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Immigration Workshop For International Students (F-1 & J-1) Eugene Goldstein, Esq. Law Offices of Eugene Goldstein & Associates (212) 374-1544

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Presentation on theme: "Immigration Workshop For International Students (F-1 & J-1) Eugene Goldstein, Esq. Law Offices of Eugene Goldstein & Associates (212) 374-1544"— Presentation transcript:

1 Immigration Workshop For International Students (F-1 & J-1) Eugene Goldstein, Esq. Law Offices of Eugene Goldstein & Associates (212)

2 Choosing an Immigration Lawyer Four Tips #1: Lawyer Must be a Member of AILA #2: Only Pay a Fixed Legal Fee #3: Only Immigration Law #4: Student Should Pick a Lawyer Via Reference

3 Where to get the Right Advice? FSA The Appropriate Lawyer Cheapest is not the best. Find the specialist - dont choose lawyers who advertise for general practice New York City Legal Referral Service or Reliable Friends Beware of Mistaken Perception of New Laws

4 Beware of Non-Lawyer Experts, Notarios, Travel Agents, etc. To Report Unauthorized Practice of Law N.Y. County District Attorneys Office – Northern Manhattan – N.Y. Attorney Generals Office - To Confirm Lawyer Unified Court System Lawyer licensing is by state, please check each states board of bar examiners online. To Refer to Other Agencies New York County – to refer to other agencies

5 The Various Federal Agencies: DOS (Department of State) through its Visa Office and the U.S. Consulates issue Visas. CBP (Custom and Border Protection) – the Gatekeeper, they stamp you in. This is the first point of contact at airports or other ports of entry. USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) - Decides motions to reinstate, changes of status, and employment cards – and maybe one day, green cards. ICE (Immigration and Custom Enforcement) –The immigration police who manage SEVIS and enforce compliance. USDOL, HHS, Selective Service, Social Security

6 Employment Options for F-1 International Students 1. Employment on Campus 2. Employment for Unanticipated Severe Economic Need 3. Curricular Practical Training (CPT) 4. Optional Practical Training (OPT)

7 Employment Based on Economic Need Employment after one year of study at each school if there has been unforeseen severe change in your financial position (such as a large devaluation of your countrys currency, loss of a scholarship, large tuition increase), sponsors death, bankruptcy, or natural disaster. Eligibility Eligibility – must be under F-1 status for at least one academic year, good academic standing, continued full-time status, inability to find campus employment. Limitations Limitations – Maximum 20 hours per week during school year, full time during vacation periods; permission granted for one year at a time. USCIS authorization required - EAD

8 Curricular Practical Training (CPT ) Employment as part of a students educational experience, offered by an employer through agreement with the school. Must be in college catalogue. Eligibility Eligibility – F-1 status for at least nine months (which can be waived for graduate students under certain circumstances) and/or continued student status. Limitations Limitations – limited to internships, co-op education, alternate work/study program, required practicums. Maximum 364 days or no OPT. Must be authorized by designated school officials.

9 Optional Practical Training (OPT) Employment for up to one year after graduation in a job related to your field of study. Duration Duration - one year for each academic level. Eligibility Eligibility - F-1 student applies 90 days prior or 60 days after completion of studies. Requires employment after approval. Limitations Limitations – 20 hours if school not in session, deduct from full time of one year OPT. One year + 17 months if STEM with E-VERIFY. Must be authorized by USCIS and the designated school official – EAD.

10 General Issues Finding a Job Employers CAN Discriminate Against International Students. What to Say in the Job Interview? Should I disclose that I will need to be sponsored? What should I say? Sell Yourself. Please call my very reputable lawyer. The employer does not need to advertise for the H-1B category.

11 What is a Visa? What is Status? Visa: The Key to Enter the U.S. This is a Travel Document Consulate Laminates into Passport Status: I-20 or Certificate from School I-94 (DS2019) Stamped at Entry Changed by USCIS While in the U.S. Note OPT is Under F-1 Status

12 H-1B Specialty Occupation = Professional 4 year degree or higher Major from degree Must Match Job Duties Not What you Have – But What the Job Needs: For example: Registered Nurses are not professional as job requires only a 2 year degree. For example: Specialty or head nurse does qualify as job requires B.S. degree. Full Time(35 hr+) vs. Part Time (must be able to support yourself)

13 H-1B 6 Year Limit (3+3, etc.) 1 Year Outside U.S. Before Reenter in H-1B Cycle Reclaim Time Spent Outside U.S. Prove with Entry/Exit Stamps, Boarding Passes, Frequent Flier Records, Etc. AC21 Extension if Pending Employment-Based Green Card Applications for 1 Year Specific To Employer Each Employer Must Petition. One Employer/One Petition, Or Multiple Employers/Multiple Petitions. Use of an Agent Employer For Multiple Short Jobs.

14 H-1B Cap 65,000 +/- Plus 20,000 Advanced U.S. Degrees Government Fiscal Year is 10/1 – 9/30 DOL Permits Filing 6 months Early File 4/1 – 4/5 If Over Cap Lottery If you win the H-1B lottery – Cap Gap: OPT extended to 10/1 H-1B start date with employment – but no travel. If you lose – continue in school or consider alternative visa categories, or go home.

15 H-1B Jobs Exempted from Quota Employment at a U.S. Institution of Higher Education (Colleges or University) or a Related/Affiliated Non-Profit Entity. Employment at a Non-Profit Research Organization or a (Federal) Government Research Organization, or State or Local Government Benefiting the Federal Government.

16 Six Year Maximum When Should H-1B Petition be Filed? Give Up OPT Completely or Partly. Gamble each year to capture Your H-1B When Available – Uncertainty. Can change or add employer with a new petition and begin when filed. Official USCIS Receipt, or FedEx/UPS Receipt

17 Employer Files for H-1B: Labor Condition Application – LCA Not Labor Certification – No Newspaper Advertising I-129 H-Supplements (Statistics, Fee Exemption), Explanation Letter, Supporting Documents (Credentials, Employer Bona Fides) Costs = Filing Fee $320 Training Fee $750 (Companies of 25 employees or less/$1,500 if 26 employees or more) Fraud Detection Fee $500 by Employer Premium Processing Fee $1,000

18 Change Status or Consular Notice Change of Status Change of Status While in the U.S. Consular Notice Consular Notice To Obtain Visa Outside the U.S.

19 Other Categories If H-1B is Unavailable or Not Appropriate: E-1: Treaty Trader E-2: Treaty Investor E-3: Australian Special Occupation L-1: Intercompany Transferee O-1: Extraordinary Individual P-1: Entertainment Group TN: NAFTA (Mexico, Canada) Free Trade: Chile, Singapore A: Diplomat G: Non-Government Diplomat Ex: National Monetary Fund, U.N., World Bank,etc. I: Journalist R: Religious Worker

20 Green Card Categories Family-Based Employment-Based

21 Green Card Quotas Limited Number of Places Each Year for Specific Family and Employment Categories. Place in Line Set by Petition Filing Date. Changes Each Month – Check the Visa Bulletin Website There Could be Long Quota Delays. In Order to Adjust Status in U.S., Must Remain in Lawful Status.

22 Family-Based Green Card (The I-130) Immediate Relative (Above the Quotas): Marriage to Citizen (USC) Parents of USC (Includes Under 21 Children) Preference Categories: Unmarried Sons and Daughters (Over 21) of USC (Age Out Provisions) Spouses, Children and Unmarried Sons and Daughter (over 21) of LPR. Married Sons and Daughters of USC Siblings of Adult USC To Adjust Status in U.S. – Remain in Lawful Status. If Unable to Adjust Status in U.S. – Consular Process if Able.

23 Family-Based Green Card Relationships must be bona fide. Relief is available for spousal abuse VAWA Applies to Both Women and Men. Go to hospital Call police Take photos of injuries Private Agencies: Sanctuary for Families 24hr Hotline (800) 621 – HOPE NYC (212) 349 – 6009 New York State: New York State's 24-hour Domestic Violence Hotline: (800) (English) (800) (Spanish)

24 EMPLOYMENT Green Card Categories (The I-140) EB-1 Extraordinary (no Sponsor) Exceptional Outstanding Professor or Researcher Investors International Transferees (Managers/Executives)

25 EMPLOYMENT (cont.) EB-2 Waiver of Labor Certification in the National Interest: Work in National Interest First Among Equals – Able to Make Unique Impact No Petitioner

26 EMPLOYMENT (cont.) EB-2/3: Labor Certification Schedule A - Not the LCA (Labor Cert. Exempt) – Nurses, Physical Therapists. Special Handling – College Teachers General Workers If job requires Masters+5 years experience, EB2, Otherwise EB3

27 EMPLOYMENT (cont.) Labor Certification PERM Delays U.S. Job Offer: Objectively describe duties, experience, education. Requirements must be open to U.S. workers, not particularized to applicants skills. Must show no U.S. worker is able, willing, qualified or available at the prevailing wage.

28 EMPLOYMENT (cont.) Quotas Limited Pool of Places Each Year by Category and by Country. Fewer Places in EB3, Therefore Delays Up to Many Years EB-2 Delays for China and India If Legal in U.S. Adjust Status in U.S. If Out of Status, Consular Process, but, May be Banned for 3 or 10 Years If Unlawfully Present (180 days grace period) Exempt From Unlawful Presence if D/S.

29 Diversity (DV) Lottery 50,000 places each year for citizens of countries with low representation in U.S. immigrant flow. If you are outside the U.S., or within the U.S. and in legal status, apply through during eligibility period. Paying someone to file for you will not help. Winners are notified by snail mail. Winners should act on reliable advice within the one year window of eligibility. 10/2/09-11/30/09


31 Contact Information Eugene Goldstein, Esq. Law Offices of Eugene Goldstein & Associates 150 Broadway Suite 1115 New York, NY (212) Fax: (212)

32 Immigration Workshop For International Students (F-1 & J-1) Eugene Goldstein, Esq. Law Offices of Eugene Goldstein & Associates (212)

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