is a huge backlog of applicants from certain countries. Larger countries with many applicants like China and India are subject to long waiting times. Entrepreneurs taking this route would therefore face much larger competition and longer waiting times.

The employment-based fifth preference visa is actually intended for entrepreneurs, granting them and their families permanent residence if certain requirements are met.  The EB-5 requirements are investing in domestic business and creating jobs for American workers. The main difference between EB-5 and the IE rule is that the former requires the foreigner to put up with a large sum of investment capital while the latter may receive investment capital form U.S. investors. The EB-5 visa application process is also long and complicated.

The public has 30 days to provide comments to the proposal.  DHS has received thus far 13 IE applications and has not yet approved any application.  These applications may be rejected or denied on the effective date of the new rule or may be granted an opportunity to establish that the applicants are eligible for parole under the traditional parole rule, i.e., for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefits. 

July 2018 Visa Bulletin: EB-3 China Retrogressed 2.5 years!

In July, the headline news is the major retrogression of EB-3 China by 2.5 years to 01/01/2013, while EB-2 China has moved forward by 4 months.

India's EB-2 cutoff date moves forward by 3 months while EB-3 and EB-4 advance 6 months. Mexico's EB-4 has moved back 8.5 months.

Family F-1 categories have also advanced. Cutoff dates for India and China have moved forward 2 months. Mexico has moved forward 1.5 months. The Philippines date moved forward 4.5 months. F-2A for all countries has advanced 70 days to 12/01/2017. China and India's F-2B dates move forward by 4 months to 1/8/2012. The Philippines has it's F-2B final action cutoff date moves forward by 3.5 months while Mexico has it moved forward only 1 month.

The changes can be observed in the tables below:

AD: Dates for Final Action (Approval)   FD : Dates for Filing Applications Only
      Family
Other Countries
      China
India
Mexico
Philippines
F1
AD
04/22/2011
04/22/2011
04/22/2011
08/01/1997
06/01/2006
FD
03/08/2012
03/08/2012
03/08/2012
09/01/1998
02/15/2008
F2A
AD
06/22/2016
06/22/2016
06/22/2016
06/08/2016
06/22/2016
FD
12/01/2017
12/01/2017
12/01/2017
12/01/2017
12/01/2017
F2B
AD
08/15/2011
08/15/2011
08/15/2011
03/08/1997
02/01/2007
FD
01/08/2012
01/08/2012
01/08/2012
06/08/1997
12/15/2007
F3
AD
05/01/2006
05/01/2006
05/01/2006
12/01/1995
04/15/1995
FD
09/22/2006
09/22/2006
09/22/2006
10/08/1998
08/01/1995
F4
AD
11/15/2004
11/15/2004
03/22/2004
01/15/1998
03/22/1995
FD
05/01/2005
05/01/2005
01/01/2005
06/01/1998
12/01/1995

1st: Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Citizens (about 23,000 per year).
2A: The 2 "A" preference is for Spouses and Children (under 21 & unmarried) of LPR's.
2B: The 2 "B" Preference is for Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 or older) of LPR's.
3rd: Married Sons and Daughters of Citizens (about 23,000 per year)
4th: Brothers and Sisters of Adult Citizens.(about 65,000 per year)



Employement
Other Countries
China
El Salvador
Guatemala
Honduras
India
Mexico
Philippines
EB1

AD

C
      01/01/2012

C
          01/01/2012

C

C
FD
C
C
C
C
C
C
EB2
AD
 C
01/01/2015
C
  03/15/2009
C
C
FD
C
04/01/2015
C
05/22/2009
C
C
EB3
AD
C
01/01/2013
C
11/01/2008
C
01/01/2017
FD
C
01/01/2016
C
05/01/2009
C
07/01/2017
Other Workers
AD
C
05/01/2007
        C
11/01/2008
C
01/01/2017
FD
C
06/01/2008
C
05/01/2009
C
07/01/2017
EB4
AD
C
C
02/08/2016
C
02/08/2016
C
FD
C
C
05/01/2016
C
C
C
EB5
AD
C
08/01/2014
C
C
C
C
FD
C
10/01/2014
C
C
C
C

1st: Priority Workers (Extraordinary ability aliens, multinational companies executives/managers, outstanding prof./researchers)
2nd: Members of the Professions Holding Advanced Degrees or Persons of Exceptional Ability.
3rd: Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Other Workers (Unskilled.)
4th: "Special Immigrants" (Religious & others) 
5th: Employment Creation (Investors)

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

18 months extension for conditional green card holders

Starting June 11, 2018, conditional  residents who file Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, or Form I-829, Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status, will receive an 18-month extension of their green card.   

The extension is granted by the Form I-797 receipt notice issued by USCIS.   Previously extensions were granted for only 12 months.  The longer extension period is to accommodate the longer processing time for the Form I-751 and I-829 petitions. 




The current policy is to grant only that can be presented with their Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card, as evidence of continued status for 18 months past the expiration date on their Permanent Resident Card.



Additionally, we will issue new Form I-797 receipt notices to eligible conditional permanent residents whose Form I-751 or I-829 was still pending as of June 11, 2018. Those Form I-797 receipt notices will also serve as evidence of continued status for 18 months past the expiration date on petitioner’s Permanent Resident Card.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

June 2018 Visa Bulletin























In June's Visa Bulletin, a cut-off date of August 1, 2014 has been imposed for EB-5 Vietnam. EB-5 China advances half month to August 1, 2014. There is no other notable movement for June's Visa Bulletin. For Chinese born applicants, "downgrading" from EB-2 to EB-3 is still a way for them to speed up their immigration process. 


AD: Dates for Final Action (Approval)  FD : Dates for Filing Applications
      Family
Other Countries
      China
India
Mexico
Philippines
F1
AD
04/08/2011
04/08/2011
04/08/2011
06/01/1997
03/22/2006
FD
01/08/2012
01/08/2012
01/08/2012
07/15/1998
10/08/2007
F2A
AD
06/08/2016
06/08/2016
06/08/2016
05/22/2016
06/08/2016
FD
09/22/2017
09/22/2017
09/22/2017
09/22/2017
09/22/2017
F2B
AD
06/22/2011
06/22/2011
06/22/2011
02/15/1997
01/15/2007
FD
09/08/2011
09/08/2011
09/08/2011
05/22/1997
09/08/2007
F3
AD
03/15/2006
03/15/2006
03/15/2006
10/01/1995
04/08/1995
FD
09/08/2006
09/08/2006
09/08/2006
09/22/1998
07/22/1995
F4
AD
10/22/2004
10/22/2004
03/15/2004
01/08/1998
02/22/1995
FD
04/01/2005
04/01/2005
12/01/2004
05/08/1998
10/15/1995
1st: Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Citizens (about 23,000 per year).
2A: The 2 "A" preference is for Spouses and Children (under 21 & unmarried) of LPR's.
2B: The 2 "B" Preference is for Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 or older) of LPR's.
3rd: Married Sons and Daughters of Citizens (about 23,000 per year)
4th: Brothers and Sisters of Adult Citizens.(about 65,000 per year)


Employment
Other Countries
China
El Salvador
Guatemala
Honduras
India
Mexico
Philippines
EB1
AD
C
  01/01/2012
C
  01/01/2012
C
C
FD
C
C
C
C
C
C
EB2
AD
 C
09/01/2014
C
  12/26/2008
C
C
FD
C
02/01/2015
C
04/01/2009
C
C
EB3
AD
C
06/01/2015
C
05/01/2008
C
01/01/2017
FD
C
01/01/2016
C
09/01/2008
C
07/01/2017
Other Workers
AD
C
05/01/2007
C
05/01/2008
C
01/01/2017
FD
C
06/01/2008
C
09/01/2008
C
07/01/2017
EB4
AD
C
C
12/15/2015
C
10/22/2016
C
FD
C
C
04/15/2016
C
C
C
EB5
AD
C
08/01/2014
C
C
C
C
FD
C
09/01/2014
C
C
C
C

1st: Priority Workers (Extraordinary ability aliens, multinational companies executives/managers, outstanding prof./researchers)
2nd: Members of the Professions Holding Advanced Degrees or Persons of Exceptional Ability.
3rd: Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Other Workers (Unskilled.)
4th: "Special Immigrants" (Religious & others) 
5th: Employment Creation (Investors)