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Busted! Don't Believe These Immigration Myths!

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The American Dream and the allure of prosperity, success, dignity of labor and freedom of employment have been attracting thousands of people to the shores of the United States of America. Whether they are seeking a better life or greener pastures, fulfilling the ‘The American Dream’ requires you to obtain a visa and clear immigration successfully.

Unfortunately, immigration is viewed as a threat by some segments of the U.S. population, and they perceive the arrival of immigrants as detrimental to their future needs. However, having been in the field of immigration for over two decades, our in-depth studies have proved that there is no threat and their fears are unfounded. It is a misconception that has sprouted from seeds of misinformation and grown into a powerful wave of misunderstanding.

To help clear the air, the experts at LAW IMM, have debunked three of the most widely believed myths about immigration.

Myth 1: The H-1B worker visa program hurts U.S. workers and hurts the domestic workforce.

This myth is not true at all. Here are a few reasons why:

a. The H-1B worker visa program is a way for U.S. employers to sponsor highly skilled workers in a variety of specialty areas (such as software developers, researchers and scientists, analytical and data professionals) to fill positions that require the minimum of bachelor’s degree or advance degree holders. By hiring these types of workers, it will help drive innovation, encourage entrepreneurship, and help the U.S. maintain the competitive advantage with the other countries in the world who are all competing for the same talent pool.

b. Many of these H-1B workers end up staying in the U.S. and help to contribute to the U.S. economy and even start their own businesses, and by doing so, they hire U.S. workers too.

c. With the unemployment rate at an all-time low (3.9% in April 2018), the demand for qualified professional workforce persists. Yet, the annual H-1B quota is only 65,000 (with 20,000 additional slots available for those who possess U.S. master’s degree or higher) and the demand for those H-1B visas every year always exceeds supply. For example, in the just - concluded H-1B quota filing period in April 2018, approximately 190,000 H-1B petitions were filed with the USCIS. And a lottery system was put in place to select which cases can move forward for processing randomly. This is a highly inefficient and haphazard way of retaining talent in the U.S., as the U.S. employer is left to fill their workforce based on chance alone. If U.S. employers cannot find the qualified workers to fill those positions, it will have no choice but to relocate abroad to seek those qualified workers. The lack of skilled labor hurts the U.S. economy overall.

d. A better system would be one where the worker visa system is set to market supply and demand rather than by chance. Other countries have taken notice of the U.S.’s foreign worker talent pool and are eager to attract this talent to their own countries. The U.S. must be able to address this visa system shortfall with rational solutions if it is to continue to maintain its competitive edge in this challenging world economy.

e. Our firm’s challenge is to advise employers and H-1B worker clients about the complexities of the H-1B filing system and also to advise them on potential fallback options, should their H-1B petition is not picked in the annual visa lottery.

Myth 2: “Chain Migration” means anyone can sponsor their family and friends to immigrate to the U.S.

This myth is also incorrect and here are a few reasons why:

a. Contrary to misguided political pronouncements, aided by a particular misinformed sector of the public, only U.S. citizens can sponsor their immediate relatives for permanent residence in the U.S. (which consist of their spouses, their unmarried children, minor children, and their parents).

b. And those who are lawful permanent residents (also known as ‘green card’ holders) can only sponsor their spouses, minor children, and unmarried sons/daughters for permanent residence.

c. There is no immigration avenue for immigrant sponsorship via ‘friends’ or ‘distant relatives’.

d. And the misconception about ‘anchor babies’ is also widespread. This is the scenario where a foreign parent would come to the U.S. and give birth here to their babies, in the hopes of achieving legal status for the parents because the baby is automatically a U.S. citizen.

i. While the child is a U.S. citizen by birthright, this does not confer any legal status to the birth parents.

ii. A U.S. citizen son/daughter can only sponsor their parents once they reach twenty-one years old.

iii. So, by these facts alone, the negative implications of a foreign-born mother giving birth to an ‘anchor baby’ here in the U.S. as a means to achieve legal status for themselves is misleading and preposterous.

e. Aside from the immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, all other family immigration categories have quota limits, and these quotas are set by Congress, and they are all extremely backlogged (i.e. from the time of petition submission to the relatives finally coming to the U.S., some can wait as long as 20+ years, depending on that potential immigrant’s visa category and his/her country of origin).

f. Importantly, before each immigrant can come to the U.S., they have to undergo security and background checks, as well as a physical examination. There is also an in-person interview at either the U.S. consulate or embassy abroad, or at the local USCIS field office. So, the vetting process is very comprehensive.

g. Our firm assists immigrant petitioners and their applicants with all phases of document and petition preparation. And we also help prepare them for the eventual consular or field office interview, whenever necessary. Our aim is to help facilitate this long and complex process, by making sure our clients do not feel overwhelmed by this whole process.

Myth 3: EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program is a ‘short-cut’, and it is an easy path for foreign nationals to gain lawful permanent status in the U.S.

This is another widely believed misconception. Here are a few facts:

a. The EB-5 visa preference category is subject to its own allotted visa quota system, just like the other types of employment-based immigrant visa preference categories. And due to the extremely high usage of this visa preference category by Chinese nationals, Chinese applicants face severe backlogs in the EB-5 visa category of at least five to six years, at a minimum. And even though applicants from other countries do not have a drastic backlog, they still have to undergo the process of applying for the visa; waiting for the processing of the petition; and receive final approval at U.S. consulate/embassy abroad. They also need to undergo security and background checks as well.

b. Recipients of the EB-5 visa are considered conditional lawful permanent residents. They must file for removal of that condition before the 2nd anniversary of their initial LPR approval with the USCIS.

c. A qualified EB-5 immigrant investor must invest $500,000.00 or $1,000,000.00 in order to qualify for the program (depending on whether the investment itself is situated in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA: which covers either rural area, or high unemployment area in the U.S.).

d. The funds being invested by the foreign national must be at risk (meaning that there is the possibility that the investor will lose his/her investment due to various market conditions).

e. The investor must also be able to fully document the source of funds (i.e., it cannot be from ill-gotten means).

f. The EB-5 investor must also prove that he/she can create at least 10 U.S. jobs within the first two years of the conditional LPR status. If the investor cannot demonstrate such proof, the USCIS can revoke the investor’s LPR status, and he/she will have to leave the U.S.

g. Our firm can assist with providing guidance on the EB-5 investment visa requirements and also advise on the preparation and filing processes. This is a complicated and lengthy process, and we hope to provide a clear pathway for our clients to succeed in this particular visa program

If you’re looking for more information and facts so that you can steer clear of the numerous immigration myths, reach out to Pasricha & Patel, LLC. As expert U.S. immigration attorneys, we have been helping corporate clients and individuals fulfill their United States immigration needs since 1995. Our services cover the entire country with a focus in New York, New Jersey, North Virginia, Texas, and California.

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