Founding Partner of Klasko Immigration Law Partners to Lead National Network of Immigration Attorneys as Issues Heat Up Across the U.S.
Practical implications and reactions from presidential hopefuls on the ruling.
60-day re-registration period ends July 15, 2016.
Nearly 1.2 million international students studying in the United States on F or M visas, per SEVP.
New form reduces barriers to filing employment discrimination claims based on citizenship or national origin.
AILA advocates to increase annual cap of 66,000.
83,910 applicants notified of opportunity to apply for immigrant visa from a total of 12,437,190 qualified entries.
I-360 Petitioners from Mexico who filed on or after January 1, 2010 must wait for new visas to become available. Implications for affected petitioners enclosed.
Employers of CW-1 workers previously counted toward the FY2016 cap may still file to change or extend CW-1 status.
1. William A. Stock Takes Helm as New President of American Immigration Lawyers Association
Founding Partner of Klasko Immigration Law Partners to Lead National Network of Immigration Attorneys as Issues Heat Up Across the U.S.
William A. Stock (Bill), one of the country’s top immigration attorneys, has officially begun his tenure as president of the 14,500-member American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) for the 2016-2017 term. Bill succeeds Victor D. Nieblas Pradis, who served as the association’s president from 2015-2016.
A committed member of AILA for over 22 years, Bill has served multiple leadership positions, including President-Elect (2015-2016) and First Vice President (2014-2015). He has also served several terms on the Board of Governors and was awarded the organization’s Joseph Minsky Award in 2000 for his outstanding contributions to immigration law. Bill was installed as president during AILA’s Annual Conference in Las Vegas last week.
“I am honored to serve as AILA’s newest president,” Bill said. “Across the nation, immigration issues are at the center of the national conversation. The entire Executive Committee and I share the goal of advancing fair and just immigration laws that serve the needs of American families and businesses. This year, our association celebrates its 70th year of working to improve the quality of immigration law practice and policy throughout the United States. I look forward to working with our extraordinary team to deliver on that mission.”
Bill is a founding partner of Klasko Immigration Law Partners, LLP, and leads the firm’s Corporate Immigration team. With more than 23 years of immigration law experience, he focuses his practice on employment-based immigration across an expanse of industries, including education, finance, information technology, life sciences, manufacturing, pharmaceutical and retail. Bill has worked on issues ranging from nonimmigrant visa classification and permanent residence or “green card” status to investment-based immigration to unusual and complicated matters.
“I’ve worked with Bill for more than twenty-three years now, so it’s easy to see why his passion for his work, coupled with his superior expertise in immigration law, has made him the perfect candidate to take the reins of the American Immigration Lawyers Association,” H. Ronald Klasko (Ron), managing partner of Klasko Immigration Law Partners and past president of AILA, said. “I’m eager to see all that the organization will accomplish this year.”[Back to Top]
2. Split Supreme Court Decision Blocks DAPA
In a one-sentence, 4-4 split decision that came down on June 24, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court, in U.S. v. Texas, let stand lower court rulings that block the Obama administration’s plan, known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA). The plan would have allowed approximately 4 million parents of U.S. citizen children to seek protection from removal from the United States, at least temporarily, and obtain work authorization.
President Barack Obama called the decision “heartbreaking” for those affected, “who made their lives here, who’ve raised families here, who hope for the opportunity to work, pay taxes, serve in our military, and fully contribute to the country we all love in an open way.” Hillary Clinton, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, said the ruling threw “millions of families across our country into a state of uncertainty.” She also pledged to “introduce comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship within [her] first 100 days.”
The decision was not expected to lead to any immediate removals due to the Obama administration’s enforcement priorities. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson said on June 23, 2016, that he was “disappointed” by the Supreme Court’s ruling.
In his remarks, Secretary Johnson also advised:
It is important to emphasize that this ruling does not affect the existing DACA [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] policy, which was not challenged. Eligible individuals may continue to come forward and request initial grants or renewals of DACA, pursuant to the guidelines established in 2012.
We are also moving forward on the other executive actions the President and I announced in November 2014 to reform our immigration system. This includes our changes to the Department’s immigration enforcement priorities. Through these priorities, we are more sharply focused on the removal of convicted criminals; and threats to public safety and national security, and border security. We have ended the controversial Secure Communities program. We are expanding policies designed to help family members of U.S. citizens and permanent residents stay together when removal would result in extreme hardship. And we are taking several actions to make it easier for international students, entrepreneurs, and high-skilled immigrants to contribute to the U.S. economy.
Because of the 4-4 split on the Supreme Court, the ruling of the lower court remained in place. Some viewed this outcome favorably, including Donald Trump, presumptive Republican presidential nominee, who said the decision “blocked one of the most unconstitutional actions ever undertaken by a president.” Ken Paxton, Texas’ Republican Attorney General, characterized the ruling as “a major setback to President Obama’s attempts to expand executive power, and a victory for those who believe in the separation of powers and the rule of law.”[Back to Top]
3. DHS Extends TPS for Nicaragua and Honduras
The Department of Homeland Security has extended temporary protected status (TPS) for eligible nationals of Nicaragua and Honduras (and those without nationality who last habitually resided in one of those two countries) for an additional 18 months, effective July 6, 2016, through January 5, 2018.
Current Nicaraguan and Honduran TPS beneficiaries who want to extend their TPS must re-register during the 60-day re-registration period that began May 16, 2016, and runs through July 15, 2016. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) encourages beneficiaries to re-register as soon as possible.
The 18-month extension allows TPS re-registrants to apply for a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Those who re-register during the 60-day period and request a new EAD will receive one with an expiration date of January 5, 2018. USCIS said it recognizes that some re-registrants may not receive their new EADs until after their current work permits expire. Therefore, USCIS is automatically extending current TPS Nicaragua EADs with a July 5, 2016, expiration date for six months. These existing EADs are now valid through January 5, 2017.
To re-register, current TPS beneficiaries must submit:
- Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status (re-registrants do not need to pay the Form I-821 application fee);
- Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, regardless of whether they want an EAD;
- The Form I-765 application fee (or a fee-waiver request) only if they want an EAD. If the re-registrant does not want an EAD, no application fee is required; and
- The biometric services fee (or a fee-waiver request) if they are age 14 or older.
USCIS noted that it is transitioning to process Nicaraguan TPS applications electronically (the announcements do not mention electronic processing with respect to Honduran TPS applications). However, applicants must continue to complete the paper forms and submit them by mail. Once USCIS receives the documents, the agency will scan them in for processing. Nicaraguan applicants with properly filed submissions will receive a USCIS Account Acceptance Notice in the mail with instructions on how to create a USCIS online account. USCIS will still process TPS Nicaragua applications even if applicants choose not to access their online account. The agency will also send copies of case notifications via the U.S. Postal Service.[Back to Top]
4. ICE Releases Quarterly International Student Data: F, M Students Up 6.2%
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) recently released the latest “SEVIS By the Numbers,” a quarterly report on international student trends prepared by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP).
The report notes that nearly 1.2 million international students with F (academic) or M (vocational) status are studying in the United States. Based on data extracted from SEVIS March 7, international student enrollment at U.S. schools increased 6.2 percent compared to March 2015. In March, there were 8,687 U.S. schools with SEVP certification to enroll international students, a three percent decrease from the previous year.
Forty percent of international students studying in the United States, equaling almost 479,000 individuals, were enrolled in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) coursework. Approximately 417,000 international students from Asia pursued STEM studies, an increase of 17 percent since March 2015.
The report includes a section on M vocational students in the United States. In March, more than 75 percent of the M-1 student population was male. Canada was the only country of the top ten countries of origin where most M-1 students, at 51 percent, were female. Male students from China comprised 23 percent of the total M-1 student population. Sixty-four percent of M-1 students majored in transportation and materials-moving, with a focus on air, ground, or marine transportation.
Among U.S. schools, New York University, the University of Southern California, Northeastern University, Columbia University, and the University of Illinois ranked one through five for schools with the highest international student populations. More than 10,000 international students were enrolled at each school in March.
The report also notes that 77 percent of all international students were from Asia. The top 10 countries of citizenship for international students were China, India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Vietnam, Japan, Taiwan, Brazil, and Mexico.[Back to Top]
5. OSC Launches Submission of Charge Forms Online
The Department of Justice’s Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) recently announced that members of the public can now complete and submit charge forms online through OSC’s website, in addition to the methods currently available (mail, fax, or email).
Anyone who alleges that he or she is a victim of discrimination or an authorized person on behalf of the victim can submit a charge form within 180 days of the alleged date of discrimination through the DOJ website. Grounds under U.S. immigration law may include discrimination on the basis of citizenship status, national origin, document abuse, or retaliation.[Back to Top]
6. House Holds Hearing on H-2B Temporary Foreign Worker Program
The U.S. House of Representatives held a hearing on June 8, 2016, entitled “The H-2B Temporary Foreign Worker Program: Examining the Effects on Americans’ Job Opportunities and Wages.”
Testifying at the hearing were Michael Cunningham, Executive Director and Secretary/Treasurer, Texas State Building and Construction Trade Council; Meredith Stewart, Staff Attorney, Southern Poverty Law Center; Daniel Costa, Director of Immigration Law and Policy Research, Economic Policy Institute; Stephen G. Bronaers, Partner, Edgeworth Economics; and Steven A. Camarota, Director of Research, Center for Immigration Studies. Presiding was Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa).
Sen. Grassley noted, among other things, that according to statistics from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), as of June 2, 2016, the agency had already approved petitions for 12,727 returning H-2B workers, “with 1,171 potential additional returning workers in the pipeline.” That’s a potential total, so far, of 13,898 returning workers this fiscal year, according to Grassley. “That number exceeds by almost 75% the Congressional Budget office’s estimate of only 8,000 H-2B returning workers this fiscal year,” Sen. Grassley said.
The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), through its President Victor Nieblas Pradis, released a related statement noting, “The H-2B visa program is capped at 66,000 visas per year, and that numerical cap has not once been changed since the visa category was established in 1990, despite changing market demands. Small and seasonal businesses seek qualified American workers to fill seasonal or temporary short-term positions, but when those positions remain unfilled, U.S. employers need the H-2B program to meet their business demands. I very much hope that the hearing today gives a fair shake to this vital program.” He added, “Ultimately, however, what would best meet the needs of the U.S. economy is a real essential worker visa, one that would allow a sufficient number of these workers to come to the U.S. and would include an opportunity to apply for permanent status if they so desired. We hope that today’s hearing will bring Congress closer to understanding the critical need for a workable essential worker visa.”
Sen. Grassley’s statement and witness testimony are available here.[Back to Top]
7. State Dept. Releases DV-2017 Results
The Department of State’s Visa Bulletin for July 2016 includes the diversity visa lottery 2017 (DV-2017) results.
The bulletin notes that the Kentucky Consular Center in Williamsburg, Kentucky, has registered and notified the winners of the DV-2017 diversity lottery. Approximately 83,910 applicants have been registered and notified and may now apply for an immigrant visa. Because it is likely that some of the first 50,000 persons registered will not pursue their cases to visa issuance, the State Department noted, this larger figure should ensure that all DV-2017 numbers will be used during fiscal year 2017 (beginning October 1, 2016 and ending September 30, 2017).
The bulletin explains that applicants registered for the DV-2017 program were selected at random from 12,437,190 qualified entries (19,344,586 with derivatives) received during the application period that ran from October 1, 2015 until November 3, 2015. The visas have been apportioned among six geographic regions with a maximum of seven percent available to persons born in any single country. A statistical breakdown by foreign-state chargeability of those registered in the DV-2017 program is available here.
During the visa interview, principal applicants must provide proof of a high school education or its equivalent, or show two years of work experience in an occupation that requires at least two years of training or experience within the past five years. Those selected will need to act on their immigrant visa applications quickly, the bulletin notes. Applicants should follow the instructions in their notification letters.
Registrants living legally in the United States who wish to apply for adjustment of status must contact U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for information on the requirements and procedures. Once the visa numbers have been used, the program for fiscal year 2017 will end. Selected applicants who do not receive visas by September 30, 2017 will derive no further benefit from their DV-2017 registration. Similarly, spouses and children accompanying or following to join DV-2017 principal applicants are only entitled to derivative diversity visa status until September 30, 2017.
Dates for the DV-2018 program registration period will be widely publicized in the coming months. Those interested in entering the DV-2018 program should check the Department of State’s Visa webpage for details.[Back to Top]
8. EB-4 Visa Limits Reached for Special Immigrants from Mexico
The Department of State’s Visa Bulletin for July 2016 reflects a final action date of January 1, 2010 for EB-4 visas for Special Immigrants from Mexico.
This means that starting on July 1, 2016, applicants from Mexico who filed Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant on or after January 1, 2010 will not be able to obtain an immigrant visa or adjust status to permanent resident until new visas become available.
Mexico has reached its EB-4 visa limit as congressionally mandated for FY2016, which ends September 30th. Information on EB-4 visa availability for fiscal year 2017 will appear in the Department of State’s October Visa Bulletin, which will be published in September.
EB-4 visas are reserved for Special Immigrants, or individuals who may be eligible for lawful permanent resident status based on specific classifications, to include Special Immigrant Juveniles (SIJ).
What this action means to EB-4 applicants from Mexico:
Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant. Petitioners from any country, including Mexico, may continue to file an I-360. There is no annual limit on the number of I‑360 petitions that USCIS may approve.
Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. The final action date to file applications for permanent residence is January 1, 2010. This final action date will become effective July 1st. USCIS will accept all properly filed I-485 submissions under the EB-4 classification until June 30, 2016, and will continue to adjudicate applications while visas remain available.
For those who file Form I-485 under the EB-4 classification on or after July 1, 2016:
- USCIS will process and make a decision on the I-485 only if the applicant filed his or her I-360 petition before January 1, 2010, and the I-360 is ultimately approved.
- USCIS will reject and return other I-485 applications but will continue to process I-360 petitions (even if submitted together with an I-485 that gets rejected).
For EB-4 applicants from other countries, as of July 1, 2016, there is a final action date of January 1, 2010, for special immigrant applicants for adjustment of status from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. Applicants from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras should refer to Employment-Based Fourth Preference (EB-4) Visa Limits Reached for Special Immigrants from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, available here.
The complete announcement is available here.[Back to Top]
9. USCIS Clarifies CW-1 Extension of Stay Petitions
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on May 20, 2016, that it had received a sufficient number of petitions to reach the numerical limit (cap) of 12,999 workers who may be issued CW-1 visas or otherwise provided with CW-1 status for fiscal year (FY) 2016.
May 5th was the final receipt date for CW-1 worker petitions requesting an employment start date before October 1, 2016. USCIS subsequently clarified that although extension of stay petitions for current CW-1 workers are counted toward the CW-1 cap, these petitions will be accepted under certain circumstances.
All CW-1 workers are subject to the cap unless the worker has already been counted toward the cap in the same fiscal year. The U.S. government’s fiscal year begins on October 1st and ends the following September 30th.
If CW-1 workers were already counted toward the CW-1 cap for FY 2016, meaning that their previous employment start dates were on or after October 1, 2015, their employers can file a petition to change employer or extend CW-1 status in FY 2016, even though the FY 2016 CW-1 cap was reached on May 5, 2016.
Additionally, USCIS said it is currently accepting CW-1 petitions requesting employment start dates on or after October 1, 2016, which are counted toward the FY 2017 CW-1 cap.
USCIS encourages CW-1 employers to file a petition for a CW-1 nonimmigrant worker up to 6 months in advance of the proposed employment start date, and as early as possible within that time frame. USCIS said it will reject a petition filed more than 6 months in advance.
The notice is available here.[Back to Top]
10. Klasko News
Rankings and Listings
EB5 Investors Magazine recently released its lists of the top 25 attorneys in the EB-5 industry. The selections were made through a careful process of EB-5 community member votes, input from the editorial board and analysis from its in-house team. Candidates were evaluated based on their experience in the EB-5 industry, track record and their reputation within the field.
Klasko Immigration Law Partners, LLP is pleased to announce that partners H. Ronald Klasko (Ron) and Daniel B. Lundy (Dan) have once again been named to the list of the top 25 EB-5 attorneys and Rohit Kapuria has been recognized as one of the “Five Rising Stars” in the field. Congratulations Ron, Dan and Rohit!
William A. Stock Interviewed by The Washington Post to (In)Validate Trump Claim
Michelle Ye Hee Lee of the Fact Checker column of The Washington Post spoke with William A. Stock (Bill) for the story entitled, “Donald Trump’s almost-true claim that the president has power to ban ‘any class of persons,’” published on June 15, 2016, discussing the limits on the executive power to exclude. Click the link and read the story to see Bill’s stance.
William A. Stock quoted in The New York Times
William A. Stock (Bill) was also quoted in The New York Times piece “Economic Promises a President Trump Could (and Couldn’t) Keep” on May 21, 2016 by Nelson D. Schwartz. This story recounted areas where the President could and couldn’t use his power to enact reforms including tax cuts, health care, trade, job creation, immigration, among others. Bill noted that Immigration is an area “where the president’s power is least restricted,” meaning Trump may be more likely to deliver on campaign promises in that realm.
H. Ronald Klasko quoted in Daily Business Review
Ron Klasko and Rohit Kapuria discussed possible legislative changes to the EB-5 visa program at the Arnstein & Lehr Advanced EB-5 Seminar in Miami, FL on May 20. Ron was quoted in the article “Bill Would Tighten EB-5 Visa Controls, Could Add to Backlog” by Carla Vianna of the Daily Business Review published on May 23, 2016. Please subscribe to this publication to read this article (free subscription).
Save the Date: September 9, 2016
EB-5: Preparing for the Changes Ahead
Mark your calendars for Klasko Immigration Law Partners’ 3rd Annual EB-5 seminar on Friday, September 9, 2016 from 9:00 am – 5:30 pm at The Hub, Cira Centre in Philadelphia. This one-day seminar focuses on EB-5 Regional Centers and Developers interested in working with EB-5 financing. On the eve of the expiration of the regional center program, this seminar will provide the timeliest information on hot topics facing EB-5 actors, legislative reforms and new compliance initiatives announced by USCIS, and best practices for remaining compliant in the new era. For more information, click here.
Upcoming Speaking Engagements
H. Ronald Klasko | Daniel B. Lundy | Rohit Kapuria
Ron, Dan and Rohit will be participating at the 2016 New York EB-5 & Investment Immigration Convention from July 17-18, 2016 in New York City. Ron will be moderating two sessions “Understanding and Evaluating Investor Protections and How U.S. Securities Laws Can Affect Overseas Agents” and “China Issues.” Dan will be participating in “Putting Together an Approvable EB-5 Project” and Rohit will moderate “Understanding an EB-5 Capital Transaction.” For more information, click here.
Recent Speaking Engagements
William A. Stock | H. Ronald Klasko | Elise A. Fialkowski
The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Annual Conference on Immigration Law was held in Las Vegas from June 22-25 featuring Bill Stock, Ron Klasko and Elise Fialkowski. At the event, Bill was officially installed as AILA’s 70th President – a prestigious appointment and noteworthy achievement for the Firm’s founding partner. AILA is the country’s largest national association of immigration lawyers, having membership of over 14,500 members.
In addition to assuming his new position in the organization, Bill served as a panelist on “Hot Topics with the AILA National Officers.” Ron served as discussion leader for the panel, “Advanced Issues in EB-5 Investment Practice,” which examined the special factors and pitfalls that arise when representing EB-5 investors, and he also spoke at the AILA Global Migration Section Conference on June 21 ahead of the annual conference.
Elise was a speaker on the session, “Creative Strategies for Dependents,” which examined different options available to assist foreign national employees and their dependents in selecting and strategically utilizing visa categories that help to achieve personal and family goals in the United States.
For more information and to review the full program, click here.
William A. Stock
Bill Stock spoke at the Council for Global Immigration 2016 Symposium in Washington, DC from June 18-22. The CFGI Symposium brings together top U.S. and global immigration experts and leaders from various U.S. government agencies to share their insights on the key issues and trends. Bill discussed “Making the Case: Meeting USCIS Demands for Corroborating Evidence.” For more information on CFGI and the symposium, click here.
Elise A. Fialkowski
Elise Fialkowski, Co-Chair of the Conference Committee for the AILA Global Immigration Forum “Don’t Gamble with Global Assignments: Maximize Your Odds and Overcome Global Immigration Challenges,” which took place from June 21-22 in Las Vegas, NV, also served as a discussion leader for “Global Immigration in a Changing World: Terrorism, Migration and Business Immigration.” Global Immigration has been a subject of particular focus in the media this year, from terrorism to the refugee crisis and increasing restrictions on work permits. This panel addressed the complexities of obtaining visas and work permits in light of recent global developments. The panelists also addressed current trends and hot topics in their respective jurisdictions.
H. Ronald Klasko
Ron Klasko was a featured speaker at The Investment Migration Forum hosted by the Investment Migration Council (IMC) in Geneva from June 6 to 8. Ron discussed investment migration developments around the world and participate in a panel discussion on immigration policy and investment migration.
Elise A. Fialkowski
Elise Fialkowski spoke at the 2016 NAFSA Annual Conference & Expo in Denver from May 29 – June 3. Elise served as chair for the session “Advanced Employment-Based Immigration Issues.” The session addressed current issues in employment-based immigration, including the latest developments related to H-1Bs, prevailing wage determinations, PERM, and compliance. The presenters shared practical guidance and discussed creating effective institutional policies and procedures for immigration sponsorship that also help ensure compliance.
H. Ronald Klasko | Rohit Kapuria
On May 20, Ron Klasko and Rohit Kapuria spoke at Arnstein & Lehr’s Annual Advanced EB-5 Seminar in Miami. The full-day seminar featured leading industry experts discussing the latest on EB-5 fundamentals, EB-5 project case study, administering the EB-5 loan transaction, EB-5 legislation, and marketing projects inside and outside China.
Bill Stock’s most recently published article, “How to Pick Future Nobel-Prize Winners: An Immigration Parable,” appeared in the June 15, 2016 edition of The Legal Intelligencer. In this article, Bill discussed the rich legacy of immigration in the United States, and particularly the integral roles and historic achievements attributed to refugees who came to this country seeking protection. Click here to read this article.
In the article “Immigration Policy: How Much Can President Do Without Congress’ Approval?” author Bill Stock discusses the scope of Presidential power to act on immigration, and specifically addresses those policies proposed by Presidential nominee Donald Trump that require the support of Congress. The article was published in The Legal Intelligencer on May 18, 2016. The full article is available here.
You May Have Missed: Blog Posts & Alerts
- EB-5 Investment and Bonds – an Introduction to the Legal and Public Policy Issues
June 17, 2016 by Daniel B. Lundy
- Fraud Mitigation Through Enhanced Compliance
June 14, 2016 by Jessica A. DeNisi
- Knock, Knock: It’s a Fraud Detection Agent
May 26, 2016 by Julianne Opet
This newsletter was prepared with the assistance of ABIL, the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers, of which Klasko Immigration Law Partners is an active member.[Back to Top]