Navigating any immigration process can be a daunting experience. We hope that with us by their side, clients know they are not alone – no matter how complex their case may seem! It is clients like those below that remind us daily that the extra attention and preparation we give to every case can truly make a difference in our clients’ lives.
To call our marriage greencard application complicated would be an understatement. We were dealing with a vengeful ex who was making false allegations in criminal court, filing restraining orders, and making Title IX complaints with my husband’s college — all in an attempt to tie us in legal knots and get him to lose his F-1 student visa, thrown in jail, and ultimately deported. Greencard applicants are required to be of “good moral character” and she was trying every trick in the book to tarnish his good name and be denied legal residency. Navigating that labyrinth would’ve been impossible on our own. Navid and Francesca kept our hope alive, showed us the light at the end of the tunnel, and had us so fully prepared in giving our testimony and providing documentation, that we were granted our greencard the same day as our interview. Cannot recommend more highly!
The E-1 and E-2 nonimmigrant classifications in the United States are open to citizens of countries with which the United States has a treaty of commerce and navigation or similar agreement. Congress can also enact legislation to include citizens of other countries in this arrangement. This is the case with New Zealand. Qualifying New Zealanders can now apply for E-1 or E-2 nonimmigrant status under Public Law 115-226. These applicants can request a change of status from within the United States, or a qualifying employer can file a petition on their behalf.
E-1 status allows citizens of certain countries to come to the United States solely to engage in international trade on their own behalf. E-1 status is also available to certain employees of certain traders or qualifying organizations. E-2 status allows citizens of specific countries to be admitted to the United States when they are investing substantial capital in a U.S. business. E-2 status is also available to certain employees of investors or qualifying organizations. This new law expands the options for New Zealanders seeking to immigrate to the United States and engage in or invest in American businesses.
The Department of Labor has recently introduced the Foreign Labor Application Gateway, or FLAG. This self-described “newly-modernized portal” is now mandatory for employers to use when submitting a Prevailing Wage Request. Eventually, it will serve as the new application filing and case management solution for all foreign labor certification programs. Currently, the site is plagued by technical issues, which have made it extremely difficult for users to successfully complete what was previously a straightforward application process.
Though FLAG is currently being used for Prevailing Wage applications, the Department of Labor’s website also indicates that users will soon be able to file Labor Condition Applications (for H-1B applications) electronically within this system. While we can appreciate the government’s effort towards paperless filings, it will also make it very easy for the government to cross-check information between the temporary work visa application and the green card process. Fortunately, we have already anticipated such data mining. For this reason, we have always striven to ensure consistency among our clients’ applications.
Justice for immigrants does not come easily. I recently discovered two heroes who brought immigration justice to my family and me. I praise these heroes in my story published in the San Francisco Chronicle and hope it encourages us to stand up for today’s immigrants.
When entering the United States, all travelers are subject to inspection by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at land and air ports of entry. Both U.S. citizens and non-citizens alike must go through the inspection when they enter the United States from abroad. CBP has broad authority to search people and their baggage upon arrival. Some travelers then have to undergo secondary inspection for more detailed questioning. This process can often be time-consuming, inconvenient, and stressful for travelers.
Finally some good news! CBP has changed the criteria for those required to complete secondary inspection. Consequently, the number of travelers picked for secondary inspection has dropped by about 80%. This change in practice has already been implemented in New York, and will be rolled out across the country in the coming months. This should make the process smoother and faster for most people, and is good news as we head into the busy summer travel months.