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Immigration Law Blog

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

USCIS Expands In-Person Interview Requirements for Adjustment of Status Applications for Employment and Refugee/Asylee Relative Petitions

By Roujin Mozaffarimehr

On August 28, 2017, The USCIS announced that in-person interviews will now be required for applicants with adjustment of status applications based on employment (I-140 petitions), as well as Refugee/asylee relative petitions (I-730 petitions). This new requirement will be phased in at the beginning of the new fiscal year on October 1, 2017.

This new requirement is being implemented to comply with Executive Order 13780, “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States. The USCIS has confirmed in its


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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The Department of State Revises the Foreign Affair Manual to Provide Consular Officers Guidance in light of Trump’s “Buy American and Hire American” Executive Order.

By Roujin Mozaffarimehr

As of August 2017, the Department of State (DOS) has updated its Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM), which details the policies and procedures by which Consular Officers are to follow in the issuance of visas at appointments abroad. These revisions have been made based upon President Trump’s April 2017 Executive Order (EO) 13788, “Buy American and Hire American.” This EO posits targeted directives with the goal of “ensure[ing] the integrity of the Immigration System in order to ‘Hire American.”

Prior to the FAM revisions and the April 2017 EO, the Immigration Bar and non-immigrant visa (NIV) holders traveling abroad have been gathering anecdotal evidence of rigorous adjudications at the consulate.


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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Can A Quit Claim Deed Change Community Property to Separate Property?

By Sabi Mand, Esq. on September 6, 2017

 

What is Community Property in California?

California is a community property state. Community property is any property, asset or even debt accrued by the couple during the course of their marriage. Courts have held that the character of the property as separate or community is typically determined at the time of its acquisition.  However, one of the ways the parties can change the character of a property is with a quit claim deed, assuming several factors are met.


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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

BREAKING NEWS: Trump Administration to End DACA Program

On September 5, 2017, President Trump issued a written statement read aloud by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, announcing the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The President has put into place a 6-month “wind-down” of the DACA program.

What we know so far:

  • During this 6-month period, all applications that have already been filed and are pending will be processed, as well as renewal applications for those facing near-term expiration.
  • New applications for work permits will not be accepted.
  • All existing work permits will be honored until their date of expiration up to two full years from today.

Read more . . .


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Travelers Be Wary – International Travel on Pending I-131 Will be Deemed Abandonment

By Roujin Mozaffarimehr

The USCIS has changed its policy with regard to international travel while a form I-131 Application for Advance Parole is pending. In the past, the USCIS routinely approved advance parole applications where applicants traveled abroad during the pending period using an existing unexpired advance parole document, or H, K, L, or V visa. The USCIS Service Center Operation Directorate (SCOPS) has confirmed that the current policy is that travelling internationally while the I-131 application is pending will result in the denial of that application.

What does this mean for you?

If you have a pending I-131 application, please do not travel internationally until the application is approved. This also includes renewal applications, as well as renewal applications that are pending where the applicant has a current advance parole card.


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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Breaking News: Proposed RAISE Act Will Alienate, Not Attract Global Talent

By Roujin Mozaffarimehr

On August 2nd, Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and David Perdue (R-GA) introduced the RAISE Act, a bill supported by the Trump administration that, in part, looks to replace our current employment-based immigration system with a “merit-based” points system that purports to attract the best and the brightest global talent.

We have taken a closer look at the points system in the bill and put it to the test, to see if the best and the brightest would really be identified by the system. We compared 2 hypothetical Candidates to each other and evaluated each of them with the proposed point system.


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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Dream Act

MPLG welcomes the relief that would come with the approval and implementation of these bills. However, we remain cautious of their outcomes based upon the current Administration’s conservative stance on immigration.


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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

USCIS Site Visit Initiative for H-1B Dependent Employers and Consulting Companies

On July 19, 2017, MPLG attorneys attended a USCIS hosted Employment Visa Engagement event at the USPTO in San Jose, CA. Representatives from the USCIS, Western Regional, Fraud Detection & National Security (FDNS) Unit spoke at this event. They discussed their new targeted site visit program following the April 3, 2017 USCIS directive, “Putting American Workers First: USCIS Announces Further Measures to Detect  H-1B Visa Fraud and Abuse.
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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

EB-1 Retrogresses Again in 2017 for Indians and Chinese

For the second year in a row, the priority date for EB-1 retrogressed for Indian and Chinese born foreign nationals. This visa category is reserved for the brilliant among us – aliens of extraordinary ability in science, business, and the arts; outstanding researchers; and executives and managers of multinational corporations. Last year this category retrogressed in July but returned in October 2016. This year it retrogressed in June 2017, and there is uncertainty on when it will return.

According to Charles (“Charlie”) Oppenheim, Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division, U.


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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The January 2017 Rule

On January 17, 2017, the final rule published by the Department of Homeland Security took effect, codifying many sections of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act of 2000 (AC21), as well as many other laws relating to the employment of foreign workers.

We are providing the details of the new rule now and our analyses based upon the implementation of the rule over the last 7 months. The new rule took effect 3 days before the Trump administration took office.


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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

H-1B CAP – How to Prepare for and What to Expect on October 1st

The USCIS confirmed at the end of June that it has returned all rejected H-1B CAP petitions, and petition adjudication is underway. We expect requests for evidence (RFEs) and approvals to keep trickling in through the summer. Here are a few tips for employer and beneficiaries in anticipation of new H-1Bs coming in on October 1st.


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