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What is “cap-gap”?

Where an employer subject to H-1B cap properly files H-1B petition requesting an October 1 start date and a timely change of status on behalf of an F-1 student, student’s F-1 status and employment authorization (if in Optional Practical Training) is automatically extended until September 30, thus eliminating the “gap” between the time the F-1 status would have expired and the October 1 start date of H-1B status. If the H-1B petition is not filed before the OPT expires, the student may not be empoyed again until October 1. Cap-gap does not apply to cap-exempt H-1Bs.

Please note that this article does not constitute legal advice.  We simplified the law to provide general information about one aspect of H-1B visa.  If you would like to discuss if you qualify for the cap-gap or need help obtaining H-1B visa, schedule a consultation with an experienced immigration lawyer in Phoenix at www.calendly.com/irena-3 TODAY or call our office at 480-425-2009! We look forward to talking with you!

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What is PERM?

PERM is the abreviation for the Program Electronic Review Management. It’s a system for processing labor certification application, which is necessary (with some exceptions, e.g., National Interest Waiver, Schedule A precertification) to get a green card through employment. The basic criteria are whether the employer has me the procedural requirements of the regulations, whether there are insufficient U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified, and available, and whether the employment of the foreing worker will have an adverse effect on the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers similarly employed.

Please note that this article does not constitute legal advice.  We simplified the law to provide general information about one aspect of the employment based green card process.  If you would like to discuss if you qualify for a green card through employment, schedule a consultation with an experienced immigration lawyer in Phoenix at www.calendly.com/irena-3 today or call our office at 480-425-2009! We look forward to talking with you!

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Can you recover your attorney’s fee in EB-1 case?

Individuals of extraordinary abilities applying for EB-1 green card are often faced with requests for evidence adding to the cost of the representation and what seems to be arbitrary and capricious decisions. They are often not aware that they may be able to recover attorney’s fees and cost under the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA) if they challenge the USCIS decision under the Administrative Procedures Act (APA). They need to prevail against the USCIS in challenging its decision, which was not “substantially justified” and no “special circumstances make an award unjust”.

For example, after Ludovic Pierre Berardo, an extraordinary stop-motion animator, challenged USCIS’s denial, USCIS approved his petition and he recovered $44,672.50 in attorney’s fee and $400 in costs.

Please note that this article does not constitute legal advice.  We simplified the law to provide general information about one aspect of EB-1 process.  If you would like to discuss if you qualify for EB-1 green card based on your extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, schedule a consultation with an experienced immigration lawyer in Phoenix at www.calendly.com/irena-3 today or call our office at 480-425-2009!

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New proposed H-1B “wage-based” selection process

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposes to
change the process of selecting H-1B registrations for filing of H-1B cap-subject petitions from a random lottery selection to a wage-level-based selection process.

If more registrations were received during the annual
initial registration period than necessary to reach the
cap, USCIS would rank and select the registrations received generally on the basis of the highest OES wage level in the area of intended employment, beginning with OES wage level IV and proceeding in descending order with OES wage levels III, II, and I

These proposed changes would incentivize petitioners to offer higher wages
to H-1B workers or petition for positions requiring higher skills By changing the selection process, DHS would increase the chance
of selection for registrations or petitions seeking to employ beneficiaries at wages that would equal or exceed the level IV or level III prevailing wage. The DHS data shows that only 28.53% of H-1B petitions received in FYs 2018 and 2019 were filed for level IV and III wages.

The 30-day comments period starts on November 2, 2020.

Please note that this article does not constitute a legal advice.  We simplified the law to outline the proposed changes to H-1B selection process. If you would like to obtain an H-1B status, call our experienced H-1B attorney at 480-425-2009 or schedule your consultation online.

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How to qualify for treaty trader (E-1) visa?

Two Mexican citizens established a US company to import fresh produce from Mexico and sell it in the U.S. and Canada. Each member held 50% interest in the US company. Each member invested “substantial” amount of capital and put it “at risk”. The company rented office space and and warehouse, obtained a license for the US Department of Agriculture, a Blue book rating, registered trademark, hired customs broker and incurred marketing and warehouse expenses. The company created job opportunities for US workers – hired a full time sales representative and started interviewing for other positions. During its first season, the company generated very healthy profit and took steps to increase its marketing efforts to increase sales and visibility.

We established that the trade is already in existence, it is “substantial” and principally (more than 50% of total volume of international trade) between the US and Mexico.

Please note that this article does not constitute a legal advice.  We simplified the law to outline one treaty trader (E-1) visa case study. If you would like to obtain a treaty trader (E-1) visa, call our experienced E-1 visa attorney at 480-425-2009 or schedule your consultation online.

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Self-petition of abused spouse of US citizen (VAWA) approved


This case originally started as a regular marriage green card case.  US citizen husband filed for his foreign spouse and their child was born.  Soon after the birth, the US citizen started to abuse his wife verbally and physically.  She tried everything, but at the end had no choice but to leave the household.   We documented the abuse, filed a self-petition for her and have her petition approved.   She can now safely raise her child without worries about her abusive ex-husband. 

Please note that this article does not constitute a legal advice.  We simplified the law to outline one case of an abused wife of a US citizen who we helped to get her green card.  If you are subject to a physical or psychological abuse by your US spouse and need help with your green card process pursuant to the Violence Against Women Act (“VAWA”), call our experienced marriage green card attorney at 480-425-2009 or schedule your consultation online

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What is “substantial” amount of capital for E-2 investor visa?

The E-2 investor visa provides an excellent opportunity for foreign nationals from countries that have treaties of commerce and navigation with the U.S. to come to the U.S. to develop and manage operations of a business. A frequent question of foreign investors considering applying for an E-2 investor visa is: ‘What is considered a “substantial” investment?” Unlike the minimum investment requirement for EB-5 investor visa (“green card”), which is $1 million or $500,000 in targeted employment areas, there is no set dollar amount that has to be invested in order to be considered “substantial” investment for E-2 visa purposes. A substantial amount of capital for E-2 purposes constitutes an amount that is substantial in proportionality sense.

The proportionality test compares the total amount invested in the enterprise with the cost of either purchasing an established enterprise or creating a viable new enterprise. The lower the cost of the business, the higher the percentage of investment is required. On the other hand, a highly expensive business would require a lower percentage of qualifying investment. Thus, investments of 100 percent or a higher percentage would normally automatically qualify for a small business of $100,000 or less. On the other hand, an investment of $10 million in a $100 million business would likely qualify, based on the sheer magnitude of the investment itself.

The “substantial” investment has to be large enough to lead to the successful operation of the E-2 enterprise and must be more than marginal (must have the capacity to generate more than enough income to provide a minimal living for the investor and his family). What constitutes a substantial investment is different for different industries. If an investor wants to start a manufacturing business or any other capital-intense business, $100,000 will not constitute a substantial investment. However, $100,000 or a lower amount may be sufficient for service businesses. We have helped numerous foreign investors to get E-2 investor visas for a $100,000 investment in service businesses. We recently obtained an E-2 visa for a Canadian investor who purchased an existing service business in Arizona for $70,000. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service has approved E-2 visa even for smaller investments. Our most recent case was an E-2 visa for a Canadian investor who purchased an Arizona retail business for $250,000.

If you are looking to invest in a business or enterprise in Arizona or anywhere throughout the United States, call the Juras Law Firm, PLC to speak with an experienced E-2 visa attorney. Call our office at (480) 425-2009 or complete the contact form on this page for a consultation. We understand that the visa application process is complex; an experienced Arizona E-2 visa attorney is here to answer your questions.