Newsletter 20: October 2014

Newsletter 20: October 2014

Dear Friends of the Firm:

We hope you all are settling in well as “Back-to-School” activities are in full-swing. Here at Dayzad Law Offices we are working hard to keep you informed on all the latest immigration news and changes in store for this fall and the upcoming year.


Proposed Employment Authorization for Spouses of H-1B Professionals

A new law is in the works to provide employment authorization to certain spouses of H-1B professionals in H-4 nonimmigrant status. Those qualified would include: (1) spouses of an H-1B employee with an approved immigrant visa petition (Form I-140); or (2) spouses of an H-1B employee with a labor certification pending for 1 year. H-4 nonimmigrant spouses who meet the eligibility requirements would apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). However, it will be a while for the government to analyze the comments received and issue a final rule.


New Immigration Laws Likely: Obama Set to Issue Executive Immigration Reform

It seems like the time for a bit of immigration reform is finally imminent. We know you have been hearing this for the past year and longer. Despite the delays, comments in Washington suggest that an Executive Order for Immigration Reform is in the making and likely to be announced after the November elections.

The following is a list of possible provisions the President may be considering. We caution that there are no definitive new laws yet. We are monitoring these developments closely and will keep clients informed.

  • An expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to provide protection for parents of U.S. citizens, parents of DACA-eligible individuals, and individuals who have resided in the U.S. for three years or more. Hundreds of thousands of individuals would have the opportunity to receive temporary legal status and work authorization.
  • Reduced wait times for an immigrant visa number for those applying for a green card through an employer or family member. Specifically, a new method for determining overall visa quotas would not count derivative spouse and children toward the quotas. Instead, the principal immigrant and the family members would be treated as a single family unit for purposes of the worldwide cap, which would reduce the current immigrant visa backlogs in both the employment and family-based preference categories.
  • An expansion of Parole-in-Place to allow a foreign-national with a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse, child, or parent to remain in the United States while s/he applies for a green card.
  • Permission for individuals who are eligible for adjustment of status to “pre-register” when an immigrant visa petition is approved—even before a visa number is available. Pre-registration would allow an individual to receive interim work authorization and travel documents while waiting for a visa number to become available.
  • Making it easier for persons with certain technical immigration violations to become eligible to apply for a green card. Specifically, it increases the chance of succeeding in a waiver application by broadening the interpretation of “extreme hardship” or presuming extreme hardship for certain groups or individuals.
  • New pathways for entrepreneurs to seek non-immigrant visas. It would include relaxing the interpretation of “employer-employee relationship” for H-1B purposes, and formally recognizing entrepreneurship as a valid basis for O-1 “extraordinary ability” temporary status and EB-1 extraordinary ability permanent residence.

Dayzad Law Offices remains actively involved on this important reform. We will continue to keep you updated via our Newsflash. Also follow us on Twitter @DayzadLaw. We will continuously tweet the latest news with links to White House Briefs and much more.


Our New Webpages Give You Easy Access to Smart Immigration Tips & the Latest News

New pages of our website provide you tips for some of the most frequently asked questions, as well as the latest news on immigration. Whether you are wondering what steps to take when you change your address or are looking to see if any new immigration changes will affect you, we hope to be your one-stop shop for all your immigration inquiries

Don’t forget to visit our website at www.dayzadlaw.com and check out our Immigration Tips with topics including: Top Immigration Pointers to Remember, International Travel Tips, Your Immigration Portal, Overview of Obtaining a Green Card through a Labor Certification, Green Card Tips, Taxes & Driver’s Licenses, and Change of Address. You can also find under our News tab all our latest News Flashes to stay-up-to-date with immigration developments.

Check back frequently to find out just what is happening with immigration today! Soon we will also be unveiling our completely re-designed website to make it mobile-optimized and easier to navigate.


Green Card Lottery is Open

The U.S. government is once again accepting entries for the annual Diversity Visa Lottery. Lottery winners can then apply for a green card or immigrant visa if they meet certain other criteria.

Many people are eligible to enter this lottery. However, people born in the following countries which are already well-represented in the U.S. are not eligible for the lottery: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam. Even if the individual is born in one of these countries, s/he may still be eligible to apply based on his/her spouse’s country of birth. In some circumstances, s/he can also apply based on his/her parents’ country of birth.

Unless the individual is in the U.S. and undocumented, I generally recommend entering the lottery which is inexpensive (no filing fee!). Be very careful in reading all the directions and following the rigid guidelines — each year thousands of applicants are disqualified for failure to follow the exact directions. To enter the lottery, visit www.dvlottery.state.gov. Entries are accepted until noon (EST) November 3, 2014.

Please be aware that even if an individual does win the lottery, s/he may still not be eligible for a green card. It is most cost-effective to apply for the lottery and then if s/he is a lucky winner, retain legal counsel to help navigate the complex process to apply for a green card. Nevertheless, we are available if anyone would like to schedule a consultation regarding the lottery application process; our office consultation fee applies. Good luck to you or your employees!


Visa Predictions

  • How the Visa Bulletin Works

    We all watch the Visa Bulletin closely to see when a visa number becomes available to apply for a green card. The dates in the Visa Bulletin are driven by supply and demand for visa numbers and are based on a number of variables such as historical demand patterns, expected future demand patterns, expected return rates of unused numbers, information received from USCIS on expected processing, and National Visa Center petition processing trends.

  • EB-2 India Visa Numbers Will Retrogress in Fall Of 2014

    Current USCIS filings based on forward movement of the India EB-2 cut-off may not result in a significant increase in requests for visa numbers until Fall of 2014. When that occurs, we can expect to see retrogression of the priority date based on the need to hold visa number use within the annual limit. Visa availability for EB-2 Indians advanced rapidly towards the end of last fall and is expected to do the same this year, with continuing advancement expected. The increase demand for visa numbers by Indians is partly attributable to Indians upgrading petitions from EB-3 to EB-2 and higher EB-2 usage by other countries, resulting in fewer “otherwise unused” numbers available for EB-2 Indians. Given current demand, the priority date may retrogress, possibly to a date in early 2005. The current priority date for EB-2 India is May 1, 2009. We monitor closely when visa numbers become available for our clients so they can apply for green cards during their window of opportunity.

  • Philippines Demand Continues To Fall, Pushing Visa Priority Dates Forward

    Demand for both employment-based and family-based visas for the Philippines continues to decrease, which accounts for the advancing priority dates in these categories. The cut-off date for the EB-3 and “Other Worker” categories for the Philippines is the same as it is worldwide, October 1, 2011. The National Visa Center has been sending reminders to applicants eligible to receive upcoming available visas in an effort to spur demand. Despite this notification, demand remains low. Though demand is low and dates will remain favorable for the foreseeable future, this availability may change if many more applicants come forward to claim immigrant visas.


Renewal of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) grants temporary relief from deportation and work authorization to certain individuals who entered the United States as children and meet specific eligibility requirements. DACA approval is issued in two year increments. If you were previously approved for DACA, we can help you renew your deferred action for an additional two years. Do not delay renewal to ensure continued work authorization and (in some states) driver’s licenses.


Attention All Army Families: You May Qualify for a Green Card

Are you are an undocumented spouse, child or parent of an active duty member of the U.S. Armed Forces, an individual in the selected reserve of the ready reserve, or an individual who previously served in the U.S. Armed Forces or the selected reserve of the ready reserve? If so, you may be eligible to apply for a green card. If you would like further analysis of your eligibility, contact us to schedule a consultation.


Immigration News in Brief

  • Looking for an Executive Suite? We have a beautiful windowed office and secretarial bay for lease. Ask us for details or see the ad on Craigslist.
  • Customs Declaration Now LGBT Friendly Each time you enter the U.S., you must complete a customs declaration—one per family. Now, a more inclusive definition states that family members are “members of a family residing in the same household who are related by blood, marriage, domestic relationship, or adoption.” Thus, many more people are considered part of a family unit and do not need to needlessly complete custom declarations individually.
  • Internet Security a Priority: As many are aware, Dayzad Law Offices uses state of the art software to provide a modern and effective way of managing your cases. With the recent string of internet security flaws affecting more than 420,000 websites, we are happy to report our database remains protected and unharmed by these security breaches.

I hope you find the immigration law update helpful to you. If you know someone who would like to receive our Immigration News Flash, simply reply with a request and we will happily add them to the distribution list.


Note: This publication serves only as general information and is not a substitute for consultation with an attorney who can assess the specifics of your case and inform you of the constant changes in law and policy. No attorney-client relationship is formed by the transmission of this information until a legal service contract has been signed by both of us.