Archive for the 'Immigration Law' Category

National Interest Waivers – A Game Changer

The recent decision from the Administrative Appeals Office in Matter of Dhanasar, 26 I&N Dec. 884 (AAO 2016) provides a welcome overhaul of the analytical framework governing National Interest Waivers (NIW). Summarily stating that “we believe that it is now time for a reassessment” the AAO threw out nearly two decades of precedent and handed […]

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Individuals with TPS who are Married to US Citizens Can Adjust Their Status

So says the 6th circuit in a landmark ruling just handed down.  Finally, a judge who has the courage to apply the statute as it reads. Chastising the government for its refusal to apply the plain letter of the law, the 6th Circuit concluded its ruling with the following language: ” Being consistently wrong does […]

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Will Immigration Reform be Extended to Gay Couples?

If passed, the immigration reform bill introduced at the beginning of this month by the so-called “Gang of Eight” (4 Republican and 4 Democratic Senators), will bring relief to millions of undocumented immigrants currently living in the shadows.  But not to one group of would-be immigrants. Gay spouses are not included in the bill because […]

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Is an Immigration Amnesty on the Horizon?

Today’s New York Times is reporting that President Obama plans to introduce legislation offering comprehensive immigration reform as early as this March! Of course we cannot know if such legislation will survive its torturous way through the House and Senate.  However, one thing is clear.  Whether comprehensive or not, immigration reform is coming.  Soon.  So […]

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If You Entered without Inspection, You May Just have Won the (Immigration) Lottery

Back in January of this year I wrote about the pending change that could help spouses of US citizens who entered without inspection.  Thanks to the implementation of a new rule, starting on March 3, 2012, spouses, parents and minor children of US citizens who entered the country without inspection, may be eligible to apply […]

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Immigration Reform is Coming

I can feel it in the air.  Immigration reform is coming.  Watching the politicians and talking heads on TV shows clearly that both the Democrats and Republicans, for different reasons, each have an incentive to back legislation that will address the questions of the millions of undocumented immigrants in the US.  The Republicans learned during […]

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Trafficking Victim Finally Becomes Legal in the US

Today is a very happy one for one of my clients – lets call her client X for reasons that will be obvious.  After several years without hope of ever obtaining legal status, her Petition for T-Non Immigrant Visa status was finally approved. X came to my office about 3 years ago together with her […]

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Not the Dream Act – but close…

The announcement from the Obama Administration today that it intends to grant deferred action to certain undocumented immigrants who were brought here by age 16 is a welcome announcement but does not go nearly far enough.  The details of what the program entails are not clear yet and much remains to be seen.  What is […]

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The U Visa. How Immigration Law Can Help Undocumented Crime Victims

Undocumented immigrants are one of the most vulnerable population groups in this country.  All too often these immigrants are exploited by unscrupulous employers and others, who use and abuse them, safe in the knowledge that they will not be reported.  But even where these crime victims were not deliberately targeted because of their immigration status, […]

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Good News for Some Who Entered Without Inspection

Just a couple of days after my last posting on waivers, USCIS announced its intention to begin processing requests for waivers of unlawful presence in the United States for certain categories of immigrants.  Under the new rule, spouses of US citizens and children of US citizens who entered without inspection will be allowed to apply […]

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Entered the US without Inspection? There is Still Hope for your Green Card

US Immigration Law is particularly unforgiving towards those who entered the country without inspection.  Even marriage to a US citizen – which is usually sufficient to overcome most immigration violations – does not help.  If you cannot produce a passport or I-94 card proving that a Customs and Border Patrol Officer stamped your entry into […]

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Avoid Losing H-1B Status While your Adjustment of Status Application is Pending

It is common for an H-1B visa-holder on whose behalf a PERM and I-140 Petition for Alien Worker has been approved to wait years before they are eligible to actually adjust their status (ie., apply for and receive their “Green Card”).  This is a direct result of the huge backlogs in visa numbers for Employment-Based […]

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Update on Asylum for Egyptian Copts

Since my last posting on US asylum for Egyptian Coptic Christians I have interviewed and spoken with many, many of you, both in the US and from Egypt who are interested in proceeding.  Based on my discussions with you and with 2 experts on the subject it seems that conditions in Egypt right now have […]

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Asylum for Egyptian Copts

US Asylum law is notoriously unforgiving and the maze of technical requirements all too often result in otherwise-deserving applicants being denied asylum.  One such requirement is that applicants file their application within one year of arriving in the US.  Failure to timely file an application is a bar to  asylum.  This time-bar can, however, be […]

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USCIS Ignores Homeland Secretary’s Call to Encourage Entrepeneurs to Set up Shop in the US

With great fanfare on August 2, 2011 Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano announced a set of initiatives designed to fully utilize immigration laws to promote startup enterprises and spur job creation.  Immediately following Secretary Napolitano’s statement that “the United States must continue to attract the best and brightest from around the world to invest their talents, […]

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College PERMs in Jeopardy

The chaos currently prevailing at the National Prevailing Wage Center (NPWC) threatens to undermine the Special Handling framework that governs PERMs filed by Institutes of Higher Education.  “Special Handling” is the term of art given to the regulatory scheme which allows colleges who have advertised and already recruited a faculty member pursuant to a “competitive […]

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Employment-Based Visa Quota Exhausted For FY2011

For those of you who have been wondering why the processing of your employment-based Green Cards has been taking so long, USCIS has finally given an explanation.  As of September 15, 2011 the agency announced that it had halted processing of all employment-based visas because the quota was exhausted for FY 2011.  Processing will resume […]

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Hope for Gay Partners of Nonimmigrant Visa Holders

Back in March 2011 I lamented the Obama Administration’s announcement that it would continue to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in the immigration context, thereby precluding gay spouses from petitioning for the immigration of their partners. Although this still holds true, on August 17, 2011 USCIS confirmed that it would now support the […]

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USCIS Raises the Bar for EB-1 Petitions

This past year has seen a dramatic change in the adjudication process for EB-1 Petitions (for Aliens of Extraordinary Ability, Outstanding Professors/Researchers or Aliens of Exceptional Ability).  And not for the better.  For not only has USCIS raised the bar on these applications, but more significantly it has thrown out well-established standards of adjudication in […]

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Is Your Criminal History Preventing You From Getting Your Green Card? Maybe Not Anymore…

Just last year the Supreme Court ruled in Padilla v. Kentucky, 559 U.S. __,  130 S. Ct. 1473 (2010) that a criminal defendant must be warned of the danger that a guilty plea could result in his/her deportation from the US.  The Court found that if the defendant’s criminal lawyer fails to advise his/her client […]

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Temporary Protected Status (TPS) – What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

After the January 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the US Government designated Haiti as a country experiencing “extraordinary and temporary conditions” that prevent its nationals from returning to the country safely.  Consequently, Haitian nationals are eligible to apply for Temporary Protected Status in the US, in  order to avoid removal and to obtain Employment Authorization. […]

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Celebrations are Premature for Same-Sex Couples

It seems that my posting of yesterday was too good to be true.  After barely 24 hours the Obama Administration has backpedaled on its statement that it would instruct the Attorney General to no longer defend cases that implicate Section 3 of DOMA.  Too bad for the thousands and thousands of gay couples who cannot […]

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Progress for Same-Sex Couples?

The recent announcement by the Obama Administration that it has instructed the Attorney General to cease defending Article 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage for Federal purposes as between a man and a woman, has already prompted USCIS to announce that it is placing all same-sex cases on hold.  This […]

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Removals and Deportations on the Rise

Recently we have noticed a significant uptick in the number of clients calling the Westchester office for help with removal proceedings.  It seems that Immigration Customs & Enforcement (ICE) has a lot of time on its hands and is using it!  If you have a pending hearing, The Law Offices of Karyn Schiller in White […]

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Adoption – The Immigration Quandary

For the third time in as many months I was approached at the White Plains office by a new client who had already completed the adoption of an infant abroad and was inquiring about how to get legal, immigrant status for that infant. Oy. If only I had been consulted prior to rather than after […]

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Pro Bono Success in Record Time

I am pleased and proud to report that last week this office obtained  Lawful Permanent Residency status (“Green Cards”) for a Jewish Studies teacher at a Jewish Day School and his spouse, after years of struggling with other counsel.  The couple arrived in the US in 2004 and had spent thousands of dollars and many […]

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To B or Not to B

Over the course of the summer a couple of new clients presented with a similar issue – one had previously entered the country in B-1 status, stayed for 6 months and since leaving had been denied an L-1 visa because the Consular Officer suspected that she had violated the terms of her B-1 visa; and […]

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Thanks to iCert H-1B Filings are Taking Longer than Ever

Thanks to iCert, the new “and improved” online system for filing Labor Condition Applications, H-1B applications are now taking longer than ever.  The new system was rolled out a few months ago and  its use became mandatory as of July 1, 2009.   As many of you already know, an H-1B petition can only be filed […]

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H-1B visas. What a Difference a Year – and TARP, Make…

On April 20, 2009 USCIS announced that it had received only 44,000 cap-subject petitions since the filing window opened on April 1.  For those who may have forgotten the bedlam of the past two years I will remind you that by this time last year USCIS was only begining to conduct a lottery among the […]

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The Dream Act

If Congress has the courage to pass the bipartisan legislation proposed in the House and Senate on March 26, 2009 the Dream may well come true this year for millions of undocumented students in the United States.  These are the students who were brought into the United States as children and who have grown up […]

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9th Circuit Holds the BIA Erred in Finding Expunged Conviction is a Bar to Relief

The 9th Circuit ruling in Ramirez-Altamirano v Mukasey, is a welcome expansion of its earlier finding that State court defendants should not be treated more harshly than Federal court defendants when considering whether their rehabilitation from a criminal conviction could serve to nullify the immigration consequences of their conviction. Cancellation of Removal is a form […]

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Time is Running Out for Some Religious Workers

On February 4, 2009 USCIS announced a March 6, 2009 deadline for (non-minister) Religious Workers with an approved I-360 to adjust their status.  In other words, to all those Day School, Hebrew School and Sunday School teachers who are in possession of an approved I-360 –  you need to have filed your I-485 Applications to […]

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A New Sherrif in Town

On January 21 President Obama instructed all Government Agencies of the Executive Branch that “in the face of doubt, openness should prevail.”  It remains to be seen, therefore, whether we can expect to see a decrease in the response times for Freedom of Information Requests  that we routinely submit to USCIS on behalf of our […]

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Immigration Law for Academic Faculty in 2009: What You Need to Know Right Now

Immigration rules are a moving target and 2009 is shaping up to be one of the toughest years yet. Want to know more? Download my FREE article “Immigration Law for Academic Faculty in 2009: What you need to know right now”.

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