Beware of Unauthorized Immigration Law Services

The process of obtaining residency in the U.S is quite complicated. And still, immigrants go through many other problems more than the denial of grant.  Either you are seeking a permanent or temporary residency in the U.S; you need the service of a Columbus immigrant attorney to ensure you have an easy process.

Immigrants face a lot of challenges. Getting residency is one of them. Other problems include getting used to the new weather if you are from a far place. Then there might be a language barrier, making it difficult to communicate your intentions with everyone. In short, there are a lot of differences from a foreigner’s homeland and the differences in civic traditions. These have pushed many immigrants to fall victim of unscrupulous personalities who is lurking around to prey on them. Some might even claim to be a Columbus immigration attorney and they usually promise to offer legal and immigration assistance to people.

You must avoid these people like a disaster waiting to happen. You need to protect your money and personal details which are usually their target. You need to meet the right people rather than meeting this bunch of people who want to milk you and waste your time.

To avoid falling victim, this post is dedicated to the warning signs and red flags you should look for. And if you want to completely avoid mistakes, see a Columbus immigration attorney. You don’t know who to trust with legal assistance? There are signs you need to run away from some people, and you will read about them.

Practice of law

Under the practice of law, a qualified and licensed lawyer gives you all the professional services she has in her capacity. These include providing legal advice, preparing legal documents for her client, and representing her client in court during proceedings. If you meet a Columbus immigration attorney, her professional services are related to the immigration process and issues.

At times, the service of agents who represent a person in a situation looks similar to the service of a lawyer. In such professions such as banking and real estate, the service of an agent overlaps that of a lawyer, but must not be confused with it.

What is ‘unauthorized practice of law?’

In each state of the U.S, there is a legal requirement set for everyone who wants to practice as a lawyer. The process looks like this: the lawyer must have completed law school, been successful in the bar exam, and collected a license to practice from the attorney-licensing organization of her state. It is illegal to practice as a lawyer without successfully passing through all the three (not one) of the stages. This is called ‘unauthorized practice of law.’

The Supreme Court in Ohio has the capability, jurisdiction to identify when a person is practicing illegally, i.e., when a person is guilty of ‘unauthorized practice of law.’ On this Supreme Court’s website, immigrants can see the two cases illustrated to show the danger involved in being a victim of such practice.

In the year 2012, a man from Sierra Leone wants to become a citizen of the U.S. so he asked for the assistance of a company in Columbus named Immigration Associates, LLC.  The company promised to assist in every way possible for a certain fee which was paid. All the owners of the organization aren’t lawyers. In the end, the filing on behalf of the man were riddled with lots and lots of errors.

Also in 2014, there was a woman caught distributing business cards, telling people around the Cincinnati area that she was an immigration lawyer. She also claimed she has contacts with high- level government officials who could help her victim become a citizen. It was discovered that she wasn’t a lawyer and never was one. The Supreme Court in Ohio simply levied heavy fines on her.

How to avoid and report any case of unauthorized practice of law

Anyone can predict the reason why some immigrants trust such deceitful people calling themselves a Columbus immigration attorney. Usually, the false organization or lawyer seems to be interested in fighting for the rights of immigrant and things become too convincing when the false personalities understand the local language of the immigrant. They totally look legitimate to unsuspecting clients.

If you don’t want to fall for their trap, you should call the local bar association. They are located in the nearest city or town to you. Call and ask for names of qualified and real immigration lawyers.

Alternatively, to find out if the immigration lawyer is truly licensed to practice, you can check the name of such lawyer on the website managed by the Supreme Court in Ohio.  Those who are licensed are on the list on this website. Check it and find your lawyer’s name. If his/her name is not on the list, it means the person should not be practicing law in Ohio.

In case, you have contacted the wrong person before finding out, you can file a case of grievances on the website. The instruction for the process of filing such grievances is available in the following languages: Russian, English, Spanish, French, Somali, Chinese and Arabic.

What happens to the false-lawyer when caught?

Although it will be better to not fall a victim of these people, you want to know what will become of them. It is a crime to act or perform the duties of a licensed Columbus immigration attorney when you are not. The punishment of such type of crime is dependent on the state which it happens. The punishment for the crime in New York might be different from Ohio. The state will either treat the case as a felony or a misdemeanour. As you can see in one of the examples above, the Supreme Court heavily fined the false female lawyer. Depending on the states, the charges for a felony or misdemeanour varies.

Ensure your lawyer has experience

It is important that your Columbus immigration attorney has some or a lot of experience. If she does, your immigration process will be a lot easier and you are likely to succeed in your attempt. So be careful when you are making a choice.

 

,

What To Know About Bringing Your Fiancée

Separation from loved ones is painful. It could be the main reason you want to consult a Columbus immigration attorney. You have lived with them for some time and you feel that distance will affect the relationship negatively. If you have a chance, you will like to stay with them. Or more preferably, you will like to move them with you wherever you go.

If you are moving to America, you will have to go through some process. The process is quite complex, involving you to know some information and meet some criteria. A Columbus immigration attorney will help you in moving your loved ones to America. Ordinarily, if you are calling your kids to come over, the process is complicated. When it comes to moving your fiancé, it could be more complicated.

Have you heard about K1 visas? Do you know the work of The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)?

What to do?

The U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) gives a citizen of the country and their fiancés to file for a K1 visa. According to the terms, the fiancé and the U.S citizen must meet a minimum of once between the two years of filing proceedings. When the fiancé finally arrives, the two must arrange their marriage between ninety days or else they risk the k1 visa becoming invalid. In fact, a Columbus immigration attorney will advise you to prepare for the marriage beforehand to ease the process. The USCIS loves seeing people, especially lovers, planning ahead. Secondly, you will meet the deadline of 90 days before it slips away too fast.

After marriage, the wife or husband who comes from another country using the visa will need to change her status by seeking an adjustment of status. When this is done successfully, the two will live comfortably and lawfully as American permanent residents. Perhaps the fiancé from another country has children. The young ones can seek K2 visas if they are under or older than 21.

To see things as a flow, these are the steps to follow in bringing your fiancé to the U.S.

  • The sponsor in the U.S, through the USCIS, will file a form called the Form I-129F, it is known as the petition for alien fiancé. The process will start at the other country where the fiancé will have an interview with a U.S consulate.
  • When visiting the U.S consulate for an interview, the fiancé must come with important documents which include examination records, a passport, police certificates, a photograph, Form DS-160, and medical exam records, any form of proof to show that the person and her U.S sponsor (fiancé) are in a relationship.
  • Visa will be issued
  • The fiancé will travel to the united states
  • Within 90 days of arrival, they must marry legally
  • Apply for resident status, travel authorization and employment

Other things to know

If the fiancé who works in the United States only has a green and doesn’t have a passport, it is another case entirely. This means the U.S sponsor is not a citizen yet and he will need to apply for that if he or she wants. With the green card, it means he is a permanent resident of the country. S/he can apply for his or her fiancé to become a permanent resident too. But the quota is a bit complicated. It will be a very long process without a Columbus immigration attorney.

Perhaps, you have finally been offered permanent residency as a fiancé of the person in the U.S, you are allowed to come in and get married. Once you are in, you will apply for a non-immigrant visa for you to be able to stay for about five years. 

Also, some of the questions that will be asked during the interview at the USCIS will include financial requirements. This will come in the form of ‘can you support your spouse if s/he is given visa. S/he will be expected to show financial proof if she claims yes. This is not an attempt to make things difficult. Instead, it is an attempt to foster support between the two. The US immigration law as established in 1996, says that all people who are applying for a green card for the purpose of marriage should meet certain financial requirements. This requirement is that they should show that their income is at least 125% of the guidelines, federal poverty. To read more about this, you should see the USCIS website.

While in the U.S and waiting for a green card, you can only work if you have some documents. One of such documents is the permanent residency. Ensure you apply for work authorization when you are applying so as to fast track the process of approval.

However, if you want to work, you are married to a permanent resident in the U.S, and you aren’t qualified for the green card for the moment, you will need a non-immigrant status. Make it clear that you want work authorization.

Why you don’t need to be scared, worried or confused?

One of the items that would be required at an early stage is proof to show that the two people involved are partners and they actually know each other. When applying for the k1 visa, the consulate and the U.S consulate officer and USCIS will scrutinize the two partners. This is to verify the aim of getting married to a U.S sponsor. The same scrutiny applies after the K1 application is successful and the fiancé from another country is seeking the resident status. The U.S consulate officer and USCIS may deny approval. If this happens, you should consult a Columbus immigration attorney. The attorney is in the best position to help in many ways to make things easy for you.

For example, the Columbus immigration attorney might show you where you are making mistakes, showing you all the details of the immigration process completely. With such knowledge, a special kind of confidence will follow you when you are working into the office of U.S consulate officer or USCIS.

There a lot to learn and a lot of it might not be what you need personally. To slim down all the information you need to meet your specific questions, it is wise to talk to a Columbus immigration attorney. You will save a lot of time and make the process a lot easier.

Five Ways Investors Can Come To The United States

Yes, it is still possible for someone’s dreams and hopes to come true – and for someone’s hard work and patience to pay off – in the United States. The U.S. is always looking for innovative entrepreneurs and investors. So, how can a Columbus investor visa law firm help?

Here are five visa options for international investors and entrepreneurs who are seeking good investment opportunities in the United States.

OPTION #1: EB-5 REGIONAL CENTER INVESTMENT

The EB-5 regional center investment option allows you to invest $500,000 in an EB-5 government-approved “Regional Center.” EB-5 regional centers are private-sector entities that pool investor money to develop hotels, resorts, and other projects.

Your EB-5 Regional Center investment must create ten or more full-time jobs for U.S. workers. When the job creation requirement has been satisfied, the investor and his or her immediate family may apply for lawful permanent residency – that is, green cards.

Investors and their immediate families may live, work, and study anywhere in the United States. There are no education, age, or language requirements for the EB-5 visa.

International investors can best take advantage of the EB-5 Regional Center investment program by working from the start with an experienced Columbus immigration attorney who routinely helps investors who are looking to invest in the United States.

Only 10,000 EB-5 visas are offered every year, so you must begin the application process as early as possible. Investments are not guaranteed, so your money will be at risk, but the Regional Center program has operated for more than twenty years with an excellent record of success.

OPTION #2: EB-5 DIRECT INVESTMENT

This option is somewhat different from the Regional Center investment, where your funds are managed by the Regional Center, and your personal involvement is minimal. With the EB-5 direct investment option, you’re in charge.

To obtain green cards for yourself and your immediate family with the EB-5 direct investment option, you must invest $1 million in your own U.S.-based business – or an ongoing business – and directly employ at least ten U.S. workers for at least two years.

The EB-5 visa program has provided about $6.5 billion to development projects across the United States over the last decade, and it has created over 130,000 jobs.

If you are an international investor who is looking for a good investment opportunity in the United States, an EB-5 direct investment might be right for you. Investors with specific questions regarding EB-5 direct investments should consult with a good immigration lawyer in the U.S.

OPTION #3: INTER-CORPORATE TRANSFER (L-1 VISA)

If you are transferred by your foreign-based company to an affiliate in the U.S. to work as a manager, as an executive, or as a person with specialized knowledge, you may apply to obtain a green card if you can meet these requirements:

– You have worked for the company abroad for at least one year in the last three years.

– Your job in the U.S. must be similar to the job you were doing for the company abroad.

The employer must be doing business in the U.S. and in at least one other country directly or through a parent, branch, affiliate, or subsidiary for the duration of the employee’s stay. The processing time for inter-corporate green card transferees is about 18 months.

Foreign nationals who want or need to enter the United States temporarily to work for their company’s U.S. affiliate should apply for an L-1 visa. While L-1 visas are routinely approved, most employers will need an immigration attorney’s help with the complicated paperwork.

OPTION #4: E-2 VISA

If you are a sharp investor, you already know that superior investment opportunities are found throughout the United States. If your home country has an investment treaty with the U.S., you may apply for an E-2 visa to start up a new business or invest in an ongoing business in the U.S.

To obtain an E-2 visa, an international investor must show how his or her investment will create jobs for U.S.-based workers. The spouses of E-2 visa holders may also obtain authorization to work anywhere in the U.S.

E-2 visas are granted for up to five years, but if the visa requirements are met, E-2 visas are renewable indefinitely. The E-2 visa offers quick entry into the United States and may function as a stepping stone to the EB-5 visa and lawful permanent residency.

If you are already in the United States and you apply for an E-2 visa, you will also have to apply for a change of status by submitting a Form I-129. The visa and investment requirements are quite complex, so entrepreneurs will very much need an immigration lawyer’s help.

OPTION #5: EB-1 VISA FOR “EXTRAORDINARY” IMMIGRANTS

If you have some type of extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, education, business, or sports, then you may apply directly for a green card. The EB-1 “priority workers” visa is for immigrants with “extraordinary ability” in these fields.

To obtain the EB-1 visa based on extraordinary ability, your achievements must be widely recognized in your field and extensively documented. You will need to prove your exceptional ability in your field with your awards and honors as well as any articles published about you.

Sponsorship or an employment offer is not required when the applicant’s extraordinary ability can be sufficiently demonstrated. The EB-1 visa allows immigrants with extraordinary ability to remain indefinitely in the United States.

WHAT’S YOUR NEXT STEP?

If you are an international entrepreneur or investor, an experienced Columbus immigration attorney can help you determine which of these five visa options is right for you.

When you are approved for a green card, you may apply for U.S. citizenship and a U.S. passport after five years, provided that you have satisfied all other immigration requirements.

However, any mistake in your visa petition paperwork could result in a substantial delay in the approval of your visa – or even a denial – but you can speak to a U.S. immigration attorney and get the help you need – right now – from anywhere in the world.

An attorney’s help is your right. Every visa petition takes time, so now is the time to get started. Great opportunities are waiting in the United States.

What Are Their Best Visa Options For Entrepreneurs?

Here’s a story our Columbus immigration law firm knows very well. Hitesh Kothari and Parag Mehta came to the U.S. from Rajkot, India. In 1989, they purchased an old hardware store in Hartford, Connecticut. After starting with one store and three employees, Express Kitchen now hires scores of workers at locations across Connecticut and Massachusetts.

Express Kitchen generates more than $17 million in annual revenue, and the still-growing company offers stiff competition regionally to Lowe’s and Home Depot. Kothari and Mehta were jointly named as Connecticut’s Small Business Persons of the Year in 2014.

If you are an entrepreneur from outside of the United States, you probably already know what Hitesh Kothari and Parag Mehta knew when they here arrived from India – that the business and investment opportunities here in the U.S. are abundant.

What are the best available visa options for an entrepreneur who wants to buy a business or launch a startup company in the United States?

IS AN O-1 VISA RIGHT FOR YOU?

One popular way to launch a business in the U.S. is with an O-1 visa. This option is often chosen by business people who want to bring their entrepreneurial talents and skills to the United States.

The O-1 nonimmigrant visa is for foreign nationals with a demonstrable record of recognized achievement in the sciences, arts, education, athletics, or business.

O-1 nonimmigrant visa

The O-1A visa is for persons with exceptional achievements and abilities in education, science, sports, or business. An O-1A visa allows an entrepreneur enter the United States to work for his or her own business or for another business.

The O-1B visa is for persons with exceptional achievements and abilities in the arts, television, or the motion picture industry.

IS THE L-1A VISA RIGHT FOR YOU?

The L-1A is a non-immigrant work visa that remains valid only for a brief time. However, with extensions, the L-1A visa can remain good for up to seven years. Larger U.S.-based employers may request multiple L-1A visas with a single application.

If you have already established a business in your home nation, and you now want to launch a startup in the U.S., you can establish an affiliate or a subsidiary of the startup in your home country, and you may then enter the U.S. with an L-1A visa as an executive of that company.

IS THE E-1 VISA RIGHT FOR YOU?

One advantage of the E-1 and E-2 visas is that there is no annual limit on how many of these visas may be issued. However, a foreign national who is applying for the E-1 or E-2 visa must be coming to the United States to work in an executive or supervisory capacity.

Foreign nationals from eligible treaty partner nations who conduct significant international trade with the United States may qualify for the E-1 trader visa. At least half of the trader’s imports and exports must be to and from the United States.

IS THE E-2 VISA RIGHT FOR YOU?

The E-2 treaty investor visa is offered to qualifying investors from U.S. treaty partner nations who make a substantial investment in an established U.S.-based business. You may also apply for the E-2 visa as an investor in your own startup company that you wish to launch in the U.S.

e-2 investment

To qualify for an E-2 treaty investor visa, you must be from a nation that has a qualifying treaty of commerce, navigation, or a similar agreement with the U.S. An E-2 investment must be made in a real, operating commercial enterprise that produces real services and/or products.

To acquire an E-2 visa, an international investor must demonstrate that his or her investment will create jobs as well as profits. Investors who are currently in the United States will need to apply for a change of status (by submitting a Form I-129) in order to qualify for and obtain an E-2 visa.

You must already be in possession of the funds that you intend to invest, and you must be able to prove that those funds are legitimate and came to you from legal sources.

IS THE TN VISA RIGHT FOR YOU? WHAT ABOUT THE E-3 VISA?

If you are a citizen of Mexico or Canada, the TN visa allows you to work in the United States for a U.S. or foreign employer. Mexican and Canadian citizens may quickly enter the U.S. with a TN visa and avoid the red tape and complications involved with acquiring an H-1B visa.

There is no limit to the extensions a that a TN visa holder may be granted, and few extension requests are denied. What’s most important is that the TN visa applicant must have prearranged employment or a job offer waiting in the U.S. Self-employment is prohibited with a TN visa.

e-3 visas from australia

The E-3 visa is strictly for persons from Australia who enter the U.S. to work in a field that requires theoretical or specialized experience and knowledge. The E-3 visa is good for two years, but there is no limit on the number of extensions that are allowed.

SHOULD YOU APPLY FOR A NATIONAL INTEREST WAIVER?

Founders of their own companies may be able to obtain a green card by applying for a national interest waiver. A green card may be granted if you can prove that your admission to the United States as a lawful permanent resident will be in the national interest.

national interest waiver

You are not required to have a specific offer of employment in order to qualify for a national interest waiver.

WHERE CAN YOU GET THE IMMIGRATION HELP YOU NEED?

International traders, entrepreneurs, investors, and the businesses they work for have a number of other immigration options.

To learn more about coming to the United States as an entrepreneur or as an investor, and to learn more about the full range of available business and employment visas, you should arrange a consultation – from anywhere in the world – with a qualified Columbus immigration attorney.

Every visa takes time and patience to acquire, so it is vital to begin the process as quickly as you can. If you plan to do business in the United States, take advantage of the help that a trustworthy, experienced immigration law firm can provide. An attorney’s help is your right.

Can Financial Gifts Be Considered Sources Of Funds For E-2 Visas?

Obtaining legal assistance and insights from an experienced U.S. immigration lawyer is your wisest move if you’re an international investor and you are interested in investing – and living with your family – in the United States. If you are an international investor, keep reading to learn more from our Columbus investor immigration lawyers.

To obtain an international investor visa – an E-2 treaty-partner investment visa – you will need to file a variety of documents and forms with the immigration authorities.

IF YOU SEEK AN E-2 VISA, WHAT WILL YOU NEED FROM THE START?

You’ll have to exercise plenty of patience, because the process takes some time. To make sure that there are no misunderstandings, mistakes, or unnecessary delays, you must also have – from the beginning – the advice and services of a qualified Ohio immigration attorney.

Congress decides how many and specifically which immigrants are permitted entry into the U.S. every year. What follows is a brief discussion of E-2 treaty-partner investor visas and the resources that E-2 investors may use in the United States.

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE E-2 VISA?

If you’re a savvy investor, you know that good investment opportunities can be found in every part of the United States. The E-2 visa is for investors from treaty-partner nations who are willing to make a significant investment in a new or ongoing U.S. business enterprise.

who qualifies for E-2 visa

If you have considered investing and living in the United States, an E-2 treaty-partner investor visa makes it possible. An investor’s spouse and children in most cases can also acquire E-2 status.

To acquire the E-2 visa, an investor must prove that his or her investment will create jobs for U.S. workers.

If you are already in the U.S., and if you want to obtain an E-2 visa, you’ll begin by applying for a change of status by completing and submitting a Form I-129 to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO QUALIFY FOR THE E-2 VISA?

The investment requirements for the E-2 visa are quite complex. You will require an immigration attorney’s help. Any mistake or misunderstanding could cause a significant delay – or even a denial – of your visa request.

Of course, the funds used by an E-2 investor to invest in a U.S. business must be obtained legally and legitimately.

For E-2 visas, immigration law specifies no exact minimum investment amount, but the investment has to be “substantial” and must be sufficient for the investment project to succeed.

Additionally, E-2 visa applicants must provide evidence that the investment will provide at least enough revenue within five years to support the applicant and his or her family.

ARE GIFTS AND LOANS A VALID SOURCE OF E-2 VISA INVESTMENT FUNDS?

Gifts are a legitimate source for E-2 visa investment funds provided that the investor is in possession of the funds and the funds are irreversibly dedicated to the investor by the gift’s giver. The giver must provide proof that the funds are derived from a legitimate source.

securing foreign loan

Foreign loans are also legitimate for E-2 visa applicants. When a foreign loan is secured by personal assets, this indicates that the investor is serious; such an indication can bolster an investor’s E-2 application.

WHAT DO INVESTORS HAVE TO PROVE ABOUT THEIR INVESTMENT FUNDS?

To establish eligibility for the E-2 visa, the investor must prove that he or she owns and controls the resources being invested. The investor must explain and prove that the money is from a legitimate source.

This requirement helps the U.S. ensure that money invested into legitimate U.S. enterprises is not derived from criminal activity. The requirement seems straightforward at first, but as you work through the process, it can become both baffling and burdensome.

For example, investment funds may come from a property sale, personal savings, a gift or loan, an inheritance, an insurance settlement, or any legal means. All of these sources will need to be documented to demonstrate that your investment money is legal and legitimate.

WHAT TYPE OF EVIDENCE WILL INVESTORS NEED TO PROVIDE?

Some of the evidence you may need to submit to demonstrate the source of the investment funds include: tax returns, pay stubs, bank statements, bank transfer documents, loan agreements, and probate documents.

If the investment capital was a gift, the investor may have to produce a gift letter from the giver which describes the gift and the relationship of the giver to the investor. The giver must provide the same information regarding the source of the money that an investor would have to provide.

investment capital as a gift

The key to satisfying the source-of-funds requirement is to produce sufficient documents to prove how the money was earned and who earned it. The investor must show a comprehensive paper trail from the origin of the funds to the present moment.

WHAT ELSE WILL AN INVESTOR NEED FOR AN E-2 VISA?

You may spend considerable time and effort on the source-of-funds requirement. You must pay attention to every detail. You may be asked to produce a number of financial documents that are over five years old. Your immigration lawyer will help you and guide you through the process.

Insufficient documentation regarding the source of your investment funds is a leading reason for the denial of E-2 visa applications.

Additionally, if you are filing directly with USCIS or at particular U.S. Consulates, all documents must be translated into English. It isn’t rare to have the source-of-funds section of an E-2 application exceed one hundred pages.

HOW CAN A GOOD IMMIGRATION LAWYER HELP YOU?

An experienced Ohio immigration attorney can help you compile and prepare the documents to prove that:

  1. You are a qualified investor and the citizen of a U.S. treaty-partner nation.
  2. The sum of the capital you are investing is substantial.
  3. Your investment is legitimate and will become profitable within five years.

Provided that the terms and conditions of an E-2 visa continue to be satisfied, the visa can be indefinitely renewed.

WHICH NATIONS ARE “TREATY-PARTNER” NATIONS?

One important point: only investors from “treaty-partner” nations (nations that the United States maintains a commercial treaty with) are eligible for the E-2 visa.

U.S. treaty partners

As of this year (2018), 78 nations are treaty partners with the U.S. Commerce treaties are frequently signed and frequently rescinded, so check with USCIS or with your immigration lawyer to ensure that your nation of origin is on the list. Most nations are.

This cannot be emphasized strongly enough: Before taking any other step, international investors should consult with a skilled U.S. immigration lawyer regarding their alternatives, options, and choices.

If you’re considering an investment in a business in the United States, avail yourself of the resources and insights that a good immigration attorney can offer. Your future may depend on it.

How To Fight Deportation In A U.S. Immigration Court

If you are an immigrant in the U.S. and you are at risk for removal (commonly called “deportation”), you must have the assistance of an experienced immigration appeals attorney, and you must obtain that help as soon as you know that you are at risk.

In recent years, the number of immigrants removed from the United States has been steadily increasing. Any immigrant with previous immigration-related charges or with any serious criminal charges may need an attorney’s help to remain in the United States.

Those who have families, homes, and jobs in the U.S. will have a better chance of beating deportation, but they will also need an immigration lawyer’s help.

HOW DOES THE REMOVAL PROCESS WORK?

Here’s how removal from the United States works and what you’ll need to do if you are at risk for removal:

1. You’ll receive a Notice to Appear.
2. You’ll need to consult an immigration lawyer.
3. You’ll need to learn more about how immigration law applies to your own case.

If you are targeted for possible removal by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), you will receive a Notice to Appear in Immigration Court. It should indicate the date, time, and location of your removal hearing.

WHAT IF THE GOVERNMENT’S ALLEGATIONS AGAINST YOU ARE FALSE?

Read the NTA carefully to determine what legal grounds are being cited as a reason for your removal. DHS makes mistakes like anyone else, so the charges against you may be false.

In fact, arguing that the government is in error is a frequently-offered defense against removal.

If you are wrongly accused of committing a crime that you did not commit, for example, a good immigration lawyer should be able to help you disprove the allegation.

Something as simple as confusing two people who have the same name could put you at risk for removal for no good reason, but you’ll need an immigration attorney to straighten out that kind of confusion on your behalf.

HOW CAN AN IMMIGRATION LAWYER HELP YOU?

You must be represented by an attorney with abundant immigration experience. Immigration law in the United States is some of the most complicated law in the world, and it’s always changing.

A qualified immigration attorney will explain and protect your rights and will fight vigorously for justice on your behalf. If you should not be removed from the United States, your lawyer will make that clear to the Immigration Court at your removal hearing.

WHAT ARE YOUR OTHER OPTIONS FOR FIGHTING REMOVAL?

Most immigrants facing removal will have several defense options, and your attorney will pursue the best of those options:

1. For example, if one or both of your parents, your spouse, or your child is a legal citizen of the United States, you may apply for a visa based on your relationship with that relative.

2. If you’ve lived in the U.S. for a decade or longer and you have a spouse, children, or other close relatives here, you may qualify for the cancellation of removal if you can demonstrate that a family member will suffer an exceptional hardship if you are removed.

3. You may qualify for asylum. If you have suffered – or if you fear – persecution in your home nation based on religion, race, ethnicity, political opinion, or membership in a particular group, you may seek asylum. If approved, you will be eligible for a green card.

4. Withholding of removal is comparable to asylum, except that it is considered temporary, and it does not qualify you for a green card.

5. Your attorney can ask the prosecutor to use “prosecutorial discretion” and simply drop the possibility of removal. Typically, only those immigrants with no criminal record will be the beneficiaries of prosecutorial discretion.

WHAT IF YOU ARE ALREADY A GREEN CARD HOLDER?

If you are already a lawful permanent resident in the United States – a green card holder – and you are facing possible deportation, your defense options may be slightly different.

You may, for example, qualify for cancellation of removal if you have resided continually in the U.S. for a minimum of seven years (with at least five years as a lawful permanent resident) and you do not have a conviction for an aggravated felony.

WHAT IS VOLUNTARY DEPARTURE?

If your attorney has reviewed your case and has concluded that the evidence against you is strong – and that your removal is probably inevitable – your attorney may recommend “voluntary departure.”

Voluntary departure is not granted automatically, but if approved, you will be allowed to exit the United States voluntarily, and deportation will not appear on your immigration record.

As mentioned previously, immigration law in the U.S. is exceedingly complicated, and if you are facing deportation, you’ll need to make a number of important choices. You’ll need some help.

WHY IS IT CRITICAL TO HAVE YOUR OWN ATTORNEY?

You’ll need a lawyer with substantial immigration experience to review your case and recommend the most effective way to fight a possible removal.

The statistics are undeniable. Immigrants facing removal are considerably more likely to prevail at a removal hearing if they are represented by an immigration lawyer.

No public defender is provided in a removal hearing. If you have received a Notice to Appear, you must reach out and contact an immigration attorney on your own and at once.

Depending on the specifics of your case, you and your immigration lawyer will discuss precisely how to proceed.

Trust your lawyer’s experience and judgment. Your lawyer routinely deals with immigration matters and knows what it takes to represent you effectively.

HOW CAN YOU PROVE THAT YOU SHOULD REMAIN IN THE U.S.?

You’ll need some evidence that the allegations against you are false – or that even if they are true, you should be allowed to stay in the United States. That evidence could take many forms: official documents, other medical and legal papers, witness statements, and photos or videos.

Your immigration attorney will know what evidence is needed and how to obtain it.

The threat of removal is real. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) removed approximately 226,000 people from the United States in the 2017 fiscal year, which ran from October 2016 through September 2017.

Still, there is no reason to believe that receiving a Notice to Appear means that you will be deported, but if you receive a Notice to Appear, you must get a trustworthy immigration lawyer’s help at once. In the United States, that is your right.

,

FAQs About Changing Your Visa Status

Nonimmigrant visas are approved for immigrants who plan to be in the United States temporarily. The federal government has established more than forty very precisely-defined nonimmigrant visa categories.

That provides a lot of options for those who want to enter the U.S. temporarily to work, study, conduct business, or simply take in the sights and attractions. It also makes obtaining a nonimmigrant visa or changing your nonimmigrant visa status quite complicated.

You are about to learn how – and when – you may seek a change of your immigration status, how an L-1 visa law firm can help, and more. For example, if you entered the U.S. with a tourist visa, but now you want to become a student, you must apply for a change of your immigration status.

If you have decided to seek temporary employment in the United States, your prospective employer must submit a Form I-129 (Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker) on your behalf.

WHAT DO YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CHANGING YOUR VISA STATUS?

Some nonimmigrant visas allow for temporary employment in the U.S.; others allow tourists, students, and diplomats to enter the United States temporarily.

If you are in the U.S. with a nonimmigrant visa, and if your original reason for entering the United States changes, you may be required to change your nonimmigrant status before you can lawfully engage in any new activities linked to your requested new immigration status.

And to change your nonimmigrant status, you are going to need the help of a skilled immigration attorney.

FAQ #1: HOW DO I QUALIFY FOR A CHANGE OF MY IMMIGRATION STATUS?

You may qualify to have your immigration status changed your status if:

1. You were admitted lawfully into the United States.

2. You have done nothing that would disqualify you from receiving an immigration benefit.

3. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) determines that nothing warrants requiring you to leave the United States before re-entering with a different status.

4. You apply for a change of status before the expiration date on your Form I-94 (Arrival-Departure Record). If you miss that date, your change of status request may be rejected.

FAQ #2: WHO IS INELIGIBLE FOR A CHANGE OF STATUS?

If you were admitted to the United States in one of these nonimmigrant categories, you may not change your nonimmigrant status: C, D, K1, K2, S, WT, WB, J1, M1, and Q2.

If you are classified in any of these categories, you must leave the United States on or prior to the expiration date on your Form I-94.

FAQ #3: WHAT STEPS DO I TAKE TO CHANGE MY NONIMMIGRANT STATUS?

To change to any of the employment-based nonimmigrant categories listed here, the prospective employer must submit a Form I-129 (Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker) before your Form I-94 expiration date: E1, E2, H1B, H2A, H2B, H3, L1A, L1B, O1, O2, P1, P2, P3, Q1, R1, and TN.

And you will need to submit Form I-539 to change to any of the nonimmigrant categories listed here: A, B1, B2, E, F, G, H4, K3, K4, L2, M, N, NATO, O3, P4, R2, and TD.

FAQ #4: CAN I CHANGE MY STATUS IF MY ORIGINAL STATUS HAS EXPIRED?

The answer is no, and exceptions are made only if you can prove that you are out of status because of circumstances beyond your control.

If your original status expired prior to filing a change of status request, you are out of status, and you may be unable to receive immigration benefits or even return to the United States.

FAQ #5: WHEN SHOULD I FILE? HOW LONG WILL A STATUS CHANGE TAKE?

You can submit a request for a change of immigration status for up to six months before the expiration date on your Form I-94, and you should make your request at least 60 days before that date.

Be patient. The amount of time USCIS needs to process a change of status request can vary greatly. That’s one reason why your application needs to be absolutely accurate, complete, and on deadline. If it’s not, your change of status request will be delayed or possibly even denied.

FAQ #6: IF I QUALIFY, WILL MY CHANGE OF STATUS BE APPROVED?

A status change is not automatically granted. USCIS scrutinizes every change of status request individually.

USCIS will take into account your current immigration status and your stated reasons for desiring a change.

Until you are notified by USCIS, don’t presume that your requested new status will be approved, and do not change your visa-related activities in the United States.

FAQ #7: WHAT IF NO DECISION IS MADE BEFORE MY I-94 EXPIRES?

If USCIS receives your change of status request prior to your I-94 expiration date, and if you have not violated any of the conditions or terms of your visa, you can stay in the U.S. until USCIS approves or rejects your change of status request.

However, if USCIS rejects your change of status request after your I-94 expiration date, you will be considered “out of status” since that date, and you will have to leave the United States immediately.

And while awaiting a decision, you may not begin any of the activities associated with the requested new status until USCIS grants your request and officially changes your status.

FAQ #8: WHEN IS A CHANGE OF STATUS NOT NECESSARY?

If you entered the U.S. for business purposes with a B-1 visa, you are not required to change your nonimmigrant status if you stay in the U.S. for tourism until your authorized stay expires.

A change of status is not needed to attend school in the U.S. if you are the spouse or child of someone currently in the U.S. in one of these nonimmigrant categories: A, E, F, G, H. I, J, L, and M.

Additionally, if you are a vocational student with an M-1 visa, you may not change your status to any H (temporary worker) category or to F-1 (for academic students).

FAQ #9: WHY WILL YOU NEED AN IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY’S ADVICE?

Every immigration procedure is complicated. Every immigration procedure takes time and patience. It is easy to miscommunicate with immigration authorities, and it’s easy to make a mistake when you are trying to complete all of the forms and applications.

That is why, if you are seeking to change your immigration status, or if you are an employer seeking the proper visa for a prospective employee, you will need the advice and guidance of an immigration attorney.

FAQ #10: HOW CAN AN IMMIGRATION LAWYER HELP?

Immigration laws are changing rapidly. There’s a great deal of confusion and misinformation, and most of that misinformation is on the internet.

Immigrants and their employers need to have their questions answered by an experienced immigration lawyer who is reliable, trustworthy, and stays abreast of current developments.

Finally, you need to work with an attorney who is familiar with immigration procedures and laws because the penalties can be harsh for immigrants – and for employers – who fail to comply.

Get the advice and help you need. And don’t accept immigration advice from anyone but a qualified immigration lawyer.

What To Do If Your Immigration Waiver Is Denied

If you are an immigrant in the United States and you have remained in the U.S. beyond the expiration date of your visa, it’s imperative for you to speak as quickly as possible with a Michigan or Ohio immigration attorney.

You may not have to leave the U.S. You may be able to obtain a “provisional waiver” of unlawful presence and even apply for a green card. But what if your application for a provisional waiver is denied? What are your options?

In 2013, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) began issuing provisional waivers of inadmissibility for unlawful presence to immediate relatives of U.S. citizens.

In 2016, the eligibility for those waivers was expanded to include specified other relatives of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents.

Why was it deemed necessary to issue provisional waivers of inadmissibility for unlawful presence, and who qualifies for one?

The waivers were deemed necessary because of an unanticipated consequence of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996.

WHAT HAPPENED AFTER THE 1996 REFORM ACT BECAME LAW?

Under that statute, immigrants who are unlawfully present in the U.S. – who have “overstayed” a visa – for more than 180 days but for less than one year, and who leave the United States voluntarily, automatically become inadmissible for re-entry for three years from date of departure, and an immigrant who is unlawfully present for one year or more is inadmissible for ten years.

Although the statute was meant to deter illegal immigration, what happened is that some immigrants grew fearful of leaving the U.S. – knowing that they could not return to their family members for three or in some cases ten years.

Provisional waivers have been granted since 2013 so that eligible individuals in the United States with expired visas may request a waiver of unlawful presence without first having to leave the country.

Provisional waivers “encourage unlawfully present individuals to leave the United States, attend their immigrant visa interviews, and return to the United States legally to reunite with their U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR) family members,” according to the Department of Homeland Security.

WHAT IS THE ADVANTAGE OF REQUESTING A PROVISIONAL WAIVER?

Because eligible immigrants may apply for the provisional waiver while they remain in the United States, it’s also referred to as a “stateside waiver.”

An immigrant who is petitioning for a provisional waiver will receive a decision in just several months and will be allowed to stay in the U.S. until that determination is made.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website explains:

“The provisional unlawful presence waiver process allows those individuals who are statutorily eligible for an immigrant visa (immediate relatives, family-sponsored or employment-based immigrants as well as Diversity Visa selectees); who only need a waiver of inadmissibility for unlawful presence to apply for that waiver in the United States before they depart for their immigrant visa interview.”

USCIS adds that “This new process was developed to shorten the time that U.S. citizens and lawful permanent resident family members are separated from their relatives while those relatives are obtaining immigrant visas to become lawful permanent residents of the United States.”

WHAT IF YOUR PROVISIONAL WAIVER REQUEST IS DENIED?

However, the sad reality is that many immigrants who request a provisional waiver with Form I-601A (“Application for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver”) will not be granted that waiver.

Moreover, there is no appeals process, so it is imperative that your Form I-601A is accurate and complete the first time you submit it. A $600 filing fee (as of 2017) must be included with Form I-601A, and applicants younger than age 79 must also include an $85 biometric fee.

Don’t do this alone. Too much is at stake.

If you’ve stayed in the U.S. beyond your visa’s expiration date and you need to request a provisional waiver, an immigration lawyer can ensure that your Form I-601A is accurate and complete.

You can’t allow for any mistakes or misunderstandings when you request a provisional waiver.

Although there are no appeals for rejected provisional waiver applications, an immigrant may submit a second provisional waiver application – and a second set of fees – if there are new developments or if you obtain new information to support your request or to show that denying your provisional waiver would mean “extreme hardship” for your qualifying U.S. relative or relatives.

If you’ve been denied a provisional waiver, you should reapply immediately if your situation changes in a way that causes your U.S.-citizen parent, spouse, or child to suffer hardship.

If your spouse becomes unemployed, or if your parent develops a medical problem and needs you in the U.S., submit a new Form I-601A to USCIS.

If your request for a provisional waiver is rejected, but you want to move forward with the immigrant visa application process, you may depart the United States and have your immigrant visa interview at a U.S. consulate or embassy in your home nation.

You may then request a waiver of inadmissibility with Form I-601. However, if this request is rejected, you may be separated from your family members and unable to return to the U.S. for either three or ten years.

IF YOU OVERSTAY A VISA AND DO NOTHING, WHAT CAN HAPPEN?

On the other hand, if your petition for a provisional waiver is rejected, you don’t have to do anything at all.

Unless immigration authorities believe that you are a criminal or a security threat, you won’t be at any additional risk for removal.

If you are in this country without authorization, it’s always possible that you will attract attention from immigration authorities, and you shouldn’t take that risk.

There may be alternatives that will work in your particular circumstances, such as applying for cancellation of removal or seeking asylum or Temporary Protected Status.

Whatever your personal circumstances might be, if you have overstayed your nonimmigrant visa, it’s imperative to obtain the insights of an immigration lawyer and adhere to that lawyer’s advice.

Your dreams of success and freedom in the United States probably mean a lot to you.

If you came to the U.S. with a nonimmigrant visa, you’ve probably already taken the first steps toward building a life in the United States.

Let a skilled immigration attorney help you do what it takes to make your dreams come true.

Five Things Business Owners Should Know About DACA

The fate of DACA – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – will be determined by Congress, but since the Trump Administration rescinded the program in September, many business owners are concerned about their employees who have been working legally under DACA.

Will employers be able to keep these employees, or will they be lost? What consequences will they face? If you’re an employer or a “Dreamer,” keep reading, and you’ll learn some answers from our business immigration lawyers.

The end of the DACA program, at least for now, will impact more than 700,000 Dreamers – the undocumented immigrants who were minors when they were brought to the U.S. by their parents – who have been protected from deportation by the program.

Beginning with the announcement of the DACA program’s cancellation on September 5th, Congress has six months to renew the program or to implement an alternative.

If no Congressional action is forthcoming, the Dreamers who have been protected by DACA may lose their ability to live, attend school, and hold a job in the United States.

Thus, the concerns of employers are real and understandable according to Sara Itucas, who’s a client solution specialist with TriNet, a California-based human resources agency.

WILL U.S. EMPLOYERS BE ABLE TO KEEP THEIR DACA EMPLOYEES?

TriNet serves approximately 14,000 companies with staffing and payroll services.

Many of those companies have hired employees who were protected by DACA, and several of the businesses are actually owned by Dreamers.

Most employers she speaks with “want to find out how to keep them,” Ms. Itucas told CNN.

“From an employer’s standpoint,” she said, “they are qualified workers and valuable members of the team.”

Ms. Itucas said that since September 5th, employers have been asking TriNet five key questions about the DACA program and the Dreamers.

What is it that employers want – and need – to know?

Listed below are the five questions and the best current answers – so keep reading if you are an employer or a Dreamer – but until Congress takes action, some of the answers must be tentative rather than final.

If you are an employer who hired workers under DACA – or a Dreamer who’s worked or attended school in the U.S. under DACA – consult an experienced Ohio immigration attorney for the sound and specific legal advice that applies to your own situation.

1. DO DACA EMPLOYEES NO LONGER HAVE WORK AUTHORIZATION?

If Congress takes no action, the DACA program itself is set to end on March 5, 2018, but a Dreamer’s work authorization will remain in effect until its expiration date.

If the DACA program is not renewed or replaced, when a Dreamer’s work authorization expires, he or she will not be legally allowed to seek or hold employment in the U.S.

If you are a Dreamer and you are currently employed in the United States under DACA, you can find the date when your work permit will expire by checking your I-795 Approval Notice and by looking at the bottom of your Employment Authorization Document.

2. IF AN EMPLOYEE HAS NOT APPLIED FOR DACA PROTECTION OR A WORK PERMIT, IS IT TOO LATE?

It’s now too late for anyone to take advantage of the current DACA Program. The final applications were accepted by the Department of Homeland Security in September, when the tentative end of the DACA program was announced.

3. IF AN EMPLOYEE’S DACA ELIGIBILITY EXPIRES, IS RENEWAL STILL ALLOWED?

No. While the DACA program was operative, Dreamers had to requalify for DACA status every two years, but with the announcement of the program’s cancellation, the last day that DACA work permits could be renewed was October 5th.

4. CAN MY COMPANY SAFELY SEND A DACA EMPLOYEE OUTSIDE OF THE U.S.?

Sara Itucas at TriNet says the answer to this one is tricky. The right to travel internationally was allowed under the DACA program, but to assure reentry into the United States, Dreamers were required to obtain special permission to travel called “advance parole.”

Advance parole is simply a permit issued – to allow reentry into the U.S. after travel abroad – to a non-citizen who does not have a valid immigrant visa.

At TriNet, “Generally, we are cautioning against travel,” Ms. Itucas tells CNN. Since September 5th, the United States is no longer approving advance parole for DACA Dreamers, and applications that were still pending on September 5th are no longer being processed.

The Department of Homeland Security will refund any related fees that have already been paid.

While Dreamers with an advance parole document should still have no problem departing the United States and reentering, advance parole gives U.S. Customs and Border Protection the discretion to allow or block reentry of non-citizens who hold an advance parole document.

Sara Itucas warns that if your employee has not already been granted advance parole, he or she should probably not travel abroad at this time.

5. WHAT CAN EMPLOYERS DO TO HELP THEIR DACA EMPLOYEES?

Employers can help their DACA employees by consulting an immigration lawyer.

An immigration attorney can probably identify some helpful visa options for a DACA employee and also help with the paperwork necessary to obtain an appropriate visa.

An immigration lawyer can also identify particular immigration difficulties that an individual employee may need to have resolved.

Thus, those are the answers to the five questions that, according to TriNet, are being asked by so many employers about DACA.

The Dreamers themselves, of course, are asking their own questions, but their most important question clearly is this: Can my employer in the United States fire me?

Generally speaking, without a union contract or some other work contract, employment in all fifty U.S. states is “at will,” meaning that an employer may terminate an employee at any time, provided that the employer is not illegally retaliating or discriminating against the employee.

Even with valid work authorization, in most cases, an employer may legally fire you.

Most employers won’t do that – at least until Congress acts or fails to act on the future, if any, of the DACA program.

An employer may agree to place an employee on a leave of absence until that employee can be authorized to work again, but that is the employer’s choice.

WHAT ELSE SHOULD THOSE WHO EMPLOY IMMIGRANTS KNOW?

However, employers should know that when any employee’s work authorization expires, that employee may no longer legally work for your business.

Increasingly, businesses that hire immigrants are coming under scrutiny, and the current focus in Washington is on employer compliance.

A skilled Ohio immigration attorney can help employers understand and remain compliant with the applicable immigration laws and regulations.

A number of proposals that will impact Dreamers are currently being considered by Congress, along with several proposals for a comprehensive overhaul of the entire immigration system.

However, Congress is also dealing with other pressing issues – like hurricane relief and the potential threat from North Korea – so it may be months before Dreamers and their employers can have any final assurances regarding the future.

How To Get U.S. Residency Through Investment

For a number of years, obtaining a “green card” (that is, becoming a lawful permanent resident) through investment in the United States has required an investment of one million dollars in a U.S. business.

The minimum investment amount can be reduced to $500,000 if the business is set in a rural location or in an area with high unemployment, a “Targeted Employment Area” or “TEA” where unemployment is at 150 percent or more of the national average.

To acquire a TEA designation, a prospective EB-5 investor must invest in a project located in a rural area or a high unemployment area.

In September, President Trump signed into law H.R. 601, a continuing resolution which extends the EB-5 Regional Center Program through at least December.

Some changes to the EB-5 Program may be expected at that time, and the $500,000 minimum investment amount may increase to $800,000.

Nevertheless, by providing green cards to qualified international investors, the EB-5 Investor Visa Program has created thousands of new jobs and scores of new businesses in every part of the U.S.

Changes to the EB-5 Regional Center Program are likely, but the passage of H.R. 601 ensures that no changes will be made prior to December of this year.

At the present time, as many as 10,000 EB-5 visas are offered each year to foreign investors who invest in projects that create a minimum of ten full-time positions for workers in the U.S. Developers in the U.S. are coming to depend more often on the investment funds that the EB-5 program provides to finance projects that include luxury hotels, new stadiums, and posh vacation resorts.

The program has provided over $6.5 billion to development projects throughout the U.S. over the last decade, and it has created more than 130,000 jobs.

If you are an investor looking for a good investment in the U.S., the EB-5 Investor Visa Program might be right for you.

WHO MAY APPLY FOR AN EB-5 VISA?

Every qualified investor may apply for an EB-5 visa – it doesn’t matter what nation you are from.

Through the EB-5 Investor Visa Program, international investors may reside in the United States along with immediate family members.

As the terms of the EB-5 program are met over a period of months, the investors and their family members become eligible for lawful permanent residence.

Obtaining an EB-5 visa and finding the right investment opportunity is time-consuming and complicated, but scores of investors have discovered that the benefits of the EB-5 Program are well worth their patience and efforts.

Investors who have any concerns or questions about the EB-5 program should consult an immigration attorney here in the United States.

In fact, from anywhere in the world, you can arrange by telephone or by email to speak with a Columbus immigration lawyer, learn more regarding the EB-5 and your other visa options, and start the complicated visa application process.

The EB-5 Investor Visa Program offers the American Dream to those who qualify.

It provides business owners and developers with an additional option for obtaining the resources they need to start up new ventures and to return prosperity to struggling businesses and communities.

The usual return on an EB-5 investment is about eight percent, but the truth is that many investors are more concerned with acquiring green cards and good educations for their sons and daughters.

HOW DOES A REGION BECOME A TARGETED EMPLOYMENT AREA?

Putting an EB-5 investment in a Targeted Employment Area or TEA lowers the minimum investment requirement from $1 million to $500,000.

An EB-5 investment has to be located in a rural region or in an area with a high unemployment rate in order to receive the TEA designation.

To qualify as a Targeted Employment Area, the location must have an unemployment rate of at least 150 percent of the U.S. national average.

To obtain a TEA designation, an EB-5 visa applicant must produce evidence that the project is located in a rural or a high unemployment area.

Several types of evidence are acceptable, and a Columbus immigration lawyer can help investors compile that evidence and provide additional insights and advice.

Nineteen states provide a list of the TEAs they have designated, but certifications are still issued to investors on an individual basis.

EB-5 is the sole immigration category allowing international investors entrance into the U.S. as lawful permanent residents.

The EB-5 Program grew slowly after its launch in 1990, but in more recent years, the program has grown to be overwhelmingly popular.

Since 2008, the visas issued through the EB-5 Program have more than quadrupled. In a single year – 2014 – EB-5 investments totaled over $2.6 billion and created over 16,000 jobs.

WHAT DO EB-5 “REGIONAL CENTERS” DO?

To attract investors, EB-5 “Regional Centers” are in rural and high-unemployment areas.

Regional centers are designated by USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services), but they are operated privately and promote local economies through rising sales, higher regional productivity, the creation of jobs, and increased investment.

Investors in regional centers do not have to prove that they themselves created the new jobs; they only have to prove that the regional center itself created ten or more new jobs, directly or indirectly, for U.S. workers.

With a December deadline approaching, investors may choose to take action immediately.

The EB-5 Regional Center Program will probably be changed. The minimum investment figure – $500,000 – will probably rise, the definition of a “TEA” will likely be amended, and additional requirements for prospective investors will perhaps be required.

This, investors may want to reach out to an immigration lawyer now and begin the EB-5 visa application process before Congress takes action in December.

As you read this, large development projects across the U.S. are relying on EB-5 funds.

Most reform proposals would raise the minimum investment amount while reducing opportunities fraud and for misappropriation of EB-5 monies.

Investors who want to take advantage of the EB-5 program should work from the start with a U.S. immigration attorney who regularly helps and represents international investors.

The EB-5 visa is a superlative path to permanent residence – and eventual citizenship – in the U.S. Investors can learn more or begin the application process by consulting an experienced Columbus immigration attorney. The time to do that is now.