The summertime is always an interesting moment in Florida as snowbirds have returned up north and the sunbirds, full-time Florida residents, are contemplating visits to cooler climates as well as welcoming visitors from around the world toward our beautiful beaches.
New status for Israeli nationals:
We are pleased to advise you that nationals of Israel are now eligible to apply for classic E2 treaty investor classification. Previously they were eligible for E1 import/export visa however this new classification will expand their ability to invest in the United States. Currently, Governor DeSantis is traveling to Israel with 100 top business persons to expand business opportunities for our state and our country with this innovative country of Israel.
Top E 2 visa countries classification:
The following countries generated large numbers of E 2 visas from their embassies and consulates: Germany 4408, Canada 4067, France 3252, Great Britain 3041, Mexico 2685, Italy 2056, and Spain 1407.
Along with the other qualified countries, the E2 investor visa is one of the most well respected and well utilized investor visas available to foreign nationals. The above statistics were for 2018.
Writ of mandamus.:
It appears that USCIS is not reacting to requests by the business and international community with regard to I 526 EB 5 applications. Notwithstanding submissions to the ombudsman and a clear deference policy, USCIS is still stonewalling decisions.
As such, it appears that the only alternative to many investors at this time is the filing of a legal action known as a writ of mandamus requesting a federal judge to order the USCIS officer to make a decision of either approving the matter or sending a request for further evidence. We have recently had experience in this area with litigation cocounsel and have had success in the last two matters. They were decided within a 90 day period. If you feel that your matter qualifies for this review, please contact our office.
Intracompany transfer visa classification for Canadian citizens:
USCAS is now allowing certain Canadian applicants to apply for L 1 status prior to arriving at the airport and have their matters adjudicated. It is not a requirement however it is an alternative and can certainly expedite the review at the airport.
EB5 form to remain the same:
The EB5 I-526 application has been updated on April 15, 2019. Aside from a few added lines for information there are no changes in this 13 page format. We are quite used to completing this structure however please feel free to contact us for any further explanations.
IIUSA convention concludes:
The annual meeting of the main lobbying organization of EB 5 immigration attorneys has been concluded in Washington DC this past month. There appears to be a consensus for modifying and upgrading the current EB 5 program which has not been altered since 1990.
As such, you can expect increases in the investment level to probably $800,000 for Targeted employment areas and $900,000 for all other locations. There will also be modifications to the definitions of what is a targeted employment area. Negotiations are underway with USCIS to conclude comprehensive regulations in this matter and provide long term stability to the program. Standby for further information and instructions.
Applications for designated civil surgeon:
USCIS is soliciting applications by civil surgeons to submit their qualifications to local USCIS district offices to allow them to be qualified as reviewing doctors for reports. Please contact us for instructions should you wish to still qualify.
Affidavit of support:
The current White House is applying greater pressure on adjudicators to review age requirements for minors who are applying for residency to the United States. USCIS will consider the age of the beneficiary or petitioner at the time of the marriage, where the place of celebration took place and if recognized as valid or violates the public policy of the state where a couple resides or plans to reside. In essence, the marriage must be lawful where it was celebrated, and does not violate the states public policy residence. The minors must have provided full, free and informed consent.
USCIS processing delays:
We have reiterated several times the delays caused by USCIS in adjudicating matters under the current administration. This crisis level delay is affecting all aspects of immigration. It appears that the matter is intentional and aimed to redirect White House policy, particularly affecting families and vulnerable individuals as well as US processes. The American immigration Lawyers Association is now in negotiations with Congress to ensure that this matter is resolved as quickly as possible however we are not optimistic that the White House will respect the request by Congress in this matter as they believe it is part of their executive privilege.
Beginning March 18, 2019 info pass has created a new 800-number to be able to contact them prior to making an appointment. The opportunity to create such an info pass has been significantly reduced. Conversely, the 800-number is also providing more information as to current key status as needed.
Venezuela crisis continues:
We have previously advised you that the US Embassy in Caracas has been closed for several months. Sadly, this has required Venezuelan nationals to scramble to identify embassies and consulates around the world which will undertake their cases as needed. Each case is sensitive to the applicant’s country of origin and therefore we would ask you to consult our attorneys to ensure proper placement as well as expeditious reviewing. Fortunately, state department officials are still adjudicating matters fairly and quickly in primarily E2 Visa matters.
EB 5 delays:
The US government has posted delays for I 526 adjudications officially at 27-45 months from time of receipt date. Unfortunately USCIS has seen fit to ignore its own projection for an estimate for processing time. As such, the only alter alternative that we have concluded for both I 526 and I 829 lifting of conditional status is the writ of mandamus as previously discussed above.
September 30, 2019 conclusion of EB5 program.
Individuals contemplating filing for EB 5 under current regulations need to complete this matter as soon as possible. The deadline for filing is September 30, 2019 which means that matters must be filed no later than September 25, 2019 to ensure a timely filing. We do not have an indication as to how the law would change in light of the fact that it is tied to the budget which concludes at that time.
Grandfathering in of previous forms:
Many of our clients have expressed a concern that the delays in adjudication whether I 526 or I 829 would potentially be deleted in the event of change of law or expiration. We believe that such file before the expiration date will not be affected by the expiration of the program.
Labor certifications and permanent residency:
Our firm has recently won several cases where in US sponsors have petitioned for specified services under what is known as the PERM or labor certification program. This essentially demonstrates that no American is ready, willing, or able to undertake a certain type of job at a specific salary and location.
We emphasize this program as it has remained a backbone of merit based visa applications and expected to endure the changes being submitted by the White House. In addition, the unemployment rate in the United States is at a low of 3.1% and thus very favorable to applications for foreign nationals. Should you wish for related information and have identified a cooperating sponsor, please do not hesitate to contact our office for more direction. These applications include minor children.
We will be traveling extensively this summer however thanks to technology and tremendous support staff remain constantly in connection with the office and with your matters.
Thank you for your support and we look forward to continued success in the future.
BEHAR LAW GROUP