Wilner & O'Reilly, APLC - Immigration Attorneys In California And Utah
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H-5A, H-5B Or W; New Visas On Their Way Soon

Washington insiders, political talk show hosts and scholars alike, predict comprehensive immigration reform within the next 6 months. This reform will likely be in the form of the Kennedy/McCain Bill the Cornyn/Kyl Bill or a combination of the two; both are presently pending before the Senate.

Both bills provide relief for undocumented persons within the United States and for those outside the United States that desire entry. Both have specific time periods associated with any benefits conferred. The Kennedy/McCain Bill provides a 6 year period of authorized stay while the Cornyn/Kyl Bill allows for persons to remain here for 5 years. The key difference between the two bills is that Kennedy/McCain provides a legalization mechanism for persons here: meaning those in H-5A or H-5B status and their spouses and children could obtain green cards. The Cornyn/Kyl Bill on the other hand, mandates departure after one has reached the 5 year period of stay. And, if one does not depart the United States after that time period, they will be barred from any and all immigration relief for a period of 10 years, other than asylum or other torture prevention relief.

Another salient difference is that the Kennedy/McCain bill insulates employers that hire H-5 aliens from civil and criminal tax liabilities that might flow from unlawful payroll procedures while the Cornyn Bill provides no such employer protections.

In either case, individuals must be physically present in the United States on the date that the law is enacted should they wish to apply for benefits here. One could not enter as a visitor after the fact and then change status to H-5 or W. Should one be outside the United States, however, one would consular process the case. And, whether physically present in the United States or elsewhere in the world, individuals will be required to register with the government. While the Kennedy/McCain bill suggests that this information will be confidential, the other bill has no confidentiality provision and suggests use of the information for enforcement and security purposes.

It is my prediction that there will be change in the not too distant future. And, that the changes will be complicated. These changes will be further complicated by people in your own community who commit fraud to obtain benefits, defraud you, or perhaps worse, simply have no idea what their doing though they claim to be an expert.

So, whatever the change, one thing remains constant: don't be fooled by advertising claims or captions with pictures. Do your due diligence.

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