Up & Up: The Basics About the RAISE Act

The RAISE (Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment) Act is a immigration bill introduced in the Senate this year. The goal of the bill is reducing the level of immigration to the U.S. while increasing the percentage of new immigrants who qualify for high-status jobs.

Reduced Family-Based Immigration

If it becomes law, the RAISE Act would phase out family-sponsored preference categories for adult children and siblings of U.S. citizens. This would dramatically reduce family-based immigration. Every year, about two-thirds of granted green cards go to immigrants with family ties to lawful permanent residents and citizens. The RAISE Act would reduce family-based immigration, but permanent residents and citizens could still sponsor minor children and spouses. Elderly parents of citizens could enter the U.S. under renewable, long-term nonimmigrant visas as long as the citizen purchases their health insurance.

Points-Based Immigration System

The Act would also replace the existing employment-based immigration system with a more streamlined points system. This system would prioritize immigrants with high-paying job offers in the U.S. and valuable skills. English speakers would also be prioritorized.

The points system would consider factors like age, future salary, and education level, similar to systems already used in Australia and Canada.

These changes would try to reduce the number of legal immigrants coming to the U.S. by 50% over the next decade. The number of green cards granted each year would be capped to just 500,000 people. Applicants would need at least 30 points based the following:

  • Achievements: 25 points for a Nobel prize, 15 points for an Olympic medal
  • Age: Those over 50 would receive no points but younger people can receive 2-10 points
  • Education: 13 points for a US doctorate, 1 point for a foreign or US high school diploma
  • English ability based on a test
  • Future salary: 13 points for a job offer paying 300% of the median for the destination state
  • Investments: 12 points for a $1.8 million investment in a U.S. business

 

Scrapped Diversity Visa Program

If the RAISE Act becomes law, the diversity visa program that started more than 20 years ago would be ended. This lottery program offers a way to get a green card without family ties or employment prospects. The lottery grants 50,000 green cards each year to those who are from a country with low admissions over the last 5 years, have a job, and have finished high school.

The RAISE Act would end this program completely.

RAISE Act Faces Challenges from Democrats and Republicans

The Act faces many challenges to get passed. It would need a filibuster-proof Senate majority, which would be difficult to achieve. Democrats in blue states are opposed to the bill largely out of loyalty to naturalized citizens. While the Act is supported by the Trump Administration, Republicans may not support the bill as low-wage workers will be skeptical that the new immigration system will do anything for the tourism and agriculture sectors that play a role in many GOP states.

Despite these challenges, immigration reform of some type may be coming soon. Also, the U.S. had a merit-based immigration system until 1952 and there is growing support for a similar system. Finally, if you are concerned about how this legislation could affect you, a Boston immigration lawyer can help.

Contact Law Offices Trupt N Patel & Associates for a consultation with an immigration attorney to explore your options.

Law Offices of Trupti N Patel & Associates
One Boston Place, 201 Washington Street #2600, Boston, MA 02108

Domino Effect: How the Economy is Affected by Immigration

If you’ve been keeping up with politics, you probably already know how uncertain these times are for our country’s immigration laws. Amid the confusion, it is easy to lose sight of the true impact that immigration has on the economy at large.

Trupti N Patel & Associates recently pointed out an idea that many people overlook: our country has a shortage of workers in many fields — most of all construction. Much of the argument for stricter immigration laws runs contrary to our country’s need for skilled workers. The damage caused by this terrible hurricane season has made our lack of workers more noticeable than ever.

When a large number of construction jobs are left unfilled, their is a domino effect felt throughout the country. Infrastructure remains in poor condition. Potential businesses have fewer locations to open their doors. Furthermore, fewer houses are available for families to call their home. We believe that every immigration attorney should be making these jobs available to you.

Despite immigration’s tendency to fill important positions across the country, there is a lot of false information floating around. Especially about the negative ways immigrants affect our economy. Wages and total number of jobs available have been observed to increase as a result of immigration. Economists have proven the hard work and productivity of immigrants results in expanded career opportunities across the entire workforce.

Contact Us

As your Boston immigration lawyer, the Law Offices of Trupti N Patel & Associates is helping to spread the message that our economy needs immigrants to fill positions across the country. Our country’s immigration laws are in a tumultuous state. Also, there are more jobs than can be filled by our current citizens. There is a domino effect that can be felt across the whole country.

Law Offices of Trupti N Patel & Associates
One Boston Place, 201 Washington Street #2600, Boston, MA 02108

USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for all H-1B Extensions

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has resumed accepting premium processing for all H-1B extensions – Premium processing is now available for all types of H-1B petitions. The H-1B visas is used to provide skilled workers for a wide range of specialty occupations. When a petition is filed and premium processing (There is a fee associated with Premium Processing) is requested, USCIS guarantees a 15-calendar day processing time. If USCIS does not meet that guarantee, they will refund the petitioner’s premium processing service fee and continue with expedited processing of the application.

The USCIS had previously resumed premium processing for H-1B petitions subject to the annual cap, petitions filed on behalf of physicians under the Conrad 30 waiver program, as well as interested government agency waivers and certain H-1B petitions that are not subject to the cap.

If you have any questions regarding the H-1B visa or need help with any other immigration issue, please call the immigration lawyers at (617) 367-6750.

Law Offices of Trupti N Patel & Associates
One Boston Place, 201 Washington Street #2600, Boston MA 02108

New Employment Eligibility Verification I-9 Form

US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that from September 18, 2017, employers must use Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, with revision date 07/17/17 N (date is located on lower left corner of the form), to verify the identity and work eligibility of every new employee hired after Nov. 6, 1986. Employers must also use this version of the form for the reverification of expiring employment authorization of current employees (if applicable). Employers can complete Form I-9 electronically using the latest version of Adobe Reader.

Prior versions of the form will no longer be valid for use. Employers failing to use the new forms may be penalized by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as stated under section 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Employers should continue to follow existing storage and retention rules for each previously completed Form I-9.

The I-9 form can be found here: I-9 form

If you are an employer looking for help with immigration issues for your employees, please contact us at (617) 367-6750.

Law Offices of Trupti N Patel & Associates
One Boston Place, 201 Washington St #2600, Boston, MA 02108
(617) 367-6750

USCIS no longer accepting Non-Agriculture H-2B Petitions

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on September 19, 2017 that it is no longer accepting applications from US based employers who were planning to hire temporary non-agricultural workers under the rule that allowed the increase of 15,000 (in addition to the H-2B cap reached in March 2017) of the H-2B visas that was announced by USCIS in July 2017. The authority to increase the number of H-2B visas for FY2017 was delegated to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) by congress in May 2017. The Department Of Labor (DOL) and DHS determined that there were not enough qualified and willing U.S. workers available to perform temporary nonagricultural labor to satisfy the needs of some American businesses in FY 2017.

The deadline for applying for these additional H-2B visas was September 15th, 2017. USCIS announced that they had received 13,534 H-2B petitions by September 15th, 2017. Any H-2B visas not approved by USCIS by October 1, 2017 will be denied and no refund of the fees associated with H-2B filings will be provided.

If you have an immigration issue, please call the offices of Trupti N Patel & Associates.

Law Offices of Trupti N Patel & Associates
One Boston Place, 201 Washington Street, #2600
Boston, MA 02108

(617) 367-6750

USCIS resumes Premium Processing for all 2018 CAP H-1B petitions

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has resumed premium processing for all H-1B visa petitions subject to the Fiscal Year year (FY) 2018 cap that were filed last April.
The premium processing service mandates that USCIS will guarantee that the petition will be processed within 15 days of receiving the premium processing request along with the associated fee. If USCIS is unable to meet the 15- calendar day processing time, the agency will refund the petitioner’s premium processing service fee and continue processing of the application in an expedited manner. USCIS had suspended the premium processing service prior to receiving FY2018 H-1B Cap petitions.

As USCIS has already received more than enough H-1B petitions to meet FY2018 quotas for H-1B petitions, it is not accepting any new H-1B petitions for FY2018 fiscal year. Also please note that Premium processing remains temporarily suspended for all other H-1B petitions, such as extensions of stay

USCIS has already resumed premium processing for H-1B petitions filed on behalf of physicians under the Conrad 30 waiver program, as well as interested government agency waivers and for certain H-1B petitions that are not subject to the cap.

USCIS will announce when the premium processing for all other remaining H‑1B petitions not subject to the FY 2018 cap at a later date. However, remaining petitioners may submit a request to premium process their application if they meet the specific USCIS criteria. USCIS will review all Premium Processing requests on a case-by-case basis.

For more information, contact the Law Offices of Trupti N Patel & Associates at (617) 367-6750.

Law Offices of Trupti N Patel & Associates
One Boston Place, 201 Washington Street #2600, Boston MA 02108

Employment-based Adjustment and I-703 Application Interviews

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that it will begin expanding in-person interviews for certain immigration benefit applicants whose benefit, if granted, would allow them to permanently reside in the United States. Effective Oct. 1, USCIS will begin to phase-in interviews for the following:

• Adjustment of status applications based on employment (Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status).

• Refugee/asylee relative petitions (Form I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition) for beneficiaries who are in the United States and are petitioning to join a principal asylee/refugee applicant.

Previously, applicants in these categories did not require an in-person interview with USCIS officers in order for their application for permanent residency to be adjudicated. Beyond these categories, USCIS is planning an incremental expansion of interviews to other benefit types.

If you have questions, please contact the Law Offices of Trupti N Patel & Associates at (617) 367-6750.

Law Offices of Trupti N Patel & Associates
One Boston Place, 201 Washington Street #2600, Boston MA 02108

H-1B1 CAP Reached

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced that they reached the H-1B Cap for the fiscal year 2018. USCIS started accepting the 2018 H-1B Cap petitions on April 3, 2017. USCIS has reached the limit for the mandated 65,000 petitions, as well as the 20,000 petitions for the advance degree exemption.

 

If you need help filing a H-1B or any other petition, please do not hesitate to contact us at 617-367-6750.

Travel Warning

WARNING: Please note, if you were born in and/or are a citizen of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, or Yemen we would advise you to refrain from travelling outside the United States due to the President’s recent executive order, regardless of your current status. If you have upcoming, unavoidable travel, please contact us immediately.

Deferred Enforced Departure extended for Liberians

United States has provided a sanctuary to Liberians who had fled Liberia due to armed conflict – this sanctuary was provided through Temporary Protected Status (TPS). Although the armed conflict ended in 2003, President Bush and later President Obama extended the Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) to those who had originally been granted the TPS.  The current grant of the DED was due to expire on September 30th 2016. President Obama has recently announced that the Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for certain Liberian nationals who are presently residing in the United Stated under this existing DED through March 31, 2018. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) plans to automatically extend employment authorization documents (EADs) for Liberian nationals covered by this extension of DED. Liberians whose EADs expire on September 30, 2016, will now be valid through March 31, 2017. The automatic extension of existing EADs allows eligible Liberian nationals (or person who habitually resided in Liberia)  to continue working while they apply for the new EADs. This six month extension also gives USCIS time to process and issue new EADs.

Eligibility

This grant of DED extension only applies to Liberian nationals (or person who habitually resided in Liberia) who have resided in the United States since October 1, 2002 and does not apply to those:

  • who are subject to extradition
  • who were deported, excluded or removed prior to September 28th 2016.
  • that left the United States voluntarily
  • whose removal would be in the interests of the United States
  • whose activity or presence in the United States would have negative foreign policy consequences for the United States.
  • who are ineligible for TPS for the reasons provided in the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(c)(2)(B);

How can the Boston Immigration Lawyer at the Law Offices of Trupti N Patel & Associates help you…

We have helped a great number of families and individuals begin their new lives and who have gone on to fulfill their ambitions and contribute to their communities in the United States. If you are a Liberian national looking to apply for a new EAD as a result of this DED extension granted by President Obama or if you are of any other nationality in need of help with an  immigration matter, call the Immigration Lawyers at the Law Offices of Trupti N Patel & Associates.

See what our Clients had to say about our Boston Immigration Attorney at the Law Offices of Trupti N Patel & Associates…

“I still can’t believe it, but it happened. Thank you very sincerely for all your hard work, patience, perseverance and guidance to make it happen. I will be forever grateful.”
Alvin

See more client reviews about our Boston Immigration Attorneys here

 

Law Offices of Trupti N Patel & Associates
One Boston Place
201 Washington St #2600
Boston, MA 02108