Sorry the posts have been light for the last few days. Hopefully, things will be back to normal tomorrow.
USCIS announced on its web site today that it is releasing shortly an interim final rule on I-9s and 45 days after that a new I-9 form must be used by the nation's employers. Not a ton of changes, but there is now a separate box for claiming to be a non-citizen national (up until now there was a single box for citizens and nationals. According to USCIS, here are the major changes:
- Requires that all documents presented during the verification process be unexpired;
- Eliminates List A identity and employment authorization documentation Forms I-688, I-688A, and I-688B (Temporary Resident Card and outdated Employment Authorization Cards);
- Adds foreign passports containing certain machine-readable immigrant visas to List A;
- Adds to List A as evidence of identity and employment authorization valid passports for citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), along with Form I-94 or Form I-94A indicating nonimmigrant admission under the Compact of Free Association Between the United States and the FSM or RMI ; and
- Makes technical updates.
Here's the draft language of the new rule as well as the USCIS press release.
new I-9 rule 12 09 - Get more Business Documents
The Washington Post reports on the worries. I originally had a tenth idea on my list of stimulus proposals and that dealt with visitor visas. I wanted to push to revitalize the immigration bonds tool that consular officers have available for prospective visitors to the US. Figuring out precisely how to do this would be tough and making sure that the public understands what it is and is not would be a challenge. But perhaps it's time to start that discussion.
Anti-immigrants love recessions because they can whip up fears of foreigners coming to the US and stealing American jobs. But pro-immigration advocates can just as easily make the case that immigrants are job generators for Americans. And immigration can do even more to help the economy than is the case under the current system. Here are ideas for changing immigration law to attract needed capital into American businesses and enable employers to hire more American workers. Some of these are changes that can be made by a government agency while others would require legislative changes.Create a retiree visa What if we could find people to immigrate to the US who are well off financially who want to spend money in the US and who have no desire now (or likely in the future) to try and find employment in the US? We can. They’re retirees and they’ve been coming to the US for years. But many are reluctant to buy vacation or retirement properties because they only get 90 or 180 day stays when they come over and have to deal with convincing a CBP officer that they have strong ties abroad and are going home after each trip. Why not create a retiree visa that would be limited to people over fifty-five who can show a steady source of non-work income, that they have their own health insurance and they own a residence in the US without a mortgage? Create a new medical visitor visa You may not have heard of medical tourism, but it is a very important new trend in global health care. People are more and more frequently traveling outside their own countries for health care. A lot of Americans are looking to go abroad for procedures, particularly the uninsured, because of big cost differences. And a lot of wealthy foreign nationals are coming to the US because we have cutting edge treatments with some of the best doctors in the world. Creating a separate tourist visa for people who have the financial means to pay for their US treatment will give a boost to American hospitals and having foreign nationals able to pay the full bill for their care helps to underwrite Americans who don’t qualify for government funded care, but are not well off enough to pay 100% of their medical bills. Make F-1s dual intent When a student applies for an F-1 visa, the student must demonstrate that he or she has no intention to immigrate. But it’s pretty hard for someone to prove this when they’re coming over for a program that lasts several years. Making F-1 visas a dual intent category and not denying entry on the basis of a lack of ties to the home country will help in two very important ways. First, foreign students very often receive no financial aid and are, in effect, subsidizing American students unable to afford higher education without some outside help. Second, a great number of American universities have been unable to find enough American students to fill slots in graduate programs, particularly in the STEM fields – science, technology, engineering and math. Those foreign students often make it possible for a university to keep a department going that otherwise might not survive and thrive without them here. And that means American graduate students have MORE opportunities. International students also help ensure that America’s place as the premiere country for research is maintained. Improve the EB-5 immigrant investor program It’s a real shame that only a few hundred of the ten thousand immigrant investors available each year end up getting used. Congress created this green card category in 1990 and the idea was to help American businesses attract foreign capital and also to create plenty of jobs for American workers. EB-5 immigrant investors who invest $1,000,000 and create ten jobs through their investment are supposed to get a green card in exchange for their helping the country. Most countries in the developing world have an immigrant investor program, but the one in the US is, unfortunately, pretty unpopular. Why? A lot has to do with USCIS’ well-documented hostility to the program over the years. It’s time for the our government to realize that this program is important to the country and making it difficult for immigrant investors to use the program costs Americans jobs and prevents American businesses from getting capital at a time when they could really use the help. Here are some possible changes that would inject some life in to the EB-5 program:
- Mandate premium processing – There is no reason why it should take USCIS seven months to process an I-526 application and then another four to six months for the State Department to deal with the consular processing or two more years if the applicant chooses to adjust status (not kidding). If an applicant can afford the investment required for the EB-5, surely USCIS and DOS can come up with fee amounts that will enable the two agencies to be able to provide speedy, high quality service. In fact, the higher fees will enable USCIS to hire more people, thus making the EB-5 program a job creation visa in a new way.
- Permit concurrent filing of I-360s and I-485s – The adjustment of status process in California is taking 27 months according to the latest California Service Center processing time report on top of the 7 months for the I-526. 27 months is a travesty, but at least allow concurrent filing as is the case with other employment-based green card categories.
- Allow EB-5s for those providing loans to American companies and not just those taking equity investments – USCIS has been a real stickler over the years in terms of restricting the types of investments that work for the EB-5 program. Loans are barred under the EB-5 rules even if the loan results in tangible job creation. This seems pretty dumb when we’re in the middle of one of the tightest credit markets in a century and businesses are failing every day because they can’t get loans. The federal government is LOANING money to businesses to help save jobs. Yet USCIS acts like an investor is somehow being sneaky when an investment is structured as debt rather than equity. A loan can save a distressed business and result in job creation just like an equity investment.
- Allow constructions jobs to count – USCIS will not count full time directly created jobs in construction in determining if ten full time jobs have resulted from the investment. Do construction workers somehow not count as real workers? Count ‘em.
The E-2 visa is available to investors investing “substantial” funds in a commercial enterprise in the US. When I explain to someone thinking about setting up a business in the US and getting an E-2 visa, they are often perplexed when I explain that they have to be actively in the process of investing a substantial amount of money and only after their money is sunk in the business will a consular officer approve the visa. Huh? You sink a fortune in to a business and then the consulate turns you down for the visa. Now that’s attractive. Not!
While there is a legitimate concern with people being granted an E-2 visa and then not really going through with the investment, there is an alternative approach that could be tried. How about only approving the initial E-2 visa for a new investment for a year if the investor has not already invested substantially in the US business? We already do something similar with L-1 visas where USCIS will typically grant a one year approval for a new office in the US.Create a green card category for E-2 investors if they have maintained the investment for five years and have created jobs for 10 workers One of the gaps in our immigration system is that people can get an E-2 visa, create lots of jobs and invest lots of money, but they may never be able to get permanent residency. How about rewarding people who have invested for many years and created many jobs with permanent residency? Perhaps allow conversion after a person has invested for ten years and created ten jobs. Create a new non-immigrant category for investors Somewhat related to the above idea is the possibility of creating another investor immigration program. This one would have the following elements:
a. Unlike the E visa categories, this one would not be based on being a national of a qualifying treaty country.
b. Applicants would need to make a $250,000 initial investment ($200,000 if investment in higher than average unemployment area)
c. Four jobs created must be created as a result of the investment (which must be shown before the visa is extended)
d. The visa would be approved for a period of three years
e. Holders of the visa can get extensions, but only with an additional $250,000 each time the extension is requested and only with a demonstration before each extension that the prior investment resulted in the required job creation).
f. The investor can apply for a green card any time after the investor can document that 12 jobs have been created as a result of the investment.
Do you have an idea to add to the list? Hate these suggestions? Feel free to chime in.
More fall out from the raid of the country's largest Kosher meat plant. The company, which supplied 60% of the Kosher beef in the US and 40% of the plant is now closed.
Family 1st - Advancement of worldwide, China and India numbers by three weeks to 15 JUN 2002. Mexico moves up a week to 1 OCT 1992 and the Philippines moves up seven weeks to 15 JUL 1993.
Family 2A - Worldwide, India, China and the Philippines numbers advance six weeks to 1 MAY 2004. Mexico jumps two weeks to 15 August 2001
Family 2B - Worldwide, India and China numbers advance five weeks to 22 MAR 2000. Mexico is still stuck at 1 MAY 1992. The Philippines advances six weeks to 1 SEP 1997.
Family 3rd - One week advance for Worldwide, India and China to 1 AUG 2002. Mexico is stuck at 1 OCT 1992. One week advance for the Philippines to 22 MAY 1991.
Family 4th - Worldwide numbers advance five weeks to 8 FEB 1998. China moves five weeks to 22 AUG 1997. India advances six weeks to 1 NOV 1997. Mexico moves three weeks forward to 8 MAR 1995. The Philippines moves up two weeks to 1 MAY 1986.
Employment 1st - All categories remain current.
Employment 2nd - Worldwide, Mexico and the Philippines remain current. India moves up a month toat 1 JUL 2003. China jumps five weeks to 8 JUL 2004.
Employment 3rd skilled/professional workers - All numbers are stalled and there is no movement for the third month in a row. Worldwide and Filipino numbers are at 1 May 2005. China jumps three months to 1 JUN 2002. India jumps two weeks to 15 OCT 2001. Mexico jumps ten weeks to 15 NOV 2002.
Employment 3rd unskilled - All numbers advance two months to stalled 15 MAR 2003.
Employment 4th - The "other religious workers" category is current again reflecting Congress' extension of the category until next March.
EB-5 remains current.
Unbelievable! Turns out the firm contracted to clean the Secretary of Homeland Security's Home was hiring workers unauthorized to be in the US.
I was one of the original Sesame Street kids, those children born in the 60s who were the first audience members of the show that revolutionized children's television. Early on in my career I had the opportunity to work on the green card petition of a puppeteer involved in creating characters for Sesame Street productions around the world. Getting a behind the scenes tour of the workshop was one of the cooler experiences I've had in my work. Now that I have kids, I've enjoyed watching them get the same enjoyment from the show and as a family, we're definitely muppets fans.
One of the early talents who worked with the late Jim Henson is British-born Frank Oz, the voice of characters like Miss Piggy, Fozzy Bear, Grover, Cookie Monster and Bert. Oz also was the voice of Yoda in the Star Wars movies.
And he has also developed a great reputation as a director of live action movies such as Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and The Stepford Wives.
I must confess that my mouth dropped open in shock the first time I heard the phrase ""Support for NPR comes from NPR stations, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), offering E-Verify, confirming the legal working of new hires. At DHS dot gov slash E-Verify."
NPR has been on the defensive ever since arguing that the underwriting money has no bearing on the media organization's journalism. The Electronic Privacy Information Center is taking NPR to task because FCC rules state that public broadcasters like NPR may include "...slogans which identify and do not promote". EPIC claims NPR has crossed the line with the E-Verify language.
Immigration Issues Related to Layoffs and Corporate Downsizing - Get more Legal Forms
I've liked Hugh Laurie since his Blackadder comedy days on the BBC. He's now the star of the highly popular Fox drama House where he dons a pretty impressive American accent. This weekend, he'll be hosting Saturday Night Live.
French-born Eric Ripert is one of the nation's best known chefs. He gained fame as the chef at New York's La Bernardin restaurant and has helped the restaurant garner top ratings from the New York Times and Michelin's restaurant guide. Ripert has recently opened restaurants in Philadelphia and Washington, DC. Ripert has gained fame with the American public through publication of several cookbooks as well as his various television appearances (including stints as a guest judge on Bravo's Top Chef). You can find short how to videos on his web site showing how to prepare easy recipes.
Greg Siskind is a partner in Siskind Susser's Memphis, Tennessee, office. After graduating magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University, he received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Chicago. Mr. Siskind is a member of AILA, a board member of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, and a member of the ABA, where he serves on the LPM Publishing Board as Marketing Vice Chairman. He is the author of several books, including the J Visa Guidebook and The Lawyer's Guide to Marketing on the Internet. Mr. Siskind practices all areas of immigration law, specializing in immigration matters of the health care and technology industries. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org