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    by , 05-20-2014 at 11:51 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    by Maria Schneider

    One of the largest blocks of applications for the H-1B cap is foreign students who are currently working on OPT (optional practical training). Students who are authorized to work on OPT will hold an employment authorization document (EAD) or card. The validity dates of the student’s work authorization under OPT will be printed on the face of the card.

    Students with work authorization under OPT whose H-1B has been chosen under the cap are eligible for cap-gap work authorization. The student should present the H-1B receipt notice to his/her international student office. The school will issue a new I-20 to the student extending his/her work authorization to October 1 when the H-1B will take effect.

    If the student’s H-1B has not been chosen under the cap, the student must stop working on the end date of his/her OPT authorization. The student then has the following options:

    1. If the employer participates in e-verify and the student’s degree is in a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) field, the student may qualify for an extension of their OPT.
    2. The student can change to a different immigration status, such as H4 or L2.
    3. The student can return to school to seek a new degree. The student should contact his/her school to have his/her SEVIS record updated or transferred to a new school.
    4. The student can depart the US and return to his/her home country.

    At the end of the OPT period, the student has a sixty day grace period during which the student is not authorized to work but is authorized to remain in the US to conclude his/her affairs and pursue one of the options above.

    Read the Musillo Unkenholt Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog at or You can also visit us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter
  2. Judge Rules to Limit Mandatory Detention of Immigrants in California

    by , 05-20-2014 at 10:26 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    From the ACLU of Northern California:

    For Immediate Release: May 16, 2014

    Media Contact: (415) 621-2493 (

    On Thursday May 15, United States District Court Judge for the Northern District of California, Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers granted a motion for a preliminary injunction and motion for class certification in Preap v. Holder, a class action lawsuit in which Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus and the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, with lead counsel Keker Van Nest, LLP, challenged the federal government’s practice in California of detaining certain immigrants without bond, often for many months, while they face deportation proceedings.

    By refusing these detainees bond hearings at which they can demonstrate their fitness for release because they are neither a flight risk nor a public safety risk, the government was effectively tearing immigrants away from their families, their communities, and their livelihoods and compromising their access to representation. Many immigrants caught in the mandatory detention dragnet are longtime residents of the United States who have rehabilitated themselves, raised families and they will now have the opportunity to make an individualized case against their detention.

    "This case has the power to stop the federal government’s outrageous process of holding people without bond. We are now one step closer to ensuring those who aspire to be citizens are treated fairly before the law," said lead counsel and Keker & Van Nest Partner Jon Streeter.

    “Fair process is at the core of our country’s system of justice. The Court rightly acknowledged that not even the government is above the law, and cannot deny bond hearings to individuals who are plainly entitled to them,” said Keker & Van Nest attorney Stacy Chen.

    “The decision places some necessary limits on the federal government’s expansive use of mandatory detention, a practice that has been devastating immigrant families for nearly two decades,” said Alison Pennington of Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus.

    “This is an important victory that pushes back against our inhumane and abusive immigration detention system,” said Julia Harumi Mass, Senior Staff Attorney with the ACLU of Northern California. “In addition to monitoring the compliance with this injunction, the ACLU will continue to seek reforms that respect our fundamental sense of fairness for immigration detainees.”
  3. Immigration Voices: Dr. No vs. the League of Extraordinary Aliens

    by , 05-19-2014 at 02:25 PM (Angelo Paparelli on Dysfunctional Government)
    May 18, 2014 [Blogger's note: An anonymous immigration lawyer offers this lament on the woeful quality of adjudications at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). For related wailing, see: “ 'I Hate [Bleep]ing Immigration Law’ — Whenever I Get an Unjust Request for Evidence,” “End the Tyranny of Immigration Insubordination,” and “Immigration Indifference – The Adjudicator’s Curse.”]

    Dear Immigration Colleagues:

    On my doctor’s advice, I am considering changing careers. Like perhaps many of you, helping clients overcome unreasoned decisions and ludicrous requests for evidence year in and year out has taken its toll on my blood pressure. The quality of adjudications by USCIS seems to be declining even further, unfortunately, and I figure now is the time to get out while I am still living.

    A string of recent O-1 RFEs [Requests for Evidence], and NOIDs [Notices of Intent to Deny] from the USCIS California Service Center reveal a new disturbing trend. The best and brightest, including the very STEM PhDs to whom the Senate and much of the House would essentially just give green cards, now find themselves in the crosshairs of the USCIS such that they are being prevented from even coming to work, or continuing to work, temporarily. We just recently received a Notice of Intent Deny, for example, for the fifth O-1 extension for the CEO and founder of a very successful U.S. technology company.

    Unfortunately, the example above is not a one-off training issue, despite what the USCIS brass might say when they read this piece ( I will be sending it to them). We have confirmed with other colleagues that O-1 petitions filed for top notch STEM PhDs, supported by voluminous awards, recommendations, patents, and publications are being stopped in their tracks, and told that such evidence does not show that they meet any of the O-1 criteria. Do these government officials know that these are the guys whom just about everybody in Congress agrees we should actually be encouraging to come here? Shouldn’t this general understanding of our policy inform officers’ discretion in these matters? Where is the disconnect between us, our duly elected officials, and the officers adjudicating these cases?

    Bureaucrats like the one who is intent on denying our client’s case can have a profoundly negative impact on peoples’ businesses and lives, not to mention the U.S. economy as a whole. Sometimes, this can be fixed. The impact on an attorney’s health year after year, however, may not be reversible. That is why I figure it is time leave. Of the many careers I have considered, I have thought about becoming a screenwriter of spy thrillers. Dealing in fiction, where no one actually gets hurt by rogue government officials, would seem to be a better way to live a longer, healthier life. Before I make the leap, I wanted to share with you my pitch for one screenplay idea. It is a sequel to one of the early James Bond thrillers, with a science fiction twist (Please be gentle in your criticism. My nerves are a bit weak these days).

    Here it is:

    Title: Dr. No vs. the League of Extraordinary Aliens

    Dr. No is back, and this time he is ready to do some real damage. He, and his evil “Culture of No” agents, have infiltrated the elite government sub-department responsible for bringing the “League of Extraordinary Aliens” to earth. Members of the League comes to us from far off planets like, Europater, and Asiater, and use their super powers to help solve Earth’s biggest problems, like economic stagnation, global warming, and low quality Hollywood entertainment.

    In reality, Dr. No has never left. He and his agents have operated their secret organization, SPECTRE [Society to Prevent Economic, Cultural and Technological Revitalization and Enhancement] from deep beneath a dark and ominous missile factory somewhere in Orange County. They have lurked in the shadows, sporadically attacking international business, and technological innovation to serve what could only be their ultimate goal: returning society to the Middle Ages. Now they are going all out. SPECTRE has managed to turn its weapons, the RFE explosive device and NOID blaster, on our last hope for progress, the League of Extraordinary Aliens. Even that most righteous protector of the League, Ombuds Man, is rendered powerless in the face of SPECTRE’s firepower. …

    That is as far as I have gotten with the screenplay. I still need help coming up with an ending, and am having a hard time imaging a happy one. I look forward to your ideas.

    This post originally appeared on The Nation of Immigrators on May 18th. Reprinted with permission.

    Updated 05-19-2014 at 04:45 PM by APaparelli

  4. Letters of the Week: May 19 - May 23

    Please email your letters to or post them directly as a comment below.
  5. How to locate direct clients in China for EB-5 Projects? By Greg Finkelson

    Potential clients can be found in every part of Mainland China. However, you need to know the major client sources so you don’t waste time and financial resources. The major clients for EB-5 projects in Mainland China are private business owners and top corporate executives. Managers and directors of state-owned enterprises may be effective client locators, because of their business relationships with the private sector. However, in this new information and social media age, the Internet can be an incredibly valuable resource. The beauty of the Internet is that the information is updated continually and often provides all you need to know.

    For instance, I googled “list of Chinese businesses.” My request returned 9,390,000 results in less than three seconds. I selected three sites from the first two pages (one of which would amaze you) list literally tens of thousands of businesses, some of which lead directly to the names of the key employees.

    Inevitably, any search for EB-5 clients will likely begin in the largest cities, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing and Jinan. However, don’t rule out the possibility of success in other regions and cities. There may be a greater concentration of high net-worth individuals in the big cities, but they are also the low-hanging fruit that most of your competition is trying to pick. Top operational executives are likely to be located closer to facilities that may be in rural areas. They have fewer people offering them any kinds of opportunities, so you may find a warmer welcome there.

    Some potential clients who may have a high level of interest are those with children studying at U.S. schools. Remember, the incentive for investing is to secure Green Cards for residency in the U.S. Some of these families would be highly motivated to invest in a project that would bring their family together in America.

    Another group likely to be highly motivated is people who want to send their children to school in America, but balk at the high tuition rates for foreign students. That doesn’t mean that they don’t have adequate funds; it just means that they would like to invest their funds more wisely. These prospects might like to make an EB-5 investment so that they can come to the U.S. and not only gain financially, but also use that gain to pay for their child’s tuition, which would also be lower because of their U.S. residency status.

    Another way to tap a large potential client base is to open an EB-5 office in Mainland China. An EB-5 developer in the U.S. can open an office in Mainland China, hire staff members who read and write fluent English and Mandarin, and advertise and promote from that office. Having a local office enhances the opportunity for finding clients by increasing the potential for networking through candidates you have already contacted. It is much easier for someone who sees your project as a unique opportunity to share it effectively with other family members, friends, and business associates, because he can send them or even bring them directly to your office. That’s a little more difficult when your only office is in the U.S.

    We can’t guarantee that these simple ideas will open doors for you, but at least we have pointed to some doors upon which you may knock.

    This is an extract from the book How to Find Chinese Investors, Agents & Clients for Your EB-5 Projects & Services: A Practical Guide for Regional Centers, Attorneys, Developers and Businessmen”

    More information:
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