January 2012


Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from the NeJame Law Firm. We wish you and your loved ones, much health and success in 2012.

Whatever your resolution may be for New Year's, know that hard work pays off. Moreover, do not feel that you are alone. It helps to reach out to family, friends or even a professional, who may guide or encourage you toward your goals.

As professionals, we serve your needs, whether it is Immigration, Criminal Defense, Personal Injury, Corporate Law or Civil Litigation. When we look back at 2011, our firm grew to a total of 16 lawyers. Among them was former Immigration Judge, Roberto Moreno, who joined us as a partner and brought additional valuable experience. Overall, we are pleased to be able to serve you in so many different ways.

Starting this year, your Immigration Newsletter will contain a monthly update of the Immigrant Visa Bulletin. That is right—that thing which tracks the availability of your visa based on your relative's or employer's petition. We have added this feature since many of our clients are awaiting their visa numbers to become available so that they may apply for permanent residence. A link to this bulletin will normally be displayed at the bottom of our newsletter.

Thank you for your continued readership. As always, feel free to share your Newsletter with family or friends. They may also subscribe to it by visiting our website at www.immigrationcounselors.com



Startup America!

"Entrepreneurs embody the promise of America: the idea that if you have a good idea and are willing to work hard and see it through, you can succeed in this country. And in fulfilling this promise, entrepreneurs also play a critical role in expanding our economy and creating jobs."

-President Barack Obama, January 31, 2011

Startup America is the White House initiative to accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship throughout the nation. Over the past several months, as part of the White House Startup America initiative, the Administration has taken several executive actions to keep more talented science and math graduates in the country longer and to make it easier to start a company in the U.S.

Most recently, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced an innovative new Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIR) initiative, with the immediate goal of recruiting a small "tactical team" of business experts to work with USCIS staff to help streamline operations and enhance pathways within existing immigration law to help promote business investments.

For the full article, visit this link: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/12/13/got-startup-experience-help-enhance-pathways-immigrant-entrepreneurs

In This Issue

 

Newsletter Issues

 

----- Before you start Celebrating -----
Maintaining Your Permanent Residency

So you finally got it! Your green card. After so much wait and effort, the day is here.

But wait. What? There are travel restrictions?

One of the most common concerns of lawful permanent residents is their ability to travel to their country of origin for an extended period of time. This happens most frequently to parents, who acquired permanent residency through their U.S. citizen son's or daughter's petition, but the parents are not quite prepared to be uprooted from their country of childhood.

As a result, they spend prolonged time in their "home" country, leading to an extended absence from the U.S. However, on their way back, they are greeted by an unfriendly Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer who interrogates them extensively about why they were away for so long.

 

Possible GOOD NEWS for some facing the 3/10 Year Bar

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced in January that it intends to implement a policy to streamline the waiver application process for many relatives of U.S. citizens, who are otherwise eligible for permanent resident status. This change would shorten the amount of time that applicants would have to be separated from their families before being admitted into the United States.

Background: Hundreds of thousands of immigrants unlawfully in the U.S., who are otherwise eligible for permanent residency, do not apply because in order to do so they must depart the U.S. to apply for an Immigrant Visa. The problem: Departing the U.S. will subject the applicant to a 3 or 10 year bar. (If the immigrant has been unlawfully present in the U.S. for 180 days, then his departure would trigger a 3 year bar to admission to the U.S. If he or she has been unlawfully present for 10 years, then his departure would trigger a 10 year bar.) However, many of these applicants are eligible for a waiver of these bars, if they can demonstrate that the refusal of admission would result in extreme hardship to his or her U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or parent. Given the discretionary nature of these waivers, immigrants forego the risk of applying abroad, and choose to remain in the U.S. illegally. In addition to this problem of uncertainty, most U.S. embassies take months or even over a year to process these waivers.

Update: Under the new proposed rule, the spouses and children of U.S. citizens (not of lawful permanent residents) would be permitted to apply for the waiver prior to leaving the U.S. Although the immigrant would still be required to depart the U.S. for their immigrant visa, by granting a provisional waiver to those who are eligible, the new rule would take away the uncertainty of returning to the U.S. and also reduce the lengthy time of separation among the family. It is important to note that this procedure would not lax the eligibility requirements for the waiver.

Important: This is only a proposed rule and not a binding policy at this time. Anyone considering departing the U.S. should first consult with an experienced immigration attorney.

 

Your Visa Bulletin

Visit www.travel.state.gov/visa/bulletin/bulletin_5630.html to check the recent priority dates for Immigrant Visa Bulletin.

Be sure to review the most recent month.

www.ImmigrationCounselors.com
www.NeJameLaw.com

189 South Orange Ave. Suite 1800, Orlando, FL 32801 * Telephone: (407) 500-0000 * Fax: (407) 245-2980