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Sunday, December 9, 2018 - 9:03 pm

Green Cards for Diplomats and International Organization Representatives

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issues visas to diplomats and international organization officers and employees that enter the United States to perfom official duties on behalf of their governments or international organizations.  These visas are known as the A and G visas.

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The A visas are are of three types — A-1, A-2 and A-3 visas.  A-1 and A-2s are issued to government officials and their family members while A-3s are issued to their personal employees, attendants or domestic workers.

To qualify for an A-1 visa, the diplomat must be a head of state or government; or a government officer that serves at a foreign embassy or consulate; or a cabinet member coming for official activities; or a European Union or African Union delegation representative.

An immediate family member can also be granted the visa. Immediate family members are the spouses and unmarried sons and daughters of any age that are members of his household and those that regularly reside in the household with benefits and rights associated with the diplomat, such as official passport or travel and the like.  Additonally, any other person related to the diplomat or his spouse by blood, marriage or adoption or a his domestic partner and a relative by blood, marriage or adoption of the domestic partner can be an immediate relative.

To qualify for an A-2 visa, the diplomat must be a full-time government employee entering the United States to work at a foreign embassy or consulate or to perform embassy related duties; or a government officer entering the United States upon a written request of his country to perform official government duties; or a foreign military member stationed at a US military base; or assigned to a foreign embassy or consulate in the United States; or a European Union or African Union delegation representative, and their immediate family members.

To qualify for an A-3 visa, the personal employee, attendant, domestic worker or servant must prove that he is qualified for the job that he is coming to the United States to do and that the wage offered him is self-supporting and comparable to that offered for the same employment in the United States.

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The USCIS issues G visas to international organization representatives and their family members, and are of four types, which are G-1, G-2, G-3 and G-4.  G-1 visas are issued to permanent mission members of a recognized government entering the United States to serve in an international organization.  G-2 visas are issued to representatives of a recognized governmental officer traveling to the United States temporarily to attend meetings of a designated organization.  G-3 visas are issued to representatives of non-recognized or non-member governments while G-4 visas are issued to individuals entering the United States to take up appointments into designated international organizations including the United Nations.

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Diplomats and international organization visa holders can adjust their statuses to Green Card holders in the United States.  To adjust, however, they must waive their diplomatic privileges, immunities and rights and reside and work in the United States just like any other permanent resident.  The adjustment is done in one of three ways:

The first is through qualifying relatives.  Here, the diplomat or international government officer uses a family or employment opportunity to adjust his status from diplomat or international orgnization officer to a Green Card holder.

The second is adjustment under what is known as a Special Green Card.  The diplomat or international orgnization officer qualifies for this visa if he fails to maintain his diplomatic status and is unable to return to his home country due to compelling reasons.  He must also demonstrate that he has good moral character, and admissible to the United States. The officer’s family members can also enter as dependents.  This adjustment type is, historically, very rare, and often tied to promoting the United States national interest.  In fact, only 50 of these visas are granted yearly.

Diplomat 1 world map

There is a third adjustment opportunity that is specifically open to only former international organization employees.  To qualify, the employee must have lived in the United States on the G visa for at least 15 years before retirement, and must apply for the visa in no later than six months after retirement.  The officer’s employees as well as spouses of deceased international organization officers may independently qualify for the Green Card, and if qualified, must apply for the visa no later than six months after the death of the officer.  Unmarried sons and  daughters of current or former international organization officers or employees are also independently eligible for the Green Card if they have lived in the United States on a G visa for at least seven years before ages five and twenty-one and apply for the visa before they are twenty-five years old.

The information in this blog is not intended to be a legal advice to the reader. For more information and legal assistance with adjusting from a diplomatic or international organization visa to a Green card status, contact an attorney at Swaray Law Office.  We have adjusted the statuses of many dipolmats and international organization officers from around the world serving in the United States.

Visas for Outstanding Researchers and Professors: A US Manpower Zap

In reaction to a legitimate employment need in 1992, the United States congress created an immigrant visa that allowed professors and researchers from foreign countries to enter the United States under a Green Card to work and permanently reside in the country.  The visa is one of the three subcategories under what the The United States Citizen Citizenship and Immigration Sevices (USCIS), the agency empowered with administering the visa program,  has generally referred to as the EB-1 visa category.  EB-1 stands for the first category of employment based immigrant visas.

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The foreign professor or researcher cannot by himself apply for the visa.  Rather, he has to be employed first by an educational instiution or research company, which then files an application with the USCIS for the visa for him.

To qualify for the visa, the alien professor or researcher must have an internationally recognized outstanding background in a specific academic field, such as Law, Science, and Engineering.  She must also have at least three years teaching or research experience in the field.  Her experience amount can be tolled from the time she became a professor or researcher.  But it can also be tolled from the time she was working towards the degree and the experience was outstanding and she had a full responsibility of  classes taught or researches that she conducted.

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The professor or researcher is deemed to have an internationally recognized outstanding background if she has at least two of the following criteria:

a.  Receipt of major prizes or awards;

b.  Membership in associations that require outstanding achievements;

c.  Published material in professional journals written by others about the alien’s work;

d.  Participation as a judge of the work of others in the same or allied field;

e.  Original scientific or scholarly research contribution to the field; or

f.  Authorship of scholarly books or articles in scholarly journals with international circulation.

The research or teaching postion must be permanent.  A permanent position is defined as one with indefinite duration, but terminable at will for good cause in which the employee has a reasonable expectation of continued employment.  Even if the employment is periodic, it may be considered permanent if the employer demonstrates a reasonable expectation of continued employment.  An example is where the employer hires a reasercher under a one year conract that is renewable upon the availability of funding, and the employer shows that there is continued funding.

Outstanding Researcher and Professor 3

The alien must enter the United States, upon an offer of employment, to work in a tenure or tenure-track teaching or comparable research position in a university or institution of higher education or a comparable private research company.  For the research company to participate in the visa program, it must have at least three full-time researchers and documented accomplishments in the academic field for which the position is offered.

The employer files the application together with supporting evidence on a Form I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker with USCIS. After the USCIS approves the application, the alien can then apply for a Green Card on a Form I-485 Application to Register as Permanent Resident.

Outstanding Researcher or Professor (2)

If you are a University, an institution of higher education, private research company or a professor or researcher that is in need of assistance with your employment based Green Card application, please contact our office to work with our employment based Green Card team.

Get a Green Card in the United States for you and your Family and Increase your Wealth

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You can get a Green Card to live and work in the United States and also increase your wealth through an investment immigrant visa.  This visa opportunity, also known as EB-5, was created by Congress in 1990 though an immigration ACT.  Among others, the ACT gave the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) the power to administer the visa program.

Current statistics show that foreign investors from China are among the leading users of this visa program.  But investors from many parts of the world, including Nigeria, use it as well.

The visa allows investors from foreign countries to immigrate to and invest financial resources in viable investment platforms in the United States.

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Under the law, a foreign investor can invest at least $500,000 into the United States economy, and because of the investment, come to the United States under a permanent resident immigrant visa.  This means that the foreign investor can dump their financial resources into areas of the US economy, gain profits on the investment, if the investment does well, and get a visa that permits him and his spouse and children under 21 years old to reside, work, go to school, and live a happy life in the country.

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The investment process can be direct or it can be through USCIS authorized regional centers.  Under the direct investment approach, the investor must invest at least $1million and create at least ten full-time jobs for United States workers.  The investment amount can be $500,000 if it is invested in a high unemployment or rural area of the United States.

The investment can also be through a regional center.  Regional Centers are commercial entities that the USCIS has authorized to accept and manage EB-5 related investment funds.  The centers accept foreign investor funds and manage them in ways that meet USCIS investor visa requirements.  Simply explained, they make sure that the job creation and other requirements of the investor visa are met to enable the investor and his family get the immigrant visa.

Under  the investor visa law, it is critically important that the source of the investor funds are investigated to find that they are clean and legally acquired.

The foreign investor visa gives the holder enviable immigration opportunities, such as travel in and out of the United States and reside in any part of the country.  At the application phase, the foreign investor can also elect to be in or outside the United States while the visa is processed.  If he choses to be in the country, he can travel in and out of the country under a government approved travel document.

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Once the investor requirements are met, the foreign investor and his spouse and children under 21 can then apply for the immigrant visa on a Form I-526 together with all other evidence supporting his eligibility for the visa.  If the USCIS is satisfied that all the visa conditions are met, it will grant the investor and his family a conditional Green Card for two years.  After the two years, the investor is again required to file another petition to remove the condition.  The petition is filed in the 90 days preceding the second anniversary of the conditional permanent resident visa grant.  In this petition, the investor must prove that the business was created in the requisite  investment amount and  number of jobs.  Once all the requirements are met, the USCIS removes the condition from the Green Card, and the investor and his family can reside, work, travel and live happily in the United States indefinitely.  Best of all, after five years of the immigrant visa grant the investor and his family, if they choose to, can apply for US citizenship.  The investor can also, at the end of five years from the date of his investment, remove his investment with all the dividends if the investment had yielded dividends.

The Swaray Law Office investment team can help you assess your eligibility for the visa, identify investment areas, investment commercial enterprises and process your immigrant visa application.  This means that all you do is cooperate with the team in providing the requisite information needed to process your investor application and fund.  If you are interested in an investor visa, and want to work with Swaray Law Office, contact us today by phone or fill out our contact message form at this website and send it to us.

Bi-Annual Brazilian Consulate Event

Brazilian elections

Image of attendees at a Brazilian Consulate.

Swaray Law Office is excited to participate in the bi-annual Brazilian Consulate event that will be held at United Methodist Church in Bloomington. The event will take place this Saturday, May 24, 2014 from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM.

The purpose of the event is to give an opportunity for the members of the Brazilian Community here in Minnesota a chance to meet with the Brazilian consulate and address issues with birth certificates, passports and other immigration related paper work. As the members of the community wait to be attended to, they would have the opportunity to stop at different tables that are set up in the room and get information about the different services that the different companies provide.

Our office will be one of the several companies in attendance and we will have a platform to address the legal questions that the community members might have but haven’t had the opportunity to discuss. Not only will we be helping others find solutions to their legal problems, we will also have the chance to build trusting relationships with the community members and get exposure.

You are all invited to attend.

USCIS Announces Citizenship and Integration Grant Opportunity

All information provided below taken from USCIS’s own announcement, available here.

USCIS has announced a 5 million dollar grant in funding for citizenship preparation programs in communities across the U.S.  The grant is designed with the goal of expanding the availability of high-quality citizenship preparation services, via organizations that will provide both citizenship instruction and naturalization application services to permanent residents seeking those services.

USCIS expects to announce an estimated 31 award recipients in September 2012.

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Are you interested in knowing how we can assist you with your naturalization process?  We can help!  Contact Swaray Law Office today at 763-549-0670 and learn of your options.

Wrongly Deported Honduran Citizen dies in massive fire in Comayagua prison.

All information on this story taken from FoxNews.com

A Honduran citizen living in Los Angeles was wrongly deported in October, and went on to die in last month’s massive prison fire in his home country, immigration officials said Friday.

Nelson Avila-Lopez, 20, was mistakenly deported in October, and was one of the 360 inmates who died in the Feb. 14 fire at the Comayagua prison in Honduras, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement told KPCC radio in a statement.

Four years earlier in an attempt to avoid gang recruitment in Honduras, Avila-Lopez crossed the border illegally at age 16 to be with his mother in Los Angeles, KPCC reported.

Don’t allow yourself or a family member be wrongly deported. Call upon Ed Swaray today at 763-549-0670 and find out what your options are.

Mississippi lawmakers pass controversial immigration bill

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant

Image still of Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant

(CNN) — Another controversial immigration bill is on the horizon in the South, a regional battleground that has seen a number of states pass reforms on illegal immigration.

Mississippi’s Republican-dominated House of Representatives voted 70-47 Thursday to pass the “Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhood Act.”

The bill now goes to the Senate for approval, where it is also expected to pass. Both the House and Senate are controlled by Republicans, who won majorities last year for the first time in 140 years.

Gov. Phil Bryant, a Republican who supports the measure, said he believes too little has been done on immigration policies and a crackdown is urgently needed.

To read more about this story, please click here.

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Are you in need of help with your immigration case?  Contact Ed Swaray at 763-549-0670 — and let us help you today.

New ICE Detention Facility Unveiled in Karnes County, Texas

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Above–an image of the recently built Karnes County Civil Detention Center.

All information below taken from the article by Guillermo Contreras as it appeared here.  Please click the link at left for the full article.

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KARNES CITY – Federal officials say it is the first-of-its kind “civil” detention center in the country built from the ground up, designed to make the immigration detention system more humane.

Critics say the $32 million facility, known as the Karnes County Civil Detention Center, is not needed.

The center, unveiled on Tuesday, was built as part of an agreement between the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Florida-based The GEO Group, which already runs a jail here. It spans 29 acres and has 608 beds, with the capability of expanding to 1,200. It will hold nonviolent, low-risk adult men apprehended in Texas. Detainees will start arriving this month.

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Are you currently detained?  You may be able to be with family and friends while awaiting your court date with immigration officials.  Call Ed Swaray today at 763-549-0670 and learn what your options are.

Attorneys for Uriel Alberto to ask for his release from jail

Uriel Alberto shown during his hunger strike at the Wake County Jail in North Carolina (photo taken from the article that appeared on the Winston-Salem Journal).

All information on this story taken from the article that appeared on the Winston-Salem Journal.

Attorneys for Winston-Salem activist Uriel Alberto – who is on a hunger strike lasting more than a week – plan to file a bond motion Tuesday in immigration court to try to get him out of the Wake County Jail.

Alberto and two other protesters were charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct after they interrupted a special House committee on immigration in Raleigh on Feb. 29.

Alberto, 24, who was brought into the United States by his parents when he was 7, does not have legal permission to be in the country. Because of his residency status, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials could deport him to Mexico

Court blocks 2 provisions of immigration law

All information below courtesy of the Montgomery Advertiser.

A federal appeals court Thursday blocked two sections of Alabama’s immigration law, which is known as HB 56, in­cluding one that had been par tially enjoined by a U.S. Dis­trict Judge in Montgomery.

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals enjoined Section 27 of the law, which forbids Alabama courts to enforce contracts be­tween unlawfully present aliens and parties who know their immigration status.

The appellate court also blocked Section 30 of the law, which forbids state and local agencies from doing business with undocumented aliens.

For more information on this article, please click here.

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Are you in need of immigration assistance?  Let Swaray Law Office help you with all of your immigration issues.  Call today at 763-549-0670.