There may be times when you must travel abroad. Perhaps because of work, or you might want to study temporarily in a foreign country. It may also be because a dear relative from your home country is severely sick. Suddenly leaving the country may leave you unable to renew your DACA again. So, what do you do in that case?
The answer of course is DACA Advance Parole. Thanks to this document, you may be able to temporarily leave the country without issues.
ADVANCE PAROLE…WHAT IS IT?
You may need to travel for work purposes, educational purposes or even personal reasons. The problem is that if you try to leave the U.S. while on DACA, there is a high chance you will no longer be allowed to re-enter the country.
This is why the advance parole exists. With this temporary travel authorization document, people in DACA status may exit and re-enter the United States if the situation asks for it. The advance parole functions like a visa that offers you permission to return without risking your status.
HOW DO YOU TRAVEL ON ADVANCE PAROLE?
One of the conditions for receiving DACA status is to not leave the United States. For this reason, some people may be discouraged from actually trying to leave the country.
If you want to travel, you simply have to apply for Advance Parole, which will give you permission to leave the country and travel. This request to the USCIS will allow you to go outside the U.S. and then return lawfully.
The advance parole has its own advantages, making it beneficial to apply. The biggest advantage is the ability to travel abroad and then return without compromising your status.
In addition, Advance Parole under DACA also provides the opportunity to work or study abroad temporarily. That said, if you have got your sights set on one of these experiences, then it is likely you will be allowed to leave the country. You may also request advance parole in order to visit your sick or elderly relatives.
Finally, Advance Parole under DACA proves to USCIS that you have a “last legal entry,” for Adjustment of Status purposes. In short, it may be easier for some green card applicants to apply for permanent residence after receiving this legal entry stamp after Advance Parole travel.
There are advantages of traveling with DACA but there are also a few disadvantages. If you want to go outside the U.S. on advance parole, here are some things you might want to remember:
- It costs $360 to apply for a DACA Advance Parole.
- You have limited time for traveling.
- Not every reason for traveling is approved.
As a result, you might want to be careful about why you want to travel. For instance, if you want to travel for pleasure, your application will be denied. On the other hand, if it’s something you need to do, not just want, then you may just receive approval.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
Advance Parole applicant under DACA may be granted travel authorization only if their purpose is within the following categories:
- Humanitarian: Such as traveling to obtain medical treatment, visit an elderly or sick family member, or attending the funeral of a family member.
- Employment: Such as going on an overseas assignment, conference, interview, work meeting, or training.
- Educational: Such as conducting academic research or doing a semester abroad as a DACA student.
If you can prove to the USCIS that this trip is something you need to do and not something you just want to do, you may just be granted your advance parole.
TIPS FOR TRAVELING ON ADVANCE PAROLE
Here are some quick tips to consider:
- Before you leave the country, talk with an immigration attorney. They will inform you of any issues that might arise.
- Don’t miss the deadline for returning to the United States that you have listed on your Advance Parole application. Staying past that date might prevent you from returning.
- When filling in your return date, leave in some extra time. This will accommodate any delays occurring during your travel.
- Bring a copy of your DACA approval notice, as well as the approval notice for your Advance Parole.
- Leave some copies of your approval notices to one of your trusted friends or relatives in the United States.
- Make sure you have a list of your emergency contacts with you.
In short, as long as you respect the terms of your advance parole, there is no reason why you should be prevented from returning to the United States. Granted, some precautionary steps should also be taken to prevent any worst-case scenarios. If you have any questions regarding Advance Parole under DACA, or any other immigration based application or petition, feel free to contact Buda Law Group and we will be more than happy to offer you a free consultationRead More
On June 18th, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Trump Administration’s decision to rescind Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was deemed invalid due to improper procedural compliance. The decision will assist over 600,000 immigrants currently on the program.
The DACA program was first implemented in 2012 by President Obama to permit immigrants who were brought into the U.S. as children without valid immigration status to remain and work in the U.S. for renewable periods of two years. In September 2017, the Trump administration rescinded the program in September 2017. This decision has been the subject of several court cases since its rescission before making its way to the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court ruled in favor of upholding DACA, with Chief Justice Roberts delivering the decision of the majority. The Court stated that “DACA was not just a deferred enforcement program as argued by the government, rather, it is a program to solicit applicants who met the criteria for approval” and therefore being eligible additional benefits. By granting DACA, recipients “may request work authorization and are eligible for Social Security and Medicare.” As such, approval of DACA effectively results in applicants’ “adjudications” according to the Court, making “access to these types of benefits …an interest ‘courts often are called upon to protect.’”
Moreover, the Supreme Court disagreed with DHS’s arguments to terminate the program, the main one being that the program was illegal and its termination was required to “maintain public confidence in the rule of law.” It found the process for rescission of the program illegal and the ruling today allows DACA to remain as law.
It is not clear what effect this decision will have on immigrants who have been disqualified from applying for DACA since 2017. There are talks of the DACA program allowing travel authorization once again and allowing initial applicants to apply for DACA as opposed to only renewal applicants, but nothing has been confirmed yet. DHS will be issuing Policy Memorandum in the near future on this program. We will keep you informed of further developments as they become known to us.
If you have any questions regarding this decision and if or how it would affect your case, please contact us at (626)714-7492 or [email protected].Read More
Restrictions on temporary visa programs that may affect international student graduates are being proposed by the current administration and may be expected soon. The current administration is proposing to restrict H-1B, H-2B, L-1, and J-1 status among other non-immigrant visa categories.
Immigration advocacy groups continue to contend that this proposed measure will harm, not help, the national economy.
Under the proposed rule, there are a few items that are worth mentioning and are as follows:
OPT STEM extensions and H4
Generally, OPT is granted for approximately 12 months and STEM extensions are granted typically for an additional 24 months. This administration is proposing to suspend H1B OPT STEM extensions and related H4 visas.
Secondly, the administration is attempting to heighten scrutiny on all initial and pending H1B filings in general, focusing on the definition of “highly skilled professional” to filter cases out of their caseload.
H4 EMPLOYMENT AUTHORIZATION
Thirdly, the administration seeks to rescind existing and suspend initial H4 employment authorizations for all dependent applicants.
H1B FEE INCREASE
There is a rumor that the Employer Fees for Individual H1B Petitions will increase to $50K.
THE PROPOSED RULE CHANGE IS NOT FINALIZED
This proposed rule change will likely be made available and open for public comments in July 2020, for a projected implementation of Winter 2020. It is worth mentioning that the proposal is contingent upon the current administration remaining in office for an additional 4 year term, federal lawsuits by immigration advocacy groups upon rule implementation, and other factors.
Buda Law Group will continue to follow this issue and provide updates as soon as they become available. In the meantime, if you have employees who are abroad with currently valid non-immigrant visas, consider bringing them back to the United States sooner rather than later. Please contact Buda Law Group with any questions.Read More
Buda Law Group wants to make sure that all our clients (existing and prospective) is staying safe and healthy during this challenging time. As the pandemic has affected all of us over the past few weeks and continue to impact our lives moving forward, BLG wants to assist you with all your immigration questions to provide a peace of mind on this difficult journey.
Many of the small businesses owners in the United States are foreign nationals who are temporary working in the U.S. on a work visa. We would like to provide some useful information to assist L1A, E2, H1Bs, and other nonimmigrant visa holders to understand their rights and benefits as doing business in the United States.
Can a U.S. Company with a Foreign National Employer Receive a Stimulus Check from the CARES Act?
During this unprecedented time in our modern history, the US government sets out a bipartisan relief package plan – the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Acts (CARES Act) to help individuals and small businesses. The CARES Act is by far the largest economic relief bill in the U.S. history and distributing $2.2 trillion dollars in direct financial assistance, including paid leave, unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, and rebates to eligible individuals. To help out small businesses, the CARES Act established several new temporary programs intended to provide financial relief during the Coronavirus pandemic, the programs include:
- Paycheck Protection Program
- EIDL Loan Advance
- SBA Express Bridge Loans
- SBA Debt Relief
As many small businesses owners are receiving benefits from the CARES Act, many employers holding a nonimmigrant visa are wondering if they could receive some payments, also referred to as “stimulus checks,” from the government. We understand that you may have questions, so we are here to help.
1. Does Foreign National Employer Qualify to Apply under the CARES Act?
The most attractive relief program is the Payment Protection Program which assists the employers to keep paying their employees for up to 8 weeks. The program was not designed to exclude any small business with a foreign national visa-holder owner. There is no restrictions based on owner’s legal status to obtain the benefits of this loan. Thus, small business owners who are permanent residents, U.S. citizens, and foreign nationals are all eligible to apply.
As of now, we have not seen or heard any evidence to indicate that the application process has been made more difficult for a foreign national owners in comparison to a U.S. citizen business owner due to their legal status in the U.S. Nevertheless, the borrower (small business owner) must still show sufficient documents to demonstrate that they meet the criteria set by this program and qualify under the eligibility threshold to obtain the loan amount.
2. Brief Introduction of the Relief Programs to Assist L1A Employer to Figure Out Which One(s) is Most Suitable to Apply
- Paycheck Protection Program – a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small business to keep their workers on the payroll. This is created for the purpose of providing financial assistance to small businesses nationwide that have been adversely effected by the Covid-19 crisis. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. SBA lenders began accepting loan applications from small business owners on April 3, 2020 until June 30, 2020. It is definitely important for small business owners to contact their lenders and apply these loans as soon as possible.
- EIDL Loan Advance – Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance, it is a loan advance providing up to $10,000 of economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties.
- SBA Express Bridge Loans – allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing and can be a term loans or used to bridge the gap while applying for a direct SBA Economic Injury Disaster loan. If a small business has an urgent need for cash while waiting for decision and disbursement on an Economic Injury Disaster Loan, they may qualify for an SBA Express Disaster Bridge Loan.
- SBA Debt Relief – As part of our coronavirus debt relief efforts, the SBA will pay 6 months of principal, interest, and any associated fees that borrowers owe for all current 7(a), 504, and Microloans in regular servicing status as well as new 7(a), 504, and Microloans disbursed prior to September 27, 2020. This relief is not available for Paycheck Protection Program loans or Economic Injury Disaster loans. Borrowers do not need to apply for this assistance. It will be automatically provided as follows:
- For loans not on deferment, SBA will begin making payments with the next payment due on the loan and will make six monthly payments.
- For loans currently on deferment, SBA will begin making payments with the next payment due after the deferment period has ended, and will make six monthly payments.
- For loans made after March 27, 2020 and fully disbursed prior to September 27, 2020, SBA will begin making payments with the first payment due on the loan and will make six monthly payments.
- SBA has notified 7(a), 504 and Microloan Lenders that it will pay these borrower loan payments. Lenders have been instructed to refrain from collecting loan payments from borrowers. If a borrower’s payment was collected after March 27, 2020, lenders were instructed to inform the borrower that they have the option of having the loan payment returned by the lender or applying the loan payment to further reduce the loan balance after SBA’s payment.
- Borrowers should contact their lender if they have any questions regarding this payment relief.
3. Are those Benefits Considered as Public Charge for I-129 Application?
As far as we know, those relief programs tailored to assist small businesses are not considered as a part of the public benefits under the rules provided by the USCIS.
The USCIS has a list of benefits that are considered as public charge, such as:
- Supplemental security income (SSI)
- Temporary assistance for needy family (TANF), commonly known as “welfare”
- State and local cash assistance, sometimes called “general assistance”
- Medicaid or other programs supporting long-term institutionalized care, such as in a nursing home or mental health institution
- Section 8 housing and rental assistance
- Federal housing subsidies
- Nonemergency Medicaid benefits
As you can tell, those benefits on the list relate to individual people, which means that the stimulus check received by small businesses are related to companies, not individuals. Thus, the small business relief program stimulus checks would not be part of the public charge.
Thus, as long as the U.S. entity is considered as a small business, then the funds received under CARES Act small business programs are not part of the public charge and the foreign national employers could apply for relief funds to help their business under the current situation.Read More
WHAT IS THE HEROES ACT?
On Friday, May 15th, Congress passed the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act. This bill directs $3 trillion dollars in stimulus spending and is the latest bill Congress has considered in response to the coronavirus. This bill seeks to relieve some of the devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It would provide financial assistance, increased medical care, and address other consequences of the outbreak for immigrants and other vulnerable populations in the United States.
The recently enacted CARES Act, failed to address the needs of millions of noncitizens in the United States, which included many people on the front lines helping fight the virus.
In contrast, the HEROES Act, would take a far more inclusive approach.
Here’s what you should know about the treatment of noncitizens under the HEROES Act:
Under Current Law
Immigrant and mixed-status families across the U.S. are not eligible for stimulus payment relief. That bill prevented payments to noncitizens without Social Security numbers but file federal income tax returns using Individual Tax Identification Numbers (ITIN numbers). It also prevented payments to people who are themselves eligible—including U.S. citizens—for direct payments but file joint returns with a spouse who uses an ITIN.
Under the HEROES Act
A one-time stimulus payment would be provided to immigrant and mixed-status families numbering in the millions. Noncitizens who pay their taxes using ITINs would be eligible for these payments. This Act would also extend payments to people who file joint returns with spouses who use ITINs.
TESTING AND TREATMENT
Under Current Law
Provides significant increases in funding for Medicaid but failed to expand the eligibility requirements.
Under the HEROES Act
Provides Covid-19 testing and treatment to all individuals regardless of immigration status, by expanding access to non-emergency Medicaid to those who are otherwise barred from participation.
In addition, the HEROES Act would expand access for COVID-19 testing and treatment under Medicaid for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients, U-visa beneficiaries, and undocumented immigrants.
Under Current Law
Under current law, there are challenges that immigrants are facing due to USCIS processing disruptions and by the various international travel restrictions implemented by the U.S. and countries around the world in response to Covid-19.
Under the HEROES Act
Nonimmigrant and immigrant applicants who were lawfully present in the U.S. when the Department of Health and Human Services declared COVID-19 a public health emergency would be protected from the negative consequences not meeting filing deadlines or depart the country on time.
The Act would also extend both temporary immigration status and work authorization documents set to expire during the national emergency for a brief period. Any immigrant visas that go unused in FY 2020 would be rolled over for use in subsequent years.
DHS would maintain protections for DACA and TPS recipients for the duration of the period initially granted by the department. This is an important detail given that ongoing litigation could disrupt the lives of the over 1 million people that participate in both initiatives at any moment.
The bill does not contain any additional funding for immigration enforcement. It would provide more funding for DHS. But those funds would be directed to FEMA in order to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19.
CORONAVIRUS RELIEF MUST PROTECT EVERYONE
Covid-19 has impacted everyone in the United States. It does not discriminate its victims based on race or legal status in this country. The spread of the virus has made it clear that we must do everything possible to keep everyone safe without regard to immigration status.
The current CARES Act prevented millions of noncitizens across the country from access to medical testing and treatment and is a disservice to public health and our economic recovery.
If you want more information about the HEROES Act passed by Congress recently, you can visit: https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/6800/textRead More
Hope you are staying safe and healthy. Buda Law Group would like to announce some new developments in our legal fields of concentration and also some updates on immigration matters that might affect you and your loved ones.
Early this year, BLG started to provide Wills & Trusts and Employment Law services. This service will be in addition to our current specialized immigration services: Family Immigration Cases, EB1A, EB2/NIW, EB5, PERM, L1A, E2 and O Visas. If you or anyone you know might be interested in learning about their immigration options, Wills & Trusts, or Employment Law, call us at (626) 714-7492 to schedule a free consultation.
今年年初时，BLG开始提供《遗嘱与信托》和《就业法》服务。 该服务将是我们当前专业移民服务的补充：家庭移民案件，EB1A，EB2 / NIW，EB5，PERM，L1A，E2和O签证。 如果您或您认识的任何人可能有兴趣了解他们的移民选择，遗嘱与信托或就业法，请致电（626）714-7492与我们联系以安排免费咨询。
Additionally, we have in place a wonderful referral network of other attorneys that practice Family Law including Divorce, Criminal Law, and Civil Lawsuits.
Lastly, there have been several major immigration changes in the recent months, and we would like to direct your attention to our website blogs that we will be updating on new policies and regulations every week and explaining to you what it means and how it would affect you in terms of immigration status and future immigration endeavors.
Here are how you can locate the recent immigration matters on our blogs:
We also invite you to become a member of our social media family!
Facebook – @budalawgroup
Twitter – @budalawgroup or https://twitter.com/budalawgroup
Lastly, BLG has weathered the storm and helped hundreds of clients to achieve their American Dream, and we would like to show you our featured video testimonials: https://www.budalawgroup.net/videos-2/
Thank you for choosing Buda Law Group to help you with all of your immigration needs.
We at Buda Law Group sincerely hope that you and your families are staying safe. In this time of uncertainty, it is important for us to put our faith in God, and each other to get through these very difficult times.
Due to the pandemic, there have been many questions related to what benefits an immigrant/nonimmigrant may safely apply for without triggering the Public Charge Rule recently implemented by USCIS. Also, there are many concerns about extensions of travel visas, etc. I hope to clarify your concerns with the following information.
Additionally, you are very welcome to email me directly for a confidential conversation, and we can set up a time to talk on the phone. I am hopeful that Buda Law Group will be open in our Arcadia office in the next 4-5 weeks. We look forward to seeing you in person then.
Travel Guidance:The USCIS released New Guidance today. Basically, they are saying that filing a Visa Extension or Change in Status (Forms I-539 or I-485), is recommended.
They further advise that people who have filed are basically considered “in status”.
Public Charge Rule:Q: What is the Public Charge Rule?A: The final rule requires certain immigration applicants who are subject to the public charge ground of inadmissibility to report certain information related to public benefits received on or after February 24, 2020.
Q: Who does the Public Charge Rule apply to?A: Applicants applying for adjustment of status and all petitioners and applicants for extension or change of nonimmigrant status in any category are subject to the rule.
Q:Who is exempt from this Rule?A: Refugees, Asylees, T and U visa applicants, Violence Against Women’s Act applicants and military service member applicants.
Q: Which benefits subject you to the Public Charge Rule?A: The following benefits are considered a public charge benefit:1. Supplemental Security Income;2. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families;3. Any federal, state, local, or tribal cash benefit program for income maintenance (Welfare cash benefit);4. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly “foot stamps”);5. Section 8 Housing Assistance;6. Section 8 Project Based Rental Assistance;7. Public Housing and;8. Medicaid
Q: Do people with green cards need to worry about using government services due to the coronavirus?A: No. The current public charge rule applies to people already in the United States who are seeking to obtain a green card, as well as those in another country seeking a visa to come to the U.S. The new rule also requires those seeking to extend or change their nonimmigrant status to submit information on public benefits use. But it does not apply the full public charge test to those individuals.This means that lawful permanent residents—those who already have green cards—do not need to worry about triggering the harsh effects of the public charge rule by using government services during the coronavirus.
Q: Does filing for unemployment put someone at risk under public charge?A: No. When the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published the public charge rule, it made clear that receiving unemployment benefits is not considered to be receiving a “public benefit.” This is because unemployment is an “earned benefit” that workers pay into with their paychecks. This includes Medicare and Social Security.
Not every immigrant laid off due to COVID-19 will be eligible for unemployment. People seeking to file for unemployment generally must be legally authorized to work. Some states extend unemployment benefits to individuals with DACA, while others do not.
Q: Are stimulus checks subject to the Public Charge Rule?A: No.
These checks fall under the disaster relief category and are not subject to the Rule. However, not everyone is eligible to receive a stimulus check as the government must make the determination. The Government will only issue stimulus checks to those non-immigrants who have met the “Substantial Presence Test” defined by the IRS. For more on the substantial presence test, please visit https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/substantial-presence-test
Q: Could a period of unemployment due to the coronavirus put someone at risk under public charge?A: Maybe. The public charge rule operates like a wealth test. Immigrants who are laid off due to the coronavirus could have their diminished financial wellbeing counted against them if they apply for a green card in the future or are forced to rely on public benefits to survive.
However, USCIS has indicated that individuals in that situation should provide additional evidence along with their application for a green card. They can explain that the hardship was due to COVID-19.The agency says it will “take all such evidence into consideration in the totality of the [immigrant’s] circumstances,” indicating that they will likely provide leeway in that event.
Q: Does testing positive for coronavirus or receiving government support for a coronavirus test put someone at risk under public charge?A: No. Guidance posted on the USCIS website says that “USCIS will neither consider testing, treatment, nor preventative care (including vaccines, if a vaccine becomes available) related to COVID-19 as part of a public charge inadmissibility determination.”This is true even if someone pays for the treatment through a benefit which would normally count against them. Again, this includes Medicaid.The rule itself also exempts the use of Medicaid benefits for treatment of an “emergency medical condition.” Immigrants should not worry about using emergency Medicaid if they become sick with the virus and need treatment.Read More
The Trump Administration may soon be replacing the current travel ban with a country-specific set of restrictions. In June, the Supreme Court allowed the government to begin enforcing the 90-day travel ban against individuals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen who had no bona-fide relationship to the United States. The 90-day ban will expire on September 24. The 120-day ban on refugees also went into effect in June. The Administration also did not say whether the six countries covered under the travel ban would be affected by the changes nor did it give any indication of how many countries could be covered by the new rules.
The Supreme Court plans to hear the full travel ban case on October 10, over two weeks from now. It is not yet clear whether the decision will affect the refugee program, which also faced significant reductions as a result of the executive order. Though the final decision has not yet been publicized, the process appears to be much more deliberate and thoughtful than the initial rollout of the travel ban, which led to mass confusion and legal challenges from several fronts. The Department of Homeland Security’s recently finalized classified report on screening foreign travelers may support anticipated changes to the travel ban.
However, substituting a new ban could change the dynamics of the original proposition, potentially making the case before the Supreme Court moot or leading to a remand of the case for further hearing at the lower court level. The new restrictions are expected to be open-ended and based upon the DHS review and identification of countries with deficient security standards. More than six countries may have been identified. Additional countries could be added to the banned list, others could be removed, and still others might become subject to certain visa restrictions.
If you have any questions regarding the proposed changes to the travel ban or any other immigration related questions, please feel free to call Buda Law Group.
John B. Buda, Esq.
1201 W. Huntington Dr. Suite 209
Arcadia, CA 91007Read More
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump is expected to be rescinding an Obama administration policy that protects nearly 800,000 immigrants from deportation, who as children entered the country illegally. This program, known as “DACA”, was created for immigrants who entered the country illegally as children and if they were under the age of 31 when the program began on June 15, 2012. They would have to have entered the United States before they turned 16, however, and to have lived continuously in the country since June 15, 2007.
A senior administration official announced that the so-called “Dreamers” could stay until their work permits expire. President Trump pledged on his election campaign trail to rescind all of former President Barack Obama’s executive orders on immigration. Over 200,000 of these “Dreamers” live in California, while 100,000 are in Texas, which is currently struggling to recover from Hurricane Harvey. New York, Illinois, and Florida also have large numbers of DACA recipients.
A larger coalition of 26 Republican attorneys general had challenged the Obama-era policy covering illegal immigrant parents, known as DAPA, which had been blocked by the courts before it took effect. The Department of Homeland Security rescinded that policy earlier this year. DACA supporters argue that the people it protects grew up and were educated in the United States and were integrated into American society, with little connection to the countries in which they are citizens. Opponents of the program argue that illegal immigrants take jobs from U.S. citizens.
Further, opposition of this potential rescission stems from some of the highest political positions in the Republican Party including Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, who stated earlier, “I actually don’t think he should do that, and I believe that this is something Congress has to fix…These are kids who know no other country, who were brought here by their parents and don’t know another home. And so I really do believe that there needs to be a legislative solution. That’s one that we’re working on. And I think we want to give people peace of mind.”
If you have any questions regarding the possible rescission of the “DACA” program or any other immigration related questions, please feel free to call Buda Law Group.
John B. Buda, Esq.
1201 W. Huntington Dr. Suite 209
Arcadia, CA 91007Read More
On August 1, 2017, an immigration bill called the RAISE Act was introduced, which stands for Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy. So what steps are Congress and the proposers of this Bill taking in order to ensure a stronger economic impact from the passing of this bill? The RAISE Act leaves guest-worker programs untouched, and though it reduces family-based admissions, its impact on employers in the agriculture and tourism sectors is likely to be limited. At the same time, the bill doesn’t really do anything for low-wage employers as its aim is to reduce less-skilled immigration and, in effect, encourage employers into adopting more capital-intensive, higher-wage business models which require higher skilled more educated workers.
How could the RAISE Act be redesigned to increase skilled immigration levels? One approach would be to increase the number of employment-based visas. Right now, the RAISE Act simplifies how employment-based visas are distributed out with its points system, but it keeps the number of those visas flat at 140,000. If this cap were to be raised to 200,000, high-wage employers would be more enticed to consider hiring talent from abroad. Another major problem with the current status quo and the proposed Bill is the way the count meter is applied. Today, when an immigrant applies for an employment-based visa, they are entitled to bring their spouse and children along, but the entire family counts against the cap. This means that of the 140,000 employment-based visas granted every year, a large proportion actually go to the immediate family members accompanying the primary applicants. If spouses and children were exempt from the cap, the effective amount of skilled immigration would greatly increase, even if the cap remained the same. Embracing this approach would expand the RAISE Act’s candidates, which could make passing the bill a stronger possibility.
Further, there’s a case to be made that with a well-designed points system in place, it wouldn’t be so urgently important to reduce overall immigration levels. As discussed above, increasing the cap or only counting the primary applicant towards the cap would certainly make the politics of the RAISE Act a bit more attractive, especially to high-wage employers who’d welcome the prospect of an increase in the size of America’s skilled workforce. Until such changes are at least proposed as a counter to the current state of the bill, the RAISE Act will be unlikely to succeed.
If you have any questions regarding the RAISE Act or any other immigration related questions, please feel free to call Buda Law Group.
John B. Buda, Esq.
1201 W. Huntington Dr. Suite 209
Arcadia, CA 91007Read More