Presentación informativa sobre los nuevos cambios en la ley de inmigración

Acompáñenos a la presentación informativa sobre los nuevos cambios en la ley de inmigración. La información será presentado por los abogados Royal Gearhart y Keith Wallace de Bowers Harrison LLP, las Caridades Catolicas, y la Christian Fellowship Church. Adicionalmente se presentará información sobre derecho de la familia y opciones eficaces para resolver los conflictos familiares.

La presentación será a las 6:00 p.m. el 31 de enero en la Christian Fellowship Church auditorio 106, ubicado en 4100 Millersburg Road, Evansville, IN 47725. El evento es abierto al publico, y la información será presentado en español. Abajo se encuentra información sobre los cambios de la ley de inmigración de que se trata la presentación.

Acción Ejecutiva del Presidente sobre Inmigración

El 20 de noviembre de 2014, el presidente Obama anunció una serie de acciones ejecutivas destinadas a paliar el creciente y complejo tema de la inmigración en los Estados Unidos. El objetivo principal de estas acciones ejecutivas son para reforzar la protección contra la inmigración ilegal en nuestras fronteras, priorizar recursos de aplicación para centrarse en la deportación de criminales, ofrecer a los inmigrantes indocumentados calificados la oportunidad de permanecer en los Estados Unidos sin temor a la deportación, y agilizar los procedimientos de inmigración para impulsar la economía y promover la naturalización. Es importante señalar que las iniciativas del presidente Obama no se han aplicado aún, pero se prevé aplicar en los próximos meses. Estas iniciativas, sean aplicadas sin duda alguna tendrán un impacto significativo en las personas y las familias a las que se les dará nuevas oportunidades para obtener estatus legal en los Estados Unidos, así como tambien a las empresas estadounidenses e inversionistas extranjeros que se beneficiarán de los cambios propuestos en relación con las visas de inmigrantes y no inmigrantes. Aunque no se pueda hacer realmente mucho hasta que se implementen las iniciativas, hay ciertas acciones que tanto los individuos y las empresas pueden comenzar a hacer a fin de prepararse para los próximos cambios y nuevas oportunidades que se aproximan.

Que Significa esto para Individuos y Familias.

La expansión del programa DACA. En lo que respecta a las consecuencias de las acciones ejecutivas sobre las familias y los individuos, el anuncio más importante es la propuesta de ampliación del programa de acción diferida. En concreto, la Acción Diferida para los llegados en la Infancia (DACA), será modificada para eliminar la restricción en el tope de edad para la elegibilidad de el programa. Anteriormente, las personas tenían que haber nacido después del 15 de junio de 1981 para poder ser elegible. La eliminación de la restricción de edad permite a los individuos nacidos antes de esta fecha calificar para el programa, siempre que cumplan los demás requisitos de elegibilidad. Adicionalmente, el requisito de residencia continua será cambiado de fecha, esta vez se requiere residencia continua en los Estados Unidos, desde el 1 de enero del 2010, a diferencia del requisito anterior que era el 15 de Junio del 2007.

Se prevé que estas modificaciones deberán aplicarse en aproximadamente 90 días después del anuncio del presidente Obama el 20 de noviembre de 2014, y se abrirá la elegibilidad para el programa a millones de individuos. Los beneficios al participar en el programa de acción diferida es que los individuos serán capaces de permanecer en los Estados Unidos sin temor a la deportación, y, muy significativamente, que los individuos y los empleadores, sean capaces de obtener una tarjeta de seguro social y el permiso de trabajo para trabajar legalmente aquí en los EE.UU.

La extensión de la Acción Diferida para los Padres de los Ciudadanos y Residentes Permanentes Legales de los Estados Unidos. El programa de acción diferida también se extenderá para proporcionar la elegibilidad a los padres de ciudadanos estadounidenses y residentes permanentes legales nacidos en o antes de la fecha del anuncio del Presidente de el 20 de noviembre 2014. Este nuevo programa se refiere a la Acción Diferida para la Responsabilidad de los Padres (DAPA). Además de ser uno de los padres de un ciudadano estadounidense o residente, los individuos también deben tener residencia permanente en los Estados Unidos desde el 1 de enero del 2010, y no ser una “prioridad de control” para la retirada de los Estados Unidos, es decir, una amenaza para la seguridad nacional o la seguridad pública. Se espera que DAPA sea implementada aproximadamente 180 días después del anuncio del Presidente el 20 de noviembre de 2014.

Ampliación del programa de exención provisional. Por último, el programa de exención provisional se ampliará para permitir que los hijos e hijas de ciudadanos estadounidenses, y los cónyuges e hijos de residentes permanentes legales puedan obtener una exención provisional si una visa esta disponible. Actualmente, sólo los cónyuges e hijos menores de ciudadanos estadounidenses están autorizados a aplicar para obtener una exención provisional si una visa esta disponible La exención permite a los individuos, que sólo necesitan una exención provisional por presencia ilegal para solicitar una exención dentro los Estados Unidos y antes de su partida para sus entrevistas de visa de inmigrante en una Embajada o Consulado en el extranjero.

¿Qué pueden hacer las personas para empezar a preparar?

Las personas que se beneficiarán de la ampliación de la DACA, DAPA, y los programas de exención provisional aún no pueden solicitar estas iniciativas hasta que estas sean implementadas. Dicho esto, se puede comenzar a preparar mediante la recopilación de documentos que probaran su elegibilidad para los programas y cuando llegue el momento, todos los documentos estén listos y adjuntos con la solicitud. Si usted cree que es elegible para los nuevos programas, puede comenzar a ahorrar dinero para el proceso de solicitud, y para la recolección de documentos que acrediten:

• Su identidad;
• Su relación con un ciudadano estadounidense o residente legal permanente;
• Fecha de llegada a los Estados Unidos; y
• Residencia continua en los Estados Unidos durante los últimos cinco años.

También se recomienda que consulte a un abogado de inmigración, que puede discutir con usted su elegibilidad, los documentos que se necesita para demostrar su elegibilidad, y cualquier inquietud que aborde en su aplicación. Por favor, recuerde que estos programas aún no están disponibles, y que usted NO debe pagar a nadie para llenar o presentar cualquier solicitud hasta que USCIS anuncie que los programas están abiertos y los formularios de solicitud están disponibles.

Si usted tiene alguna pregunta sobre estos asuntos o cualquier otra cuestión de la ley de inmigración, por favor póngase en contacto con el autor, abogado Royal Gearhart.

Executive Action on Immigration Part 10: What Businesses Can Do to Start Preparing

The changes to the immigrant and nonimmigrant visa programs discussed in prior posts offer potentially huge benefits to businesses, employees, and foreign investors. However, the programs and initiatives proposed in the President’s executive actions are not yet effective, and will begin to be implemented in the near future. That being said, businesses can use this time to prepare themselves and their employees to be able to quickly benefit from the executive actions as soon as they are made available. Obviously, each business is different and has their own specific needs, concerns, and objectives in the realm of immigration.

During this time, businesses and employers should address and analyze their business’ specific needs and costs in regards to immigration issues and foreign workers. Businesses should begin by asking themselves what are their coming needs are in regards to labor and immigration. Could your business benefit from bringing in skilled foreign workers? How much is your company paying to renew visas and work authorizations for your current employees? Are you possibly employing undocumented workers? If so, can you reduce your liability by helping your undocumented workers obtain legal status? For foreign investors, do you currently qualify for a national interest waiver, and if not will you be able to qualify for parole when available? It is advisable that you discuss your situation with a skilled immigration attorney who can help you come up with a comprehensive plan to address the immigration needs specific to your business and employees to take full advantage of the upcoming initiatives.

Most importantly, your business should be proactive in educating your employees as to the availability of the upcoming programs and initiatives so that they can personally begin to take steps to determine their eligibility, and prepare themselves to take advantage of the programs as soon as they become available. The more educated and proactive your employees are in dealing with their own immigration issues, the less complications your business will face in the future. It is important to recognize that even with these executive actions the immigration process for individuals and businesses is incredibly complicated, and even the smallest errors in the process can have drastic consequences. Having an immigration attorney come to your facility and inform your employees of their immigration options in regards to the new initiatives is a great cost-effective way to begin positioning your company to take full advantage of the President’s executive actions regarding immigration.

This is the final post of a ten part series focusing on the President’s new executive actions regarding immigration. Prior posts have addressed the new executive actions’ impact on individuals and families, and on U.S. businesses and foreign investors.

If you have questions on this issue or any other immigration law issue, please contact us at (812) 426-1231.

Executive Action on Immigration Part 9: Changes Affecting Foreign Investors

In my recent prior posts regarding the President’s executive actions regarding immigration, I addressed the impact of the changes on U.S. businesses and employees. Today’s post specifically addresses the proposed changes and their impact in regards to foreign investors and entrepreneurs.

Clarification of the standards for National Interest Waivers. USCIS has announced that it will clarify the standard for which National Interest Waivers will be granted for inventors, researchers, and founders of start-up enterprises to benefit the U.S. economy. The hope is that this clarification will make the process of obtaining a National Interest Waiver more predictable and consistent, and thus more efficient and reliable.

Parole for eligible individuals who do not qualify for a waiver. Additionally, USCIS will also authorize parole on a case-by-case basis to certain inventors, researchers, and entrepreneurs who may not yet qualify for a National Interest Waiver but meet certain criteria for attracting investment and creating jobs in the United States. Parole will be offered to those who have been awarded substantial U.S investor financing, or otherwise hold the promise of innovation and job creating through the development of new technologies or the pursuit of cutting-edge research.

As with the changes addressed in the prior posts, the timing of the implementation of these specific changes are subject to the issuance of necessary guidance and regulation from USCIS, which can take upward of a year to be issued.

This is part nine of a ten part series focusing on the President’s new executive actions regarding immigration. Tomorrow’ post will be the last of this series, in which I will discuss what businesses can do now to begin to prepare for the upcoming changes.

If you have questions on this issue or any other immigration law issue, please contact us at (812) 426-1231.

Executive Action on Immigration Part 8: Specific Changes to Visa Procedures Affecting U.S. Businesses Cont’d.

Today’s post continues the prior discussion of specific changes to immigrant and nonimmigrant visa procedures and their effect on U.S. businesses. In addition to the changes addressed in the prior post, in accordance with the President’s announcement on his executive actions on immigration, USCIS will also begin to implement the following changes.

Expansion of OPT program for STEM graduates. USCIS will work with ICE to develop regulations to expand and extend the use of optional practical training (OPT) for foreign students that graduate from U.S. universities with a degree in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to improve their ability to remain in the country in a work-authorized status.

Clarification and improvement of the L-1 visa process. USCIS will provide guidance on the L-1B visa program for foreign workers with “specialized knowledge” who transfer from a company’s foreign office to its office in the United States. USCIS will also work to improve the adjudicative process to improve consistency and enhance companies’ confidence in the program.

As with the changes addressed in the prior post, the timing of the implementation of these specific changes are subject to the issuance of necessary guidance and regulation from USCIS, which can take upwards of a year to be issued.

This is part eight of a ten part series focusing on the President’s new executive actions regarding immigration. Tomorrow’s post will discuss the changes specifically impacting foreign investors and entrepreneurs.

If you have questions on this issue or any other immigration law issue, please contact us at (812) 426-1231.

Executive Action on Immigration Part 7: Specific Changes to Visa Procedures Affecting U.S. Businesses

Yesterday’s post focused on the proposed general changes by USCIS to the immigration regime as a whole and their effect on U.S. businesses and employees. Today’s post will briefly begin to discuss the changes to specific immigrant and nonimmigrant programs that businesses, employees, and foreign investors will be able to take direct advantage of and benefit from. This topic will continue to be discussed in subsequent posts. Specifically, today’s post will address changes to increase portability for skilled workers and to the H1-B visa program.

Portability for Skilled Workers. USCIS will work on regulatory changes to provide clarity on adjustment portability and to remove restrictions on natural career progression and job mobility. Currently, employees with approved employment-based I-140 petitions often are forced to wait years for their immigrant visa to become available so that they and their family members can obtain lawful permanent residence. These changes will allow workers with approved employment-based petitions to change jobs more easily and avoid the lengthy adjustment delays that workers currently face.

Work Authorization for Spouses of H-1B Visa Holders. USCIS will finalize a rule to allow certain spouses of H-1B visa holders to obtain work authorization. This is relief for many families of individuals that are forced to wait lengthy periods to adjust status in the United States, and during this time are forced to rely on solely one income. When effective, certain spouses of H1-B visa holders can seek work authorization and help support their families.

As with the general changes to the immigration regime as a whole, the timing of the implementation of these specific changes are subject to the issuance of necessary guidance and regulation from USCIS and the Department of State, which can take upwards of a year to be issued.

This is part seven of a ten part series focusing on the President’s new executive actions regarding immigration. Tomorrow’s post will continue the discussion of the changes to specific immigrant and nonimmigrant programs that businesses, employees, and foreign investors will be able to take direct advantage of and benefit from.

If you have questions on this issue or any other immigration law issue, please contact us at (812) 426-1231.

Executive Action on Immigration Part 6 – General Changes Affecting U.S. Businesses

My previous posts on the President’s executive actions regarding immigration have focused on the new opportunities that will be available to individuals to remain in the country and work here legally. However, the proposed executive actions will also have a substantial impact on U.S. businesses and foreign investors. One of the primary goals of the executive actions is to modernize, improve, and clarify immigrant and nonimmigrant programs to grow the economy and create jobs, which will be accomplished through regulatory changes and corroboration between USCIS and the Department of State. This post highlights a couple of the broader changes to the immigrant and nonimmigrant visa procedures that will have more a general and indirect effect on businesses. These general changes include:

Allocation of immigrant visas to match demand. USCIS will work with the Department of State to more effectively allocate immigrant visas to ensure that all immigrant visas authorized by Congress are issued to eligible individuals based on demand. When the government is unable to issue the allocated immigrant visas for preference immigrants in a fiscal year for which there is a demand, the Department of State will apply those unused immigrant visas in subsequent years. This will reduce backlog for those seeking a permanent resident visa, and should reduce the cost to employers who often are financially responsible for the cost of renewing temporary work visas and work authorization documents during the often lengthy time an employee’s LPR visa is being processed.

Modification and modernization of the labor market test. USCIS will work with the Department of State and the Department of Labor to modify the Visa Bulletin system to more simply and reliably make determinations of visa availability. This includes modernizing recruitment and application requirements for its 10-year-old PERM program, which will come as a relief to many employers who for years have been forced to comply with an antiquated recruitment system with no relation to industry recruitment practices. The Department of Labor is also entertaining the idea of premium processing for PERM applications, which could be an immense benefit for foreign nationals whose nonimmigrant visas are running out of time.

These general changes are designed to modernize and improve efficiency and effectiveness of the immigration regime as a whole, which can reduce costs and confusion for businesses and employees that have immigration needs. The timing of the implementation of these changes is subject to the issuance of necessary guidance and regulation from USCIS and the Department of State, which can take upwards of a year to be issued.

This is part six of a ten part series focusing on the President’s new executive actions regarding immigration. Tomorrow’s post will focus on the changes to specific immigrant and nonimmigrant programs that businesses, employees, and foreign investors will be able to take direct advantage of and benefit from.

If you have questions on this issue or any other immigration law issue, please contact us at (812) 426-1231.

Executive Action on Immigration Part 5 – What You Can Do to Prepare

The new changes to the eligibility requirements of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) program, and for provisional waivers of unlawful presence means that millions of individuals will be newly eligible to benefit from these programs when they are made effective. For a more in depth discussion of the new eligibility requirements, please see my prior posts on these programs. However, individuals who stand to benefit from the expansion of the DACA, DAPA, and provisional waiver programs cannot yet apply for these initiatives until they are implemented. That being said, if you believe that you meet the new eligibility requirements for any of these programs, you can begin preparing by gathering documents to prove their eligibility for the programs so they will be ready to submit their applications when the time comes. If you believe that you are eligible for the new programs, you can begin saving money for the application process, and gathering documents that prove:

• Your identity;

• Your relationship to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident;

• When you arrived to the United States; and

• Continuous residence in the United States over the last five years.

It is also recommended that you consult an immigration attorney, who can discuss with you your eligibility, the documents that you will need to prove your eligibility, and any concerns that should be addressed in your application. Please remember that these programs are not yet available, and you should NOT pay anyone to fill out or submit any application for you until USCIS announces that the programs are open and the application forms are available.

This is part five of a ten part series focusing on the President’s new executive actions regarding immigration. Check back in tomorrow for a discussion of the impact of the new executive actions on businesses and foreign investors.

If you have questions on this issue or any other immigration law issue, please contact us at (812) 426-1231.

Executive Action on Immigration Part 4 – Expansion of the Provisional Waiver Program

In addition to the expansion of the DACA program and creation of the DAPA program discussed in prior posts, the provisional waiver program will also be expanded to allow sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and spouses and children of lawful permanent residents to obtain a provisional waiver of unlawful presence. Currently, only spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens are allowed to apply to obtain a provisional waiver. The waiver allows individuals, who only need a waiver of inadmissibility for unlawful presence, to apply for a waiver in the United States and before they depart for their immigrant visa interviews at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad. For individuals who are not eligible to adjust status in the United States and must travel abroad to obtain an immigrant visa, this waiver is necessary to overcome the unlawful presence bars that would prevent them from being able to return to the U.S.

USCIS has not yet set a time frame for the effective date of the expansion of the provisional waiver program’s eligibility requirements. The expansion of eligibility should be effective upon USCIS issuance of new guidelines and regulations, which can take upwards to a year to accomplish. Please do NOT pay anybody to fill out or submit an application for a provisional waiver for you if you are only eligible because of the new eligibility standards until USCIS announces that the program is active.

This is part four of a ten part series focusing on the President’s new executive actions regarding immigration. Check back in tomorrow for a discussion of what individuals can do now to start preparing for the new programs and initiatives.

If you have questions on this issue or any other immigration law issue, please contact us at (812) 426-1231.

Executive Action on Immigration Part 3 – Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA)

One of the most significant announcement regarding President Obama’s new executive actions regarding immigration is the creation of the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability program (DAPA). The Deferred Action program, which before was only available to childhood arrivals (known as DACA), will be extended to provide eligibility to parents of U.S. citizen and lawful permanent resident children born on or before the date of the President’s announcement on November 20, 2014. In addition to being a parent of a U.S. citizen or LPR, individuals must also have continuous residence in the United States since January 1, 2010, and not be an “enforcement priority” for removal from the United States, i.e. a threat to national security or public safety. This new program will provide immigration relief to a large number of parents of U.S. citizens and LPRs that were not eligible for the Deferred Action program before.

DAPA is planned to be implemented approximately 180 days after the President’s announcement on November 20, 2014. The benefits of participating in the Deferred Action program is that individuals will be able to remain in the United States without fear of deportation, and, significant to both individuals and employers, be able to obtain a social security card and work authorization to work legally here in the U.S. Please remember that these changes are not effective yet, so you should NOT pay anyone to fill out or submit an application for you. USCIS will announce then the changes will be effective and release the forms on its website when available.

This is part three of a ten part series focusing on the President’s new executive actions regarding immigration. Check back in tomorrow for a discussion of the expansion of the Provisional Waiver Program.

If you have questions on this issue or any other immigration law issue, please contact us at (812) 426-1231.

Executive Action on Immigration Part 2: The Expansion of the DACA Program

The new executive actions regarding immigration will, among other changes, expand the Deferred Action program to allow many more individuals to be able to take advantage of the program’s benefits. Specifically, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), will be modified to remove the upper age restriction on eligibility for the program. Previously, individuals must have been born after June 15, 1981 to be eligible. The removal of the age restriction allows individuals born prior to this date to also qualify for the program, provided that they meet the other eligibility requirements. Additionally, the continuous residency requirement will be changed to require continuous residence in the United States since January 1, 2010 instead of the prior requirement of June 15, 2007.

These changes are planned to be implemented within approximately 90 days of President Obama’s announcement on November 20, 2014, and will open up eligibility for the program to millions of individuals. The benefits of participating in the Deferred Action program is that individuals will be able to remain in the United States without fear of deportation, and, significant to both individuals and employers, be able to obtain a social security card and work authorization to work legally here in the U.S. Please remember that these changes are not effective yet, so you should NOT pay anyone to fill out or submit an application for you. USCIS will announce then the changes will be effective and release the forms on its website when available.

This is part two of a ten part series focusing on the President’s new executive actions regarding immigration. Check back in tomorrow for a discussion of the new Deferred Action for Parental Accountability program (DAPA) that will allow certain parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to remain in the United States.

If you have questions on this issue or any other immigration law issue, please contact us at (812) 426-1231.