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San Francisco Immigration Law Blog

Hiring an H-1B worker

You may be like many employers in California and across the U.S. who are struggling to find specially skilled workers who qualify to fill open positions in your company or institution. As the number of students choosing to go to college after high school continues to drop, you are likely looking elsewhere for workers who have advantages to offer to your business.

If you are considering extending a job offer to a foreign national, it is important that you understand the steps you must take through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The government offers a limited number of visas for foreign nationals who desire to come to the U.S. to work on a temporary basis. If you have job openings requiring special skills, you may be able to take advantage of this program.

New rules for EB-5 investor visas

People in California who are involved in projects that require large amounts of capital might at times consider wooing investors from outside of the country. Since 1990, the nation has had a program in place whereby select investors have been able to receive temporary green cards based in part on the size of their financial investment. The location of a project could also be part of the qualification for this type of green card, formally known as the EB-5 investor visa

A person was generally required to have a minimum of $500,000 in cash available if applying for an EB-5 visa. These visas were commonly sought by rather wealthy people, leading some to criticize the program. For several years now, there has been an effort to make some changes to the requirements for an investor visa. According to a report by The Washington Post, a new rule has just been approved and will go into effect later this year.

Spousal sponsorship processing delays

It is not uncommon for a United States citizen to get married to someone who is a citizen of another country. If the couple at any point wishes to live in the U.S., the spouse who is the U.S. citizen must apply to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service for a spousal sponsorship so that their partner may legally live and work in the country. This process, it seems, can take longer than some believe it should.

As explained by Forbes, couples can take some steps to help move their applications along as efficiently as possible given the current immigration system. This includes ensuring that they have any foreign-language content on the application translated and certified prior to submitting it. Copies of all documentation should be kept so they can reference it at any time if questions or issues arise.

EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Modernization Regulation Increasing Minimum Investment by 80%

USCIS has announced that on July 24, 2019 it will publish the long-awaited EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Modernization Regulation. The new rule which will go into effect on November 21, 2019 will make a number of significant changes to the requirements for immigration based upon investment. Principal changes under the new rule of interest to prospective EB-5 investors include the following:

Increase of Minimum Investment Amount.

The current minimum investment amount for projects principally doing business in a "targeted employment area" or "TEA" is US$500,000. Investments outside of a TEA currently require a minimum investment of US$1,000,000. Under the new rule, effective as on November 21 the minimum required investment for new EB-5 investors in projects located in a TEA will be US$900,000. The new rule requires a US$1.8 million investment amount for non-TEA projects. Petitions filed before November 21 will continue to qualify at the current investment minimums.

What is involved in obtaining a temporary work visa?

There are many factors that can affect your ability to obtain a temporary visa to work in California. These include the country from which you come and the work that you intend to do. Each of these two factors affects the type of temporary work visa that you can obtain. The U.S. State Department lists eleven different categories of temporary work visas. 

To obtain a temporary work visa, you must already have a job lined up with a prospective employer in the United States, whose assistance you will need during the application process. For example, it is the responsibility of your prospective employer to petition U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on your behalf by submitting Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker. 

Release of USCIS' New EB-5 "Modernization" Regulations Imminent

The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has on June 28, 2019 completed its review of USCIS's proposed EB-5 modernization regulations, once more throwing the future of the EB-5 program into uncertainty. The OIRA notification confirms that the draft regulation has not been returned to USCIS "with changes" in the language of the proposed regulation published in early 2017. The EB-5 industry is anxiously waiting to see what those changes entail. The proposed regulations in circulation would increase the minimum investment amounts for both TEAs and non-TEAs and reduce the number of areas qualifying as TEAs. It is generally expected that the changes would take effect 30 to 60 days after publication of the final rule.

Law Offices of Robert P. Gaffney presented at recent ILW H-1B to EB-5 Expo

ILW.COM conducted an H1B to EB5 Expo in San Jose, California on June 7, 2019, and attorney Mr. Robert P. Gaffney participated in the H-1B to EB-5 Expo as a speaker.

ILW hosts conferences and provides resources for stakeholders who are interested in immigrant and nonimmigrant petitions and attorneys who practice immigration law. Immigration Daily, the newspaper run by ILW, provides up-to-date news related to developments within immigration law to over 32,000 subscribers.

SuperLawyers again selects Robert P. Gaffney, Esq. for its Annual Northern California Super Lawyers List

Robert Gaffney
Rated by Super Lawyers
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Robert P. Gaffney, founder of the Law Offices of Robert P. Gaffney, has been selected to the 2019 Northern California Super Lawyers list for immigration law. Each year, no more than 5% of the lawyers in the state are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor.

Are you on the right track of choosing an EB-5 project?

As a company owner in Los Angeles, you may have made many major decisions over the years that your business has operated. Now, you may feel that you have grown to a point where attracting international investors is wise. Of course, immigration matters related to such business growth can easily make this situation more complicated.

If you want to work toward obtaining EB-5 project approval through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, you need to ensure that you choose the right project. This is a major step in your business operations, and you certainly do not want to overlook vital aspects that could cause problems if unaddressed.

What investors need to know about the EB-5 program

Many residents come to the United States to pursue “The American Dream,” a concept that some people believe is unattainable. However, many immigrants found a new way to attain the unachievable and secure economic stability in the United States.

The new technique is investing in the U.S. economy. Congress created a visa program, the EB-5 program, in 1990 that allows foreign investors to come to the United States if they invest capital into local jobs. It stimulates job creation and encourages diversity in American companies.

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