John Q Khosravi Law Firm

Please contact our office for more information:

John Q. Khosravi Immigration Law Firm (JQK Law Firm)

Website: JQKLaw.com

Email: info@jqklaw.com

Phone: (310) 582-5904; (818) 934-1561

Skype: john.khosravi


Licensed to Practice in CA. Practice Focus on Federal Immigration Law. This Blog is Legal Advertisement.

Friday, January 29, 2016

If you need to renew your U.S. passport, Renew It Now!

If you have a United States passport expiring any time in 2016, the State Department has a message for you: Renew it now.

The department anticipates a surge in passport demand throughout this year, and officials hope to avoid a crush that could leave some Americans fuming in frustration with no passport in hand on the day they planned to travel outside the country.

Officials are expecting a flood of renewals of 10-year passports issued in 2006 and 2007. The latter was the year when the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative went into effect, for the first time requiring passports for Americans returning by air from Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean and Bermuda. As millions of citizens scrambled to apply for their first passports, backlogs swelled and many were stranded.

Read more at NYTimes.com

Monday, January 25, 2016

United States Begins Implementation of Changes to the Visa Waiver Program

From the U.S State Department:

The United States today began implementing changes under the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015 (the Act). U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) welcomes more than a million passengers arriving to the United States every day and is committed to facilitating legitimate travel while maintaining the highest standards of security and border protection. Under the Act, travelers in the following categories are no longer eligible to travel or be admitted to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP):
  • Nationals of VWP countries who have traveled to or been present in Iran, Iraq, Sudan, or Syria on or after March 1, 2011 (with limited exceptions for travel for diplomatic or military purposes in the service of a VWP country).
     
  • Nationals of VWP countries who are also nationals of Iran, Iraq, Sudan, or Syria.
These individuals will still be able to apply for a visa using the regular immigration process at our embassies or consulates. For those who need a U.S. visa for urgent business, medical, or humanitarian travel to the United States, U.S. embassies and consulates stand ready to process applications on an expedited basis.
Beginning January 21, 2016, travelers who currently have valid Electronic System for Travel Authorizations (ESTAs) and who have previously indicated holding dual nationality with one of the four countries listed above on their ESTA applications will have their current ESTAs revoked.
Under the new law, the Secretary of Homeland Security may waive these restrictions if he determines that such a waiver is in the law enforcement or national security interests of the United States. Such waivers will be granted only on a case-by-case basis. As a general matter, categories of travelers who may be eligible for a waiver include:
  • Individuals who traveled to Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria on behalf of international organizations, regional organizations, and sub-national governments on official duty;
     
  • Individuals who traveled to Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria on behalf of a humanitarian NGO on official duty;
     
  • Individuals who traveled to Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria as a journalist for reporting purposes;
     
  • Individuals who traveled to Iran for legitimate business-related purposes following the conclusion of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (July 14, 2015); and
     
  • Individuals who have traveled to Iraq for legitimate business-related purposes.
Again, whether ESTA applicants will receive a waiver will be determined on a case-by-case basis, consistent with the terms of the law. In addition, we will continue to explore whether and how the waivers can be used for dual nationals of Iraq, Syria, Iran and Sudan.
Any traveler who receives notification that they are no longer eligible to travel under the VWP are still eligible to travel to the United States with a valid nonimmigrant visa issued by a U.S. embassy or consulate. Such travelers will be required to appear for an interview and obtain a visa in their passports at a U.S. embassy or consulate before traveling to the United States.
The new law does not ban travel to the United States, or admission into the United States, and the great majority of VWP travelers will not be affected by the legislation.
An updated ESTA application with additional questions is scheduled to be released in late February 2016 to address exceptions for diplomatic- and military-related travel provided for in the Act.
Information on visa applications can be found at travel.state.gov.
Current ESTA holders are encouraged to check their ESTA status prior to travel on CBP’s website atesta.cbp.dhs.gov.

DHS Announces 18-Month Redesignation and Extension of Temporary Protected Status for South Sudan

Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson has redesignated South Sudan for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and extended the existing TPS designation for that country from May 3, 2016, through November 2, 2017, due to the ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions in South Sudan that prevent its nationals from safely returning. These actions will allow eligible nationals of South Sudan (or persons without nationality who last habitually resided in South Sudan) to register or re-register for TPS in accordance with the notice published today in the Federal Register.

Friday, January 22, 2016

USCIS Releases Draft O-Visa Memo and O-1B RFE Sample

http://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Outreach/Draft%20Request%20for%20Evidence%20%28RFE%29%20Template%20for%20Comment/PED_Approved_11.2.15_-_O-1B_Extraordinary_Ability_in_the_Arts_RFE_Template_.pdf

http://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Outreach/Draft%20Memorandum%20for%20Comment/PED_DRAFT_PM_602-0123_-_O_Comparable_Evidence_PM_APPROVED_2.pdf

Thursday, January 21, 2016

EB-5 & Other USCIS Timelines For January 2016

The initial EB-5 Petition Form I-526 processing times increased dramatically by almost 3 months!


For more information about the EB-5 program, please contact the JQK Law Firm at (310) 582-5904.

Form I-526 (Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur)
15.5 months (2.7 months increase from previous month!)

Form I-829 (Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions) 
15.7 months (.1 decrease from previous month) 

Form I-924 (Application for Regional Center)
7.9 (No Change)

For other USCIS Processing times, Please visit:https://egov.uscis.gov/cris/processTimesDisplayInit.do

Friday, January 15, 2016

DHS Enhances Opportunities for H-1B1, E-3, CW-1 Nonimmigrants and Certain EB-1 Immigrants, Final Rule Posted

From USCIS: 

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) amended its regulations today to improve the programs serving the H-1B1, E-3 and CW-1 nonimmigrant classifications and the EB-1 immigrant classification, and remove unnecessary hurdles that place such workers at a disadvantage when compared to similarly situated workers in other visa classifications.

This final rule, posted to the Federal Register today and effective on Feb. 16, revises regulations affecting highly skilled workers in the nonimmigrant classifications for specialty occupations from Chile, Singapore (H-1B1) and Australia (E-3); the immigrant classification for employment-based first preference (EB-1) outstanding professors and researchers; and nonimmigrant workers in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)-Only Transitional Worker (CW-1) classification.

Specifically, this final rule amends DHS regulations as described below:
  • DHS is including H-1B1 and principal E-3 classifications in the list of classes of foreign nationals authorized for employment incident to status with a specific employer. This means that H-1B1 and principal E-3 nonimmigrants are allowed to work for the sponsoring employer without having to separately apply for employment authorization.
  • DHS is authorizing continued employment with the same employer for up to 240 days for H-1B1 and principal E-3 nonimmigrants whose status has expired while their employer’s timely filed extension of stay request remains pending.
  • DHS is providing this same continued employment authorization for CW-1 nonimmigrants whose status has expired while their employer’s timely filed Form I-129CW, Petition for a CNMI-Only Nonimmigrant Transitional Worker, request for an extension of stay remains pending.
  • Existing regulations on the filing procedures for extensions of stay and change of status requests now include principal E-3 and H-1B1 nonimmigrant classifications.
  • Employers petitioning for EB-1 outstanding professors and researchers may now submit initial evidence comparable to the other forms of evidence already listed in 8 CFR 204.5(i)(3)(i), much like certain employment-based immigrant categories that already allow for submission of comparable evidence.
This final rule does not impose any additional costs on employers, workers or any governmental entity. Further, changing the employment authorization regulations for H-1B1 and E-3 nonimmigrants makes them consistent with other similarly situated nonimmigrant worker classifications. Additionally, this rule minimizes the potential of employment disruptions for U.S. employers of H-1B1, E-3 and CW-1 nonimmigrant workers. Finally, DHS expects that this change will help U.S. employers recruit EB-1 outstanding professors and researchers by expanding the range of evidence that U.S. employers may provide to support their petitions.

“We constantly strive to improve our processes and ensure fair and consistent access to immigration benefits,” U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director León Rodríguez said. “This Enhancing Opportunities rule removes unnecessary hurdles that place workers at a disadvantage and will be beneficial to both employers and their workers.”

For more information on USCIS and its programs or about this rule, please visit uscis.gov or follow us on Facebook (/uscis), Twitter (@uscis), YouTube (/uscis) and the USCIS blog The Beacon.

Please click here to view this item on our website.

Monday, January 11, 2016

H-1 and L-1 Fees Increased with New Bill

Last week, the President signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 which provides full-year appropriations through September 2016 for all government agencies. Included in this bill are fee increases for certain L-1 and H-1B petitions for companies with more than 50 employees where 50% or more of the employees hold H-1B or L-1 status. Supplemental L-1 fees for these companies increase from $2,250 to $4,500 and supplemental H-1B fees increase from $2,000 to $4,000.
For more information on the fee increases, visit AILA’s article on H.R. 2029: Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016.
To read more about the new bill, click here.
(from http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=5917f8c6-6fed-474e-ae5e-f277b7b27548)

Deportation Raids Continue

It is quiet now, a little too quiet, along the suburban avenues lined with Salvadoran pupusa shops and Guatemalan bakeries. The stores are emptier than usual, and some of the waitresses and clerks are not showing up at work. Everyone seems to know about last weekend’s raids, when immigration agents pounded on doors before dawn and took mothers and children away.
The deportations have brought the divisive issue of illegal immigration once again to the political forefront. The raids were the first large-scale effort to deport families who had fled violence and poverty in Central America in 2014 and 2015. More than 100,000 families with adults and children crossed the southwestern border.
Despite an uproar from liberal Democrats and Latino advocacy groups, administration officials said Friday that they intend to continue the raids, hoping to send a signal and prevent a repeat of the huge surge in illegal border crossings. Although the numbers dipped last spring, a new spike saw more than 10,000 children reach the border in October and November alone.

IRS Gets Power to Revoke Passports

Why did the U.S. Congress and the Obama Administration give the IRS powers to revoke passports in order to collect federal taxes?
Submarined deep in the transportation bill passed by Congress last December was a bold, brand new power given to the IRS to collect taxes. If you have a federal tax debt amounting to $50,000 or more, starting this month, the IRS can get your passport cancelled by sending a message to the State Dept. to do so. That $50,000 includes penalties and interest.
Yes, people should pay what they owe, especially if they want to leave the country. But given the fact that the IRS collection unit has at times not been so state of the art, given the mistakes the IRS has already made in wrongfully emptying bank accounts and seizing assets, does anyone really think it’s okay for unelected bureaucrats to seize passports, blocking a basic freedom, that is freedom of movement?    

Friday, January 1, 2016

John Khosravi Chosen As One of the Top 40 Under 40 Immigration Lawyers in California

Thank you to the American Society of Legal Advocates for choosing me as one the top 40 immigration lawyers under the age of 40!