SHUSTERMAN'S IMMIGRATION UPDATE
JANUARY 2013

Volume Eighteen, Number One

Top Immigration AttorneySHUSTERMAN’S IMMIGRATION UPDATE is the Web’s most popular e-mail newsletter regarding U.S. immigration laws and procedures with over 60,000 subscribers located in more than 150 countries. It is written by a former INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) with over 30 years of experience practicing immigration law.

Published by the Law Offices of Carl Shusterman, 600 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 1550, Los Angeles, California, 90017. Phone: (213) 623-4592 x0.

Subscribe to our  E-Mail Newsletter, join the conversation on our Immigration Facebook Page, follow our Blog Posts and subscribe to our “How-To” Immigration Videos.

 

“Very professional law firm. We had a difficult issue and Mr. Shusterman’s office got right onto the case and resolved the issue with USCIS. Because of their efforts, me and my family were able to get our Legal Permanent Residency card. My suggestion to those trying to obtain employment based card. Don’t look for money saving attorney. They will cost you lot more in long run. Go to a law firm which is professional and knowledgeable. It pays in the long term.” (More client reviews…)

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

 

1. Let’s Reform Our Legal Immigration System
2. Status of the CSPA Decision in DeOsorio v. Napolitano
3. Shusterman’s Immigration Law Seminars
4. The PERM Process for Roving Employees
5. Success Story: Registered Nurse Upgrades from EB-3 to EB-2
6. Immigration Trivia Quiz: Famous Immigrant Conductors
7. State Department Visa Bulletin for January 2013
8. Immigration Government Processing Times
9. Ask Mr. Shusterman: Do I Qualify for an E-2 Investor Visa?
10. Winner of Our November 2012 Trivia Quiz!

 

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NEWS FLASHES:

 

  • Best Lawyers in America - For the 15th year in a row, I am honored to have been chosen by my fellow lawyers around the country as one of the Best Lawyers in America. Thanks to all of my colleagues for their vote of confidence!

 

 

  • Deportations Break Record in 2012 - New numbers released by ICE show an increase in deportations by about 12,000 cases, breaking last year’s record.

 

  • EB-5 Adjudications to Move to D.C. - On December 3, USCIS Director Mayorkas stated that EB-5 responsibilities will be moved to a new Program Office in Washington D.C. within four to six months.

 

  • E-Verify Employee Rights Toolkit - The USCIS has released an E-Verify Employee Rights Toolkit. This resource includes information not only for employees, but also for employers and advocates.

 

  • E-Verify Employers Search Tool - The USCIS has upgraded their web-based employers search tool allowing the public to view the list of employers and federal contractors participating in the E-Verify program by name and location.

 

  • E-Verify Mandatory in Four More States - On January 1, 2013, E-Verify became mandatory in the following states: Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee.

 

  • I-9 Audits on the Rise - ICE audits of employer I-9 forms has increased from around 250 in 2007 to over 3,000 in 2012. The total amount of fines and the number of company managers arrested have also increased.

 

 

  • Immigration “How-To” Videos – Our 35+ “How-To” Immigration Videos have been viewed well over 350,000 times. Subjects include how to obtain a green card, become a U.S. citizen, win your case in immigration court and select an immigration attorney. Our video Green Cards through Marriage  has been viewed over 140,000 times. We encourage you to take advantage of this free resource.

 

  • It’s the Economy, Stupid! – Veteran immigration reporter, Pilar Marrero, has published a new book entitled, “Killing the American Dream” discussing the repercussions of an increasing anti-immigrant attitude in the U.S. and stressing that immigration reform is an economic necessity.

 

  • New Immigration Subcommittee Chair – South Carolina Representative Trey Gowdy (R), an immigration hawk, has been named the new Chairman of the House’s Immigration Subcommittee. Pro-immigration groups fear this could make passing immigration reform more difficult, particularly regarding providing undocumented youth a path to citizenship.

 

 

 

 

  • US Mission in India Expands Interview Waiver Program - The U.S. Embassy and Consulates in India have expanded the Interview Waiver Program. They will now consider issuing an H-1B or L-1 visa without a personal interview as long as a prior visa was issued within the past 48 months and there has been no subsequent change since the visa was issued.

 

 

  • USCIS Releases “Straight from the Source” for November - The USCIS has published the November 2012 edition of Straight from the Source which contains information about temporary immigration relief for victims of hurricane Sandy, information regarding the agency’s expanded e-Request Service and the new I-140 form.

 

  • USCIS to Implement New Immigrant Fee - Beginning February 1, 2013, the USCIS will collect a new fee of $165 from foreign nationals applying for green cards abroad. Applicants can pay online through the USCIS website after receiving their visa package from the State Department and before coming to the U.S.

 

1. Let’s Reform Our Legal Immigration System

 

Only 14% of one million persons who qualify for permanent residence each year in the United States immigrate under the employment-based (EB) categories.  Most of the rest receive their green cards by being sponsored by relatives, winning the annual visa lottery or being granted asylum.  And even this overstates the percentage of persons who immigrate based on their job skills since EB immigration includes not just individuals with needed job skills but also their spouses and children.  The real percentage is more like 8%.

Yet, foreign-born persons hold over 25% of the patents in the U.S. and are job-creators at a time when the unemployment rate remains unacceptably high.  They have created Google, Intel, Yahoo and a host of high-technology companies.

Hundreds of thousands of foreign-born scientists and computer professionals have received their education from top universities in the U.S. only to have to return home because our immigration system makes it difficult for them to stay in the U.S.

Did I say difficult?  A more accurate word would be torturous.  A foreign-born professional whose job requires a minimum of a Bachelors degree is sponsored by his U.S. employer.  The employer must first demonstrate to the U.S. Department of Labor that the professional is receiving the prevailing wage and is not displacing a U.S. worker.  After that, the employer submits a petition to the USCIS and the worker gets in line for a green card.

And how long must he stand in line?  Compare: Someone who wins the visa lottery and may have no valuable skills waits less than one year.  A person who marries a U.S. citizen, whether he has any job skills at all, waits between 4 and 6 months.  But an employer-sponsored professional with a Bachelor’s degree must wait a minimum of 6 years.  And if he was born in China or India, the wait is much longer.  Why is that?  Because there are outmoded per-country quotas which serve to dramatically increase the waiting times.

A recent study estimates that an Indian professional in the EB-3 category would have to wait 70 years to receive permanent residence in the U.S.  This is the very definition of a dysfunctional system!

I hope that as Congress considers Comprehensive Immigration Reform over the next few weeks and months, the plight of companies and professionals who are being penalized by following our nonsensical immigration laws is not ignored.  If our country is to continue to lead the world in the sciences and high technology, let’s not educate the best and the brightest, and then send them back to their countries to compete with us.

 

2. Status of the CSPA Decision in DeOsorio v. Napolitano

 

On September 26, 2012, an en banc panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled, in DeOsorio v. Napolitano, that the “automatic conversion” clause of the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) gives credit to sons and daughters of permanent residents who have “aged-out” for the time that they stood in line with their parents under the family-based third and fourth preference categories. Consequently, as long as they remain unmarried, they are permitted to retain their original priority dates and automatically convert to the family-based 2B category.

 

Since this is a nationwide class action lawsuit, we have received hundreds of messages from people around the country asking when parents can take action to reunite with their sons and daughters under this decision.

 

The government had 90 days from the date of the decision to seek review from the Supreme Court. In this case, the government asked and received a 30 day extension, until January 25, 2013, to seek Supreme Court review. If the government files a Petition for a Writ of Certiori with the Supreme Court, we will oppose it. If the government declines to do so, we will answer questions in our next newsletter about what immigrant families who have been divided by the government’s restrictive interpretation of the CSPA need to do to reunite with their loved ones.

 

Procedurally, a Petition for a Writ of Certiori needs to be printed in booklet format and 40 copies must be filed with the Supreme Court. If four of the nine Justices on the Supreme Court vote to grant the petition, the Court schedules dates for the filing of briefs and oral arguments. If not, the decision of the lower court becomes final.

 

I have been reading books about and by the Justices of the Supreme Court, listening to oral arguments online and reading related law review articles.

 

I find it interesting, even astonishing, that the government continues to argue that Congress, in drafting the CSPA, intended that sons and daughters of permanent residents be given no credit for the years that they stood in line with their parents waiting for their priority dates to become current. Instead, the government insists that, no matter how long they already waited in line, these sons and daughters must go to the back of the 2B line, even though this means a 115-year wait for Mexicans and a 28-year wait for Filipinos. Thus, as a practical matter, the great majority of these sons and daughters will never be reunited with their parents in the U.S.

 

Is this really what Congress meant when it passed the CSPA?

 

If existing immigration laws and regulations are relevant, the answer is a resounding no.

 

When one examines the pre-existing regulatory scheme cited by the Board of Immigration Appeals in Matter of Wang, it becomes clear that beneficiaries of visa petitions have always been given credit for the time that they stood in line, even when the line in which they spent years waiting was not the same line in which they ultimately received their green cards.

 

Consider the regulation at 8 C.F.R. 204.2(i) which allows persons to change from one family-based category to another. Let’s say that a permanent resident parent submits a visa petition for an unmarried adult daughter under the 2B preference category. Later, when the parent naturalizes, the daughter automatically converts to the 1st preference category. She does not have to go to the back of the line. She retains her original 2B priority date under the 1st preference category. If she later marries, she converts to the 3rd preference category, and she retains her original priority date as do her husband and any children that they may have together. Under the government’s logic, isn’t she jumping ahead of others? And certainly, her husband and children who never waited a single day in the 2B or 1st preference line are cutting in ahead of others in the 3rd preference line. However, under this regulation, the unity of her family trumps the interests of others who may have been waiting far longer in the 3rd preference line.

 

The same is true under another regulation cited by the Board of Immigration Appeals in Wang: 8 C.F.R. 204.2(a)(4). This regulation allows a permanent resident to petition her spouse and children under the 2A category. If a child ages-out, he converts to the 2B category. Must he go to the end of the line in order not to displace others who have been waiting in the 2B line far longer than he has? The answer is no. The regulation allows him full credit for the time that he spent waiting in the 2A line together with his parent.

 

And it’s not just the regulations cited in Matter of Wang which give credit to persons who have waited for green cards in lines different from the one in which they ultimately obtain permanent residence. The same rule applies in the INS/USCIS employment-based regulations, and in statutes as old as the Western Hemisphere Savings Clause which was enacted in 1976. Categories may change, but the oldest priority date is always retained.

 

Furthermore, it is instructive to look at another section of the CSPA to see what Congress intended regarding the retention of priority dates. In Section 6, the “opt-out” provision, persons who have converted from the 2B to the 1st preference category are allowed to return to the 2B category even though their petitioning parent has already naturalized. Are they required to go to the back of the line in order not to displace others in the 2B category? Not at all. They are given full credit for the time that they have waited in line, even if it was in another line.

 

Given this overwhelming evidence based on both CSPA as well as other immigration statutes and regulations, why does the government ignore all of this and insist that only in the case of section 203(h)(3) are sons and daughters compelled to go to the back of the line? Certainly, if the government believes that their view is the correct one, one has to wonder why they failed to seek Supreme Court review when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, in interpreting section 203(h)(3), rejected their arguments in Khalid v. Holder over a year before DeOsorio.

 

Clearly, DeOsorio v. Napolitano does not merit Supreme Court review.

 

3. Shusterman’s Upcoming Immigration Law Seminars

 

  • Channel Islands Public Management Association
    Human Resources Forum
    Wedgewood Banquet Center & Golf Course
    Oxnard, California
    January 16, 2013
    Topic: “Employer Compliance with I-9 Requirements”

 

  • Professionals in Human Resources Association
    Legal Update
    Crowne Plaza Garden Grove
    Garden Grove, California
    January 22, 2013
    Topic: “What Employers Need to Know about US Immigration Laws”

 

  • Professionals in Human Resources Association
    Legal Update
    Sheraton Four Points LAX
    Los Angeles, California
    January 24, 2013
    Topic: “What Employers Need to Know about US Immigration Laws”

 

  • Professionals in Human Resources Association
    Legal Update
    Ontario Hilton
    Ontario, California
    January 29, 2013
    Topic: “What Employers Need to Know about US Immigration Laws”

 

  • Professionals in Human Resources Association
    Legal Update
    Agua Caliente Hotel
    Rancho Mirage, California
    January 30, 2013
    Topic: “What Employers Need to Know about US Immigration Laws”

 

  • Professionals in Human Resources Association
    Legal Update
    Marriott Burbank
    Burbank, California
    January 31, 2013
    Topic: “What Employers Need to Know about US Immigration Laws”

 

  • Federal Bar Association
    Immigration Law Seminar
    University of Memphis Law School
    Memphis, Tennessee
    May 17-18, 2013
    Topic 1: “The Child Status Protection Act”
    Topic 2: “Immigration for Physicians”

 

  • American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)
    Annual Conference
    Hilton San Francisco Union Square
    San Francisco, California
    June 29, 2013
    Topic: “Informational Marketing Techniques to Start and Growth Your Practice”

 

4. The PERM Process for Roving Employees

 

Generally, before the USCIS grants permanent resident status based upon employment, the employer must first prepare and submit a PERM application to the U.S. Department of Labor. This process entails testing the job market to demonstrate that there are no minimally qualified U.S. workers willing to accept the position and that the employment of the foreign-born workers will not negatively affect the wages and working conditions of similarly-employed U.S. workers.

 

This process can be particularly complicated for “roving employees”, persons who may be assigned to work at several different locations.

 

The regulations are unclear as to how an employer is supposed to sufficiently test the job market for roving employees since the job market varies from region to region.  However, there are some common steps we recommend that employers follow.

 

Before submitting a PERM application, an employer must place two Sunday ads in a local newspaper where the job opening is. The employer must also place a job order with the appropriate State Workforce Agency (SWA) for 30 days.

 

It should be noted that if the job requires work experience and an advanced degree, the employer may place an ad in a professional journal rather than in a Sunday paper.

 

Employers must post a notice of the job opportunity at the location of employment for 10 consecutive business days or provide such notice to a certified collective bargaining unit representative, if any, at the location of intended employment. The notice must be published in any and all in-house media (electronic or in-print) in accordance with the normal procedures used for the recruitment of other similar positions.

 

Additionally, if the job opening is for a professional occupation, the employer must make further recruitment efforts and advertise the opening through 3 of the following 10 venues:

 

  1. Job fairs;
  2. Employer’s website;
  3. Job search website other than the employer’s;
  4. On-campus recruiting;
  5. Trade or professional organizations;
  6. Private employment firms;
  7. Employee referral program with incentives;
  8. Campus placement offices;
  9. Local and ethnic newspapers; and
  10. Radio and television advertising.

 

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has indicated that for Schedule A labor certification applications, if an employer does not know at which site the employee will be working, it must post a notice at each location. The DOL has also stated that for Schedule A applications for which an employee works for a staffing agency and may be assigned to various locations, the prevailing wage determination (PWD) can be issued for the area where the agency’s headquarters are.

 

Many attorneys have taken this practice a step further and applied this guidance to non-Schedule A applications, suggesting that an employer can file a PERM for a roving employee after obtaining a PWD and conducting a recruitment campaign in the area of the company’s headquarters, as long as it posts a notice at each possible work site.

 

The risk in this strategy is best illustrated by a situation in which a company located in a rural area has a roving employee who works as a software developer in Los Angeles or New York. The prevailing wages could be much higher in these cities and the number of people seeking employment in that occupation might be greater than in the area where the company’s headquarters are located.

 

We recommend a more conservative strategy regarding the employer’s duty to demonstrate that no U.S. worker is qualified and willing to accept the job and that the employment of the foreign-born workers will have no negative impact on the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers in similar occupations. It is better for the employer to obtain a PWD and test the job market for each possible work-site location and the headquarters by printing ads and placing a 30-day job posting with the SWA.

 

It should be noted that the job for which the employer is seeking PERM certification is the job that the foreign-born worker will fill at the time she is granted lawful permanent resident status. If the employer is submitting a PERM application for a roving employee, but it intends to employ her at the company’s headquarters once she receives her green card, then the employer may file a PERM application after getting a PWD and test the job market for the area where the company is headquartered since this is where she will be working on a permanent basis.

 

5. Success Story: Registered Nurse Upgrades from EB-3 to EB-2

 

Of late, the path to U.S. immigration seems like a congested freeway. Some people trying to obtain permanent residence through employment under the EB-3 category have been waiting for over 5 years, hoping that their priority date will become current so that they can get a green card sometime in the near future.

 

Shelly, a registered nurse from the Philippines, was in this unfortunate situation and came to our office desperately seeking to get out of the EB-3 congestion. Her previous attorney had filed for a green card under Schedule A Group I for nurses under the EB-3 category and her I-140 Immigration Petition was already approved with a priority date of 2009.

 

The Department of Labor (DOL) has recognized that there is a shortage of nurses and physical therapists, and that it would not be appropriate to force employers to spend time, effort and expense testing the labor market for these occupations where the unavailability of such workers is evident. Therefore, these “pre–certified” occupations are exempted from the PERM process under Schedule A Group I.

 

Even though she already had an approved I-140 petition, Shelly could not work since her priority date was not current. She wisely continued to go to school in the U.S. in order to maintain her status. She obtained a Master’s degree and a license qualifying her as an Advanced Practice Nurse. Once continuing to go to school was no longer an option, she checked with her attorney to see if her advanced degree would make her eligible to get a green card under the EB-2 category where there was no backlog.

 

Her attorney informed her that if it was an EB-2 position for which she was applying, she could not benefit from the Schedule A pre-certification. Therefore, her employer would have to submit a PERM application. This would force the employer to spend more time and money testing the U.S. labor market by advertising for the job opening in Sunday newspapers, job search websites and so forth.

 

It was at this point that Shelly came to our office for a second opinion. We reviewed her file and, after speaking with her employer, determined that they had a job for her as an Advanced Practice Nurse which required a Master’s degree and a license to prescribe medication. However, they informed us that they were not in a position to spend additional money and time on the recruitment process.

 

We advised the employer that they would not have to undergo the time-consuming PERM process since we could file her Schedule A, Group I case under the EB-2 category.

 

Shelley’s employer, along with many practitioners, had been under the impression that they could only file a case under the EB-3 category in order take advantage of filing a nurse petition under the Schedule A Group 1 category. However, this is incorrect since the regulations do not make any distinctions between EB-2 and EB-3 professional nurses. Both are eligible under the Schedule A, Group 1 category.

 

We started working on Shelley’s case, which involved getting a prevailing wage determination, completing the 10-day posting requirement, and (after the necessary waiting period of 30 days) submitting her I-140 immigrant petition under premium processing along with an adjustment of status application. Within 10 days, Shelley’s I-140 petition got approved and within 3 months she received a welcome notice from the USCIS congratulating her on becoming a legal permanent resident!

 

6. Immigration Trivia Quiz: Famous Immigrant Conductors

 

This month’s Immigration Trivia Quiz is entitled:

Making Music: Famous Immigrant Conductors

The first person to correctly answer our quiz (and supply their biographical information) wins a free legal consultation with Mr. Shusterman before the end of January.

 

7. Visa Bulletin for January 2013

 

The Visa Bulletin for January 2013 contains few surprises.

The worldwide Family Categories advance slowly, from 1 week in the 4th preference category (brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens) to 4 weeks in the 2A category (spouses and children of permanent residents).  The 4th preference category for Mexico fails to advance at all while the biggest gainer is the 1st preference (unmarried adult sons and daughters of U.S. citizens) for the Philippines which moves forward by 10 weeks.

In the worldwide Employment Categories, the 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th preference categories all remain current.  The countries with the largest backlogs are China and India.  EB-2 for China advances 6 weeks while EB-2 for India once again fails to move forward.  The worldwide EB-3 category moves forward 5 weeks, EB-3 China 11 weeks, EB-3 India 1 week and EB-3 Philippines fails to advance.

The charts below tell the story in more detail:

 

FAMILY CATEGORIES

 

Categories Worldwide China (PRC) Mexico Philippines
1st 12-22-05 12-22-05 07-08-93 12-22-97
2A 09-22-10 09-22-10 09-01-10 09-22-10
2B 12-08-04 12-08-04 11-22-92 04-15-02
3rd 06-22-02 06-22-02 03-08-93 08-08-92
4th 04-08-01 04-08-01 07-22-96 04-15-89

 

 

EMPLOYMENT CATEGORIES

 

Categories Worldwide China (PRC) India Mexico Philippines
1st Current Current Current Current Current
2nd Current 12-08-07 9-01-04 Current Current
3rd 02-01-07 09-22-06 11-08-02 02-01-07 08-15-06
Unskilled 02-01-07 07-01-03 11-08-02 02-01-07 08-15-06
4th Current Current Current Current Current
Religious Current Current Current Current Current
5th Current Current Current Current Current

 

See the entire visa bulletin including information about the movement of the green card lottery numbers.

 

8. Immigration Government Processing Times

 

* Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

 

The Immigration Service (USCIS) lists its processing times for immigration petitions and applications on their website. Most immigration applications and petitions must be submitted to one of the following USCIS Service Centers: (1) Laguna Niguel, California; (2) Lincoln, Nebraska; (3) Mesquite, Texas; and (4) St. Albans, Vermont and (5) the National Benefits Center in Missouri.

 

These service centers periodically issue lists of their processing times for various types of petitions and applications. We link to the latest list issued by each service center.

 

Warning: Processing times may appear faster on the official lists than they are in reality.

 

To see how fast (or slow) your service center or local USCIS office is processing a particular type of petition or application, see Government Processing Times Page.

 

Administrative appeals of most types of petitions and waivers denied by the USCIS are adjudicated by the agency’s Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) in Washington, DC.

 

We link to the AAO’s most recent published processing times.

 

* Department of Labor

 

The Labor Department’s website contains a tab entitled “PERM Processing Times”. This enables you to see how long it is taking the Labor Department to complete its final review of standard PERM applications, audited cases, standard appeals and appeals where there are government errors.

 

* Department of State

 

The State Department’s website contains a “Visa Wait List” page, which permits readers to choose a particular U.S. consular post and learn how long it takes the post to process various types of temporary, nonimmigrant visas.

 

9. Ask Mr. Shusterman: Do I Qualify for an E-2 Investor Visa?

 

For businessmen and women, the E-2 visa is one of the most utilized nonimmigrant visas. The E-2 visa is available for nationals of 80 countries with which the U.S. maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation. The person must be coming to the U.S. to develop and direct the operations of an enterprise in which he has invested, or is in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital.

 

In order to obtain an E-2 visa, the foreign national must be coming to the U.S. solely to develop and direct the enterprise and to create jobs for U.S. workers, not just to be self-employed.

 

The following requirements must be met:

 

First, the investor must have the necessary funds in his control and must demonstrate that he received these funds by legitimate means. Moreover, the funds must be irrevocably committed to the business enterprise. Mere intent to invest or just having a big enough bank account to indicate the availability of funds is not good enough. In order to prove irrevocability, you can provide documentary evidence such as:

 

  • proof of company set up (incorporation, etc.),
  • proof of leasing premises,
  • asset-purchase agreements, and
  • equipment purchase agreements.

 

Second, the investor should make a “substantial” investment in the planned business. While there is no set dollar amount, each U.S. consular post abroad may apply an informal minimum investment threshold. During their evaluation, the consulates will look at the amount of the qualifying funds invested, meaning either the cost of the established business or, if the business is a start-up, the cost of establishing such a business.

 

In practice, anything less than $100,000 will be subject to a strict scrutiny although this doesn’t mean that anything over $100,000 is guaranteed an approval. The purpose of the substantiality requirement is to ensure that the business is not speculative and that, soon enough, it will be successful.

 

Third, the investor must demonstrate that the funds invested in the business enterprise are “at risk”. This means that if, for any reason, the enterprise fails, the investor would be losing his own money, not just the funds of third-party investors. Therefore, any funds which are secured against the assets of the enterprise are disregarded for the purpose of measuring substantiality. While the investor can not qualify for an E-2 visa by securing a loan against the assets of the business, he can do so through a loan secured by his personal assets.

 

Finally, the investment cannot be in a “marginal” enterprise. A marginal enterprise is one which is only able to generate more than enough income to provide a minimal living for the treaty investor and his family. You must show that your business will create jobs for U.S. workers. We suggest you provide a 5-year business plan along with the application package.

 

Unlike H and L visas, foreign entrepreneurs can directly seek an E-2 visa from the U.S. consulates in their country without having to file a petition with the USCIS. If the foreign national is already in the U.S. under some other status, he may seek a change of status to E-2. However, generally investors go abroad and obtain an E-2 visa. The duration of the initial E-2 visa is 2 years. E-2 status can be extended for as long as the business continues to operate. Another important advantage of an E-2 visa is that the dependent spouse is entitled to receive employment authorization and may work in any occupation for any employer.

 

It should be noted that noninvestors may also qualify for E-2 status. They must be the same nationality as the E-2 investor and be employed in a capacity which is executive, managerial or highly specialized.

 

10. Winner of our November 2012 Immigration Trivia Quiz!

 

November’s Immigration Trivia Quiz was entitled: Venezuelans in the World Series. Below is the message that we received from the winner:

 

“Hello,

My name is Eder and I was born in Caracas, Venezuela.  As any Venezuelan kid, I grew up playing and following Baseball.

Currently, I am living in Sarasota, Florida. I have a mechanical engineering degree and work in IT. I enjoy all sports and follow a few.

I have been a subscriber for about a year and I use it to keep up to date on new laws that can help my wife receive her citizenship.  My wife is from Mexico and we have a 20 month old baby, who can already throw a baseball with either hand.

I hope to win. Here are my answers:

Picture 1: Marco Scutaro born in San Felipe.

Picture 2: Anibal Sanchez born in Maracay.

Picture 3: Miguel Canrera born in Maracay.

Picture 4: Pablo Sandoval born in Puerto Cabello.

Regards,

Eder.”

 

Congratulations Eder!

 

Carl Shusterman

Certified Specialist in Immigration Law, State Bar of California

Former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) Attorney (1976-82)

Served as Member of AILA Board of Governors (1988-97)

Law Offices of Carl Shusterman, 600 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1550

Los Angeles, CA 90017, Phone: (213) 623-4592 x0, Fax: (213) 623-3720

 

“This issue (immigration) has been around far too long… A comprehensive approach is long overdue, and I’m confident that the president, myself, others can find the common ground to take care of this issue once and for all.”

 

- John Boehner

Speaker of the House

 

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January 1, 2013

 

Disclaimer: This newsletter is not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship. All information contained in this newsletter is generalized. Any reliance on information contained herein is taken at your own risk.