The Latest Immigration News

Thứ Tư, 16 Tháng Mười Hai 201503:22(Xem: 5634)
The Latest Immigration News

The current EB5 Immigrant Investor Program was extended until today, 16 December and new legislation is expected by the end of this week. It is expected that the EB5 program will be extended until September 2019. Investors who invested and filed their petition with USCIS before the new law is enacted will be processed under the old law.

The major changes in the new law will be an increase in the minimum investment from $500,000 to $800,000 for investment in Regional Centers or in areas of high unemployment, or in rural areas. For Direct Investment, the minimum will go from One Million to 1.2 million.

Many of the details of the new legislation are not available yet, but it is certain that Regional Centers will be more tightly controlled by the Federal Government. EB5 Direct Investment rules will continue with little or no change, regardless of what Congress does to the Regional Center program.

The Immigration Act of 1990 reserves up to 10,000 EB-5 visas each year for immigrants who invest funds in US businesses and who create or preserve at least 10 jobs. In return, the investor (plus a spouse and children) receives a two-year conditional green card. If the job-creation goal is reached, the conditional green card can be converted into permanent resident status, with a path to citizenship.

The Regional Center programs allow foreign investors to withdraw their money in two years after they have received their Lawful Permanent Resident status. It is estimated that $4.2 billion of investment by the Regional Centers has produced 77,150 jobs since the start of the EB5 program 25 years ago.


Changes to the VWP (Visa Waiver Program) have also been announced. The changes will help security officials to screen travelers more closely. Right now, travelers from 38 countries are allowed to enter the United States without obtaining visas before they travel.

As a result of the terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, there’s been a greater focus on how people enter the United States. The Department of Homeland Security will immediately start to collect more information from travelers about past visits to countries such as Syria and Iraq.

On December 6, in a primetime address, President Obama mentioned a program that has been facing scrutiny — the visa waiver program. He said he “ordered the Departments of State and Homeland Security to review the visa waiver program under which the female terrorist in San Bernardino originally came to this country.”

However, that was a mistake in the president’s speech. The female terrorist actually came to the U.S. with a K1 fiancée visa. After the President’s speech, the White House clarified, saying that both the visa waiver program and the K1 visa process will be reviewed.

K1 visa applicants, like other visa applicants, undergo an extensive counterterrorism screening that includes checks based on fingerprints and facial recognition software. The approval of the San Bernardino female terrorist to enter the United States as a fiancée means that she was not on any list of people connected with terrorist activity.

Concern over the Visa Waiver Program has been growing for some time. It’s a program that allows citizens from 38 partner countries, including 30 European countries, to travel to the U.S. for business or tourism for up to 90 days without a visa. In return, U.S. citizens can visit those partner countries in a similar manner.

VWP travelers need to have the correct type of passport and they need to be approved by the Department of Homeland Security’s Electronic System for Travel Authorization, or ESTA, which checks the records of travelers.

Security efforts have been increased recently. On November 30, the White House announced enhancements to the program, including improved information sharing with partner countries and checking whether travelers have gone to a country that is recognized as a safe haven for terrorists.

U.S. security officials are not very worried about Syrian refugees coming to the US after they have been screened. The American officials are far more worried about the possibility that potential terrorists from the Islamic State or other militant groups could enter the United States as travelers from one of the 38 visa waiver countries.

The US Supreme Court has rejected the Texas attempt to delay consideration of Obama’s Executive Actions. Thus, it is very possible that the Supreme Court will make a ruling in the case by June of 2016.

Mr. Obama’s Executive Actions could protect as many as 5 million illegal immigrants from deportation and let them obtain work permits. This DAPA program was announced a year ago but hasn’t taken effect. It applies to people whose children are either U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents and who meet other requirements.

The case is especially important because the 2016 presidential campaign has already begun.
Q.1. Why will the Supreme Court decision about the Executive Actions be so important?

A.1. The Court’s decision will be important because it will affect 4 million or more potential DAPA applicants, as well as providing an expanded DACA program for thousands more applicants. Also, if the Court decides in favor of the Executive Actions, Mr. Obama or the next president could use executive actions to assist illegal aliens, without waiting for Immigration Reform in Congress.

Q.2. Will fiancée visa processing in Vietnam be affected by the President’s remarks about the San Bernardino shootings?
A.2. There will not be any changes. K1 visa applicants in Vietnam, like other visa applicants, undergo an extensive counterterrorism screening that includes checks based on fingerprints and facial recognition software. That screening is already in place in Vietnam. Besides, no one expects a Vietnamese fiancée to be a terrorist.

Q.3. Is the EB5 program a way of selling US citizenship?
A.3. Senator Feinstein believes that the EB5 program is a way of selling American citizenship and she would like to see the program end. However, she does not have any support for this view. Most people believe that the EB5 program is a good way to create jobs for Americans and boost the economy.

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