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  1. JANUARY 2015 VISA BULLETIN

    by , 12-10-2014 at 08:51 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)

    by Chris Musillo


    The Department of State has just released the January 2015 Visa Bulletin. This is the fourth Visa Bulletin of the 2015 US Fiscal Year, which began October 1, 2014.

    The Philippines EB-3 yet has again had a substantial progression. It is now at June 2013, which is a progression of six more months. It remains consistent with the All Other (ROW) EB-3 date and the Mexican EB-3 date.

    India EB-2 remained stuck at February 2005. The India EB-2 date retrogressed by four years recently and it does not appear that any meaningful progression is imminent. India EB-3 continued to move ahead at a snail's pace. It is December 2003.

    The Chinese EB-2 and EB-3 number continued to move inconsistently. China EB-3 remains ahead of China EB-2 which has been the case for much of the last two years.



    Employment- Based All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed CHINA - mainland born INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
    1st C C C C C
    2nd C 01FEB10 15FEB05 C C
    3rd 01JUN13 01MAR11 15DEC03 01JUN13 01JUN13



    Read the Musillo Unkenholt Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog at www.musillo.com or www.ilw.com. You can also visit us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. US-Israel E-2 Visa Agreement Finally Taking Effect By Lauren A. Cohen, Esq.

    Despite an ongoing “visa crisis,” (see below) the US and Israel have taken the final step before finalizing Israel as a participant in the E-2 Non-Immigrant Investor Visa program, designed to allow foreign nationals to invest in the US economy, and vice versa, through reciprocal treaties of commerce. The E-2 Visa will allow Israeli citizens, along with any essential employees and family, to live and work in the US so they can oversee their investments.

    In 2012, President Obama signed legislation that would add Israel to the list of countries eligible for E-2 nonimmigrant investor visas to the United States. However, the law’s implementation was on hold for over two years because Israel had not yet ratified the Treaty. The visa program can only take effect once both countries agree to all terms and conditions.[1]

    Over 2 years after the U.S. government approved the legislation, in what has been described as a “sudden turnaround,” the Israeli Knesset finally approved the visa legislation on August 13, 2014. According to Interior Minister Gideon Sa'ar, “The investor visa approval is expected to contribute to Israel's economy and create jobs for the citizens of Israel in the future.” He added that the agreement will open “new avenues for investment in the joint Israeli-American economy." In addition to granting investor visas, the E-2 program also allows citizens of Israel and the United States to make joint investments.[2]

    The Knesset’s decision to grant reciprocal visas to American investors in Israel took place amidst an ongoing “visa crisis,” which played out over the course of 2014. In February, 2014, State Department visa figures revealed that many Israelis were being barred from entering the US, including investors, as well as tourists[3] and Israeli defense officials.[4] Following accusations that the US was rejecting Israeli visa applications for political reasons, the US Secretary of State John Kerry launched an internal review on April 13th, 2014 to look into these claims. An initial investigation found that the rejection rate of visa applications for young Israeli tourists had indeed doubled, from 16% in 2009 to 32% in 2014.[5] These findings are part of a rising trend of Israeli visa rejections that has taken place over several years.[6]

    The high rate of Israeli visa rejections has profound implications, as it caused Israel to lose its place on the "white list," the list of countries whose citizens can visit the US without a visa. Only nations with a visa rejection rate of less than 3% are allowed on the list.[7]

    Following these initial revelations, US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro announced that the State Department would “take immediate steps to increase the number of young Israelis that can travel to the US according to our immigration laws.” He also assured Israel that it “is one of the US's closest allies” and that the US welcomes “all networking between Israelis and Americans, including visits to the United States."[8]

    Though the State Department’s investigation is not yet complete, the United States’ recent re-commitment to improving relations with Israel by increasing the number of visas granted to Israeli nationals may explain the Knesset’s sudden turnaround this past August. In addition, Israel needed time to iron out some details of the legislation and how it would be implemented, particularly because Israeli immigration law did not have a visa category that parallels the US’s E-2 visa. Moreover, historically, Israeli immigration law has not granted visas to an investor’s accompanying spouse as does the E-2’s Employment Authorization Document (EAD).[9] There are additional politically-driven concerns on the Israeli side which temper the resistance. However, notwithstanding the reason for Israel’s turnaround, ratifying the US-Israel bilateral E-2 visa will no doubt encourage economic growth in both countries and strengthen their political relations.

    To find out about professional, credible and comprehensive Visa Business Plans, as well as a variety of ancillary services, all of which are designed to specifically address USCIS’s concerns, contact e-Council Inc.com at info@ecouncilinc.com.


    e-Council Inc.com’s website, newsletter and other forms of communication contain general information about legal matters. The information is not legal advice, and should not be treated as such. You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your attorney or other professional legal services provider. If you have any specific questions about any legal matter you should consult your attorney or other professional legal services provider.


    [1] http://israel.usembassy.gov/consular/niv/evisas.html


    [2] http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Ne...2#.VFBKkfnF-So


    [3] http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Ne...3#.VFEYv_nF-So


    [4] http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Ne...0#.VFEZ7_nF-So


    [5] http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Ne...4#.VFERffnF-So


    [6] http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Ne...8#.VFEaoPnF-So


    [7] http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Ne...8#.VFEaoPnF-So


    [8] http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Ne...4#.VFEckfnF-So


    [9] http://geygan.net/update-on-the-e-2-...eli-nationals/

    Updated 12-09-2014 at 03:19 PM by EB-5Blog

  3. Letters of the Week: Dec 8 - Dec 12

    Please email your letters to editor@ilw.com or post them directly as a comment below.

    Updated 12-15-2014 at 10:45 AM by IDBlog

  4. Additional Data needed from VWP entrants By Rohit Turkhud

    Just a few days ago, on November 3, 2014, Department of Homeland, Secretary Jeh Johnson released a statement relating to additional security enhancements to the Visa Waiver Program.

    “For Immediate Release

    DHS Press Office

    Contact: 202-282-8010

    Effective today, those seeking to travel to the United States from countries in our Visa Waiver Program (VWP) will be required to provide additional data fields of information in the travel application submitted via the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). The new information sought includes additional passport data, contact information, and other potential names or aliases. We are taking this step to enhance the security of the Visa Waiver Program, to learn more about travelers from countries from whom we do not require a visa. We are also confident these changes will not hinder lawful trade and travel between our Nation and our trusted foreign allies in the Visa Waiver Program.”

    The above statement can be viewed at: http://www.dhs.gov/news/2014/11/03/s...waiver-program

    About The Author


    Rohit Turkhud has been specializing in the practice of the US Immigration & Nationality Laws since 1985. For the first 9 years of his career his practiced focused on asylum and removal cases. Since 1994 he has been specializing in employment based and family based matters. From 1994 to 2001 Rohit served in senior executive positions at IT companies and headed their legal and international recruiting divisions. He was an integral part of setting up an IT company's UK operations and travelled extensively to the UK in the discharge of those responsibilities. From June 2004 to September 2012 he was a partner at the Law Offices of Cyrus S. Nallaseth PLLC, and at Nallaseth & Turkhud PLLC. He continues to focus on employment based immigration matters. Rohit has joined FLG, as a partner, in the pursuit of excellence and expansion. Rohit seeks to contribute to the international growth of FLG and help ensure that we always provide the quality of services and attention to customer satisfaction that has catapulted FLG to the top of law firms specializing in the field of immigration laws. He is proud to be a member of a team that reaches from Miami to San Francisco and from New York to Denver, with Michigan being the heart of the network. He has authored a frequent immigration law column for India Today's North American edition. He is a guest speaker on business immigration issues, specially relating to H-1B and the new PERM rules and regulations. He has authored an article in the second edition of the authoritative "THE PERM BOOK". On the second and fourth Tuesday of each month, Rohit hosts a prime time LIVE immigration show on Jus Punjabi, a national cable network channel. Mr. Turkhud is fluent in the Hindi, Gujarati and Marathi languages.

    Updated 12-08-2014 at 01:19 PM by ITImmigrationBlog

  5. Answering Direct Questions By Matt Gordon

    In the USCIS engagement EB-5 stakeholder’s meeting on December 5, 2014, the general partner of a non-Regional Center sponsored direct EB-5 investment assisted living facility project asked for clarification and relief regarding the potential effects of retrogression on investors in direct projects. The questioner noted that investors in direct projects have heighted participation requirements compared to those investing in regional centers. This understanding of the ‘Active Management Requirement’ is actually a common myth circulating around the EB-5 community, which has no basis in the law.

    Unfortunately, USCIS did not affirmatively answer the question, but rather said they would consider addressing it when they issue their retrogression policy guidance later this year. To not keep the EB-5 community waiting, I’ll use this opportunity to review the rules in detail and hopefully dispel these common misunderstanding.

    In short, if the entity into which the investments are made are structured as a limited partnership, the code of federal regulations provides a clear pathway for how investors can satisfy the ‘Active Management Requirement’. Under 8 CFR §204.6 (j)(5) requires, as initial evidence to accompany the I-526 Petition in the context of a limited partnership, that the petitioner:

    “(5) To show that the petitioner is or will be engaged in the management of the new commercial enterprise, either through the exercise of day-to-day managerial control or through policy formulation, as opposed to maintaining a purely passive role in regard to the investment, the petition must be accompanied by:

    (iii) If the new enterprise is a partnership, either limited or general, evidence that the petitioner is engaged in either direct management or policy making activities. For purposes of this section, if the petitioner is a limited partner and the limited partnership agreement provides the petitioner with certain rights, powers, and duties normally granted to limited partners under the Uniform Limited Partnership Act, the petitioner will be considered sufficiently engaged in the management of the new commercial enterprise.”

    According to the Adjudicator’s Field Manual (Quoted language below found at http://www.uscis.gov/iframe/ilink/do...-0-0-8263.html):

    “While an alien may seek EB-5 qualification on the basis of an investment in a limited partnership, under current regulations, even he or she, as a limited partner, must have a certain level of involvement in the running of the business.

    Under 8 CFR 204.6(j)(5)(iii) , if the alien is a limited partner, he or she must have been granted all (i.e., not simply some) of the rights, powers, and duties granted to the other limited partners in the partnership in order to be considered sufficiently engaged in the business.” [emphasis added]

    Accordingly, if in the partnership every limited partner is afforded the identical rights of every other limited partner, the requirements, as interpreted by the Adjudicator’s Field Manual, are satisfied. In addition, if the partnership is structured in compliance with subsection (iii) cited, whereby it provides the Employment-Based Immigrant with the “rights, powers and duties normally afforded to limited partners under the Uniform Limited Partnership Act” (“ULPA”), then the petitioner has satisfied the management participation requirements. (Full text of the Uniform Limited Partnership Act (2001) available at http://www.uniformlaws.org/shared/do...al_2001rev.pdf.

    The language in the CFR is somewhat odd in that the uniform act does not specifically deal with limited partner management rights. (See http://www.uniformlaws.org/Legislati...tnership%20Act.) Accordingly, what is ‘normal’ is a matter of context. Normally, as a matter of state’s law, a limited partner is granted active management duties, the limited partner would lose their limited liability status as a limited partner. Limited partners are generally afforded the ability to control the partnership in the case of extreme situations, such as liquidation or material adverse event in the business affairs of the partnership in question. So if the limited partnership agreement would provide the limited partner investors the right to replace the general partner (and take control of the partnership) in the case of a proposed liquidation of the partnership or some other materially adverse event (potentially including the failure to create sufficient jobs to support the investors’ I-829 petitions), then the investors would be afforded the rights, powers and duties normally afforded and they should be deemed in satisfaction of the ‘Active Management Requirement of 8 CFR §204.6 (j)(5).

    © 2014 Matthew Gordon
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