Due to the tragic events in The Philippines, a call is being made for Temporary Protection Status (TPS). According to a Reuters news article, over 10,000 lives were lost and 600,000 people were displaced due to this months’s typhoon.
A country may be designated by the Department of Homeland Security to receive TPS when conditions exist that temporarily prevents the country’s nationals from returning safely. Examples of cases where TPS has been granted include an ongoing armed conflict or an environmental disaster. Once TPS is granted, nationals of that country residing in the U.S., even illegally, may not be deported. The TPS period will last from 6 to 18 months and may be extended.
In order to qualify for TPS, registration is required, and the applicant must demonstrate continuous physical presence in the U.S. since the date of the designation and not have been convicted of certain types of crimes. Other countries already designated for TPS are El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan and Syria. If TPS is granted granted for the Philippines, a work permit and travel authorization will follow.
Even at this time, the USCIS is expediting pending petitions for alien relatives (Form I-130) filed by immediate relatives.Posted in Immigration News | Tagged immigration news, Philippines, temporary protected status, TPS | Leave a comment December 2, 2013
On December 9, 2010, the President signed into law the Help HAITI Act of 2010 which made it possible for certain Haitian orphans paroled into the United States to become lawful permanent residents and obtain Green Cards. The Act expires on Monday, December 9, 2013. The USCIS invited participation in a teleconference meeting held on Tuesday, November 26, 2013 to discuss the sunset date for the Act. The USCIS also provided families of paroled Haitian orphans with information about filing for lawful permanent resident status.
For more information on the Help HAITIA Act, visit Green Card Through the Help HAITI Act of 2010 page on www.uscis.gov.Posted in Immigration News, Uncategorized | Leave a comment December 2, 2013
On Monday, November 4, 2013, a U.S. District Court Judge ordered the approval of a class action settlement concerning Employment Authorization. The settlement will ensure that asylum seekers are not unlawfully prevented from working and supporting their families which the government adjudicates their cases. The change will commence on December 3, 2013.
According to the American Immigration Council, a complaint had been filed concerning widespread problems with the “asylum clock”, which is the system government agencies use to determine when immigrants who have applied for asylum may obtain permission to work lawfully in the U.S. It was alleged that the current system denies asylum applicants the opportunity to obtain employment authorization if their asylum applications have been pending for six months or more. Some applicants wait for several months or years for a decision on their asylum applications.
As a result of the settlement, asylum seekers may submit their asylum applications to the court immediately, without having to wait months for a hearing before an immigration judge, and some asylum seekers whose cases have been pending on appeal will now be able to obtain work authorization when the Board of Immigration Appeals remands their cases to an Immigration Judge.Posted in Immigration News | Tagged asylum, asylum seekers, settlement, work authorization, work permit | Leave a comment December 2, 2013
The EB-5 Investor Visa has been in the news lately due to investor fraud. The Wall Street Journal reports that a civil fraud case was filed by the SEC in Texas because a company pocketed the investment monies and never got anyone a visa. The program is intended to allow foreign nationals to invest either $500,000 or $1 million to help create jobs in the U.S. All investors are advised to use due diligence before investing.
The program is intended to attract foreign sources of capital into the U.S. for projects that can provide work for Americans. Foreign national investors can obtain green cards for themselves and their spouse, and unmarried children under age 21. This visa is not for everyone. It requires an investment of $1,000,000 (or at least $500,000 in a Targeted Employment Area” which is a high unemployment or rural area) to create at least 10 jobs for U.S. workers excluding the investor or his family.
A number of Regional Centers (requiring the investment of $500,000) have been approved by USCIS. Approval by the US, however, is not an indication that your investment is safe. Due diligence is required to determine the safety of the investment.Posted in EB-5 visa | Tagged EB-5, Investment visa, Investor, Regional Center, Scrutiny | Leave a comment December 2, 2013
Asylum applications from Mexico have increased dramatically in the last few years, from 3,560 in 2008 to 9,200 in 2012. The problem has been that criminal activities which causes a person fear does not fall within the traditional definition of asylum. Instead, the law allows asylum for whose who have a credible fear of future persecution, or past persecution, based on race, religion, national origin, political status or membership in a particular social group. Therefore, most of the applications are denied.
We believe that individuals who resist demands from gangs or drug-trafficking cartels in Mexico or Central America, including young men who resist recruitment, women who are victims of sexual violence or intimidation, human rights and church activists, and those who resist extortion, should be considered refugees and allowed to pursue asylum claims in the U.S.
The definition of a refugee contains three elements: (1) a well-founded fear of persecution; (2) a nexus between the persecution and a Convention ground including race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion; and (3) a lack of state protection. The immigration courts and USCIS should view objection to gang and cartel activities as an expression of political opinion when it is shown that the gangs or cartels have significant influence over state and government officials, which diminishes their protection from the government.
Posted in Asylum | Tagged asylum, asylum application, cartels, Central America, gangs, Mexican asylum | Leave a comment October 25, 2013
Fortunately, the government shutdown did not cease interviews at USCIS. We continued to represent clients in marriage cases and to see officers at the USCIS windows checking on the status of cases. However, the immigration courts operated on a limited basis and now have to deal with all of the non-detained cases which were continued due to the shutdown.
Both the USCIS and immigration courts have been impacted due to the sheer numbers of cases and this is causing delays in response times. Today, when we called the VAWA hotline for assistance on a case, we were informed that the voicemail was full. When we were in court this week, ICE counsel reported that they were experiencing delays due to their offices being understaffed during the shutdown, but they are working diligently to get back on schedule.Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged government shutdown, immigration court shutdown, UCIS | Leave a comment October 1, 2013
Wagner Realty, a company doing business in Manatee county for over 70 years and recipient of the Bradenton Herald’s Prestigious Readers Preference Award, naming Wagner Realty the area’s top real estate company fifteen years in a row, has partnered with Goldman & Loughlin to form an immigration team for foreign buyers.
An article appearing in Sarasota’s Herald-Tribune appears below:
Wagner expands services for foreign buyers
By Josh Salman
Published: Tuesday, September 10, 2013 at 1:00 a.m.
BRADENTON – One of Manatee County’s top real estate brokerages is taking a new approach to courting affluent foreigners, a segment of the market on the rebound.
Wagner Realty has expanded its business brokerage service to help foreign investors acquire new businesses here or to move to the U.S. via the purchase of a new home.
The service is the latest in a sweeping effort by Realtors throughout Southwest Florida to capture an uptick in spending by clients in Canada, the U.K. and other parts of Europe.
“We’re prepared to help them buy a home, but obviously, Realtors can’t do it alone if there are immigration issues,” said Ron Cornette, training and marketing director for Wagner Realty.
“It’s a different approach,” he said. “They need to know several things if they’re going to buy a home or business here, and we didn’t have the answers until now.”
Wagner Realty has hired Ken Swan, a former Manatee County banker, to expand the firm’s Business Brokerage Group.
The brokerage also has partnered with a local CPA firm, an immigration law firm and a prominent area business law firm so foreign buyers attempting to purchase property stateside can get answers in one place throughout the buying process.
The Bradenton realty firm also has placed ads in The Globe and Mail, a national Canadian newspaper based in Toronto.
Cornette hopes those efforts will help draw more foreigners, who have begun buying again in Florida in the wake of the Great Recession.
Real estate analysts say affluent foreigners — who often pay cash for properties — are one of the primary buying demographics helping to drive the region’s housing recovery.
About 20 percent of the region’s home buyers last year were from another country, and more than 14 percent of the Canadians who purchased a Florida property in 2012 did so in Sarasota or Manatee — the most of any market in Florida, according to data from Florida Realtors.
“We see a lot of it coming back now,” Cornette said.
Wagner’s push comes as RE/MAX Alliance in Sarasota, Michael Saunders & Co., Coldwell Banker and other brokerages have stepped up their efforts to court international clients, as well.
At Michael Saunders, the firm similarly targets foreign buyers through partnerships with three international brokerages.
A prominent online presence and short-term rental division to make early contact with potential buyers while they’re on vacation also has helped, firm marketing manager Jennifer Horvat said.
“You have to have the brokerage relationships and a strong online presence,” Cornette said. “And because they rent from us, they buy from us.”
Classes, designed to help those seeking to become U.S. residents, will be held from 5 to 6 p.m. at the Ivey Professional Bldg. 435 12th Street W., Bradenton. Read More…Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment September 13, 2013
This is a fun day for the whole family. Hungarian cuisine and wines. Kids activities, games and shows all weekend long. Cooking competition where you are the judge. Live Hungarian music from the folk to the rock. Dance performances.
Top O’ the Bay Oktoberfest
Oktoberfest brings the best of Old Bavaria and New Florida together for three full days of authentic German food, drink, music and dancing along with a spectacular carnival and midway and arts and crafts show. 15,000 attendees expected.
A critical part of the process to become a U.S. citizen is to pass a civics test. Studying for the test produces stress on some applicants because of the memory work required to lean the answers to 100 potential questions.
Frankly, many American citizens who have lived here all of their lives could not pass the test!
To help people prepare for the citizenship interview, and in particular, the civics test, the Bradenton, Naples and Fort Myers offices of Goldman & Loughlin, PLLC will begin offering FREE CITIZENSHIP CLASSES TO PREPARE FOR THE NATURALIZATION TEST.
BRADENTON & NAPLES CLASSES
Beginning on Monday, October 28th and continuing every Monday thereafter (except holidays).
FORT MYERS CLASSES
Beginning on Wednesday, December 4th and continuing every Wednesday thereafter (except holidays).
No registration is required – For the Bradenton FL class simply come to the Ivey Professional Building, 435 12th Street West at 5:00PM. For the Fort Myers class please come to 8359 Beacon Blvd. You do not have to be a client of Goldman & Loughlin to take advantage of this offer.
During each session, we will go over the 100 questions, and provide general guidance about the interview. Participants may attend more than one session.
We look forward to seeing you!
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