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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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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Setting the Record Straight on EB-5 Investments

September 14, 2015 | Blog | By Immigration News Team

In response to several posts by the Wall Street Journal regarding the EB-5 program, Mintz Levin partner Douglas Hauer responds with 5 Things the WSJ Did Not Mention about Real Estate Finance and the EB-5 Program. Read more about this and related EB-5 news and analysis on our EB-5 Matters Blog.
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Exciting news from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Department of State (DOS) this week. The agencies announced that beginning with the visa bulletin effective October 1, 2015, USCIS will accept for filing I-485 applications to adjust status to Permanent Resident according to a separate filing date chart.
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In 2014, Massachusetts created the Global Entrepreneur in Residence Program (GEIR), a program meant to capitalize on the opportunities provided by concurrent H-1B employment. Under this program, universities partnered with the Commonwealth to provide foreign entrepreneurs with relevant, part-time employment opportunities that carried cap-exempt H-1B status.
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EB-5 Update: Expansion of Issuer Liability for Crowdfunding

September 2, 2015 | Blog | By Immigration News Team

Looking ahead to expected changes by Congress in EB-5 Regional Center Program regulations, attorneys Peter Saparoff, Douglas Hauer, and John Nucci examine how existing law on liability schemes for issuers and intermediaries in an exempt crowdfunding offering might serve as a model for any future EB-5 legislation.
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Our series exploring alternatives to the H-1B continues with foreign trade and treaty visas. Was your petition one of the estimated 148,000 not selected in this year’s H-1B lottery?
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Game and Set: SEC, Love: EB-5 Investors; Match?

August 31, 2015 | Blog | By Immigration News Team

Over on Mintz Levin's EB-5 Blog, attorneys Douglas Hauer and Adam Sisitsky examine the risks to EB-5 investors who fail to properly investigate offerings. Game and set have gone to the SEC, which filed a civil lawsuit against Lobsang Dargey, a regional center owner.
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In conjunction with the redesign of the legacy e-filing system and transition to ELIS, USCIS has changed the process for paying the USCIS Immigrant Fee online. The revised payment process aims to "reduce the amount of information an immigrant must provide to USCIS."
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Mr. Chairman, I’m pleased to provide my testimony today as a follow-up to previous appearances before this committee. I’ve testified on two other occasions to explain the need for a more certain and predictable way to attract and retain the talent my company and others need—even if that means foreign talent.
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In July 2015, the White House announced a series of technology initiatives aimed at modernizing the application process for certain immigration benefits. As part of this effort, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) was charged with overhauling their Electronic Immigration System (ELIS).
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Was your petition one of the estimated 148,000 not selected in this year's H-1B lottery? In a series of posts we will explore alternatives to the H-1B. The B-1 visa category traditionally permits foreign individuals to enter the U.S. for temporary, business-related activities such as meetings with U.S-based colleagues or to attend scientific or professional conferences.
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Federal Court Ruling Puts STEM OPT Extension in Jeopardy

August 17, 2015 | Blog | By William Coffman

On August 12th, 2015, the US District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the US Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) did not follow required procedures when it promulgated regulations allowing for certain extensions of F-1 Optional Practical Training (“OPT”) employment authorization.
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In our latest alert, attorney Michele Frangella discusses the September visa bulletin and movements in the employment based categories. A major retrogression for second preference (EB-2) India and mainland China born applicants occurred.
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US, Canada, and Mexico to Expand Trusted Traveler Programs

August 7, 2015 | Blog | By Danielle Lifrieri

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Public Safety Canada, and the Secretariat of Governance of Mexico announced the planned expansion of the existing trusted traveler programs. This expansion is the first step toward the creation of a North American Trusted Traveler network and will be rolled out at the beginning of 2016.
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EB-5 Processing Times: Continued Delays

August 6, 2015 | Blog | By Immigration News Team

On August 3, USCIS published updating processing times for EB-5 immigration benefits. The summary: it's bleak, with processing times at a year or more.
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