FOREIGNERS TRAPPED IN THE U.S. BY NEW EXECUTIVE ORDER
As reported in the New York Times, tens of thousands of immigrants find themselves effectively trapped in the United States, unable to travel abroad even for funerals or family health emergencies without risking losing their legal residency status. Following President Trump’s Executive Order imposing a travel ban, the State Department announced that it would revoke visas of all nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemem, without notification. This even applies to those who are legally studying, working, and living in the United States.
VISA ISSUING SUSPENDED TO NATIONALS FROM THE COUNTRIES OF IRAQ, IRAN, LIBYA, SOMALIA, SUDAN, SYRIA AND YEMEN, EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY
Per U.S. Presidential Executive Order signed on January 27, 2017, visa issuance to applicants from the countries of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen has been suspended effective immediately until further notification for 90 days. If you are a national, or dual national, of one of these countries, please do not schedule a visa appointment with the U.S. Consulate or pay any visa fees at this time. If you already have an appointment scheduled, please DO NOT ATTEND your appointment as you will not be able to proceed with your visa interview. We will keep you informed of future developments.
JUDGE BLOCKS DEPORTATION OF IRAQI IMMIGRANTS HELD AT JOHN F. KENNEDY AIRPORT
A New York federal judge recently ordered the government not to deport both non-immigrants with valid visas and green card holders from the U.S. who were being held at airports based on President Donald Trump’s Executive Order barring nationals from certain Muslim countries, while other courts across the country issued similar rulings. In a lawsuit filed on behalf of two Iraqis who were held at JFK International Airport, U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly granted a stay that prevents the deportation of foreign nationals with valid visas and approved refugee applications, as well as of those from the seven predominantly Muslim countries targeted in the Executive Order that were legally authorized to enter the United States.
LOS ANGELES ORDERS TEMPORARY HALT TO PART OF TRUMP’S TRAVEL BAN
U.S. District Court Judge Andre Birotte Jr. has issued a temporary injunction related to President Trump’s three-month travel ban. The Los Angeles-based federal judge’s order prohibits the removing, detaining or blocking the entry of any person from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen with a valid immigrant visa (green card). It also prohibits the cancelling of “validly obtained and issued immigrant visas.”
FEDERAL JUDGE RESTRAINS U.S. EXECUTIVE BRANCH FROM REVOKING ALL IMMIGRANT VISAS (GREEN CARDS) FOR THE 7 COUNTRIES IDENTIFIED IN EXECUTIVE ORDER
While the U.S. can seek emergency interlocutory appeal, at least one week will likely elapse before such appeal takes place, making it entirely possible for many affected visa holders to travel safely to the U.S. in the interim. Although we expect that CBP officers may still challenge foreign nationals at ports of entry.
FOUNDER AND MANAGING ATTORNEY NEIL A. WEINRIB WAS RECENTLY QUOTED IN THE NEW YORK LAW JOURNAL REGARDING THE RECENT IMMIGRATION EVENTS
Neil A. Weinrib was recently asked by a NYLJ reporter about the effects he has seen after President Trump’s recent Executive Order. To this end, he stated that he has received many calls and emails from several concerned clients who are not traveling to the U.S. from countries affected by the Executive Order concerned about their ability to travel. Mr. Weinrib was further asked about the power U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents now have as a result of the Executive Order and stated, “it puts even further power in the hands of CBP officers who already wielded tremendous discretion.” Mr. Weinrib noted that even before the Executive Order was issued, green card holders attempting to re-enter the U.S. often encountered close scrutiny by CBP agents who would even search the cardholder’s luggage and go through their phones to learn more about their business in the United States.
UPDATE FROM DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (“DHS”) ON TRAVEL BAN FOR PASSPORT HOLDERS FROM 7 DESIGNATED COUNTRIES
Release Date: January 29, 2017
“Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry To The United States”
“For the next 90 days, nearly all travelers, except U.S. citizens, traveling on passports from Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen will be temporarily suspended from entry to the United States. The 90 day period will allow for proper review and establishment of standards to prevent terrorist or criminal infiltration by foreign nationals.
Importantly, however, Lawful Permanent Residents of the United States traveling on a valid
I-551 (green card) will be allowed to board U.S. bound aircraft and will be assessed for exceptions at arrival ports of entry, as appropriate. The entry of these individuals, subject to national security checks, is in the national interest. Therefore, we expect swift entry for these individuals.
In the first 30 days, DHS will perform a global country-by-country review of the information each country provides when their citizens apply for a U.S. visa or immigration benefit. Countries will then have 60 days to comply with any requests from the U.S. government to update or improve the quality of the information they provide.”
TWO U.S. SENATORS REQUEST AN IMMEDIATE INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION INTO DHS’S IMPLEMENTATION OF PRESIDENT TRUMP’S EXECUTIVE ORDER
On January 30th, 2017, two Senators requested an immediate independent investigation into DHS’s Implementation of the Executive Order.
ANTICIPATE ADDITIONAL LEGAL CHALLENGES FOR TRUMP’S EXECUTIVE ORDER ON IMMIGRATION
President Trump’s Executive Order on immigration, parts of which have already been put on hold by several federal judges, is likely to face a series of new legal challenges on whether it violates a 1965 anti-discrimination law and the Constitution, scholars recently said.
On January 28th, 2017, The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) announced that a federal court in New York had issued an emergency stay on President Trump’s Executive Order banning immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries. The court’s decision, which will affect people who have been detained in airports, came after the ACLU and other activist groups filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of two Iraqis who were held at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York as a result of the order. The ACLU is challenging President Trump’s Executive Order on refugees and immigrants stating it violates the Establishment Clause.
IMPORTANT TRAVEL ADVISORY
- If U.S. employers have employees from the seven “countries of concern,” we advise them not to travel abroad at this time.
- While there are seven initial countries that have been currently designated as countries of interest, there is nothing to say that this list will not be revised and/or expanded down the road. Therefore, for those foreign national employees, or employers with foreign national employees, from other Middle Eastern countries, it is advised to avoid unnecessary travel at this time.
- Both U.S. citizens and lawful/ permanent legal residents (green card holders) who have traveled to these “countries of concern” should be prepared for increased scrutiny and potential questioning upon their return to the United States. The Executive Order temporarily bans citizens from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Yemen, Sudan or Somalia from entering the United States for 90 days.
REFORMING THE H-1B PROGRAM/ CHANGES TO THE H-1B PROGRAM AND HIGH-SKILLED VISAS HAS THE TECH WORLD FRETTING
According to a recent article in Bloomberg News, a draft Executive Order aims at several changes to U.S. Immigration rules such as the H-1B program used by many technology related companies that bring in highly-skilled foreign nationals from outside the U.S. to fill positions in the U.S. The draft discusses overhauling work-visa programs. The H-1B visa is a highly sought after nonimmigrant temporary work visa that helps high-skilled foreign nationals work at companies in the U.S. U.S. Immigration law caps H-1B work visas at 85,000 a year, which is constantly oversubscribed. Bloomberg writes that the draft, as it is now, covers a number of visa programs beyond the H-1B program that is popular with tech companies, including L-1, E-2 and B1 visa programs. If enacted the Executive Order could greatly impact how tech companies recruit employees.
SENATOR INTRODUCES BILL TO NIX EB-5 INVESTOR PROGRAM
California Senator Feinstein has recently proposed a bill that would end the EB-5 investor program and reallocate the employment-based visas allotted to it among the four remaining employment-based visa classes (EB-1, EB-2, EB-3, EB-4). The bill will now go before the Senate’s judiciary committee and would effectively shut down the EB-5 visa program and raise caps on the other categories within the overall allotment of about 140,000 employment-based visas. The current EB-5 Regional Center program is set to expire on April 28, 2017. USCIS has proposed raising the EB-5 investment requirements to $1.3 million.
THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY HAS ISSUED A FINAL RULE TO HELP INTERNATIONAL ENTREPRENEURS COME TO THE U.S.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has released a final rule that enables entrepreneurs to seek temporary permission to be in the country, known as parole (not a visa), if they can prove their proposed start-up business has a substantial and demonstrated potential for rapid business growth and job creation that would provide a significant public benefit to the United States. DHS will have discretion, on a case-by-case basis, to provide a temporary initial stay of up to 30 months that will facilitate the entrepreneur’s “ability to oversee and grow his or her start-up entity in the United States.” The applicant must prove they have received an investment capital of $250,000 to be eligible and if successful, the entrepreneur may be eligible to extend the parole period to another 30 months if the startup has created at least 5 qualifying jobs. While only 3 entrepreneurs can receive parole for the same start-up, qualifying entrepreneurs may ask to bring their spouses and children with them. This final rule will be effective as of July 17, 2017.
TRUMP PICKS CONSERVATIVE JUDGE NEIL GORSUCH FOR THE SUPREME COURT
President Trump announced his highly-anticipated choice to fill the vacant Supreme Court seat from the White House on Tuesday evening. Trump’s nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch is a reputable conservative with legal views almost identical to those of Antonin Scalia, the late U.S. Supreme Court justice he will replace if he is confirmed by the Senate.
TRUMP SIGNS EXECUTIVE ACTION TO BUILD A WALL AT THE SOUTHERN BORDER, PROMISES BORDER TAX, AND NAFTA REWRITE
American relations with Mexico could change drastically in the coming months. As recently reported in the press, President Trump issued an Executive Order to build a wall across the southern border, thereby appearing to fulfill one of his biggest campaign promises. The rhetoric and plans for a wall, which President Trump has repeatedly promised will be financed by Mexico, caused Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto to cancel a planned trip to meet with President Trump during his first week in the White House. President Peña Nieto has repeatedly stated that his government will not finance the wall and even informed President Trump of the same during their September 2016 meeting in Mexico.
President Trump has also promised to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, which he has regarded to be a “terrible deal, a total disaster for the U.S. from its inception.” He has blamed international trade deals such as NAFTA for the losses of “millions” of American jobs and the closure of thousands of factories.
THE POTENTIAL EFFECTS OF TRUMP REPEALING NAFTA
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which received much criticism during President Trump’s presidential campaign, created special economic and trade relationships for the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The TN visa is within these special relationships created by NAFTA and will no longer be an option should NAFTA be repealed. This visa currently allows citizens of Canada and Mexico to work in the United States in prearranged occupations for U.S. or foreign employers.
Should President Trump withdraw the U.S. from NAFTA, Canadian and Mexican nationals may also lose the E-1 (treaty trader) and E-2 (treaty investor) visa option. This is because E visa classification requires the existence of a treaty between the U.S. and another country in order for nationals of that country to receive E visa classification. NAFTA is the current treaty in effect between the U.S., Canada and Mexico that provides for E-1/ E-2 eligibility for Canadians and Mexicans. Therefore, unless another treaty takes effect between Canada or Mexico and the U.S. if NAFTA is repealed, Canadian and Mexican nationals will lose the E-1/ E-2 visa. These visas currently allow nationals of a treaty country to be admitted to the United States solely to engage in international trade on his or her own behalf, or when investing a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business.
Nevertheless, President Trump has stated he will seek to renegotiate the terms of NAFTA and there is no reason to believe, based on current news reports, that he will completely repeal NAFTA. We still encourage our TN visa holders to consider applying for H-1B as a backup plan in case the TN is cancelled.
‘SANCTUARY CITY’ MAYORS VOW TO DEFY TRUMP’S IMMIGRATION ORDER
President Trump has signed an Executive Order directing that jurisdictions who refuse to cooperate with federal immigration officials “are not eligible to receive Federal grants, except as deemed necessary for law enforcement purposes.” These jurisdictions have come to be known as sanctuary cities and counties. They generally do not comply with federal requests to detain undocumented immigrants who have been arrested on charges unrelated to their immigration status, or to turn them over to the federal authorities for possible deportation. However, mayors of these sanctuary cities have reacted with outrage as city officials across the country including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, New Haven, Cincinnati, and Austin, have stated that they are prepared to fight off any federal coercion.
On January 31st, 2017, San Francisco became the first U.S. city to sue President Trump in response to his Executive Order threatening sanctuary cities. San Francisco sued to challenge President Trump’s directive to withhold federal grants from U.S. cities that have adopted sanctuary policies toward undocumented immigrants.
NEW I-9 FORM GOES INTO EFFECT
Last November, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced an updated Form I-9 for employers to use in verifying the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States. The updated form must be used as of January 22, 2017.
- 24 Months STEM OPT and H4 EAD Could be Revoked By President Trump: The purportedly leaked Executive Order suggests that the Trump administration may go ahead with cancelling H4-EAD (Employment Authorization Document) and OPT (Optional Practical Training Extension) for STEM (Science, technology, engineering and mathematics). The draft is all about “Protecting American Jobs and Workers by Strengthening the Integrity of Foreign Worker Visa Programs” by the new Trump administration.
- STEM extension federal regulation has been challenged in the Federal Courts: On December 8, 2016, the status conference on WashTech’s June 2016, suit has been reset for March 9, 2017.
TRUMP SIDESTEPPING DACA FOR NOW
The new administration has indicated that President Trump will not immediately dismantle the controversial Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative that former President Obama instituted through a 2012 executive action despite promising otherwise throughout his presidential campaign. This comes as White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has de-emphasized DACA as an action item and has stated that the administration’s main immigration agenda for now is focused on immigrants with criminal records. During an interview with Time Magazine at the end of 2016, President Trump stated that he would stick to his promise to undo Obama’s executive actions, but suggested he may look for a compromise that wouldn’t disadvantage young immigrants. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) continues to process DACA applications despite the change in administration.
FURTHER DRAFTS OF IMMIGRATION RESTRICTIONS CIRCULATING IN TRUMP’S ADMINISTRATION FOCUSING ON PROTECTING U.S. JOBS
The Trump administration is taking into consideration a draft proposal to cut off intending immigrants who are likely to require public assistance. This includes immigrants already residing in the United States that rely on taxpayer help, according to a draft Executive Order obtained by The Washington Post. Another proposed draft order plans for a substantial overhaul in the system in which the United States administers immigrant and nonimmigrant visas. The main objective being the tight control of who enters the country, and who can enter the workforce, and to reduce the social services burden on U.S. taxpayers. These two proposals will effectuate the significant restriction of all types of immigration and foreign travel to the United States. The new draft proposals focuses on Trump’s promises to protect American workers and to create jobs by swiftly limiting the entry of immigrants and temporary workers in the United States workforce. The Trump administration has stated in the past immigrants who receive government aid “consume” up federal resources, and immigrant workers contribute to unemployment among American who were born in the United States.
OTHER RECENT DEVELOPMENTS
- The American Immigration Council, along with the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, recently filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, arguing that the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law expressly provides for the non-discriminatory issuance of immigrant visas.
- A broad range of voices, including government officials, academic institutions, faith leaders, and civil rights groups, have expressed their opposition to President Trump’s January 27, 2017, Executive Order targeting Muslims and refugees. Notably, consular officials, Foreign Service Officers, and members of the Civil Service have released a dissent memo. In fact, hundreds of American diplomats have defied a White House warning by sending such dissent memo criticizing Trump’s travel ban. This is believed to be one of the most popularly supported statements of dissent in the department’s history.
- President Trump has appointed Thomas D. Homan as acting Director of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), replacing acting ICE Director Daniel Ragsdale.
- Visa ban leaves film, theater and museum artists in limbo as the Iranian director of “The Salesman,” which is nominated for an Academy Award for best foreign-language film, will not be able to attend the upcoming Oscars ceremony.
EVEN GREEN CARD HOLDERS ARE BEING HASSLED: Green card holders holding old versions of the green card (without expiration date) are often encountering problems at U.S. airports and ports of entry. For example, an LPR since 1987 (married to a U.S. citizen and having a U.S. citizen child) was recently questioned at Fort Lauderdale International Airport returning from a short trip to the Bahamas and subjected to rude questioning and even told to relinquish her green card in exchange for a 90 day visitor visa!
USCIS ERRORS: Nawlaw has recently observed an increase in USCIS errors regarding the dates mentioned in Notices of Approval for various visas and extensions.
VISITOR TO STUDENT REQUESTS FOR CHANGES OF STATUS: We are still observing that USCIS is refusing to grant a change of status from visitor to F-1 student where there has been a change in the school start date (typically caused by the school and through no fault of the intending foreign student) so that it exceeds the basic rule which is that the F-1 applicant must maintain their B-2 visitor status to within 30 days of the school program start date. Despite the apparent lack of fairness in this policy, USCIS has not shown any inclination to change the same and this has prejudiced many potential students.
CANADA – U.S. CONNECTION: Foreign nationals applying for a Canadian tourist visa are asked if they have previously been refused a visa from any country. And, if denied a U.S. visa, this is considered a major factor in consideration for a Canadian visa and will likely result in a refusal.
PORT OF ENTRY NEWS: Even prior to the recent Executive Order, we continue to receive disturbing reports regarding Newark International. Recently, a young French national arriving on ESTA was subject to heavy questioning by the CBP officer who proceeded to examine his phone. They then observed that his father had set up a company in New York.
CONSULAR NEWS – U.S. CONSULATE IN OTTAWA: A client from India recently seeking to renew his H-1B visa there was subjected to unusually stringent questioning regarding the sponsoring company, the nature of his position in the company, his qualifications to perform the job, the nature of his work, the number of hours worked (part-time H-1B), as well as the financials of the sponsoring company.
CBP VIGILANCE: Colombian national with Spanish passport age 23 sought to enter the U.S. at Dallas under the 90 day ESTA and was sent back to Spain. CBP asked him why he was using a Spanish passport. They then checked his phone and saw an email wherein he told his brother in the U.S. that he was planning to work.
F-1 VISA RENEWAL: F-1 visa holders seeking to renew their visas abroad who are STEM eligible risk not having their F-1 visas renewed if the U.S. Consulate is not convinced that they intend to return to the home country. It is a basic tenet of the F-1 visa regulations that the foreign national demonstrate an intent to return to the home country.
RECENT NAWLAW CLIENT EXPERIENCES AFTER THE ISSUANCE OF PRESIDENT TRUMP’S EXECUTIVE ORDER
- Italian national arriving at JFK holding an E-2 visa (valid for 3 more years) was told, after being held by CBP for an hour, that the next time we are not going to let you in and you will be banned.
- Iranian green card holder who, after a brief vacation with his family in Aruba, was not permitted to return to JFK and sent back over the weekend.
SAMPLING OF RECENT NAWLAW ACCOMPLISHMENTS
- I-131 Emergency Advance Parole document approval for an Indian national holding DACA status, who needed to travel due to an urgent family medical necessity (obtained in one afternoon)
- I-140 immigrant visa petition approval for a German national working as an Economic Research Analyst for an economic research firm;
- I-140 approval for a U.K. national working as a Director/ Energy Policy Research;
- PERM (Labor Certification) approved for an Irish national working as an Accountant for a construction company;
- H-1B extension approval for an Irish national working as a Project Manager for a construction company;
- H-1B extension approval for an Indian national working as a Financial Analyst for a retail food store;
- H-1B approval for a Brazilian national working as a Business Development Consultant for a real estate development and finance company;
- H-1B approval for an Indian national working as a Managing Director for an investment bank;
- H-1B extension approval for a Canadian national working as a U.S. District Management Analyst;
- H-1B extension approval for an Indian national working as an Accountant;
- H-1B1 approval for a Singaporean national working as an Associate for an investment bank;
- EB-1 self-sponsored green card approval for a Brazilian national working as a Latin American Financier;
- EB-2 approval for an Indian national working as a Vice President, Equity Researcher;
- EB-2 approval for an Irish national working as a Construction Project Manager;
- EB-2 approval for a French national working as a Teacher, French Literature and Latin;
- EB-2 approval for an Italian national working as a Video Engineer;
- EB-2 approval for a Chinese national working as a Research Associate;
- O-1B approval for an Israeli national working as a Motion Graphic Designer;
- O-1B approval for an Israeli national working as a Curator and Program Developer;
- TN-1 extension approval for a Canadian national working as an Accountant;
- L-1A approval for an Indonesian national working as a Centralized Financial Controller;
- L-1B approval for a U.K. national working as a Chief Database Administrator;
- F-1 approval for a Pakistani national;
- B-2 extension approval for an Indian national in only 3 months.
RECENT CLIENT QUERIES
- A client born in Pakistan and a naturalized U.S. citizen with Global entry is concerned with traveling out of the country. Is it okay for me to travel? Ans. Yes, as a naturalized U.S. citizen, you are able to freely travel in and out of the United States.
- Is it now “safe” for Iranian LPR’s to travel outside and return to the U.S.? Ans. The short answer is yes. The Trump Administration reversed itself Sunday on a key element of its executive travel ban from Muslim countries, saying green card holders won’t be prevented from legally returning to the United States. Trump’s immigration ban initially applied to up to 500,000 green card holders. But the Trump administration now says they may return to America from abroad if they pass security checks.
- Irish nation who is currently an H-1B visa holder asks: I’ve seen that a new bill has been proposed to the House of Representatives to reform the H1B and increase the salary to $130,000. Would this effect those who already have the visa? My H1B expires in August 2018 and I had hoped to renew it. Ans. At this point in time we are not sure as to what will transpire in the future but are monitoring this very carefully.
- Indian national asks: Is premium processing available for PERM process or can it be expedited? Ans. Unfortunately, there is no premium processing for PERM applications at this time. However, premium processing is available for the I-140 immigrant visa petition (second stage).
- Indian national currently in H-1B status asks: Am I permitted to collect royalties from a book published in the U.S.? Ans. Possibly feasible although the regulations are not clear. You are allowed to publish while under an H-1B with your current employer. We are aware that academics in the U.S. working under H-1B visas publish on a frequent basis. Hence, it would be advisable to receive royalties under a 1099 and not a Form W-2 so that they are not classified as salary – but we recommend that you receive your compensation abroad rather than in the U.S. We believe this will not violate your current H-1B employment or run afoul of federal regulations. However, please note that this is somewhat of a gray area at this time!
- Italian national planning to seek an E-2 investment visa asks: Since I already created a US company (even if it’s not active yet) should I declare the existence of the company to the US Border officer on our entry in the US? If the answer is yes, am I required to explain why I created it? Ans. It is always better not to volunteer data that can create complications with CBP since too much data may open doors to further inquiries.
- An established architectural firm in New York City asks if federal regulations permit portability for an O-1 visa holder? Ans. Portability is only mandated for the H-1B visa – not the O-1.
- Green card holder from Pakistan applying for U.S. citizenship receives a ticket for driving with a cell phone and asks: Will this affect my application? Ans. No, this type of offense which will result in a fine should not adversely affect a U.S. citizenship application although it can be considered in determining whether you meet the good moral character requirements. Traffic offenses in general can be considered in the determination if asked by USCIS at the time of interview.
- H-1B beneficiary asks if the web payment platform Venmo (owned by PayPal) is acceptable for payment of H-1B compensation? Ans. Federal regulations do not limit the manner of H-1B compensation. The regulations only limit the wage H-1B employees are to earn and when it shall start. To this effect, the regulations state that the employee is to receive a wage that is at least the actual wage level paid by the employer to all other individuals with similar experience and qualifications for the specific job in question, or the prevailing wage level for the occupational classification in the area of employment, whichever is greater, based on the best information available as of the time of filing the application. Also, employers must pay the petition-stated wage within 30 days of employee’s entry or 60 days from employee’s change of status if in the United States.
- Client from Italy whose ESTA is expiring within one week and plans to arrive in the U.S. asks if he will be permitted by the airline to board? Ans. The regulations do not actually address this issue and it should be feasible.
- Potential E-2 visa client from the UK asks if she can apply for both the E-2 and the H-1B visa? Ans. You can apply for the E-2 at any time whereas you can only apply for the H-1B on April 1st for work to begin, if approved by USCIS, on October 1, 2017.
- B-2 overstay from Poland asks: Is it more dangerous to fly now from NYC to LA? Ans. Possibly. We do know in the past that CBP in Newark has, on occasion, checked incoming flights from LA assuming there are illegal aliens on these flights. We are not aware of a similar policy at JFK. However, we are always reviewing this issue and will keep our readers updated.
- Applicant for adjustment of status to green card from France asks if President Trump’s latest Executive Order will affect the processing of her application? Ans. No, it should not.
- Potential E-2 visa applicant from Canada asks if Nafta could affect a potential investment visa application? Ans. The E visa for both Canada (and Mexico) is in fact tied to Nafta. However, we have no reason to believe, based on current news reports, that the President will completely scuttle Nafta and thus affect the E visa.