USCIS Recommends Termination of Haiti’s TPS Designation

Acting Director, James W. McCament, recently issued a memo to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recommending that the designation for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haiti be terminated. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has determined that the conditions in Haiti no longer support the TPS designation. Currently TPS for Haitians is extended through July 22, 2017. USCIS has recommended that the effective date of termination be delayed until January 22, 2018. This would provide all Haitians holding TPS an additional six (6) months to plan accordingly either through a visa or return to Haiti. There has not been any comment by the U.S. Department of State (USDOS) as of today.

To end Haiti’s TPS designation, DHS must make public notice in the Federal Register at least sixty (60) days in advance of the expiration date of the current designation. If a decision is not made by May 23, 2017, Haiti’s designation will be extended for a minimum of six (6) months.

Our office will continue to monitor this situation and provide any updates as soon as they become available. If you are on TPS status for Haiti, you should contact our office immediately to determine if you have any avenues of relief.

 

 

 

THE DIVERSITY VISA LOTTERY CLOSES MONDAY!

On Monday, November 7, 2016 at 12 pm EST the Diversity Visa Lottery will be closing for the fiscal year of 2018. Our office urges you to apply this weekend. This your last chance if you are not eligible for permanent residency through a family member or employment. Late entries or paper applications will not be accepted. DO NOT wait until last minute to submit the application as high demand may result in website delays. For more information, please review our original post.

Should you have any questions about the diversity visa process, contact Attorney Nicole Fink at Nicole@foleylawoffices.com.

The Diversity Lottery Closes in 24 Days! Apply Now!!

 

The 2018 Diversity Lottery will close on Monday, November 7th.  There are many scams out there who might try to charge you money to help you apply, promise to increase your chance of being picked or send you a message saying you won and ask for money. Remember, there is NO COST to register. You will need to submit an application electronically. (Late entries or paper applications will not be accepted). DO NOT wait until last minute to submit the application as high demand may result in website delays. For more information about the lottery and eligibility requirements, please review our previous posting.

It is important to note that individuals who currently hold a status that requires nonimmigrant intent (i.e. F-1, J-1, B-1/2) should contact an immigration attorney before submitting an application in order to assess any possible consequences to their current nonimmigrant status.

Should you have any questions about the diversity visa process, contact Attorney Nicole Fink at (617) 973-6448.

Update: EB-5 Regional Center Program Reauthorization

Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) introduced the American Job Creation and Investment Promotion Reform Act of 2016 to the House of Representatives on September 9, 2016. The proposed bill will implement new reforms and amend section 203(b)(5) of the Immigration and National Act. More importantly, this bill reauthorizes the EB-5 Regional Center Program. This is an immigration strategy a number of my clients have used to obtain Legal Resident/Green cards that lead to U.S. citizenship. Under this program, entrepreneurs are eligible to apply for Legal Resident/Green cards if they invest (currently $500K) in a commercial enterprise in the U.S. that creates ten (10) permanent full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers. The program is set to expire on September 30, 2016.

We are optimistic Congress will reauthorize the EB-5 Regional Center Program.

We will continue to monitor this proposed legislation and keep you updated on any developments.

DHS Proposes New Rule for International Entrepreneurs

On August 31, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposed a rule for International Entrepreneurs embracing investment in the United States by foreign investors. This rule would give DHS authority to grant discretionary parole to “entrepreneurs of start-up entities whose entry into the United States would provide a significant public benefit through the substantial and demonstrated potential for rapid business growth and job creation.”

While this proposed rule would not grant any immigration benefit, it does provide foreign investors and entrepreneurs authorized permission to stay in the U.S. to establish and grow a business for a period of two years (extendable up to five years). The typical candidate for this proposed rule is an entrepreneur of a start- up entity who has a qualified investment of at least $345,000 from one or more qualified investors or at least $100,000 through one or more qualified government awards or grants.

The proposed rule is currently undergoing a 45-day public comment period in the Federal Register.

Foley Law Offices will closely monitor this proposed rule and will keep you updated on any developments. If you have specific questions, please call Attorney Nicole Fink at (617) 973-6448.

Entrance Period for Diversity Visa Lottery 2017 Now Open!

visa-1000-ffccccccWhite-3333-0.20.3-1The State Department announced that is now accepting applications for the 2017 Diversity Visa program. Applicants may register online through October 1, 2015 to November 3, 2015. The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (DV Program) makes up to 50,000 immigrant visas available annually, drawn from random selection among all entries to individuals who are from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.

Application Process

All entries must be submitted electronically on the Electronic Diversity Visa website at www.dvlottery.state.gov during the specified registration period. There is no cost to register for the DV Program. The law allows only one entry by or for each person during each registration period. The Department of State uses sophisticated technology to detect multiple entries and you will be disqualified for submitting more than one entry.

After you submit a complete entry, the website will take you to a confirmation screen. Print this confirmation screen for your records. It is extremely important that you retain your confirmation number, as it is the only way you can check whether or not you have been selected.

The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program requires the principal DV applicant to have a high school education, or its equivalent, or two years of qualifying work experience as defined under provisions of U.S. law.

Selection of Applicants

Each year, the Department of State conducts a random selection of DV applicants from all registered entries. On or about May 5, information on the Entrant Status Check on the Diversity Visa website is updated to inform all entrants if their online registration was selected or not. You will need to enter your confirmation number, which you obtained when you filled out your entry form, to check your entry status.

*Note: Entrant Status Check is the only means by which selectees are notified of their selection.

For questions regarding the Diversity Visa Program, eligibility and the application process, email our team of experiened attorneys at attorney@foleylawoffices.com.

Further information may be found at the U.S. Department of State’s website.

Boehner Talks Immigration Reform in Ireland

Boehner & Kenny Photo by: Photocall Ireland

Boehner & Kenny Photo by: Photocall Ireland

House Speaker Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) traveled to Ireland last week to meet with Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, for talks about US-Ireland links. They discussed the Irish economic recovery, immigration reform including the plight of the undocumented Irish in the US, and the situation in the North. While many republicans have argued against moving forward with immigration reform, Boehner has expressed an interest in taking up the highly controversial issue.

During his travels, Mr. Boehner addressed an audience in Dublin and spoke of his commitment to immigration reform. Mr. Boehner discussed the many stories told to him by Taoiseach Enda Kenny, describing how America’s broken immigration system has forced Irish immigrants to attend funerals by phone. Although Mr. Boehner expressed his determination to overcome resistance to immigration reform, his Office noted that Boehner never pinned immigration reform as a top priority for this trip to Ireland.

During remarks made after the US-Irish talks, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr. Flanagan described it as a valuable exchange of ideas, and noted the long and successful history of cooperation between Ireland and the US on international issues. Flanagan reaffirmed the Irish Government’s commitment to work closely with the Speaker as part of its active engagement on both sides of the aisle in Congress.

Seven other members of Congress accompanied Mr. Boehner on his visit to Ireland, just days ahead of Independence Day. The U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, Kevin O’Malley, was also in attendance. Mr. Kenny praised the ambassador for his work in “building the links” between Ireland and the United States.

Foley Law Offices takes immigration reform issues seriously. Many of our clients come from Irish descent and have felt the repercussions of the failure to fix our immigration policies. If you have questions or concerns about your immigration situation, please call Foley Law Offices at (617) 973-6448 and speak with an immigration attorney today.

Mark Zuckerberg Donates $5 Million to a Fund for Undocumented Immigrants

Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, gave money to the “I’m In” campaign launched by TheDream.us, a national scholarship fund for undocumented immigrants. The fund targets an immigration policy started by President O’Bama that exempts the undocumented children of immigrants from removal and allows them to work. This program is known as DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

According to Zuckerberg’s Facebook page, he believes the funds are an important step in educating “marginalized youth” in America. He writes “America was founded as a nation of immigrants. We ought to welcome smart and hardworking young people from every nation, and to help everyone in our society achieve their full potential.” His donation will go to more than 400 undocumented immigrants in the San Francisco Bay area over the next five years.

Photo: Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg attend Breakthrough Prize Awards Ceremony, November 9, 2014.

Photo: Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg attend Breakthrough
Prize Awards Ceremony, November 9, 2014.

This is not Zuckerberg’s first incursion into this area of law. He joined a number of other leading technology CEO’s two years ago to form a public interest group to create awareness for legal immigration and increase a path to citizenship.

The “I’m In” campaign kicked off three weeks ago with two $15 millon donations and has raised $35 million to date.

Foley Law Offices is a proud supporter of all initiatives to increase awareness for immigrants. If you have questions or concerns about your immigration situation, call Foley Law Offices at (617) 973-6448 and speak with an immigration attorney today.

By: Rachel DeCapita, Legal Aide, Foley Law Offices

Technological Issues Causing Worldwide Delays in U.S. Visa System

visa-1000-ffccccccWhite-3333-0.20.3-1While technology has helped modernize and streamline the world of immigration over the past decade, the latest system crash announced by the U.S. Department of State (“DOS”) is proving to be a significant problem. All clients, in particular those with international travel plans, should be aware that the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs is experiencing technical issues with their visa systems. This issue is not specific to any particular country, citizenship, or visa category, and is affecting travelers worldwide.

The agency has attributed the technological glitches to a hardware failure with its Consular Consolidated Database that occurred on June 9th. The Consular Consolidated Database is the system used to administer passport and visa programs throughout U.S. consular posts. There is no evidence that the problem is cyber security-related.

Passports

With regards to passports, those applications accepted overseas on or after May 26, 2015, were affected but the agency states that overseas passports are now being issued. Any applicants that applied for a U.S. passport between May 26 and June 14, 2015 and have travel plans within the next 10 business days are urged to request an emergency passport at the U.S. embassy or consulate at which he or she originally applied. Emergency passport issuance operations have continued uninterrupted.

Visas

With regards to visas, those applicants who either submitted applications or were interviewed on or after June 9 may experience a delay in the processing of their visas. The system failure impeded the ability of consular posts to perform required national security checks prior to visa issuance, therefore, making visa printing temporarily unavailable. As a result, a backlog of visas awaiting processing is growing each day.

Foley Law Offices

The DOS released the announcment just a week after another error was reporting with its online DS-260 portals. Please be advised that applicants seeking to obtain a visa at a U.S Consulate or Embassy abroad can expect consular delays of at least a week or more.

Our primary attorney, John Foley, is attending the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) National Conference in Washington D.C. this week, where the disruptions are a main topic of concern amongst immigration professionals. Our office is working with our clients currently awaiting visa issuance abroad to ensure their safety and provide updates as they become available. If you are have immediate travel plans, are currently abroad or are experiencing issues with your passport or visa, please call Foley Law Offices immediately at (617) 973-6448. We will do everything in our power to ensure our clients, and their information, are protected and secure.

The National Visa Center (NVC) issued the following FAQ regarding the system failure:

Q: What caused this outage? Was it a malicious action or hack?

  • There is no evidence the problem is cyber-security related.

Q: How long before you restore full system functionality?

  • Public and private sector experts are working around the clock to correct the visa problem, but we do not expect the system will be online before next week.
  • Overseas and domestic passports are being issued.

Q: How many travelers are affected by this outage?

  • Most posts were able to handle visa interviews and some visa printing as usual through the end of last week. This week, many posts have had to reschedule visa appointments. We handle an average 50,000 applications daily worldwide. Many applicants do not have immediate travel plans and will receive visas in time for planned trips. We are prioritizing urgent medical and other humanitarian cases as well as H2A agricultural workers.

Q: Once operational, how will cases be prioritized?

  • We are already prioritizing urgent humanitarian cases and temporary agricultural workers. Once the systems are fully operational, we will work as quickly as possible to clear the backlog of pending visa cases.
  • We apologize to travelers and recognize that this has caused hardship to some individuals waiting for visas.

Q: What about domestic passports?

  • Domestic passport operations are functioning, with some intermittent processing delays. While some of these issues have affected same-day service at our passport agencies, we continue to issue passports to U.S. citizens with urgent overseas travel needs.

To learn more, please visit the NVC: www.natlawreview.com/article/dos-announces-system-failures-causing-passportvisa-delays-worldwide

Justices Deny Bail to Illegal Immigrants

135235Bail-Denied[1]-1000-ffccccccWhite-3333-0.20.3-1The Supreme Court made a final decision on an Arizona case based on a constitutional amendment that denied bail to all illegal immigrants with serious felonies on Monday, June 1, 2015. The Justices refused to consider an appeal based on a 2006 decision, which stipulated that bail for illegal immigrants would not be done on a case-by-case consideration as previously decided in a 1984 case.

In 1984, Congress passed a law allowing pre-trial detention for illegal immigrants to be determined on a “case-by-case” basis and required detention only for defendants who are dangerous to the community. As the field evolved in 2003, the Supreme Court ruled that illegal immigrants subject to deportation pose a flight risk and thus, can be jailed pending trial. Simply put, if the chance of deportation was great, the chance of standing trial could be low and vice versa. In 2006, when the question was presented to the 9th circuit, they reversed the 1984 decision and denied the case-by-case determination previously set by Congress. The court reasoned that a “case-by-case” determination was a “scatter-shot attempt” to address flight risks.

In the recent 2015 decision, the Supreme Court aborted the opportunity to reconsider the 2006 decision based on a 78% approval rating by Arizona Citizens. The citizens stated that “if the proof is evident or the presumption great that the person is guilty of the offense charged” then pre-trial release should not be granted. Three Justices were on board to review the case, Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia, but were outnumbered. Justice Thomas wrote, “Our indifference to cases such as this one will only embolden the lower courts to reject state laws on questionable constitutional grounds.” In turn, the state courts will show deference to the federal court systems when it comes to questionable constitutional grounds, making the process more uniform and linear.

Concurrently, twenty-two states deny bail to a defendant (illegal immigrant) who is charged with a capital offense. Six states deny bail to a defendant whose offense brings life sentences, and three states (Arizona, Missouri, and Alabama) deny bail solely based on immigration status.

Foley Law Offices is closely following all areas of immigration as the field evolves. If you have questions or concerns about your immigration situation, call Foley Law Offices at (617) 973-6448 and speak with an immigration attorney today.

Original Article visa USA Today:http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/06/01/supreme-court-arizona-immigration/27792057/