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CHINESE NEW YEAR BRINGS CHANGE TO IMMIGRATION LAW

Around this time every year, we receive many inquiries regarding the possibility of immigrating to the U.S., work visas, investment visas, and information regarding possible changes in U.S. immigration laws. With a new year and a new Administration upon us, this year is no exception. Many proposed changes have already taken effect and more changes are on the horizon which might change your options. Here are some examples:

NEW USCIS RULES ON HIGH-SKILLED NONIMMIGRANT WORKERS

On January 17, 2017, new rules and regulations involving highly skilled workers went into effect which dramatically benefit nonimmigrant workers and their employers. A key change is the allowance of a 60 day post termination grace period for nonimmigrant workers to conclude their affairs in the U.S. or attempt to transfer and maintain status with a new employer. The new rules also make it easier for nonimmigrants to change their employers.

INTERNATIONAL ENTREPRENEUR RULE

On the same day, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) also announced that starting July 17, 2017, it will start granting parole to authorize a period of authorized stay in the U.S. to foreign entrepreneurs. Eligible entrepreneurs may be granted a stay up to 30 months, with the possibility to extend the period by up to 30 additional months if they meet the certain criteria set forth by DHS. This new provision provides another path for foreign entrepreneurs to stay in the United States and incentivizes investments in the United States in addition to our current investment immigration programs such as E-2 or EB-5. The current investment immigration program (EB-5) is also expected to undergo change(s).

PROPOSED CHANGES TO EB-5 IMMIGRANT INVESTMENT PROGRAM

On January 12, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security issued a proposed amendment that would increase the minimum amount required for EB-5 investments as well as how targeted employment areas (TEAs) are determined and designated. These proposed changes could considerably change the path of immigration for many people, especially from China. Currently, the EB-5 regional center program has been extended until April 28, 2016. If this is a path that you are considering, the time to act is now.

We are experts in U.S. Immigration Law. At Wilner & O'Reilly, APLC, immigration law is our only practice. Our team is comprised of Board Certified Specialists, former immigration officers and experienced attorneys in the field of immigration law. Schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys to discuss if these changes may impact you.

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