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Powers Law Group, P.C. is an immigration law firm focused 100% on US Immigration and Nationality Law.Based in Houston, Texas, we represent clients worldwide. With a focus solely on US immigration law, the firm is able to provide excellent service for the immigration needs of our clients.
Ruby L. Powers, the founding immigration attorney, has personal experience navigating through the immigration processes and brings this experience and point of view to each client to provide compassion, honesty, and understanding through a critical time in the client’s life.
What further sets the Powers Law Group apart from many other firms is the level of dedication each client receives, which allows a greater attention to detail that is extremely necessary in immigration law. With technology, we are able to provide a greater level of personal attention through various means of communication to each client, regardless of their location.
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The Senate confirmed John F. Kelly as secretary of homeland security on Friday, putting the blunt-spoken retired Marine general in charge of securing the nation’s borders, including construction of the controversial southwest border wall that was a centerpiece of President Trump’s campaign.
Senators approved Kelly’s nomination to run the Department of Homeland Security, a sprawling entity of more than 240,000 employees who do everything from protecting the president to safeguarding the nation’s electrical grid.
Kelly, who retired in February as chief of the U.S. Southern Command, is part of the first wave of Cabinet secretaries who will begin to implement the expansive plans of the nation’s 45th president.
DHS will be at the forefront of some of the most highly charged parts of that agenda, including the wall, which would be designed to keep out illegal immigrants. Kelly appeared to play down the wall’s importance at his recent confirmation hearing, telling a Senate committee that “a physical barrier in and of itself will not do the job’’ and that technology such as drones and sensors are also needed to secure the border.
Read the full article at The Washington Post
Written by Ruby Powers on January 23, 2017 @ 12:40 am
Filed under: Blog from Other Experts
New Rule Welcomes International Entrepreneurs
By: Texas Board Certified Immigration Attorney, Ruby L. Powers
January 20, 2017
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has enacted a provision that would make it easier for immigrant entrepreneurs to build start-ups in the United States. On January 17, 2017 DHS published the final rule titled, “International Entrepreneur Rule”. The rule will be effective on July 17, 2017. The purpose of this rule is to improve the ability of start-up founders to begin growing their companies within the United States and help improve the nation’s economy through increased capital spending, innovation and job creation.
The new rule allows the DHS to use its discretionary parole authority to allow foreign entrepreneurs who would demonstrate that their stay in the United States would spur a public benefit through the potential for rapid business growth, job creation, attracting investment and generating revenue.
The final rule may allow eligibility of up to three entrepreneurs for each start-up entity, which would include spouses and children. If an entrepreneur is granted stay, they will be eligible to work only for their start-up business. The spouses of the entrepreneurs may apply for work authorization in the United States, but their children will not be eligible for work authorization.
To be considered under the International Entrepreneur Rule, the applicant must meet the following criteria:
The applicant must possess a substantial ownership interest in a startup up within the past five years in the United States that has substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation.
The applicant needs to have a central and active role in the start-up entity such that the applicant is well-positioned to substantially assist with the growth and success of the business.
The applicant can prove that his or her stay will provide a significant public to the United States based on the applicant’s role as an entrepreneur of the start-up entity by:
A. Showing that the start-up entity has received a significant investment of capital from certain qualified U.S. investors with established records of successful investments. The applicant would be able to meet the investment standard by demonstrating that the start-up entity has received investments of capital totaling $250,000;
B. Showing that the start-up entity has received significant awards or grants for economic development, research and development, or job creation (or other types of grants or awards typically given to start-up entities) from federal, state or local government entities that regularly provide such awards or grants to start-up entities;
C. Or by showing that they partially meet either or both of the previous two requirements and providing additional reliable and compelling evidence of the start-up entity’s substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation.
In addition, DHS is modifying this provision so that an entrepreneur may qualify for re-parole if the start-up entity created at least 5 qualified jobs with the start-up entity during the initial parole period.
This new rule promises an alternative for individuals that would not be eligible for other business visas but have significantly invested in the United States. If you believe you qualify, or would like more information regarding the International Entrepreneur Rule, please contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced immigration attorneys.
Sources used: USCIS Bulletin on Final International Entrepreneur Rule and The Federal Register
Written by Ruby Powers on January 20, 2017 @ 4:04 pm
Filed under: Immigration Law
New Standard for the National Interest Waiver
By: Texas Board Certified Immigration Attorney, Ruby L. Powers
January 20, 2017
On December 27, 2016, the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) announced a new framework to be used when adjudicating National Interest Waiver (NIW) petitions. The previous standard was based on a 1998 case, Matter of New York State Department of Transportation, “NYSDOT”. This new standard clarifies and revises the standard in which the USCIS officials should determine if the foreign worker qualifies for a NIW.
What is a NIW? The NIW is a pathway to an immigrant visa that is available to qualified aliens who are members of the professions holding advanced degrees or their equivalent or who because of their exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business, will substantially benefit prospectively the national economy, cultural or educational interests, or welfare of the United States. The NIW was created to exempt individuals from the labor certification process if they can prove that their presence will advance the National Interest of the United States. The NIW also exempts the Foreign National from the requirement of having a job offer.
The new standard laid out in Matter of Dhansanr states that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Officer may grant a NIW if the petitioner demonstrates:
That the foreign national’s proposed endeavor has both substantial merit and national importance
This prong focuses on the specific endeavor that the foreign national proposes to take. The endeavor’s merit may be demonstrated in a range of areas such as business, entrepreneurialism, science, technology, culture, health, or education.
In considering national importance, the case provides as an example that an individual’s undertaking may have national importance because of its national or even global implications within a particular field, such as those resulting from certain improved manufacturing processes or medical advances.
That he or she is well positioned to advance the proposed endeavor. To determine whether the individual is well positioned to advance the proposed endeavor, the adjudicators should consider: the individual’s education, skills, knowledge and record of success in related or similar efforts; a model or plan for future activities; any progress towards achieving the proposed endeavor; and the interest of potential customers, users, investors, or other relevant entities or individuals.
On balance, it would be beneficial to the United State to waive the requirement of a job offer and labor certification requirement.
The USCIS may evaluate factors such as: whether it would be impractical either for the foreign national to secure a job offer or for the petitioner to obtain a labor certification; whether, even assuming that other qualified U.S. workers are available, the United States would still benefit from the foreign national’s contributions; and whether the national interest in the foreign national’s contributions is sufficiently urgent to warrant foregoing the labor certification process.
For example, if a doctor holds three (3) graduate degrees in the field tied to the field of endeavor, and the record demonstrates that he possesses considerable experience and expertise in a highly-specialized field. The evidence further shows that innovations in anesthesiology and pain management hold significant implications for the U.S. healthcare industry and its global competitiveness. On balance, the adjudicators could find that the petitioner’s contributions would benefit the United States even assuming that other qualified U.S. workers are available.
The clarification of the NIW standard essentially makes it more flexible for employers and self-petitioning individuals to qualify for this non-immigrant petition. USCIS Officials have wide discretion in granting or denying the NIW. Therefore, it is imperative to have an experienced immigration attorney to help navigate this process. If you have any questions regarding this new standard, or would like to apply for a National Interest Waiver, please contact our office to schedule a consultation.
Source Used: Matter of Dhanasar
Written by Ruby Powers on January 20, 2017 @ 3:51 pm
Filed under: Immigration Law