Archives August 2017

USCIS Office Closures Due to Hurricane Harvey

USCIS Office Closures Due to Hurricane Harvey

If you need an experienced and knowledgeable U.S. immigration, deportation, or immigration appeals attorney, please call our toll-free number at:

(866) 456-­8654 | * Call Us – Toll Free *

or at our NYC number:

(212) 202-­0342

You can also contact us with Skype:

Free Skype CallFree Skype Call

Have a Question?

Ask us immigration, deportation or immigration appeals questions online with our convenient “Ask a Question” form:

Ask a Question 

Want to Schedule a Consultation?

You can schedule a consultation with us on Skype, over the phone, or in person by using our “Online Consultation” form (we offer a 15 minute free consultation for asylum seekers, and our fee is only $160 per 45 minutes for all other cases):

Online Consultation

Attorney Advertising

Prior results do not guarantee similar outcomes

Published at Wed, 30 Aug 2017 19:28:00 +0000


Imprecise Language and the Immigration Debate

Imprecise Language and the Immigration Debate

In this post, I will examine an interesting op-ed by Donna Locke published in the Tennessean titled “Trump goes after illegal entrants to U.S., not all immigrants” [PDF version].1

There is much in Locke’s post with which I disagree. For example, Locke seems to advocate for “immigration control” based in part on the fact that the population would grow for many years even with no immigration at all. Readers of my blog will note that while I am a proponent of effective enforcement of our immigration laws [see blog], I am also a strong supporter of legal immigration as a force that is in the national benefit [see blog].

However, while I disagree with Locke on many particulars, she makes an important point with which I agree regarding the effect of language on the immigration debate. She takes issue with terminology from the media and from those who support laxer immigration laws to “blur the distinctions between legal and illegal” in the immigration context.

In the United States illegally

Locke notes that many outlets refer to those in the United States illegally as “immigrants.” The issue with this is that an “immigrant” is someone who is in the United States with legal authorization, specifically, an alien who is lawfully admitted for permanent residence. Immigrants are distinguished from other classes of aliens who are in the United States legally — such as nonimmigrants and parolees. Under no circumstance is an individual who illegally entered or illegally remained the United States or who for whatever reason lost his or her legal status an “immigrant.”

To describe individuals in the United States illegally as “immigrants” implies “bias,” as Locke notes. It is important to remember — especially for those who frequent our website and are interested in the immigration laws — that the vast majority of people are exceedingly unfamiliar with the technicalities of U.S. immigration law. This is why describing those who are here illegally as “immigrants” has a tendency to sway the immigration debate. It is likely that, to laymen, reading about President Trump (or any other president) deporting “immigrants” sounds quite different than President Trump deporting an “illegal alien” or someone who is in the United States without legal authorization. Of course, an “immigrant” is only subject to removal on specified grounds, whereas someone who is in the country illegally is subject to removal based on the fact that he or she is in the country illegally. Locke also noted the bizarre push to stop using the term “alien.” The term alien is not sinister at all; it is simply the technical term in immigration law for referring to those who are not citizens or nationals of the United States.

Using precise language is not callous, but in fact necessary in many cases. I have represented countless clients who faced removal for being in the United States illegally for one reason or another. Effective representation begins with understanding the laws and the situation. This certainly does not involve pretending that a client, who is without status and removable is, in fact an immigrant in good standing under the immigration laws.

In order to improve the system of immigration laws, it is in the best interest of everyone to have an honest debate about immigration. An honest debate about immigration involves people who actually understand what they are debating. This in turn supports the notion that the terms we use should reflect the reality of the immigration laws, not the opinions of one side of a many-sided debate. Save for open borders advocates, it is in the best interests of everyone to actually distinguish between those who are here legally and illegally, and to further distinguish within those categories on the basis of legal status and how and when people came to be here illegally.

_______________________

  1. Locke, Donna. “Trump goes after illegal entrants to U.S., not all immigrants.” Tennessean. Aug. 10, 2017. Tennessean.com

Published at Thu, 17 Aug 2017 23:59:00 +0000


General Requirements for Being an Hired as an Immigration Judge

General Requirements for Being an Hired as an Immigration Judge

If you need an experienced and knowledgeable U.S. immigration, deportation, or immigration appeals attorney, please call our toll-free number at:

(866) 456-­8654 | * Call Us – Toll Free *

or at our NYC number:

(212) 202-­0342

You can also contact us with Skype:

Free Skype CallFree Skype Call

Have a Question?

Ask us immigration, deportation or immigration appeals questions online with our convenient “Ask a Question” form:

Ask a Question 

Want to Schedule a Consultation?

You can schedule a consultation with us on Skype, over the phone, or in person by using our “Online Consultation” form (we offer a 15 minute free consultation for asylum seekers, and our fee is only $160 per 45 minutes for all other cases):

Online Consultation

Attorney Advertising

Prior results do not guarantee similar outcomes

Published at Tue, 15 Aug 2017 22:36:00 +0000


General Requirements for Being an Hired as an Immigration Judge

General Requirements for Being an Hired as an Immigration Judge

If you need an experienced and knowledgeable U.S. immigration, deportation, or immigration appeals attorney, please call our toll-free number at:

(866) 456-­8654 | * Call Us – Toll Free *

or at our NYC number:

(212) 202-­0342

You can also contact us with Skype:

Free Skype CallFree Skype Call

Have a Question?

Ask us immigration, deportation or immigration appeals questions online with our convenient “Ask a Question” form:

Ask a Question 

Want to Schedule a Consultation?

You can schedule a consultation with us on Skype, over the phone, or in person by using our “Online Consultation” form (we offer a 15 minute free consultation for asylum seekers, and our fee is only $160 per 45 minutes for all other cases):

Online Consultation

Attorney Advertising

Prior results do not guarantee similar outcomes

Published at Tue, 15 Aug 2017 22:36:00 +0000


Finding The Right Lawyer Help Startup Through Investor Capital Raise Funding Process – 201-446-9643

Finding The Right Lawyer Help Startup Through Investor Capital Raise Funding Process – 201-446-9643

Finding The Right Lawyer Help Startup Through Investor Capital Raise Funding Process located based here in the United States, Europe, New Jersey, USA, US, New York, Buffalo, Queens, Manhattan, New York City, Westchester County, Islip, Oyster Bay, Rochester, Utica, New Rochelle, Tonawanda, White Plains, Binghamton, Saratoga Springs, Rockland County, Brooklyn, Long Island, Albany, Syracuse, Suffolk County, Nassau County, Bronx, Staten Island, Allentown, Scranton, Lancaster, Harrisburg, State College, College Station, Boston, Hartford, Providence, Connecticut, Atlanta, Chicago, Washington D.C., Dallas, Florida, Ohio, California, Austin, Texas, Maryland, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Colorado, Utah, Oregon, San Antonio, Austin, San Diego, Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Houston, Salt Lake City, Toledo, Akron, Dayton, Provo, Portland, San Jose, Miami, Tampa, St. Petersburg, Ft. Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Broward County, Dade County, Newark, Delaware, College Park, MD, Cook County, Phoenix, Denver, Boulder, Ft. Collins, Nashville, Memphis, Kansas City, Raleigh, Charlotte, Indianapolis, Boise, Eugene, Manchester, Burlington, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Rhode Island, Boca Raton, Arlington, Virginia, Alexandria, Virginia, Reston, McLean, Cambridge, Quincy, Riverside, San Bernadino, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Cleveland, Columbus, Baltimore, Sacramento, Cincinnati, Orlando, Las Vegas, Round Rock, San Marcos, Louisville, Richmond, Tempe, South Bend, Bloomington, Knoxville, Oxford, Tuscon, Long Beach, Ames, Ft. Collins, Lawrence, Blacksburg, Charlottesville, Champaign, Ft. Worth, Milwaukee, Oakland, Irvine, Rutgers, Albuquerque, Fresno, Newark, Honolulu, Tucson, El Paso, Mesa, Witchita, Virginia Beach, Aurora, Bakersfield, Anaheim, Riverside, Lexington, South Bend, Greensboro, Plano, Toledo, Lincoln, Jersey City, Hoboken, New Brunswick, Durham, Delray Beach, Madison, Reno, Norfolk, Lubbock, Scottsdale, Irving, Baton Rouge, Boise City, Iowa, Alaska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Spokane, Oklahoma City, Birmingham, Salt Lake City, Baltimore, Mobile, Alabama, Utah, Washington, Seattle, Oregon, Portland, Eugene, Sacramento, Washington State, Honolulu, Hawaii, Georgia, Fulton County, Dekalb County, Chicagoland, Albany County, Upstate New York, Arlington County, Fairfax County, Northern Virginia, Annapolis, Montgomery County, Tysons Corner, Jupiter, South Beach, Miami Beach, Aspen, Taos, Santa Fe, Rapid City, Fargo, St. Paul, Ames, Iowa City, Springfield, College Park, Wake County, King County, Redmond, Kirkland, Bellevue, San Mateo County, Contra Costa County, Cupertino, Los Gatos, Sunnyvale, Mecklenburg County, Jacksonville, Gainesville, Boynton Beach, Orange County, Palo Alto, Harris County, Waco, Columbia, Missouri, Tarrant County, Bucks County, Lehigh County, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Burlington, Portland, Maine.

201-446-9643


EB1 for PhD Holders | Green Card Process for PhD Students

EB1 for PhD Holders | Green Card Process for PhD Students

EB1 for PhD

Accomplishing the prestigious task of obtaining your PhD is no easy feat. Using it to obtain a green card, however, may prove to be almost as challenging without help. Keep reading to view the requirements for an EB1 for PhD holders and how you can qualify for this distinguished immigrant visa.

EB1 Green Card

The EB1 is the topmost preference level for employment-based immigration. If you qualify for one, you will not need to have your employer go through the PERM process, which will be outlined later on in this article. The EB1 is divided into three categories: the EB-1A, the EB-1B, and the EB-1C.

EB-1A

This category is reserved for individuals who exhibit extraordinary achievement in the areas of business, art, athletics, science, or education. To prove this extraordinary achievement, you will need to present evidence of an international award such as the Nobel Prize. In lieu of such an award, three of the following will suffice:

  • A smaller award that is still internationally or nationally recognized
  • Significant contributions to your practice
  • Scholarly articles that have been published in a professional or trade journal
  • Membership in an organization or association of distinguished reputation that requires its members to have extraordinary ability
  • Material written by others that details your ability
  • Having been a judge of the work of others in your field on a panel or individually
  • Playing a critical role in a reputable organization.
  • Having a large salary indicative of your ability

The USCIS also presents applicants with a catch-all phrase indicating that, if you have evidence that does not fall into the above groups, you may be able to submit it as comparable evidence. Work with your attorney to determine what qualifies as evidence under this rule.

If you do qualify for the EB-1A, you will be one of the few beneficiaries that can self-petition. Other than the EB-2 with a National Interest Waiver, the EB-1A is the only green card that does not require you to have a job offer or sponsoring employer, meaning that you only need to prove that you will be doing work in your field once you come to the U.S.

EB-1B

The second category available as an EB1 for PhD holders is the EB-1B for outstanding researchers and professors. This reaches a narrower group than the EB-1A, but the requirements are lower. To qualify, you need to demonstrate that you have done at least two of the following:

  • Received a renowned or distinguished prize or award for your efforts in your field.
  • Participating as a judge of the work of your peers in your field either individually or on a panel.
  • Contributed substantial research of a scholarly or scientific nature to your field.
  • Wrote scholarly articles or books in distinguished publications in your field.
  • Held membership in an organization in your field that requires outstanding work for entry.
  • Had material published by others about your work in the field.

Again, much like the EB-1A, you are able to work with your attorney to submit comparable evidence if it is not listed above.

EB-1C

This last category is meant for the managers and executives of multinational companies. To qualify, you must have worked with the company for at least one year in the three years leading up to your green card petition.

The employer must be a multinational company that has been conducting business in the U.S. for at least a year before filing. This is a common green card for foreign national who have come over on an L-1A visa.

How Your PhD Can Help

While your PhD does not automatically grant you a green card, you may find that many of the requirements for the EB-1A or EB-1B have been fulfilled throughout your studies. Things like exclusive memberships, scholarly published articles, and acting as a judge are all things that may go along with getting your degree.

However, it is important not to assume anything when it comes to immigration law. In the end, it still comes down to the discretion of the USCIS. Only an attorney who has dealt with multiple EB1 for PhD cases is experienced enough to effectively determine what qualifies as evidence.

EB1 Processing Time for PhD Holders

The amount of time you will need to wait does not change if you are a PhD holder. You need to have your employer file an I-140 petition or file one yourself if you are self-petitioning under the EB-1A. The petition takes an average of 6 months to process, though this depends heavily on the service center that is processing your case.

Once the USCIS receives your petition, that date is marked as your “priority date”. Each month the Department of State releases a visa bulletin that shows the “final action dates” for green card petitions based on the different kinds of green cards and the country that the beneficiary is from. Once your priority date matches the final action date in your category, it will be considered “current”, allowing you to move onto the next step.

Once your priority date matches the final action date in your category, you can move onto the next step. Fortunately, the priority dates for almost all countries are current in the EB1 for PhD category. However, as of June, 2017, a backlog has developed that is causing nationals of China and India to wait several years before their priority date is current.

If you are inside the U.S. when your priority date becomes current, then you will be able to submit an I-485 application to adjust your status to permanent resident (green card holder). This step also takes an average of 6 months depending on the service center.

What If I Am Outside the U.S.?

If you are abroad when your I-140 is approved and your priority date is current, then you will need to go through consular processing. This means that you will have to make an appointment with the designated U.S. embassy or consulate located in your home country.

At that appointment, a consular officer will conduct a one-on-one interview with you to determine if you are who you say you are. This will involve asking you questions about yourself, your work, your employer, and your plans in the U.S. If your officer clears you, you will be able to enter the U.S. through your new green card.

The timeline for consular processing depends on how busy the consulate is. They may schedule your interview for a date several months away or only a few weeks. Keep this in mind as you make plans for your work.

Can I Use Premium Processing?

If waiting 6 months for your I-140 to process is too long, you can opt to have it expedited with premium processing. This service shortens your petition’s processing time to 15 calendar days for an additional fee. However, there are some things to keep in mind:

  • Premium processing does not expedite any other phase of the green card process, only the I-140 petition.
  • If your priority date will not be current for some time, premium processing may not help your case, as the USCIS may decide to process your I-140 closer to the time when your date will be current.
  • Premium processing is not available for EB2 NIW cases or EB-1C cases.

Alternatives to the EB1 for PhD

If the EB-1 is not an option, don’t lose hope. There are some other alternatives that may be available depending on your qualifications.

EB-2 NIW

The EB-2 usually requires applicants to have a job offer from a sponsoring employer in order to apply. In addition, that employer must obtain a PERM Labor Certification on your behalf. With a National Interest Waiver (NIW), however, you can bypass the job offer and PERM requirements by proving to the USCIS that your work will be beneficial to the United States.

In order to do this, you must demonstrate these three things:

  • Your work will have a substantial positive impact on American health, culture, education, society, jobs, economy, technology, education, or science.
  • You are uniquely qualified to work on and advance the work in the U.S. through your education, past successes, current progress, or business plan for the future.
  • It will be to the advantage of the U.S. to waive the job offer and PERM requirements rather than to enforce them.

So if you are planning on using your doctorate to start a business in the U.S., the EB-2 NIW is a great alternative to the EB1 for PhD holders.

PERM Labor Certification

If the EB-1 and EB-2 NIW are unavailable as green cards based on your qualifications, a solid option is to apply for the EB-2 visa through the use of a PERM Labor Certification. You may only want to consider this after you have worked with your attorney and exhausted your other options.

The PERM is an involved and complicated process that requires many different steps and is easily impeded by errors without the help of an expert. Essentially, the PERM is a process used by the Department of Labor (DOL) to determine if are U.S. workers are willing and able to take your position instead.

First, you will need an employer to sponsor you for your green card. Then, you would need to have that employer obtain the prevailing wage for your position. Once that has been determined, your employer will need to conduct a 30-day recruitment process to find local workers. If a qualified U.S. worker applies, your employer will need to hire them in your stead or develop a good reason for why the candidate was rejected.

If the DOL is satisfied with the recruitment report and the position has not been filled, your employer can then move on to the I-140 and I-485 steps to complete the green card process.

The PERM process is also open to complications through random and targeted audits as well as supervised recruitment. The best way to avoid these obstacles is to have your immigration attorney handle the minute details of the process. For these reasons, the PERM is a viable, but not an optimal alternative to the EB1 for PhD holders.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Is there a direct path to a green card through my PhD?

Unfortunately, there is no direct path. Having a PhD does not automatically grant you an EB1 or any other green card. It does, however, afford you the opportunities many people lack to fulfill some of the key requirements for an EB1.

Q. Do I have to have a STEM degree?

The STEM (or Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) degrees are helpful in obtaining a green card, especially if you are applying for the National Interest Waiver. However, the USCIS does not discriminate based on your field. Having your doctorate in English will not have a negative effect on your chances of getting an EB1 for PhD holders in comparison to a STEM degree such as computer science.

Q. What should I do if my petition is Denied?

If you are applying for an EB1 for PhD holders and your petition is denied, then you need an attorney now more than ever. You may be able to appeal the decision or make a legal motion to reconsider. You may also want to contemplate applying for a green card in a lower preference level.

How Our EB1 Attorneys Can Help

Just because you’re planning on self-petitioning, doesn’t mean you should go through the EB1 process alone. As a PhD holder, you are an expert in a certain field. Let those who are experts in immigration law handle your case.

At SGM Law Group, you can rest easy knowing that your case is in the best hands. From gathering evidence to support your qualifications to filing the correct fees to the correct places, our attorneys will work tirelessly to make sure that you have the best chance for approval.

To speak with one of our expert EB1 lawyers, fill out this contact form and tell us a little bit about your case so that we can schedule your consultation.

Published at Thu, 24 Aug 2017 13:00:23 +0000


Twelve Years Later: Checking In With Five Female Lawyers | Op-Docs | The New York Times

Twelve Years Later: Checking In With Five Female Lawyers | Op-Docs | The New York Times

Twelve years after being interviewed by The New York Times Magazine, five women, who all started their law careers at Debevoise & Plimpton, reflect on ambition, leadership and success.

Read the story here: http://nyti.ms/17m58Qr

Subscribe to the Times Video newsletter for free and get a handpicked selection of the best videos from The New York Times every week: http://bit.ly/timesvideonewsletter

Subscribe on YouTube: http://bit.ly/U8Ys7n

Watch more videos at: http://nytimes.com/video

—————————————————————

Want more from The New York Times?

Twitter: https://twitter.com/nytvideo

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nytimes

Google+: https://plus.google.com/+nytimes/

Whether it’s reporting on conflicts abroad and political divisions at home, or covering the latest style trends and scientific developments, New York Times video journalists provide a revealing and unforgettable view of the world. It’s all the news that’s fit to watch. On YouTube.

Twelve Years Later: Checking In With Five Female Lawyers | Op-Docs | The New York Times
http://www.youtube.com/user/TheNewYorkTimes


General Requirements for Being an Hired as an Immigration Judge

General Requirements for Being an Hired as an Immigration Judge

If you need an experienced and knowledgeable U.S. immigration, deportation, or immigration appeals attorney, please call our toll-free number at:

(866) 456-­8654 | * Call Us – Toll Free *

or at our NYC number:

(212) 202-­0342

You can also contact us with Skype:

Free Skype CallFree Skype Call

Have a Question?

Ask us immigration, deportation or immigration appeals questions online with our convenient “Ask a Question” form:

Ask a Question 

Want to Schedule a Consultation?

You can schedule a consultation with us on Skype, over the phone, or in person by using our “Online Consultation” form (we offer a 15 minute free consultation for asylum seekers, and our fee is only $160 per 45 minutes for all other cases):

Online Consultation

Attorney Advertising

Prior results do not guarantee similar outcomes

Published at Tue, 15 Aug 2017 22:36:00 +0000


General Requirements for Being an Hired as an Immigration Judge

General Requirements for Being an Hired as an Immigration Judge

If you need an experienced and knowledgeable U.S. immigration, deportation, or immigration appeals attorney, please call our toll-free number at:

(866) 456-­8654 | * Call Us – Toll Free *

or at our NYC number:

(212) 202-­0342

You can also contact us with Skype:

Free Skype CallFree Skype Call

Have a Question?

Ask us immigration, deportation or immigration appeals questions online with our convenient “Ask a Question” form:

Ask a Question 

Want to Schedule a Consultation?

You can schedule a consultation with us on Skype, over the phone, or in person by using our “Online Consultation” form (we offer a 15 minute free consultation for asylum seekers, and our fee is only $160 per 45 minutes for all other cases):

Online Consultation

Attorney Advertising

Prior results do not guarantee similar outcomes

Published at Tue, 15 Aug 2017 22:36:00 +0000