When Immigration Matters

The Possible Rescission of the H-4 Visa Rule

Posted by Karen-Lee Pollak on Tue, Jun 19, 2018 @ 7:00 AM

The Trump administration recently reconfirmed its intent to rescind the H-4 visa rule on employment authorization to certain spouses of H-1B visa holders.  Under a rule introduced by the Obama administration in 2015, the spouses of H-1B holders who are waiting for green cards are eligible to work in the United States on H-4 dependent visas.   The H1-B visa is a non-immigrant visa that permits companies in the United States to employ foreign workers in its specialty occupations. The visas are valid for three years and can be renewed for another three years.  The program is popular in the tech community and has its greatest impact on foreigners from South Asia. 

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Sessions’ Decision Leaves Thousands of U.S. Asylum Claims in Doubt

Posted by Karen-Lee Pollak on Mon, Jun 18, 2018 @ 6:17 PM

On June 11, 2018, Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered federal judges to stop granting asylum to the tens of thousands of applicants who claim to be fleeing their countries due to domestic abuse and gang violence. Sessions determined that refugee or asylum status should be limited only to those individuals who can establish that the persecution they are suffering in their country of origin is based on their membership in a “particular social group” with a “common immutable characteristic.”  Sessions asserted that, in the majority of cases, victims of domestic violence or gang related persecution did not constitute membership in such a group.  

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The History of DACA

Posted by Karen-Lee Pollak on Wed, Jun 06, 2018 @ 11:15 PM

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is an American immigration policy that allows some individuals who were brought to the United States illegally as children to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and become eligible for a work permit in the United States.  It is important to note that DACA provides temporary residency, it does not provide a path to citizenship for its recipients.  According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), you may request DACA if you:

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Have 1500 Children Gone Missing Because of Trump’s Immigration Policy?

Posted by Karen-Lee Pollak on Wed, May 30, 2018 @ 6:13 PM

Over the past week, the news has been flooded with horrifying allegations that Trump’s immigration policy has forced the separation of immigrant children from their parents at the border and that 1500 of these children have been “lost.” It is imperative that we acknowledge that these are really two different issues that have become conflated: (1) are 1500 children really missing; and (2) did Trump’s immigration policy cause these children to go missing?  Recent reports claim that the United States Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) has lost track of up to 1500 immigrant children and there have been allegations that these children were forcibly separated from their parents at the border. Outrage over the treatment of children taken into custody at the Southwest border has prompted people to flood social media with tweets and calls to action with the hashtags #Wherearethechildren and #MissingChildren.   But how accurate are these claims circulating online?  Is Trump’s new immigration policy the cause of these missing children?  What is really going on?

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MEMORIAL DAY: A Time to Reflect on This Great Nation and The Soldiers Who Made The Ultimate Sacrifice

Posted by Karen-Lee Pollak on Mon, May 28, 2018 @ 12:26 PM

Although Memorial Day has become associated with barbecues, beach trips, department store sales and the beginning of summer, it is actually a somber day of remembrance to honor the men and women who have died in service of our nation. It is a day to take pause from the busyness of our own lives and pay tribute to those who gave their lives to protect the freedoms that we currently enjoy.  It is a time to reflect on the wonderful privileges that we have been afforded by this country and the sacrifices that so many men and women have made to truly make America the greatest country in the world.

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Karen-Lee Pollak Quoted in TechHQ About H-1B Restrictions Motivating Tech Talent to Move to Canada

Posted by Karen-Lee Pollak on Thu, May 17, 2018 @ 11:46 AM

H-1B visas are becoming harder to get, forcing local businesses to set up shop in Canada - who has a more friendly program for tech and high skilled workers.

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Potential Changes to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program

Posted by Karen-Lee Pollak on Wed, May 16, 2018 @ 2:38 PM

In 1990, Congress created the EB-5 Program to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign entrepreneurs.  In 1992, Congress created the Immigrant Investor Program, also known as the Regional Center Program.  The USCIS determines whether a business is eligible for treatment as a Regional Center based on the business’proposal for the promotion of economic growth. Under these programs (“EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program”), foreign entrepreneurs (and their spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21) are eligible to apply for green cards if they: (1) make the necessary investment in a commercial enterprise in the United States ($1,000,000 for a basic business or $500,000 for a business located in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA), i.e., a rural area or area with high unemployment); and (2) plan to create or preserve at least ten full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers. 

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How to Build Credit as a US Immigrant

Posted by Karen-Lee Pollak on Tue, May 15, 2018 @ 10:30 AM

Coming to the United States as an immigrant presents a host of challenges that citizens born within the country simply don’t have to deal with. Unfortunately, many new immigrants find themselves behind the financial eight-ball because they either don’t understand the way credit works in the US, or they lack the ability to make regular payments on their debts. While it may seem like a daunting task to try and establish good credit from the ground up, it’s important to note that you can develop a healthy credit score with hard work and rational planning. Consider this your guide on how to build credit as a US immigrant:

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US Immigration Statistics: Ten Years of H-1B Trends

Posted by Karen-Lee Pollak on Mon, May 14, 2018 @ 10:30 AM

Last month, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) hit its pre-mandated annual H-1B visa “cap” five days after April 1 (the first day they began accepting H-1B visa applications). Nominally, the cap affords for USCIS to issue 65,000 H-1B visas every year –– with an additional 20,000 reserved for applicants with a Master’s degree. That’s 85,000 visas issued in total. Fairly straightforward, right? Well, not exactly. If you take the trouble to pour over certain US immigration statistics supplied by the USCIS itself, you'll find that not only does the number of H-1B visas given out per year exceed the cap of 85,000 –– but it does so by a significant total. So, to clear up the confusion around H-1B visas in the wake of the latest season, here’s an analysis of the past ten years of H-1B stats.

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USCIS Changes its Position on STEM OPT Eligibility at Off Site Client Locations

Posted by Karen-Lee Pollak on Sat, May 12, 2018 @ 10:38 AM

Without any formal announcement, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has recently updated its STEM OPT webpage to reflect a change in the agency’s interpretation of the 2016 STEM optional practical training rule for F-1 students.  The webpage now clearly states that the training experience must occur on site at the employer’s principal place of business or a location to which the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has authority to make visits. Its rationale is that ICE needs such access to ensure that the employer is satisfying the program’s training requirements. The USCIS states, “the [STEM OPT] training may not take place at the place of business or worksite of the employer’s clients because ICE would lack authority to visit such sites.”  For this same reason, distance or online training are prohibited, even if the employee makes periodic visits to the employer’s office. 

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