DHS proposing to eliminate concurrent filings could impact visa petitioners.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Proposes to Eliminate Concurrent Filings

In this new announcement published earlier this month, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is proposing to eliminate the ability to concurrently file visa petitions (I-130 Family Based Petitioners and I-140 Employment Petitions) with adjustment of status applications (I-485) for those within the United States seeking to acquire permanent residence status. This proposed change would affect all “preference category” applicants, meaning siblings of adult U.S. citizens. Parents, spouses, and children under 21 years of age would not be affected by this.

Currently, concurrent filing is available in the following situations:

  • Immediate relatives of U.S. citizens living in the United States
  • Most employment-based applicants and their eligible family members when a visa number is immediately available
  • Special immigrant juveniles if an EB-4 visa number is immediately available and USCIS has jurisdiction over the application to adjust status.
  • Self-petitioning battered spouse or child if:
    • The abusive spouse or parent is a U.S. citizen, or
    • If an immigrant visa number is immediately available
  • Certain Armed Forces Members applying for a special immigrant visa under Section101(a)(27)(K) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) Special Immigrant International Organization Employee or family member

An applicant must be in the United States to concurrently file. It is important to note that the proposed change right now only mentions eliminating concurrent filing for “preference categories” in the visa bulletin, leaving immediate relatives out of harm’s way. However, this will affect most employment-based petitions where a visa number is currently available.

This change will require visa petitioners to maintain some kind of nonimmigrant status while their petition is pending and force them to wait longer to apply to adjust status in the United States, despite a visa number being available.

You can read more about concurrent filings here.

The experienced attorneys at David Hirson & Partners, LLP are ready to help you with any changes to U.S. immigration processes and procedures. Contact us to receive answers to your corporate- and family-based immigration questions:

Telephone: (949) 383-5358       Email: info@hirson.com       Website: www.Hirson.com

4 Steps to become a U.S. Resident through Perm Labor Certification

4 Steps to U.S. Permanent Residency Through PERM Labor Certification [Infographic]

Employers play a big role in an immigrant employee’s ability to obtain U.S. permanent resident status. An employer must often provide a labor certification as part of the application process. This important step is a requirement to apply for a green card for may workers. Providing a labor certification, often referred to as a “PERM,” is more than just filling out a form, however. It requires that employers go through a three-step process, after which there is only one more step required for the employee to obtain resident status in the U.S.

How to obtain permanent residence through PERM Labor Certification.

1.      Make a Prevailing Wage Request (PWR)

The Immigration and Nationality Act requires that wages offered to immigrant workers will not negatively affect the rates that workers in the U.S. earn while they are employed in a similar job. To ensure that salaries are comparable for purposes of obtaining a labor certification, an employer must request a PWR from the Department of Labor (DOL).

Of course, wages vary significantly across geographic areas and industries. Employers can determine whether their position has a comparable salary by using the Foreign Labor Certification Data Center Wage Library. This is a good place to start if you are unsure if your job provides a prevailing wage based on the market in your area.

The employer must make a PWR by visiting the U.S. Department of Labor’s website. The employer will provide various details about the job to determine what a minimum wage that must be offered may be. These details include things like:

  • Worksite location
  • Job requirements
  • Qualifications necessary
  • Job duties
  • Hours and working environment

Giving this information to the DOL is a requirement to obtain a labor certification, so employers should hammer out these details long before making an offer to a potential worker.

2.      Recruiting and Advertising

As an employer, you must demonstrate to the DOL that there are no qualified workers that are willing and able to fill the position. Part of that process includes a “good faith” recruitment and/or advertising effort. That usually consists of advertising or using recruitment efforts that are normal for the industry; it also includes three mandatory recruitment efforts:

  • Place an ad with the state workforce agency in the state where the work will be located.
  • Place newspaper ads on two different Sundays for the position. The newspaper should be one of major circulation in the intended area of employment.
  • Set out an ad or post a notice of the job opportunity at the worksite location.

If the position is professional, the employer must select three other methods of advertising to meet the requirements. All recruitment and advertising efforts must be no older than 180 days from when you file the PERM application.

3.      File ETA Form 9089

Next is to actually file ETA Form 9089 with the DOL. The DOL recommends that employers complete this form electronically, but it can also be submitted by mail as well. You provide much of the same information about the position requirement as was supplied with the PWR and details regarding the efforts you took to recruit or advertise. The form will also include information about the proposed worker, including:

  • Place of birth
  • Work experience
  • Educational background
  • Other relevant credentials

Once you submit the application, you must wait several months for the DOL to approve the filing. It can take even longer if the PERM is audited. The DOL will request additional information regarding any aspect of the application if it is reviewed.

  1. File Form I-140 to Obtain Permanent Residency

Only after the first three steps are completed can you obtain a labor certification that is necessary for the I-140 immigrant visa. The employer can then petition on behalf of the immigrant employee for permanent U.S. residency.

Having an attorney walk you through this process can save valuable time and money. The team at David Hirson & Partners, LLP is available to help! Contact us for more information or schedule an appointment.

Telephone: (949) 383-5358      Email: info@hirson.com      Website: www.Hirson.com

EB-5 Expo in South Korea

David Hirson & Partners, LLP Sponsors and Presents at the 2018 EB5Investors EB-5 Expo in South Korea

 

EB-5 Expo in South Korea

 

David Hirson & Partners, LLP (“DHP”) is proud to have sponsored and presented at the EB5Investors 2018 EB-5 Expo in South Korea, hosted by EB5Investors Magazine. When the EB-5 Program first began in the 1990’s, South Korea was originally the top EB-5 market, outnumbering investors from Mainland China. Over the past 20 years, South Korea has generated a steady stream of EB-5 investors. Korean investors, who are very familiar with the advantages of the EB-5 program, tend to be highly sophisticated and financially savvy professionals such as doctors, lawyers, accountants and businessmen. This EB-5 Expo featured interactive panels which discussed topics such as the EB-5 application process and understanding source of funds documentation. Other topics included the mindset of Korean investors, how the EB-5 program impacts investors, and where the EB-5 program is heading in the near future.

 

Panel discusses issues for South Korean investors

Attorney Evelyn Hahn, Partner at DHP, and Jessie Park, Director of Korean Marketing at DHP, were present at this event. Evelyn moderated the panel on “Common Issues Facing Korean Investors”, which comprised of top migration agents in South Korea. This panel discussed common issues encountered by Korean investors such as: project standards for Korean investors, prospects of popular EB-5 projects in 2019 in Korea, Korean investors’ issues with source of funds, overseas remittance formalities in Korea, prospects of the EB-5 market in Korea after the future increase in investment amounts, etc. These panelists and Evelyn were able to provide the audience with unique and helpful insights based on their extensive experience working with Korean investors over the past several years.

David Hirson & Partners, LLP is proud and honored to be working with our partners and clients in South Korea. We are one of the very few EB-5 law firms in the U.S. with a team dedicated to Korea’s EB-5 market. Please contact our experienced team members for more details about the Korean EB-5 market and more information about how to go through the EB-5 immigrant investor visa process.

Telephone: (949) 383-5358      Email: info@hirson.com      Website: www.Hirson.com

Franchise Investment and Immigration Seminar

“Reside Legally In The US Through A Franchise Investment” Seminar in Costa Mesa and Seattle

David Hirson & Partners LLP, Visa Franchise, and Turquoise Tax Advisory* will host five investment immigration seminars in Seattle, Washington and Costa Mesa, California this October. The seminar, “Reside Legally in the US through a Franchise Investment,” is geared towards foreign nationals seeking to reside legally in the U.S. through the E-2, EB-1c or EB-5 visas. English, Chinese, and Spanish events will be available. Find more information on the dates and locations below.

Flyer for Hirson Franchise Investment Seminar

Seattle, Washington 7:00-8:30 PM

David Hirson & Partners LLP | 800 5th Avenue | Suite 4100 | Seattle, WA 98104

Costa Mesa, California 3:00-4:30 PM

Law Offices of David Hirson & Partners, LLP | 1122 Bristol Street | Costa Mesa, CA 92626  

Agenda

E-2, L-1, EB-1c and EB-5 Visas – The Basics, The Requirements and US Immigration Updates

The United States Franchise Market and Opportunities for Foreign Investors

*Pre-Immigration Planning, Business Tax Planning and Entity Structuring

Questions & Answers

David Hirson & Partners, LLP 

David Hirson & Partners, LLP with offices in Costa Mesa, California and Seattle, Washington, has over 30 years of experience in corporate, business and investment immigration, and the foundation of our practice is the lasting relationships we have built within the community.We proudly support a diverse client base that spans across local, regional and national levels. Our business immigration practice provides a full range of services, including an EB-5 investment immigration practice that is nationally recognized for individualized attention and expertise. From all of us at David Hirson & Partners, we look forward to serving your legal needs.

Visa Franchise

At Visa Franchise, we specialize in helping foreign nationals find the best franchise investment that will qualify them for an E-2, EB-1c, or EB-5 visa. Our goal is to simplify the process by finding and analyzing the best franchise investments for our clients and their family based on their own unique profile. We have advised hundreds of clients from over 35 countries around the world. Testimonials can be found on our website here. If you are interested in owning a franchise please reach out to info@visafranchise.com or call us at +1-888-550-7556.

Turquoise Tax Advisory

Turquoise Tax Advisory is a Washington State CPA firm that specializes in providing tax services for cross border taxpayers and businesses.  US tax law is one of the most complex fields of law in the US legal system.  Providing accurate and thorough tax advice requires a lifelong commitment to developing the necessary expertise to advise international clients. Deniz Kiral has been a CPA since 1991 and developed his tax expertise through his experience in top internationally public accounting firms and collaborating with leading tax attorneys and accountants in the profession.

*Turquoise Tax Advisory will be in the Seattle, Washington event, but not in Costa Mesa, California

Reach out to us at +1 949.383.5369 or info@hirsonimmigration.com with any questions regarding the event!

EB-1, EB-2, EB-3: Learn the Difference in These Immigrant Visas [Infographic]

As a law firm focused on corporate and family immigration, our highly qualified immigration lawyers are often asked to explain the differences between different visas, specifically various business immigration visas. While all employment-based visa programs allow skilled foreign nationals to come work in the U.S., there is a vast difference in requirements between the EB-1, EB-2 and EB-3 visas. Indeed, there can be very significant differences even within the subcategories contained within each visa type. Scroll down to see some of the major similarities and differences between the EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 visa programs.

EB-1 Visa Program

The EB-1 visa program is aimed at priority workers. There are 3 subcategories under the EB-1 visa: EB-1A (aka EB-1-1) for those with extraordinary abilities, EB-1B (aka EB-1-2) for outstanding professors and researchers, and EB-1C (aka EB-1-3) for multinational managers or executives. In general, all EB-1 applicants (regardless of subcategory) are often distinguished experts in their field, whatever that field may be, or those who are top management in their company and are trying to transfer to the U.S. The EB-1 visa can be one of the most difficult EB visas to obtain. Very few are admitted into the U.S. under the EB-1A and EB-1B subcategories, while slightly more applicants, in comparison, are successful in meeting the somewhat lesser standards required under EB-1C. Successful EB-1 applicants typically show extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, education, or athletics. Alternately, they may be in the top management of a company with operations both in the U.S. and abroad. An applicant under the EB-1 program must demonstrate their willingness and capacity to continue their work and/or research in the U.S.

EB-2 Visa Program

If a potential applicant has an advanced degree or significant expertise in their area of work or study, they may apply under the EB-2 visa program. The requirements for this program are not as stringent as EB-1, although the benefits are also not as great (especially for applicants from China and India). There are two main subcategories for EB-2: those with an advanced degree and those with exceptional ability. Most applicants under the EB-2 visa program must have their petitions submitted by a potential U.S. employer, but some may self-petition under the National Interest Waiver (“NIW”) subcategory.

EB-3 Visa Program

The EB-3 visa program is the lowest qualification program out of the three covered in this blog post. While the good news is that qualifying under EB-3 is easier than EB-2 and EB-1, the bad news is that there is significant backlog for nationals applying from certain countries, waiting 10 years or more for visa availability. There is also no self-petition for an EB-3 visa. This category covers skilled workers with 2 years of training or work experience, unskilled workers, and professionals.

To learn more about these and other employment and investment visa programs, contact the corporate immigration lawyers at David Hirson & Partners, LLP. Our experienced lawyers will work with you from choosing the right program all the way through submission of the petition and beyond.

Telephone: (949) 383-5358      Email: info@hirson.com      Website: www.Hirson.com

David Hirson, Esq. and Eric Dominguez, Esq. Recognized as 2018 Super Lawyers

David Hirson & Partners, LLP is proud to have two attorneys listed as 2018 Super Lawyers®. David Hirson, Managing Partner, and Eric Dominguez, Partner, have both been recognized by their peers and independent research as lawyers who actively work for the betterment of their clients and the legal profession. Both have been selected as Super Lawyers for multiple years in a row. Super Lawyers also recognizes Eric as a Southern California Rising Star under 40.

   
See the Super Lawyers listings. See the Super Lawyers listings.

Super Lawyers®, an affiliate of Thomson Reuters®, defines Super Lawyers as attorneys who contribute to scholarly writings, leadership positions, community engagement, etc. Super Lawyers® has a patented selection process which includes: 1) nominations by peer attorneys, 2) independent third-party research of each nomination, 3) peer evaluation by a highly credentialed panel of attorneys, and 4) final selection of top 5% to be Super Lawyers and only 2.5% of attorneys selected to be Rising Stars.

Congratulations, David and Eric!

Benefits of Using an L-1 Visa to Start/Grow Your Business in the U.S. [Infographic]

 

The L-1 visa program gives employers an avenue to grow their business in the U.S., either by expanding an existing U.S. office or establishing a new one. This program is aimed at high-level employees such as managers and specialists. There are two subcategories to the L-1 visa. The first is L-1A, which is designed for workers such as managers and executives of all types. The second is L-1B, which focuses on workers with specialized knowledge. When utilized properly, the L-1 visa can be an advantageous program for workers and employers.

 

 

Benefits to the Worker in the L-1 Visa Program

Unlike the annual caps placed on the H-1B program, which limits how many applications are approved each year, the L-1 visa does not have a congressional or statutory limit. While there are any number of reasons that an L-1 application can be rejected, including not following proper steps in the application process, at least there is no danger that an application will be rejected due to the sheer number of L-1 applications received so far that year.

Workers who come into the U.S. through the L-1 visa program can even bring their spouses and dependents. Not only that, but spouses of the L-1 visa holder can obtain Employment Authorization Documents allowing them to also work in the U.S. This increases household income and also household spending.

Benefits to the Employer in the L-1 Visa Program

Compared to other visa programs, the L-1 visa may have requirements that are easier to fulfill. If the U.S. company is already operating, no substantial investment by the employer is required, other than costs associated with the application itself and the continuing cost of paying the worker’s salary. Many workers who cannot qualify for other programs can still qualify for the L-1 visa.

If the employer does not currently have a U.S.-based office of operations, the L-1 visa program can be utilized to establish one. An experienced L-1 visa attorney can explain the restrictions on using the L-1 visa program in this way, but when used correctly it can be extremely advantageous to the business owner. The experienced corporate immigration attorneys at David Hirson & Partners, LLP can advise you on starting your U.S.-based operations in connection with and L-1 visa.

If you have questions or concerns on utilizing the L-1 visa program, call David Hirson & Partners, LLP, an experienced business immigration law firm. We regularly assist clients in obtaining business visas of all types for themselves and their employees. Contact us today for help with your application process.

Telephone: (949) 383-5358       Email: info@hirson.com       Website: www.hirson.com

Fast Facts on the E Treaty Visas Program

The E Treaty Visas program is one of the most popular ways for foreign nationals of countries that have trade treaties with the U.S. to come live and work in the U.S. Some of the countries whose citizens qualify for E Treaty Visas include: Argentina, Canada, Finland, Germany, Iran, Italy, Mexico, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sweden, United Kingdom, and Austria. All of these countries, and others, have maintained treaties with the U.S. promising mutual trade and investment.

What are the E Treaty Visas?

E Treaty Visas are non-immigrant visas. This means that it allows the holder to enter the U.S. legally and work for their designated employer, but it does not put the holder on the path to legal permanent residency and U.S. citizenship. In addition, the holder must be a citizen of a qualifying treaty country.

There are two E Visas: the E-1 Treaty Trader Visa and the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa. Generally speaking, the E-1 Visa is for foreign employees of foreign companies that engage in substantial trade principally between the U.S. and the foreign-owned company’s treaty country. The E-2 Visa is for foreign nationals who invest a substantial amount of capital in return for at least 50% ownership or operational control into an operating company in the U.S.

What are the necessary employee qualifications under the E Visa?

Proposed foreign employees must meet certain criteria. For starters, the employee must originate from the same home country as their employer. In addition, they must fall either into the category of manager/executive or that of an employee with specialized skills.

How long does an E Visa stay last?

It is important to note that an E Treaty Visa applicant has two avenues through which to apply: 1) U.S. Immigration and Citizenship Services (“USCIS”) and 2) the U.S. embassy in a foreign treaty nation. The duration of an E Visa depends on which application avenue is used and the reciprocity agreement between the U.S. and the foreign nation. Luckily, unlimited multi-year extensions are available under this program.

Must an employee under the E Visa stay within the U.S.?

There are no travel restrictions under the E Visa program, which means that the employee can visit their home country as often as they like and still come back into the U.S. – as long as they maintain their good status in the program.

Who can enter the U.S. with the applicant?

One of the best aspects of the E Visa program is that the employee can bring family members with them to the U.S. Spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age can be brought along, and can potentially work in the U.S. themselves.

Applying for the E Visa program involves many moving parts, and to assure your best chance of success, you should have an experienced immigration lawyer on your side. Call the E Visa lawyers at David Hirson & Partners today to discuss your options with us.

Telephone: (949) 383-5358       Email: info@hirson.com       Website: www.hirson.com

Tips to Ensure a Smooth Immigration Process

Relocation to a new country is exciting, but also challenging. The immigration process to the U.S. in particular is not always an easy one. However, there are many preventive measures that can be taken which increase the odds that any given immigration will go smoothly. David Hirson & Partners, your Los Angeles EB-5 visa lawyers, can offer several tips for those seeking to enter or remain in the U.S. under any program.

Tips to make the immigration process smoother

 

Prepare for delays

It is well-known that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is very backed up and takes a long time to process applications. Those needing to submit an immigrant application should submit ahead of time for any deadline. Do not wait until the last minute to turn in paperwork – those that have an expired legal status can be arrested or deported.

Explore various visa options

Sometimes, immigrants have several paths to citizenship available to them. The EB-5 visa is available to those who meet specific investor requirements. Other visa programs can be pursued if the investor’s family members are currently living as citizens in the U.S.

Follow program regulations

It is critical that the requirements for your visa, work permit, or green card application are thoroughly and correctly understood. Violating a seemingly small requirement can delay the processing of your visa, possible cancellation of your visa, or even deportation for you and/or your family members.

Hire a qualified law firm

The best tip is to hire an experienced lawyer to help you with the process. Trying a “do it yourself” approach often ends with your visa being denied based upon technical issues, such as lost paperwork or missing minor documentation. Working with the skilled lawyers at David Hirson & Partners will maximize your chances of a smooth immigration process from start to finish.

Telephone: (949) 383-5358       Email: info@hirson.com       Website: www.hirson.com

EB-5 Regional Center Program Extended Until February 8, 2018

EB-5 Regional Center Program Extended Until February 8, 2018

On January 22, 2018, President Trump signed a bill into law which extended Continuing Appropriations for federal government services to February 8, 2018. Congress and the President agreed on this bill to allow the U.S. government to start full operations after shutting down for three days. This action also extends the EB-5 Regional Center Program (with no changes) until February 8, 2018. Also extended were the Conrad 30, E-Verify, and Religious Workers immigration programs.

If you have any questions about how this extension will affect your EB-5 immigration plans or EB-5 Regional Center operations, please contact our experienced team of EB-5 professionals who will provide you with the best possible advice.

Telephone: (949) 383-5358       Email: info@hirson.com       Website: www.hirson.com