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Travel Ban to Include Venezuela, North Korea, and Chad

Travel-Ban-to-Include-Venezuela-North-Korea-and-ChadTrump Adds Venezuela, North Korea and Chan to New Travel Ban

The list of countries that are directly affected by the travel ban enforced by Donald Trump, America’s President, has expanded to include Venezuela, North Korea and Chad. This severely limits the people from these countries from travelling to the United States. It also causes a concern for many Americans who live in the United States because this can disable them from bringing their family members to the United States. Therefore, in this article, I will address how this new travel ban with the new included countries affects Americans and foreign nationals alike.

How the Travel Ban will Affect Americans & Foreign Nationals

The primary individuals that will be affected by this new travel ban are the individuals that were already a part of the travel ban, including citizens from Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Somalia. Earlier this year, Sudan was also included in this list of countries; however, this country is no longer in the list of banned countries. As of recent, Venezuela, North Korea and Chad were included in this list for several different reasons. For instance, the travel ban for Venezuela only affects government officials; the rest of the country’s citizens may travel to the United States but will undergo heightened security screening. Whereas for the other countries, such as North Korea and Chad, President Donald Trump announced that the United States will be enhancing vetting capabilities and processes for detecting attempted entry into the United States by terrorists and/or other public-safety threats. Therefore, on October 18, this new travel ban is set to be implemented and enforced throughout the United States. It is important to note that the previously travel ban that was enforced earlier this year was temporary in nature. However, this new travel ban is said to be indefinite. With this new travel ban, the United States have also implemented a regulation that allows for U.S. officials to assess each individual based on a country-by-country and case-by-case basis as opposed to the umbrella ban that was previously implemented. The new order is said to have the most strict guidelines and restrictions on Syria and North Korea. As a result, any citizen from either of these countries will be denied visas to enter the United States. To better understands the guidelines and restrictions for the current countries that have a travel ban, I have included a chart below.
Country Immigrant Visas Non-Immigrant Visas
Chad Suspends all Visas Suspends Business & Tourist Visas
Iran Suspends all Visas Allows Student Visas Only
Libya Suspends all Visas Suspends Business & Tourist Visas
North Korea Suspends all Visas Suspends all Visas
Somalia Suspends all Visas Allows Visas with Additional Sreening
Syria Suspends all Visas Suspends all Visas
Venezuela Allows Visas with the Exception for Select Government Officials Allows Visas with the Exception for Select Government Officials
Yemen Suspends all Visas Suspends Business & Tourist Visas
 

Venezuela

Interestingly enough, the United States is the largest trading partner of Venezuela. For instance, bilateral trade in goods and services between the United States and Venezuela had reached an approximate $23.9 billion in the year of 2015. Additionally, many Americans can trace their heritage back to Venezuela. Therefore, there are many significant ties between the United States and Venezuela. However, recently, Venezuela has succumbed to political and economic disorder. There are several anti-government protests in the streets of the South American country which occur on a daily basis. This has unfortunately caused inflation and a raise in unemployment rates and crime rates. Conclusively, the administration in the United States has concluded that Venezuela’s government does not consider nor share public-safety and terrorism-related information appropriately. Thus, the restrictions on Venezuela focus on specifically their government officials who are responsible for the inadequacies. It is also important to note that any citizens of Venezuela who are current visa holders may be subject to additional security measures and screening to ensure that traveler information remains accurate and current.

Consequences of the Travel Ban

In the U.S., there have been several cases where individuals who had valid visas to enter the U.S. were denied entry and in some extreme cases, their visas were cancelled because of this travel ban. These decisions were ultimately made by U.S. border officials. Many individuals as well as government officials in the United States actually feel as though the travel ban restrictions enforce discrimination based on religious grounds. For instance, the majority of the countries that are a part of this travel ban are Muslim-majority countries. For many Americans and American travellers, this travel ban can be extremely deleterious. As previously mentioned, there are many individuals that believe the travel ban is illogical, discriminatory, and very un-American. Consequently, there are several sentiments from individuals, either American or foreign, who truly believe that these exclusions and restrictions will not make America safer and it will cause further conflict going forward. Especially since this new travel ban is indefinite towards Syria and North Korea. There is already a large amount of conflict between the United States and these countries and this travel ban can ultimately cause more turmoil and conflict in the future which would not be very beneficial for the United States.

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For more information on U.S. matters and different visa applications you can submit, please refer to our different blogs. If you would like more information on the travel ban that was implemented earlier this year, please refer to our blog “U.S. Supreme Court May Enforce Travel Ban.” To obtain any visa in the U.S., it is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help before attempting to submit the application. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients visit the United States. If you believe that you may be eligible to apply for a visa to the U.S., please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advice. With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!

How to Qualify for an H1B Visa

How-to-Qualify-for-an-H1B-VisaHow to Determine Whether You Qualify for an H1B Visa

Many individuals from around the world look at the United States as the ultimate destination to fulfill their American Dream. It is well-recognized that the United States provides a wide variety of different employment opportunities. The H1B Visa provides foreign nationals with the chance to obtain temporary employment in the United States. As a result, this is one of the most sought after visas for the United States. However, there are eligibility requirements and criteria that foreign nationals must abide by in order to apply for this visa. Therefore, in this article, I will address what an H1B visa is, the eligibility requirements for an H1B visa, how to apply for an H1B visa, and much more.

What is an H1B Visa

An H1B visa is defined as a temporary work permit for foreign nationals that specialize in specialty occupations. In other words, this visa allows employers to hire foreign workers for a short period of time. A specialty occupation is defined as work that includes theoretical and practical application of highly specialized knowledge in one of the following fields of work:
  • Accounting
  • Architecture
  • Arts
  • Biotechnology
  • Business
  • Chemistry
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Law
  • Mathematics
  • Medicine & Health
  • Physical Sciences
  • Social Sciences
  • Theology
In order for your specialized occupation to be recognized by a potential employer in the United States, you must have the appropriate educational qualifications. Therefore, in order to be eligible to apply for an H1B visa, you must have completed a minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree in one of the aforementioned fields of study. Additionally, if required, you will also need to provide a state licensure in order to practice in that specific field.

How to Qualify for an H1B Visa

Much like any other immigration application to enter the United States, there are specific criteria and qualifying requirements that applicants must abide by. In order to qualify for an H1B visa, you must:
  • Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree or the equivalent
  • Apply to work in a specialty occupation, such as any of the fields listed above
  • Earn an income that is the wage or the prevailing wage for the intended occupation
  • Have a relationship with the sponsoring employer who intends on hiring you
  • Intend on working in a specialty job that relates to your field of study
  • Obtain an H1B visa number prior to filing the petition, unless it is exempt
  • Ensure the employer meets the Department of Labour requirements and must file a I-129 form with the USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) for permission to hire you

How to Apply for an H1B Visa

In order to apply for an H1B Visa, there are several steps that must be taken prior to actually entering the United States and successfully start working. The first and most important consideration you should note is that you cannot file for an H1B visa for yourself. The prospect employer must file the application for you. Specifically, the first step in applying for an H1B visa entails the employer filing a petition to sponsor you into the United States. Additionally, the USCIS also has requirements that must be met by the prospect employer, such as providing an employment letter. The employment letter must also provide details about the intended position that will be filled by the foreign worker, the job duties of the intended position, the dates of employment, and information about the supervisor and co-workers of the employee. The next step in the application process of the H1B visa is to determine and compare the actual wage and the prevailing wage. Keep in mind, the prevailing wage is determined by the State of Employment Security Agency by completing a form which asks for details surrounding the responsibilities and experience needed for the intended position. On the other hand, the actual wage is determined by comparing the wages of other employees in the same position with the same amount of experience. Consequently, the employer must pay the employee whichever wage is higher. It is important to note that this process takes approximately two months to determine. Following, the American employer must file a Labour Certification Application (LCA). This specific application provides the USCIS with information of the sponsoring American employer. Upon the completion of this application, the American employer is essentially confirming the pay of the higher of the two wages for the employee and that the employment of the foreign worker will not affect any other employees. Additionally, this application will also ensure that there are no strikes for the intended position at the work place. The advantage of this application is that is also makes sure that the American employer is offering the same benefits to the foreign worker as the rest of the employees. The last step of the H1B visa application process is filing the petition with the USCIS. This process may take a few months to process. During the time that the application is being processed, USCIS will provide the American employer with a receipt which includes a 9-digit reference number designated for that particular application and includes H1B visa processing times and general information about both the American employer and the foreign worker. Once this is received, a letter should be sent to the foreign worker with these details. The approval of the application usually happens within the time frame indicated on the receipt and will be sent to the American employer. The approval will also indicate the validity period of the H1B visa for the foreign worker.

How Long is an H1B Visa Valid For

The H1B visa is usually valid for a period of up to three years. However, the validity period may be extended, depending on your type of employment. Though, typically the validity period does not exceed six years. There are certain exceptions which can allow for a longer period than the six year. Specifically, exceptions that apply under sections 104(c) and 106(a) of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act (AC21).

Contact Akrami & Associates

It is essential that you have taken all of the aforementioned factors and information into consideration, if you intend on applying for an H1B visa to the United States. If you want to apply for an H1B visa, it is extremely important to note that these are difficult applications to pursue on your own. It is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help prior to submitting the application. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration matters. We have helped many of our clients obtain H1B visas to temporary work in the United States. If you believe that you may be eligible, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advice.   With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!

How to Apply for a U.S. Waiver

How-to-Apply-for-a-U.S.-WaiverHow to Apply for a Waiver Application

Many foreign nationals can be extremely frustrated when they discover that they are inadmissible to the United States. There are a wide range of reasons for inadmissibility to the United States. In many circumstances, individuals can be completely surprised by the reasons for inadmissibility and can result in not knowing what to do in order to overcome the inadmissibility. It is important to note that a foreign national must overcome their inadmissibility issues prior to travelling to the United States. Therefore, in this article, I will address the different reasons for inadmissibility to the United States and ultimately how to apply for a U.S. Waiver.

Reasons for Inadmissibility to the United States

There are a variety of reasons to be deemed inadmissible to the United States. The reasons can range from not having your passport on you to having a criminal record. Regardless of the reason, if the Immigration officer determines that you are inadmissible to the United States, you will not be allowed entry. To better understand the reasons for inadmissibility to the United States, I have listed the reasons below with detailed explanations.

Not Having Passport on You

When travelling to the United States, as well as anywhere else in the world, it is extremely important to present your passport to any Immigration officer. Your passport will show the Immigration officer your identity, including your first and last name, date of birth, citizenship, and much more. Additionally, your passport should be valid and not expired while travelling as this may cause delays and complications for your travels. Therefore, if you are travelling to the United States either by car or by plane, you should carry your valid passport to avoid being inadmissible.

Criminal Record

This is one of the most common reasons for inadmissibility to the United States. Immigration officers in the United States are extremely strict with whom they allow to enter the country. This is especially the case if the foreign national has a criminal record and may cause a threat or a risk to American society. It is important to recognize that even if the foreign national has had a criminal conviction or offence from forty years ago, they may still be denied entry into America due to the criminal record. When arriving in the United States with a criminal record, the Immigration officer can give you two options. They can either detain you or they can give you a notice of refusal of entry into America.

Insufficient Funds

It is essential to have sufficient funds when travelling to any country. In the United States, Immigration officers will assess whether the foreign national has sufficient funds in order to travel to the United States and sustain their visit. If the Immigration officer determines that they do not have sufficient funds to do so, they can deem the individual as financially inadmissible to the United States. In order to adequately prove that a foreign national does have sufficient funds for their travels to the United States, they can provide bank statements or investment statements to show their funds.

Previous Immigration Violation

An Immigration officer in the United States can deny the entry of any foreign national that has previously violated an immigration law. For instance, if a foreign national previously entered the United States and overstayed their authorized travels, they have violated U.S. immigration law and as such they would be denied entry into the United States. Another common circumstance is when a foreign national is authorized to visit the United States and they begin to work without a valid work permit. In these circumstances, they would also be violating U.S. immigration law and thus will be denied entry into the United States. Conclusively, it is important to always understand the conditions of a visa or permit that is issued to you and especially look for the expiry date. The foreign national must leave the United States prior to their authorized visa or permit expiring.

Health Reasons

When a foreign national is travelling to the United States, it is important to be healthy. There are some health circumstances that can lead to inadmissibility to the United States. For instance, if the foreign national has a disease, sickness, illness or infection that can be potentially contagious or not contained effectively, the Immigration officer has the means to deem the individual as medically inadmissible. The Immigration officer must consider the safety for all Americans and must deny the entry of any foreign national that can impose a threat of spreading disease.

How to Apply for a U.S. Waiver

In order to overcome inadmissibility to the United States, the best solution would be applying for a U.S. Waiver. It is important to note that the U.S. waiver can only be issued only if the foreign national intends on:
  • Seeking an Immigration Visa for the United States
  • Aiming to adjust their status in the United States
  • Obtaining certain non-immigrant status in the United States
  • Seeking other certain immigration benefits
If you fall under any of the above mentioned factors, then you can proceed to apply for a U.S. waiver. By applying for the U.S. waiver, the foreign national must completely fill the Waiver for Inadmissibility Form. Keep in mind, there must not be any blanks left on the application as Immigration is very strict with this. Additionally, if something does not apply to you, it is best to put “Not Applicable” then leaving it blank. Additionally, you must ensure that all of the information you provide on the form is accurate and up to date.

Contact Akrami & Associates

It is essential that you have taken all of the aforementioned factors and information into consideration, if you intend on applying for U.S. Waiver to the United States. If you want to apply for a U.S. Waiver, it is extremely important to note that these are difficult applications to pursue on your own. It is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help prior to submitting the application. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration matters. We have helped many of our clients obtain U.S. Waivers to successfully obtain entry into the United States with inadmissibility. If you believe that you may be eligible, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advice. With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!

US Supreme Court May Enforce Travel Ban

US-Supreme-Court-May-Enforce-Travel-Ban

Supreme Court Rules Trump May Enforce Travel Ban

Since Donald Trump has become the President of the U.S., there has been continuous speculation about travel bans towards Muslim-majority countries. This has caused an enormous amount of discussion and concern for many Americans as several of them have immigrated to America from these countries. Recently the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that Trump’s travel ban, which targets six Muslim-majority countries, may possibly go into effect. This is specifically with respect to any foreign national who lacks any bona fide relationship with a person in the United States. Therefore, in this article, I will address who will be affected by this travel ban and when it will come into effect.

Who will be affected & when will it come into effect

The travel ban is specifically targeting citizens from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The travel ban, as stated by Donald Trump, will come into effect within three days of the court ruling. The travel ban excludes any foreign nationals, from these designated countries, in relationships with citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. However, any foreign national that wishes to travel to the U.S. with an accompanying visa, who had never visited the U.S. before, has no family in the U.S., or any business or other ties, may be prohibited from entering. The new order is speculated to explain the ties each of the six countries has with terrorist organizations. For instance, Iran’s support of terrorist groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas, ISIS activities in Libya, al-Qaeda offshoot operating in Yemen, and the active combat ongoing in Syria and Libya have made these countries targets of the travel ban. Therefore, as a result of these ties, immigrants from these countries cannot be adequately vetted. It is important to note that the U.S. Supreme Court can overturn lower court orders that have attempted to block the implementation of the travel ban; the U.S. Supreme Court is the highest federal court in the U.S. and therefore is permitted to do so. There was an order made on March 6, which followed an order previous made that included Iraqi citizens, announced a 90 day travel ban on travellers from the six aforementioned countries, as well as a 120 day ban on all refugees. Going forward, Syrians will no longer be subject to an indefinite ban, as they were in the first order. Additionally, Iraq will not be included in the newest travel ban as there have been negotiations between the Iraqi government and the American government. Iraq has consequently vowed to improve the security of its travel documents and share more information on its citizens with the U.S. government. This order was supported by the U.S. government as they believed it would enforce stronger vetting procedures to be implemented going forward. Furthermore, the U.S. Supreme court will hear a handful of cases in which lower courts have blocked the travel bans; however, there is no guarantee that these arguments will come out successful. The previous bans are said to be going into effect this summer.

Consequences of the Travel Ban

This travel ban unfortunately will cause confusion and concern for many Americans and prospect visitors to the U.S. Due to the previous speculation and discussion within the past few months of Trump’s administration, there is no doubt that there will be more confusion and discussion going forward. Two justices from the U.S. Supreme court have confirmed that it will be very difficult to determine who exactly has a bona fide relationship with the U.S. A bona fide relationship includes parents, children, in-laws and step-relations but does exclude grandparents, nephews, nieces, cousins, and others. Additionally, fiancés were originally placed in the excluded group of family members, however, as of recently they are now determined to be a bona fide relationship. Therefore, it is extremely important for the individual to have a clear understanding of who classifies under a bona fide relationship. This will place a significant burden on any executive official who is entitled to decide whether an individual who is attempting to enter the country from any of the six aforementioned countries indeed has a sufficient and genuine connection to a person or entity within the U.S. In the U.S., there have been several cases where individuals who had valid visas to enter the U.S. were denied entry and in some extreme cases, their visas were cancelled. These decisions were ultimately made by U.S. border officials. Trump is extremely enthusiastic and adamant about the travel ban. He states that it is in fact a victory for American security. On the other hand, for Americans and American travellers, this travel ban can be extremely detrimental. Many individuals believe that the travel ban is, in contrast, illogical, discriminatory, and very un-American. Others find it extremely exclusionary to determine which relationships are bona fide and which are not. This can cause extreme heartbreak if grandparents or grandchildren are banned from the U.S. due to their relationships not being bona fide. As a result, there are several sentiments from individuals who believe that these exclusions will not make the country safer and it will cause further conflict going forward.

Contact Akrami & Associates to Petition for your Spouse

For more information on U.S. matters and different visa applications you can submit, please refer to our different blogs. For any visa in the U.S. it is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help before attempting to submit the application. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our client visit the United States. If you believe that you may be eligible to apply for a visa to the U.S., please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advice. With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!

How to Qualify for an E2 Visa

How-to-Qualify-for-an-E2-VisaHow to Determine Whether You Qualify for an E2 Visa

If you have a substantial amount of capital that you would like to invest within the United States, then you may be eligible to apply for an E2 Visa. The United States highly values investors that would like to contribute to the American economy. Of course, much like any other country, the United States has certain requirements that must be met prior to allowing foreign nationals entry into the country. This is especially the case when there is a large amount of funds being brought into the United States. Therefore, in this article, I will address what an E2 visa is, the eligibility requirements for an E2 visa, and much more.

What is an E2 Visa

An E2 visa is defined as an investor visa which is meant for owners and investors of foreign countries that would like to invest in the United States. Essentially, this visa allows foreign nationals the opportunity to enter and work within the United States based on an investment that they will be in control of. Additionally, an investment is defined as the individual’s placing of capital, which include funds and possibly other assets, at risk, commercially speaking, with the objective of creating a successful profit. This visa is only available for foreign nationals from treaty countries. Treaty countries specifically include countries such as Argentina, Belgium, Chile, France, and many more countries. It is important to determine whether your country is a treaty country prior to applying for this visa.

How to Qualify for an E2 Visa

Much like any other immigration application to enter the United States, there are specific criteria and qualifying requirements that applicants must abide by. In order to qualify for an E2 visa, you must:
  • Be a citizen of a treaty country
  • Come to work in the United States for a company that you own or are at least 50% owner of
  • Be the owner or key employee of the business
  • Travel to the United States to invest in a new or existing business
  • Be a part of a bona fide enterprise of significant importance
  • Ensure you have sufficient funds in order to invest in the business
  • Show evidence of where the money came from for the investment
  • Intend to come to the U.S. to develop and direct the business
In order to successfully apply for this visa, you must invest a substantial value. Specifically, if you are trying to start up a new business within the United States, you must ensure that the investment is sufficient for the startup of the business as well as maintaining the business’ operations. Keep in mind, this amount will differ depending on the type of business you plan on starting in the United States. However, it is important to note that if the investment you are contributing is not enough to capitalize the endeavor, then the investment will be classified as unsubstantial. To accurately determine this, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will utilize the ‘Inverted Sliding Scale’ to find out whether the investment is substantial or not. In order to better understand what a substantial amount of capital is, I will include a detailed description of the factors that are included within a substantial amount of capital. Specifically, a substantial amount of capital is essentially also substantial in relation to the total cost of either purchasing an established business or establishing a new one; sufficient to guarantee the investor’s financial commitment to successfully operate and maintain the business; and, of a magnitude to support the probability that the investor will successfully develop and direct the business. Please note that the lower the business costs, the higher the investment must be in order to be considered a substantial investment.

How to Apply for an E2 Visa

The application process for an E2 visa is different depending on whether you are applying from within the United States or outside of the United States. If you are applying from within the United States and you have lawful nonimmigrant status, then you may file an I-129 form to request a change of status to an E2 visa. Additionally, the employer may also file this form on the employee’s behalf. On the other hand, if you are applying from outside of the United States, then you cannot file an I-129 form. The interested investor must then refer to the U.S. Department of State for more information on applying for an E2 visa from abroad. Thus, when a visa is then issued to the interested investor, they may then apply at a United States port of entry for a E2 visa.

How Long is an E2 Visa Valid For

The E2 visa is usually valid for a period of up to two years. However, the validity period may be extended in increments of two years each time. Luckily, there is no maximum amount of times that you are permitted to extend this visa. However, it is very important to note that any foreign national investors that participate in this program must demonstrate an intention to leave the United States once their status expires or is terminated. Foreign investors may also travel while on the E2 visa and are permitted to return to the United States so long as their visa is valid.

Contact Akrami & Associates

It is essential that you have taken all of the aforementioned factors and information into consideration, if you intend on applying for an E2 visa to the United States. If you want to apply for an E2 visa, it is extremely important to note that these are difficult applications to pursue on your own. It is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help prior to submitting the application. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration matters. We have helped many of our clients obtain E2 visas to successfully invest in a business in the United States. If you believe that you may be eligible, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advice. With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!