News from the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers Vol. 12, No. 12B • December 15, 2016
1. Graham, Durbin Introduce Bipartisan ‘Bridge Act’ for DACA Beneficiaries -Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) have introduced bipartisan legislation “to protect undocumented individuals should the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program be discontinued.”
2. Congress Extends Four Immigration Programs Through April 28 -The law extends the EB-5 Regional Center Program, E-Verify, the Conrad State 30 J-1 Waiver Program, and the Special Immigrant Non-Minister Religious Worker Program.
3. EB-5 Regional Centers Must File Form I-924A By December 29 -USCIS reminds all EB-5 regional centers with a designation letter dated on or before September 30, 2016, that they must file Form I-924A, Supplement to Form I-924, for fiscal year 2016 by December 29, 2016.
4. USCIS To Dispose of SAVE Records in April 2017; Historic Records Report Available -In April 2017, USCIS plans to dispose of SAVE transaction records that are over 10 years old. A Historic Records Report contains transaction records dated on or before December 31, 2006, which SAVE users may download from now through March 31, 2017.
5. New Publications and Items of Interest -New Publications and Items of Interest
6. ABIL Member/Firm News -ABIL Member/Firm News
7. Government Agency Links –Government Agency Links
1. Graham, Durbin Introduce Bipartisan ‘Bridge Act’ for DACA Beneficiaries
Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced on December 9, 2016, that they have introduced S. 3542, a bipartisan bill “to protect undocumented individuals should the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program be discontinued.” Cosponsors include Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Jeff Flake (R-AZ). The legislation, dubbed the “Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy (BRIDGE) Act,” would provide temporary relief from removal and work authorization to young undocumented persons who were brought to the United States as children.”
DACA, which the Obama administration implemented via executive order, provides temporary protection from removal and work authorization to young students and veterans who grew up in the United States if they register with the government, pay a fee, and pass a criminal background check. More than 740,000 young people have received DACA. Temporary protection under the BRIDGE Act “would ensure that these young people can continue to work and study and be protected from deportation while Congress debates broader legislation to fix our broken immigration system,” Sen. Durbin said.
Key points of the BRIDGE Act include:
- A current DACA recipient would receive provisional protected status until the expiration date of his or her DACA status and could apply for provisional protected presence prior to this expiration.
- An individual who is not a DACA recipient but who is eligible for DACA could also apply for provisional protected presence.
- Applicants would be required to pay a reasonable fee, be subject to criminal background checks, and meet a number of eligibility criteria indicating that they came to the United States as minors, grew up in the United States, have pursued an education, have not committed any serious crimes, and do not pose a threat to the United States.
- An individual’s provisional protected presence and employment authorization would be subject to revocation by the Department of Homeland Security if the individual no longer met the eligibility criteria.
- The provisional protected presence and employment authorization would be provided for three years after the date of enactment of the legislation.
President-elect Donald Trump had previously said that he would rescind “every single Obama executive order,” but he recently said when questioned about DACA recipients that “[w]e’re going to work something out that’s going to make people happy and proud,” and noted that “[t]hey got brought here at a very young age, they’ve worked here, they’ve gone to school here. Some were good students. Some have wonderful jobs. And they’re in never-never land because they don’t know what’s going to happen.” Sen. Durbin said, “We want to reach out to the incoming administration and urge them if they take any action on DACA try to do it with this BRIDGE, to join us in passing this BRIDGE so we don’t have the disruption.” And House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said that Republicans “would not pull the rug out from under” DACA recipients brought to the United States as children. “I will defer to the people who are focused on this on a daily basis to make sure they get this policy right, so that we don’t have any kind of ugly disruption that people are concerned about.”
2. Congress Extends Four Immigration Programs Through April 28
President Barack Obama signed H.R. 2028 (Pub. L. 114-254), a short-term bill passed by Congress, into law on December 9, 2016. The law includes a continuing resolution to fund the government through April 28, 2017. It extends without any changes the EB-5 Regional Center Program, E-Verify, the Conrad State 30 J-1 Waiver Program, and the Special Immigrant Non-Minister Religious Worker Program. The H-2B returning worker exemption was not reinstated.
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3. EB-5 Regional Centers Must File Form I-924A By December 29
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is reminding all EB-5 regional centers with a designation letter dated on or before September 30, 2016, that they must file Form I-924A, Supplement to Form I-924, for fiscal year 2016 by December 29, 2016. Regional centers must submit an I-924A every year to demonstrate continued eligibility for the regional center designation.
Regional centers may be terminated for:
- Failure to provide USCIS with required information, including annual Form I-924A submissions
- Failure to promote economic growth
A regional center that has been terminated from the EB-5 program may not solicit, generate, or promote investors or investments, or otherwise participate as a designated regional center in connection with the Immigrant Investor Program.
4. USCIS To Dispose of SAVE Records in April 2017; Historic Records Report Available
In April 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) plans to dispose of Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) transaction records that are over 10 years old. USCIS has created a Historic Records Report that contains transaction records dated on or before December 31, 2006, which SAVE users may download from now through March 31, 2017.
SAVE encourages users to retain the Historic Records Report. USCIS noted that it may retain SAVE records associated with an ongoing government investigation, prosecution, or litigation.
INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO DOWNLOAD THE REPORT
5. New Publications and Items of Interest
The latest E-Verify webinar schedule from USCIS is available HERE.
The latest edition of the Global Business Immigration Practice Guide has been released by LexisNexis. Dozens of members of the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers (ABIL) co-authored and edited the guide, which is a one-stop resource for dealing with questions related to business immigration issues in 30 immigration hotspots around the world.
The latest edition adds chapters on Malta and Romania. Other chapters cover Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, the European Union, France, Germany, Ghana, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Peru, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Latchi Delchev, a global mobility and immigration specialist for Boeing, called the guide “first-rate” and said the key strong point of the book is its “outstanding usability.” She said she highly recommends the book and notes that it “is helpful even to seasoned professionals, as it provides a level of detail which is not easily gained from daily case management.”
Mireya Serra-Janer, head of European immigration for a multinational IT company, says she particularly likes “the fact that the [guide] focuses not just on each country’s immigration law itself but also addresses related matters such as tax and social security issues.” She noted that the India chapter “is particularly good. The immigration regulations in India have always been hard to understand. Having a clear explanation of the rules there helps us sort out many mobility challenges.”
Charles Gould, Director-General of the International Co-operative Alliance, said the guide is “an invaluable resource for both legal practitioners and business professionals. The country-specific chapters are comprehensive and answer the vast majority of questions that arise in immigration practice. Its clear and easy-to-follow structure and format make it the one volume to keep close at hand.”
This comprehensive guide is for:
- Human resources professionals and in-house attorneys who need to instruct, understand, and liaise with immigration lawyers licensed in other countries;
- Business immigration attorneys who regularly work with multinational corporations and their employees and HR professionals; and
- Attorneys interested in expanding their practice to include global business immigration services.
This publication provides:
- An overview of the immigration law requirements and procedures for over 20 countries;
- Practical information and tips for obtaining visas, work permits, resident status, naturalization, and other nonimmigrant and immigrant pathways to conducting business, investing, and working in those countries;
- A general overview of the appropriate options for a particular employee; and
- Information on how an employee can obtain and maintain authorization to work in a target country.
Each chapter follows a similar format, making it easy to compare practices and procedures from country to country. Useful links to additional resources and forms are included. Collected in this Practice Guide, the expertise of ABIL’s attorney members across the globe will serve as an ideal starting point in your research into global business immigration issues.
An excerpt of the book is on the ABIL website.
The list price is $431, but a 15% discount is available by visiting LexisNexis and entering discount code “ABIL15”. Contact your Lexis/Nexis sales representative; call 1-800-833-9844 (United States), 1-518-487-3385 (international); fax 1-518-487-3584
ABIL on Twitter. The Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers is available on Twitter: @ABILImmigration. RECENT ABIL BLOGS
6. ABIL Member/Firm News
Charles Kuck was quoted in “DACA Students Continue Years-Long Fight Over In-State Tuition,” published on December 2, 2016, by WABE 90.1. Mr. Kuck, who represents the students, said, “The reality is until [President-elect Donald Trump] ends the program, until these kids no longer have a legal right or lawful presence, we will keep fighting the lawsuit.
Robert Loughran presented on immigration opportunities for Brazilian investors interested in doing business in Texas at SelectUSA events on December 4-10, 2016, in São Paulo, Curitiba, and Porto Alegre, Brazil. For more information, see HERE and HERE.
Mr. Loughran was interviewed by Fox 7 Austin News on November 21, 2016, on the likely changes to U.S. immigration procedures under a Trump administration.
Mr. Loughran was quoted in Bloomberg IndustryWeek on November 10, 2016, about the variety of industries that relied on employees with employment authorization based on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Cora-Ann V. Pestaina, of Cyrus D. Mehta & Partners PLLC, has published a new blog entry. “BALCA Update: Recent Notable Cases”
Bernard Wolfsdorf will moderate “EB-5 Webinar: 12/23/16 Fee Increase & Preparing for 2017” on December 15, 2016, at 6 p.m. PST (December 16 at 10 a.m. Beijing time). Topics will include: EB-5 Fee Increase, What Does Continuing Resolution to April 28, 2017 Mean?, New EB-5 Regulations Before December 2016, and When Will New Legislation (American Job Creation and Investment Promotion Reform Act) Be Enacted? FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO REGISTER
Mr. Wolfsdorf will present on “EB-5 Visa Availability: Strategies and Solutions to the Chinese Waiting Line,” at the 2017 Las Vegas EB-5 Convention, presented by eb5 Investors on January 13-14, 2017. FOR MORE INFORMATION
Mr. Wolfsdorf co-authored “10 Important Points From the New EB-5 Policy Manual,” published by ILW.com’s Immigration Daily.
Stephen Yale-Loehr was quoted in the Spanish version of the Miami Herald on December 11, 2016, in an article about the possible revocation of DACA. Among other things, Mr. Yale-Loehr urged DACA recipients to be careful about traveling outside the United States.
Mr. Yale-Loehr was quoted in Mashable on December 13, 2016, in an article about “sanctuary colleges” for undocumented students. He said, “There has never been large-scale immigration enforcement on U.S. campuses. There have been individual actions. Therefore, it is not clear what form such action might take, and what kind of court challenges would be successful.”
Mr. Yale-Loehr was also quoted by several other publications in recent weeks:
- China Daily, 12-9-16: “EB-5 Extension Likely To Be Reauthorized by Congress“
- Reuters, 12-5-16: “Trump Has Broad Power to Implement Immigration Policies: Legal Experts“
- Law360, 12-2-16: “Bill Forthcoming To Help Protect ‘Dreamers,’ Durbin Says“
- Orange County Register, 12-2-16: “Donald Trump’s Election Makes Undocumented Immigrants ‘Brace for the Worst’ Because They Don’t Know What He’ll Do“
7. Government Agency Links
Follow these links to access current processing times of the USCIS Service Centers and the Department of Labor, or the Department of State’s latest Visa Bulletin with the most recent cut-off dates for visa numbers:
USCIS Service Center processing times online
Department of Labor processing times and information on backlogs
Department of State Visa Bulletin
Visa application wait times for any post