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NEWS: Obama and Executive Action on Immigration

For over a decade now, Congress has been unable to do anything about the country’s broken immigration system. Tired of their unwillingness to act, it seems that President Obama is willing to take action on his own. If we can believe the rumors coming from Washington, D.C., Obama is weeks away from announcing a deferred deportation program that could benefit some 5 million illegal immigrants. Many believe that this program will extend the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood arrivals) Program, which the President introduced two years ago, to the parents of those children. If true, this would allow those qualified to apply for work authorization and prevent their deportation. For now, we here at Bostonian Legal Group, urge you to stay on top of the news and once an announcement is made, do not hesitate to contact us at 617-956-0956 to see if you qualify.

Global Entrepreneur in Residence Program for Massachusetts

Massachusetts’ Gov. Deval Patrick unveiled a $100 million economic development proposal that includes a program to keep foreign-born entrepreneurs in the state. The goal of the “Global Entrepreneur in Residence Program” is to allow more high-skilled international students to stay in Massachusetts upon graduation if they are growing or starting a business.

H-1B Visas Needed
Currently, international students’ visas expire when they graduate. In order to stay in the U.S. they must find an employer willing to sponsor their H-1B visa application. However, there are only a limited number of H-1B visas available each year and the application process is challenging for emerging entrepreneurs. Gov. Patrick asserts the U.S., and specifically Massachusetts, is losing valuable talent when these students are educated here then go to other countries to launch their businesses. [Read more…]

The H-1B Visa Application Process

In general terms, an H-1B visa applies to individuals who have attained at a minimum a bachelor’s degree or it’s equivalent in a specialty occupation. Only 65,000 of these visas are allowed by the U.S. each year, plus an additional 20,000 for those individuals with U.S.-earned Master’s degrees or higher. The H-1B filing season begins on April 1st. This season, for employment starting October 1st, 2014, the Government announced that it had reached the cap on April 7th, just one week after the application period began. This is why it is imperative for a company who would like a foreign specialist to work for them in the U.S. to hire immigration attorneys familiar with the H-1B Visa application process.

Note that the H-1B Cap does not apply to most employment at institutions of higher education, or related/affiliated nonprofit entities, nonprofit research organizations or government research organizations. [Read more…]

The L1 and L2 Visa for Massachusetts Businesses

An L1 Visa is considered an Intra-Transfer. This type of visa allows a firm to temporarily hire a foreign executive to handle high level firm business within the U.S. The visa allows the foreign executive to move to a position with an office of an affiliate, subsidiary, parent company, or different company branch or department.

At first, this type of visa only applied to large multinational companies; however the laws have expanded to nurture the international growth of young start-up firms. This allowance has helped small start-ups to extend their reach to the U.S.

The L1 Visa allows individuals the ability to work in the U.S. without requiring them to maintain a foreign residence or prove they have any intention of moving to the U.S. permanently. These exemptions are what make an L1 Visas considered dual intent. [Read more…]

United States Visa Options and Requirements for Green Cards

Visa options for immigration to the United States are quite varied depending on your circumstances and what you want to do. Some visas relate strictly to employment or education and others are given to individuals who have a special expertise in areas of particular interest such as technology, medicine, etc.

A Green Card
This is the most common visa and one that comes in six different categories. The first one is an EB-1 that allows extraordinary researchers and professors from another country to live and teach in America permanently. An EB-2 is for foreign students who hold advanced degrees and want to live or continue education here. The EB-3 is designed for skilled laborers and similar professionals. An EB-4 is made for religious workers or for medical graduates from foreign countries. The EB-5 visa provides a method of obtaining a green card for foreign nationals who invest money in the United States, creating or preserving jobs.
[Read more…]

How Can I-601A Waivers Help Those Who Are in the U.S. Illegally?

In May of this year, I-601A waivers went into effect in the United States. This provisional waiver can help individuals who entered the U.S without inspection to excuse their illegal presence in the United States. Upon approval by the USCIS, this waiver will allow the applicants to become eligible for their appointments for immigrant visas.

How Do You Qualify?

An individual can qualify for this type of visa if they are 17 years old and are the beneficiary of a I-130 visa petition as an immediate relative of a current U.S. citizen.

An immediate relative is considered a spouse, parent, or child of a U.S. citizen. If applying as a parent, the sponsoring progeny must be 21 years of age, but they may be older and still be considered a child under the Child Status Protection Act. [Read more…]

Immigration Attorneys Explain How Overturning DOMA Affects Same-Sex Couples

In 2003, Massachusetts became the first state to legalize marriage for same-sex couples. Despite this new law, the state could not provide any federal benefits granted to heterosexual couples because of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Such benefits included the right to bring a spouse into the country based on the marriage. Seven same-sex couples from the state decided to challenge the law. Their case eventually led to the Supreme Court decision in 2013, which declared DOMA to be unconstitutional.

Same-sex spouses can now immigrate to the U.S. under the same regulations that allow admittance to opposite-sex husbands and wives.

  • The most commonly known option for same-sex spouses is the permanent resident visa, or “green card.” A foreign national can apply for the visa if his or her spouse is a U.S. citizen.
  • Foreign nationals who are in the country and are not permanent residents can bring spouses depending on their visas. For example, an H-1B holder, who is a non-immigrant worker, can bring their spouses to the United States through the H4 visa category.
  • A foreign citizen who is engaged to a U.S. citizen can apply for K-1 visa to enter a same-sex marriage. The visa-holder can then become a permanent resident due to the marriage. [Read more…]

What Could the New Immigration Bill Mean for Me?

Our Massachusetts Immigration Attorneys Provide Answers

On April 16, 2013 a bipartisan group of U.S. senators introduced an immigration reform bill that could change the lives of thousands of immigrants in Massachusetts, not to mention millions across the nation. The bill addresses a number of key issues in the immigration debate, including legalization for the country’s undocumented population. The legislation proposes a 13-year path to citizenship, which, among other requirements, calls for immigrants to undergo background checks, pay fines and learn English.

Immigrants currently in the U.S. without authorization and who were in the country before December 31, 2011, may be able to apply for a new status called Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI), which grants work authorization and permits workers to change employers and travel outside the country. An individual may apply for a green card after ten years in this provisional status if they meet specified requirements; three years later, they may apply for citizenship. [Read more…]

Qualifications for Deferred Action

Hundreds of thousands of people who entered the United States as children but without documentation can now apply for Deferred Action which will allow them to remain in and work in the country without fear of deportation for at least two years.

Below is a short list of qualifications to help determine if you are eligible.

  • Have come to the United States before your sixteenth birthday.
  • Have continuously lived in the U.S. since June 15, 2007, and up to the present time.
  • Be present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for deferred action.
  • Not have lawful immigration status on June 15, 2012. This means you must have entered the U.S. without papers before June 15, 2012, or, if you entered lawfully, your lawful immigration status must have expired as of June 15, 2012. [Read more…]

Deferred Action

Deferred action is a discretionary determination on the part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). It is an act of prosecutorial discretion. The new policy will allow certain foreign-born individuals who entered the United States as children to apply for 2-year work permits, and possibly for extensions. It is not a path to a green card or to U.S. citizenship.

Do you qualify for the Deferred Action program?

Hundreds of thousands of people who entered the United States as children but without documentation can apply for Deferred Action — beginning Wednesday, August 15, 2012 — to remain in and work in the country without fear of deportation for at least two years. Learn if you qualify for the Deferred Action program.

Deferred Action application forms

You are required to submit form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. If you are applying for employment authorization, you must also submit forms I-765 and I-765WS. In order to receive employment authorization, you must demonstrate “an economic necessity for employment”.  Contact our immigration attorneys to begin your application process by completing the appropriate Deferred Action Forms.

Start your Deferred Action Application process now

Our immigration attorneys serve clients throughout the country and in Massachusetts. We have law offices in downtown Boston, as well as in the Boston Metrowest and Boston South Shore. Contact our immigration attorneys now for a consultation and advice on the next steps in the Deferred Action legal process.

Bostonian Legal Group