Changes for H-1B visa applications

The H-1B visa enables employers to hire alien workers in various specialty occupations, for which there is a shortage of qualified U.S. citizens or legal residents. (The employer applies for the visa on behalf of the alien.) The foreign worker must have a demonstrated skill in a recognized specialty occupation, such as information technology (IT), mathematics, or scientific research. Generally, workers with H-1B visas are required to have at least a bachelor’s degree. There are annual caps on the number of H-1B visa granted in each calendar year, which stokes…

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Apply for legal status, get arrested: a catch-22 for undocumented immigrants

Undocumented immigrants seeking a green card – the document that signifies lawful resident status –  are not guaranteed protection from deportation during that process. And a rash of recent arrests at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offices, where immigrants go for their green card hearing, could be a sign that getting legal resident status has gotten more dangerous. The path to legal status For undocumented immigrants already in the United States, obtaining a green card through marriage to a U.S. citizen ranks as the most reliable route to legal…

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California becomes “sanctuary state”

California’s new “sanctuary state” law, designed to protect immigrants who do not have legal U.S. residency, went into effect January 1, 2018.  The law prohibits “state and local law enforcement agencies, including school police and security departments, from using money or personnel to investigate, interrogate, detain, detect, or arrest persons for immigration enforcement purposes.” Legislating sanctuary states The new law, which codifies policies in place in so-called sanctuary cities throughout the nation, puts up barriers between California law enforcement and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the federal agency the enforces…

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Green-card marriages

Hollywood loves a green-card marriage – typically depicted in film as marriage of convenience between a U.S. citizen and a foreigner who wants to become a permanent resident of the United States. But as any real-life couple will tell you, getting a green card – the official document of permanent residency – through marriage is anything but convenient. the person providing an avenue to the green card must be a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident. In almost all cases, he or she submits Form I-130 (Petition for Alien…

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Migration Law

International migration law (IML), which is the international legal framework governing migration, is not covered by any one legal instrument or norm. Instead, IML is an umbrella term covering a variety of principles and rules that together regulate the international obligations of States with regard to migrants. Such broad range of principles and rules belong to numerous branches of international law such as human rights law, humanitarian law, labour law, refugee law, consular law and maritime law. IOM works to increase knowledge and acceptance of the legal instruments that protect…

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