Humanitarian Parole for Afghans

What is Humanitarian Parole and How Could it Help Afghans?

It is possible to gain entry to the United States if you are in urgent humanitarian need by applying for Humanitarian Parole. Parole does not confer any legal status in the United States, but it does provide the opportunity to get out of harm’s way, obtain urgent medical care, donate an organ, or reunite with family in exceptional circumstances. Once in the United States, it may be possible to adjust your status by applying another visa category or to apply for asylum. 

Each request is handled on a case-by-case basis on the discretion of the Attorney General. It is important to note, however, that parole is a way to enter the United States physically rather than admitting in the US legally. This may be an advantage for several people, as since this is not a legal admission into the United States, applicants need not show they are admissible for parole – meaning those with prior criminal convictions and/or immigration violations also have the chance of being granted parole. 

While every case is considered individually, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services website does lay out some general factors that are considered for parole:

  • Whether the purpose of the parole request may be accomplished within a specific temporary period of time;
  • Whether the beneficiary intends to leave the United States once the parole expires or has the means to obtain lawful immigration status during the parole authorisation period or any re-parole period;
  • Whether there is evidence of any national security concerns, criminal history, fraud, or previous immigration violations;
  • Whether the beneficiarie’s presence would benefit or otherwise affect an US citizen or lawful permanent resident or community in the United States;
  • Whether the beneficiary will have sufficient financial support while in the United States;
  • Evidence of the beneficiaries character;
  • Whether there are other means than parole available to the beneficiary so they can travel to and remain in the United States for the stated parole purpose.

It is also immensely beneficial if you are admissible for entry when you gain parole – this means that if you are eligible for an immigrant visa when you enter the United States as a parolee, it might be easier for you to gain an adjustment of status and remain in the US legally. 

If you are seeking Asylum under the ‘Parole directive’, an asylum seeker who has established a credible fear of persecution should be granted parole in the public interest and released from detention while pursuing his or her asylum claim if the individual: (a) establishes his or her identity to the satisfaction of the Department of Homeland Security; and (b) presents neither a flight risk nor a danger to the community. Evidence that can be submitted in support of a request for parole includes:

  • Letters of support from friends and family in the United States about reliability, likelihood of attending court hearings, and lack of criminal record or behaviour;
  • Documents showing  your identity;
  • Documents showing that you have a sponsor in the United States who can support you financially and in your immigration case. 

It is also possible that again for urgent humanitarian reasons such as to receive medical treatment or for family reunification purposes. This means that you can be granted entry for medical reasons including to serve as an organ donor or if you need care for a seriously ill or terminally ill family member in the United States. You can also gain entry under humanitarian parole for family reasons including reuniting with family for urgent humanitarian reasons for attending a funeral or settling the affairs of a deceased relative. 

Under INA s 212(d)(5), you can receive parole if you present yourself at a port of entry for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public health benefit. It may be useful to note however, that since the Covid-19 pandemic, Title 42 of the US Code s 265 Has been used to prevent the entry of individuals into the United States if they present a danger of introduction of a communicable disease; this means hundreds of thousands of parolee requests have been denied since Title 42 was asserted in March 2020. You should have your counsel contact the CBP counsel or the specific port director and send a humanitarian parole package over. They should signify your unique circumstances and vulnerabilities and why granting you a parole would be warranted. 

By Tishita Agarwal

This article is published for clients, friends and other interested visitors for information purposes only. The contents of the article do not constitute legal advice and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Davies & Associates or any of its attorneys, staff or clients. External links are not an endorsement of the content.

H-1B Cap Registration and Understanding Key RFE Issues

Biden Plans Reopening of US Border in November as our Firm Obtains Another National Interest Exception to Travel to the US

President Biden has indicated that the US border will reopen in November, until then the National Interest Exception remains the only viable option for many people to enter the country.

The US border has been closed to people from Schengen countries in Europe as well as the UK, Ireland, India, Brazil and a number of other countries. President Biden announced this week that the eighteen month ban will be lifted at some point in November without giving much detail. The exact date remains uncertain and it is not clear whether the ban will be rescinded for all countries or only apply to the UK and the Schengen Zone.

So, for now there are only two viable options: spend two weeks in a permitted third country or make the case that your visit is in the US national interest.

Our firm has secured a good number of National Interest Exceptions NIEs for clients since the start of the Covid pandemic last March. This week, for example, we obtained an NIE for an Italian client seeking to travel to the United States on business.

The client is one of the leading Italian sales agents for the high-quality ceramic tiles. He represents the interests of a network of Italian tile companies – many based around the city of Modena. He is their global represenative and his area of responsibility includes the United States.

On behalf of the client, we argued that his work was within the permissible exceptions for travel as they came under the exceptions listed in the “Advisory Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers during Covid-19 Response”, issued by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) on March 28, 2020.

His work supports the supply chain of building materials from production through application and installation, including cabinetry, fixtures, doors, cement, hardware, plumbing (including parts and services), electrical, heating and cooling, refrigeration, appliances, paint and coatings, and workers who provide services that enable repair materials and equipment for essential functions.

As we previously reported, these NIEs were recently bolstered to a year-long validity period with multiple entries to the United States permitted. That could soon be academic. If the restrictions on vaccinated travellers visiting the United States is lifted as indicated by the president next month.

There is also a chance that Biden will keep restrictions in place on some countries, so keep those National Interest Exceptions in mind

This article is published for clients, friends and other interested visitors for information purposes only. The contents of the article do not constitute legal advice and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Davies & Associates or any of its attorneys, staff or clients. External links are not an endorsement of the content.

Verdie Atienza- E-2 Visa Lawyer

Immigration Attorney Explains E-2 Visa Citizenship Requirement.

Senior Immigration Attorney at our firm, Verdie Atienza, details all the issues surrounding nationality requirements for the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa. In the video, which you can watch below, Verdie explains that you must be a citizen of an E-2 Treaty country. The full list of E-2 countries can be found here.

Don’t worry if you are NOT from an E-2 Treaty Country. You can obtain citizenship of an E-2 country and then apply. The two countries with the fastest and cheapest pathways to citizenship are Grenada and Turkey. Verdie outlines the process and costs in the video.

The E-2 visa allows you to move to the United States for the purposes of investing in and actively running a business. Your investment must be sufficient for the business and usually upwards of $100,000. Spouses can apply for work permits for the US and children under the age of 21 can accompany you. You can keep renewing the visa so long as the business continues to operate successfully.

Watch the video and contact Verdie if you have any questions.

E2 Treaty Investor Visa Approved in Pandemic Time

E2 Treaty Investor Visa Advantages: Fast Processing Times

The head of our E-2 Visa Practice Verdie J. Atienza speaks in our latest video about some of the advantages of the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa. Firstly, we look at the fast processing times of this visa.

The E-2 Treaty Investor Visa is unique in that the work is primarily done by embassies and consulates rather than the US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) US embassies and consulates have been closed or providing reduced services over the past eighteen month as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

They have started to reopen, but this is all very much dependant upon the individual location. With places in Europe reopening after lockdown and places in the Far East and Australasia clamping down.

In normal times, applicants can expect to wait just a few weeks and up to a month for the embassy to review their petition. Premium processing is also available, whereby you pay a little extra on the administration fee to jump the queue.

What is the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa?

The E-2 Treaty Investor allows a person to move to the US with their family for the purposes of owning and operating a business. The E-2 investor must be actively involved in managing the business, but the spouse can apply for authorization to work in the US. The visa is renewable in instalments up to 5 years, but provided the underlying business continues to operate, you can keep renewing it.

There is no minimum investment required for the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa, but it must be appropriate for the business in question and we usually recommend investments upwards of $100,000. This does not all need to be cash, but can also be inventory, intellectual property and other items.

The E-2 Visa offers flexibility in the type of business you can own and operate. You can expand your foreign business, acquire and existing US business, start a new business, or purchase a franchise business.

E-2 Visa Plus Citizenship by Investment (CBI)

To be eligible for the E-2 Visa your must be a citizen of an E-2 country. Click here to check if you are from an E-2 country. If you are not a citizen of an E-2 country then you need our E-2 + CBI package. This is where you first obtain citizenship by investment of an E-2 Treaty country and then progress to an E-2 application.

The two E-2 countries with the fastest and most cheapest routes to citizenship are Grenada in the West Indies and Turkey on the eastern edge of Europe. Grenada Citizenship starts from $150,000 for a donation and $220,000 for an investment. Turkish citizenship starts from $250,000 for an investment and $500,000 for deposits in a Turkis bank.

Average processing times for both Turkey CBI and Grenada CBI are fast – just a few months and in some instances just a month or two. When you couple that with the fast processing times of the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa, this dual step route can take just a matter of months.

Contact us to learn more.

E-2 Treaty Investor Visa Advantages: Quick Processing Times

This article is published for clients, friends and other interested visitors for information purposes only. The contents of the article do not constitute legal advice and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Davies & Associates or any of its attorneys, staff or clients. External links are not an endorsement of the content.

Eb-5 Visa Investment Level Increase

Changes to EB-5 Investor Visa Processing

The impact of the changes are being felt at different stages of the process, with greater leniency surrounding the I-829 process.

USCIS is extending the time that a receipt notice can be used to show evidence of lawful permanent resident status from 18 months to 24 months to take account of increased processing times for Form I-829.

What does this mean in practice?

When you file your Form I-829, USCIS will send you a Receipt Notice in the mail. That Receipt Notice, when presented along with your expired Green Card, provides proof of your lawful permanent resident status (for purposes such as border re-entry after international travel, employment authorization, bank verification requirements, and driver’s license applications).

Up to now, you were allowed to use the Form I-829 Receipt Notice as evidence of continued status for up to 18 months past the expiration date stated on your Green Card. That has been increased to 24 months past the expiration date stated on your Green Card.  USCIS has stated that they will be re-issuing Receipt Notices for those with pending Form I-829 applications to reflect this new 24 month extension.  We cannot predict how long it will take USCIS to re-issue those Receipt Notices.  If you have a pending Form I-829, please ensure that USCIS has your current mailing address on file.

What is Form I-829? 

Form I-829 is the petition by a EB-5 investor to have the conditions on their Green Card removed. Successful EB-5 applicants are initially granted a two-year Conditional Green Card / Conditional Permanent Residency.  Before the expiration date on your Conditional Green Card, you must apply to have those conditions removed by showing that your investment complied with the requirements of the EB-5 program (such as creating the required amount of new jobs). Please see the EB-5 timeline below or contact us for more information. 
Regional Center EB-5 Visa Processing
The National Visa Center (NVC) has announced that it will no longer act upon any new or pending Regional Center EB-5 visa petitions until further notice. The EB-5 Regional Center Program lapsed at the end of June 2021 and the NVC will not work on Regional Center applications until the program is reinstated.  The NVC is the organization that receives an approved EB-5 file from USCIS, does document verification (DS-260 completion, birth certificates, police clearances, etc), and then issued interview assignments at the Consulates.

When will the EB-5 Regional Center Program be reinstated? 

We cannot say for certain if and when Congress will reinstate the EB-5 Regional Center Program, but it might be included in the must-pass spending legislation due by the end of this month (September).

What about Direct EB-5?

In the meantime, the Direct EB-5 visa option remains open and the NVC will continue to act upon any Direct EB-5 petitions. Direct EB-5 is currently open with a minimum investment threshold of $500,000.

Please contact us to discuss any aspect of the EB-5 process. 

Example EB-5 Visa Timeline (actual timeline will vary)

This article is published for clients, friends and other interested visitors for information purposes only. The contents of the article do not constitute legal advice and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Davies & Associates or any of its attorneys, staff or clients. External links are not an endorsement of the content.

Employment-Based Green Card Quotas

Roll Over of Employment-Based Green Card Quotas

A large chunk of last year’s quota is going to waste, but there is likely to be a rollover from this year’s unused quota

By Tishita Agarwal

A recent report suggested that close to 100,000 employment based visas, or green cards, are liable to go to waste if they are not issued by the end of the month. A green card, or US Permanent Residency, is issued to show the bearer can reside permanently in the United States.

The quota for this year’s employment-based visas is set at 261,500 – much higher than the usual cut-off of 140,000 because of overspill from last year’s allocation that was not used because of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, if they are not issued by the end of the month, they will all go to waste because the annual visa allocations reset on October 1 of each year. That said, the overspill from this year will likely result in another bumper year for employment-based Green Cards next year (October 2021 to September 2022).

Many are blaming this situation on the Biden administration, citing slow assignments and unchanging protocols and reaction times as the reason why the US government has been so slow to approve green cards and why the new quota will not be filled. In fact, about 125 Indian and Chinese professionals living in the US have also issued a lawsuit against the Biden administration on this issue. It is reported that almost 136,000 children from Indian families had to deport or transfer to a student visa when they became of age because they got caught up in this visa backlog. 

However, this is only part of the picture – the United States Citizenship and Immigration Servicies (USCIS) has been affected by Covid lockdowns and staff shortages due to the pandemic. Similarly, embassies and consulates around the world are effected by the ebb and flow of lockdowns and the need to keep staff safe in each respective country.

Since this is an ongoing issue, this year’s unused allocation will roll over and should be more available if embassies and USCIS reopen as hoped.

The increased quota was a result of an unusually low number of family-based green cards being approved in the fiscal year 2020, causing them to ‘roll over’ into this fiscal year. As a result, USCIS had an obligation to approve more employment-based green cards than usual, and announced that it will accept applications from thousands of immigrants who had been waiting for years, some even decades. Employment-based green cards are subject to annual quotas based upon your country of birth. This quota takes no account of a country’s population, which means that the world’s most populous countries India and China have the same annual quota as small countries with tiny populations.

The result is that China and Indian applicants for various employment-based Green Cards face waiting lists. You can read about the latest in our upcoming analysis of the September visa bulletin. Generally speaking China faces a long wait for the EB-5 Investor Visa category (EB standing for Employment-Based) and India faces long waits in the EB-3 highly skilled worker category. Vietnam also faces shorter delays for EB-5 visa and India is often close to the annual allocation for EB-5 (which is approx 700 visas per country per year not counting any rollovers).

Our clients are always reminded that non-immigrant (non-permanent) alternatives are available and can be used as a stop-gap to live in the United States. The two strongest options are the L-1 Visa, which allows you to set up a US office of your foreign company and transfer to manage that business, or the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa, which allows you to move to the US for the purposes of investing in and running a business in America. Spouses can apply for a work permit under both the L-1 Visa and the E-2 Visa. To be eligible for an E-2 Visa, you must be from an E-2 country. India in not an E-2 Visa country, which means you must first obtain citizenship of an E-2 country like Grenada or Turkey to become eligible

As always, the best option is to speak to our team who can explore all the various options and help you to select the best immigration solution for you, your family and/or your business.

This article is published for clients, friends and other interested visitors for information purposes only. The contents of the article do not constitute legal advice and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Davies & Associates or any of its attorneys, staff or clients. External links are not an endorsement of the content.

L-1 Visa for SMEs

L-1 Visas for Transferring Employees of Small & Medium-Sized Businesses (SMEs) to the United States

Our team has has a number of successes in obtaining L-1 Visas for clients in India last month. Read below to discover the broad range of industries eligible for the L-1 Visa.

By Tishita Agarwal.

The L-1 Intracompany Transfer Visa is a non-immigrant visa that is a good fit for business owners who wish to expand and develop their business in the US, and send executives and specialized employees along to oversee the process. While the L-1 may seem a suitable option only for large corporations and franchises who already have the experience and skills for an overseas business expansion Davies & Associates has helped several small and medium sized businesses set up and expand their enterprises in the US in the past month.

One such business is a Jaipur based jewellery manufacturing business that has been in the industry for many years. They specialise in gold jewellery, silver jewellery, rings, bangles, chains, and since they are not a large corporation, are able to focus on the highest quality of products with the finest purity and details. 

Another such business is one in the tech industry, providing a range of services such as end computing, cloud commuting, enterprise mobility, and smart city solutions with a client base of more than 800 clients, and the winner of several tech awards, this business was a strong applicant for the L-1 visa. 

Another technology driven and customer centric solutions provider business that Davies & Associates has helped offer an array of medical imaging and documentation software solutions, and they presented as a strong candidate for the visa application as their products and services were employed in over 50 countries, and they provide unique, specialised products. 

However, your business does not always have to be providing an extremely unique product or service –  Davies & Associates has also recently helped a business whose headquarters are now in Santa Clara, California – they are a professional consulting firm with applicants from all over the globe, and an impressive offshore delivery centre in Noida, India. They offer a range of services including Software Consulting, Software Development, Recruitment Process Outsourcing, and Knowledge Process Outsourcing. 

One more business that has qualified for the L-1 visa with the help of Davies & Associates last month is a company that manufactures and supplies orthopaedic and maxillofacial implants. Employing some of the most cutting-edge technology, the company believes in providing the best options as desired by surgeons and customers, improving the quality of life, all at an affordable rate. 

List of recent L-1 Business Recently Assisted by Davies & Associates

– Jewellery business

– Cloud Computing

– Medical Software

– Outsourcing business

– Medical implants

With our help it is easy to establish a new office of your business in the US and then send yourself or employees there on an L-1 visa. Our full-service law firm helps with both the corporate formation and the immigration paperwork. Click here to read more about New Office L-1 Visas.

There are many benefits to the L-1 visa, such as no annual limits to the number of visas available, and no restrictions on which countries can apply. Spouses of L-1 visa holders can apply for work authorization and dependent minors can accompany you. The visa is renewable up to a maximum of five to seven years, but the good news is that the L-1 Visa allows for “dual intent” meaning you can actively seek permanent residency while you are in the US (most visas require you to demonstrate that you have an intention to ultimately depart the US when you make your application). The natural fit for the L-1A visa is the EB-1c visa which offers permanent residency to managers and executives. Thus, the L-1 is a feasible, and sometimes more suitable, option for small and medium sized business owners who wish to send their employees to the US. 

This article is published for clients, friends and other interested visitors for information purposes only. The contents of the article do not constitute legal advice and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Davies & Associates or any of its attorneys, staff or clients. External links are not an endorsement of the content.