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Saturday, September 3, 2016

Solicitation of prostitution is CIMT


      The sixth circuit it its recent decision held that the petitioner’s conviction for solicitation of prostitution is a crime involving moral turpitude. (Reyes v. Lynch, 2016)

       The respondent in this case argued that solicitation of prostitution “is not uniformly regarded as illegal” and thus must constitute a crime that is malum prohibitum, rather than malum in se. He pointed out that countries such as Armenia, Poland, and the Dominican Republic have made prostitution itself legal, and even one jurisdiction in this country—Nevada—licenses the practice in some counties. 

      Despite the fact that sister circuits decisions on prostitution are several decades old and there is now increased attention to the question whether and  to what extent prostitution should be criminalize the court found solicitation of prostitution is CIMT. 

Friday, September 2, 2016

Procedural Changes for H-2B filings with DOL

 U.S Department of Labor (‘DOL”) Office of Foreign Labor Certification announced on September 1, 2016 of Procedural Change to Streamline the H-2B Process for Non-Agricultural Employers. According DOL “… an employer need not submit additional documentation at the time of filing the Form ETA-9142B to justify its temporary need. It may satisfy this filing requirement more simply by completing Section B “Temporary Need Information,” Field 9 “Statement of Temporary Need” of the Form ETA-9142B. This written statement should clearly explain the nature of the employer’s business or operations, why the job opportunity and number of workers being requested for certification reflect a temporary need, and how the request for the services or labor to be performed meets one of the four DHS regulatory standards of temporary need chosen under Section B, Field 8 of the Form ETA-9142B. Other documentation or evidence demonstrating temporary need is not required to be filed with the H-2B application. Instead, it must be retained by the employer and provided to the Chicago NPC in the event a Notice of Deficiency (NOD) is issued by the CO.”
            However, it looks like that USCIS may still request evidence demonstrating temporary need or reject the Labor Certification issued by DOL. 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Visa Bulletin Filing Chart

Since September 2015, the Visa Bulletin has been giving two sets of priority dates, "the final action dates" and the second set of dates "filing dates". So, if the visa bulletin shows a filing date that means that one can file an application for adjustment of status if the priority date is prior to that date, but USCIS will not adjudicate the application until the priority date becomes current which is the final action date. This is the same way that the National Visa Center begins processing cases when the date of filing is current but will not schedule the case for consular interview until the priority date is current as shown in the final action date. The advantage of filing early based on the filing date is that the person may apply for work authorization and advance parole early.

The Visa Bulletin also directs people to visit www.uscis.gov/visabulletininfo for information on whether USCIS has determined that this chart can be used. It can be a little bit confusing. Follow the instructions on the website to determine if the Application for Adjustment of Status can be filed in accordance with the filing dates. If USCIS determines that there are more immigrant visas available for a fiscal year than there are known applicants for such visas, they will state on the page that you may use the Dates of Filing Visa Application Chart. Otherwise, they will inform you to use the Application Final Action Dates chart to determine when you can file your adjustment of status application.

Now, USCIS plans on allowing both employment and family-based applicants to use the Visa Bulletin Filing Date chart at the beginning of the FY 2017, meaning on October 1, 2016. However; this is only a plan, not a guarantee. Even if USCIS will go with this new plan, it might only last for several months. To be sure that you receive the most up to date information, review your case with an attorney to determine if you will benefit from using the "Filing Date" chart.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Expansion of Provisional Waiver : USCIS 601A Waiver


        USCIS passed new rule expanding Provisional Waiver (601A Waiver). So now eligibility for the provisional waiver will no longer be limited to the subset of statutorily qualified individuals who seek to immigrate as immediate relatives of U.S. citizens and who can show that denial of admission will result in extreme hardship to a U.S. citizen spouse or parent. Rather, this rule makes eligibility for the provisional waiver available to all individuals who are statutorily eligible for a waiver of the unlawful presence grounds of inadmissibility.

Highlights of new rule:

·         New Rule allows individuals to apply for Provisional Waivers even if USCIS has a reason to believe that he or she may be subject to other grounds of inadmissibility.

·         New Rule eliminates the proposed temporal limitations that would have restricted eligibility for provisional waivers based on DOS visa interview scheduling.

·         New Rule allows individuals with final orders of removal, exclusion, or deportation to be eligible for provisional waivers provided that they have already applied for, and USCIS has approved, an Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States after Deportation or Removal, Form I–212.


·         A removal, deportation, or exclusion order must have been actually reinstated in order for an individual who has returned to the United States unlawfully after removal to be ineligible for a provisional waiver on that basis.

Good News : Visa Bulletin EB-4

               DOS Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division Charlie Oppenheim examines the September 2016 Visa Bulletin, and reports that the infusion of FY2017 visa numbers will make the employment-based, fourth preference categories for India and Mexico current this October. Mr. Oppenheim predicts that the final action date for EB-4 El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras will move to a date sometime in the summer of 2015, and possibly beyond. He also notes that he will continue to comply with the Obama administration's Visa Modernization Proposal by advancing the dates for the family-based categories as aggressively as possible in the first three quarters of the fiscal year.
      So EB-4 category becomes very attractive for lots of immigrants!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

2016 estate and gift taxes


The donor is generally responsible for paying gift tax.  The general rule is that any gift is taxable gift.  However, there is annual exclusion for each calendar year.  IRS announced 2016 Estate and Gift tax exemption. 
"It's official-for 2016, the estate and gift tax exemption is $5.45 million per individual, up from $5.43 million in 2015. That means an individual can leave $5.45 million to heirs and pay no federal estate or gift tax."
See an article in Forbes http://www.forbes.com/sites/ashleaebeling/2015/10/22/irs-announces-2016-estate-and-gift-tax-limits-the-10-9-million-tax-break/


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Temporary extension of EB-5 program

      In the beging of Ocober tHe Congress passed  the Continuing Resolution that includes a temporary extension of the EB-5 Regional Center Program. Although the extension allows the program to continue generating foreign direct investment and creating U.S. jobs through December 11 2015 it does not provide the investors with a long-term plan for EB-5 program. 
       Hopefully, in mean time the Congress will consider a long-term reauthorization bill that would make EB-5 program strong and be an integral part of the US immigration system that brings talented people to the US. 
       Members of Congress from both parties and both the House and Senate are negotiating in good faith to make it happened. 
       To check how EB-5 program is working now see http://www.iv-law.com/immigration-lawyer/green-card/eb-5-investor-green-card/.
        For the list of approved EB-5 Regional Centers go to
http://www.uscis.gov/working-united-states/permanent-workers/employment-based-immigration-fifth-preference-eb-5/immigrant-investor-regional-centers