Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Homeland Security Proposes To Define "Public Charge" For Immigration Purposes

U.S Department of Homeland Security

     The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently announced that it will define the term “public charge” for immigration purposes.

     Currently, interviewing consular officers at U.S. Embassies and Consulates are authorized to refuse a visa if it is in their opinion that they are likely to become a public charge. Under the proposed rule, “public charge” will be defined as a person who receives certain government benefits. Benefits to be included in the proposed rule include cash assistance, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid (with limited exceptions) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or food stamps), and iSection 8 Public Housing.

     However, receipt of benefits under certain circumstances will be not held against an alien seeking to immigrate to the United States. For example, vulnerable individuals such as asylees and refugees cannot be held inadmissible on the ground of public charge. Likewise, public benefits received by aliens serving in active duty or in the Ready Reserve component of the U.S. Armed forces and their spouse and children will not be considered in the determination of whether said alien will be a public charge. Finally, receipt of some public benefits by an alien’s U.S. citizen children or the children and adoptive children of U.S. citizens will also not affect their immigration applications.

     The proposed rule aims to promote immigrant self-sufficiency and to ensure that immigrants will likely not be a burden on American taxpayers. It will publish in the Federal Register in the coming weeks. Once published, the public will be allowed 60-day to comment.

by: Enterline and Partners Consulting

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

October Visa Bulletin EB-5 Visa Category Now “Unauthorized” for Visa Issuance

Last week, U.S. Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs published the October Visa Bulletin. The EB-5 Regional Center category has been listed as “U” meaning unauthorized for issuance. This is because the Immigrant Investor Program (aka Regional Center Program) is set to expire on September 30, 2018.

The final action dates for the EB-5 regional center category has been listed as unavailable as a result of the upcoming “sunset date” of September 30, 2018 for the Immigrant Investor Program When there is legislative action reauthorizing the EB-5 Program all final action dates would immediately become “Current” for all countries except those countries with high demand. 

The Immigrant Investor Program has been a temporary program since it was first enacted by Congress in 1993. Since 2015, it has been temporarily extended many times. While there is no guarantee that it will be extend this time, there is an expectation that it will continue to be extended and available for EB-5 investors choosing to invest in projects sponsored by regional centers.

October Visa Bulletin

by: Enterline and Partners Consulting

Sunday, September 16, 2018

USCIS Announces Fee Increase For Premium Processing To $1,410

USCIS announces fee increase for premium processing to $1,410

USCIS announced an increase in the premium processing fee for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker and Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers, beginning on October 1, 2018. The premium processing fee will increase to $1,410.  This increase will affect any L-1 and EB-1C petitions that our clients may want to file and pay for premium processing.

Premium processing is an optional service that is currently authorized for certain petitioners filing Forms I-129 and I-140. Premium processing allows petitioners to request 15-day processing of certain employment-based immigration benefit requests if they pay an extra fee. The premium processing fee is paid in addition to the base filing fee and any other applicable fees, which cannot be waived.

by: Enterline and Partners Consulting