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The recent attacks in Paris and San Bernardino are going to result in increased security checks for visa applicants at U.S. consular posts. We also anticipate Congress to at least review the Visa Waiver Program for potential changes, based on President Obama’s address to the nation.

Why E-2s Are An Excellent Option

December 3, 2015 | Blog | By Douglas Hauer

On a panel recently at a conference sponsored by the American Immigration Lawyers (AILA) Conference in London, I was asked why I might advise a client to file an E-2 visa application instead of seeking an L-1 visa. The answer is simple.
On Tuesday, December 1, the U.S. Supreme Court handed the Obama administration a "small procedural vactory" and refused the request of Texas and other states for a 30-day extension to file briefs in support of the lawsuit blocking the Obama administration's immigration executive action on DACA and DAPA.

Australia Border "SmartGate" Program Expands to US Citizens

December 2, 2015 | Blog | By Danielle Lifrieri, Immigration News Team

USCBP announced today, December 2, that Australia has expanded its trusted traveler program "SmartGate" to U.S. Citizens with ePassports. Previously the country had limited access to SmartGates to Global Entry card holders.

U.S. Department of State Ending Extra Passport Pages Practice

November 20, 2015 | Blog | By Immigration News Team

The State Department announced Thursday (November 19) that it is ending the practice of adding additional pages in passports for security reasons, beginning January 1, 2016. Previously, U.S. passport holders had the option of paying for a 24-page insertion to provide more room for visas, entry, and exit stamps.
On November 9, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued their 124 page decision upholding a nation-wide injunction of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents program (“DAPA”). Based on the 5th Circuit decision, the 2012 DACA program remains intact, however the 2014 expansions are enjoined.
What do Facebook, YouTube and Twitter have in common? The U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv is using all three to reach visa applicants. The goal is to educate the public in Israel about the visa process.

E-2 Visas May be Available to Israelis by end of 2015

November 16, 2015 | Blog | By Douglas Hauer

On June 11, 2012, President Obama signed legislation that would add Israel to the list of countries eligible for nonimmigrant E-2 treaty investor visas. This was a substantial positive development in the creation of stronger commercial ties between the United States and Israel.
USCIS updated its online list of terminated EB-5 regional centers on October 22, 2015. In the coming two months, regional centers are required to comply with the requirement to file their Forms I-924A in order to update USCIS on relevant job creating activity over the past year.
The SEC filed a civil action against against EB5 Asset Manager, LLC and its owner Lin Zhong in the United States District Court of Southern Florida on November 3, 2015. Read more about this case and analysis from our EB-5 Team on the Mintz Levin EB-5 Matters Blog.
Fifty years ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson gave Representative Michael Feighan (D-OH) his famous “Johnson Treatment”—using his intimidating physicality to persuade—on Air Force One. Feighan, Chairman of the House Immigration Subcommittee, had allied with conservatives on Johnson’s immigration reform bill, refusing to hold any hearings.

CBP Announces the Expansion of Global Entry to UK Citizens

November 3, 2015 | Blog | By Danielle Lifrieri, Immigration News Team

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske announced an expansion of the Global Entry program to include UK citizens at the World Travel Market in London. UK citizens can register beginning December 3.

DOS vs USCIS: Visa Bulletin Games

October 20, 2015 | Blog | By Immigration News Team

Last week USCIS issued guidance stating that it will advise which of the two visa bulletin charts; Dates for Filing Visa Applications or Application Final Action Date applicants should use. Today, USCIS released it's first update on its new visa bulletin website stating that applicants CAN use the new "Dates for Filing" chart in October and November.

U.S. Consulates, Embassies Closed Friday October 9th for Systems Upgrade

October 5, 2015 | Blog | By Immigration News Team, Danielle Lifrieri

According to Law360, operations will be closed at U.S. Embassies and Consulates around the world on Friday, October 9th, for a systems upgrade.
In the first of a series celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, this post explores the concept of birthright citizenship. President Lyndon B. Johnson signing the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 on Liberty Island in New York Harbor.
Coinciding with the end of the government's fiscal year, the EB-5 regional center program is set to expire today. However, it will get a temporary reprieve with expected final passage of a Continuing Resolution (CR) that will fund the government through December 11 and also temporarily extend the regional center program through that same date.
As students and scholars change status from F-1, J-1 or other FICA exempt statuses to H-1B starting October 1, these employees will become subject to FICA taxes upon the effective date of their H-1B status. All employers and employees are required to pay social security and Medicare taxes.

EB-5 Financing Basics: Video Series

September 28, 2015 | Blog | By Immigration News Team

Over on our Mintz Levin EB-5 Blog, member Douglas Hauer provides a series of educational videos about the EB-5. The first video reviews some basics of the EB- transaction.
It’s September 25th, not April 1st! Like a cruel April Fool’s joke, the October Visa Bulletin has just been revised and the new India & China EB-2 filing dates have retrogressed. The instructions in bold type in the new bulletin indicate that this revised bulletin is to be used to determine who is eligible to file on October 1st.

USCIS Temporarily Suspends Adjudication of I-485s

September 24, 2015 | Blog | By William Coffman

"suspend final adjudication of employment-based Form I-485 applications... because the Department of State reports that the statutory cap has been reached for the employment-based preference categories for fiscal year (FY) 2015."
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