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Miami Immigration & Naturalization Law Blog

United States moves to protect transgender immigrants from abuse

The United States will honor transgender immigrants with the right to be housed in either male or female designated illegal immigrant detention centers. The decision comes after news has surfaced about numerous cases of sexual abuse and physical abuse against transgender detainees. Transgender immigrants will now be permitted to choose which facilities they will live in based on their gender identity.

The new policy was announced on Monday. Immigration officers will be trained on how to respectfully question immigrant detainees regarding their gender identity for the purpose of carrying out the new policy effectively.

What is an investor visa?

There are a lot of different ways for immigrants to obtain a visa to reside in the United States and one of the more popular ones is called an investor visa. Immigrants who apply for investor visas or E5 visas, are commonly referred to as immigrant investors or immigrant entrepreneurs.

Immigration laws in the United States provide a pathway for immigrant investors to enter the country to create new businesses that will help spur capital investment and job growth. E5 investors are given approximately 7.1 percent of employment-related visas each year.

Local minimum numbers for immigration arrests

Did you know that the government not only expects to hold a large amount of detainees behind bars due to immigration arrests, but that there are actual minimum guarantees that they strive to meet? On the federal level, or the nation-wide level, that number is 34,000 individuals. That is how many people the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement -- commonly known as ICE -- has to keep locked up every single day. This is mandated by the U.S. Congress, and it has been now since 2009.

However, new reports now show that there are also local-level minimums being used in many places, including Florida. While the federal minimum has been understood for some time, the exposure of these low-level minimums is rather new.

Seeking residency and citizenship by way of a family member

When an immigrant hopes to become a United States citizen, there are a wide variety of visa types to choose from, but only certain pathways might apply to a particular person's needs. One of the most common pathways to citizenship and/or permanent residency is to obtain a visa based on the legal status of a family member who has already obtained his or her U.S. citizenship.

The family visa track that you pursue will largely depend on the nature of your relation to the family member who will be your sponsor. For example, if you are a under 21 years of age and your parent and/or spouse is a United States citizen, you can seek your visa through the "Immediate Relative" track. Priority of visa awards is deemed by a variety of factors in these cases. "FB-1 First Preference" is given to the unmarried daughters and sons of U.S. citizens. "FB-2 Third Preference" is given to married daughters and sons of U.S. citizens. FB-4 Fourth Preference" is given to sisters and brothers of U.S. citizens.

Requirements for an H-1B Visa

If you would like to receive an H-1B visa, there are several requirements you have to meet. This article will discuss those requirements and provide you with a deeper knowledge of how to navigate the H-1B visa application process.

The first requirement dictates that you are the employee of a United States-based employer. However, in order for such an employee-employer relationship be considered valid, it must be shown that the employer has total control over the employee's employment. In other words, the employer has to be able to pay, hire, fire, supervise and control the H-1B worker's employment.

Federal immigration court backlog reaches record high

The United States saw a massive surge in undocumented immigrants from Central America last summer. This has contributed to the backlog in federal immigration courts being even worse. In fact, it is currently at a record high, with over 445,000 cases pending. This figure represents an increase of almost 30 percent from Oct. 1, 2013.

Part of the reason why courts are so backed up is due to over 68,500 unaccompanied Central American children who entered the United States through Mexico. However, these cases received priority, and cases of undocumented minors sped through the system during the immigration surge.

What is family-based immigration?

Bringing family members into the United States from other countries means that you will have to go through the family immigration process. Family immigration is used to bring immediate family members into the country with a green card. In some cases, even family members who aren't classified as immediate family members can be eligible for family-based immigration.

Which relatives are eligible for family-based immigration?

Visa for athletes participating in a competition

Foreign athletes who would like to come to Florida to participate in a sports competition may qualify for a P-1A Internationally Recognized Athlete visa. This visa may be issued to an athlete who is coming into the U.S. to compete individually or as part of a team. In order to qualify for a P-1A visa, the applicant must be internationally recognized for their athletic achievements, and the competition they are planning to participate in must be distinguished.

The process of securing a P-1A visa begins when the athlete's U.S. employer files a Form I-129, Petition for Non-Immigrant Worker. The petitioner may be an agent for multiple employers as long as they are authorized to act as this type of agent. Along with the petition, the petitioner must include supporting documents that prove that the athlete has a contract to participate in a major U.S. sports event.

Our legals services could help individuals seek employment visas

For those who are interested in immigrating to Florida or who want to work in the U.S., there are a number of legal issues that must be addressed. It is important for those who are interested in legal immigration or in work visas and those who want to start a business in Florida to have the help of an immigration attorney. Our firm may be able to help you understand the complex laws associated with moving to the U.S.

There are a wide range of legal options available to those who want to live and work in Florida. For example, E-1 treaty visas, H-1B professional visas and EB-5 investor visas are all available for individuals who are seeking entry into the U.S. L-1 visas also allow for transfers of workers from a foreign branch of a company to the U.S. Blanket L-1 visas that allow companies to bring over a large group of workers without filing an individual application for each person.

Current work-based visa program may limit economic growth

Individuals who are planning to immigrate to Florida on an employment-based visa may be interested to learn that the U.S. has received approximately 233,000 H-1B applications for the 2016 fiscal year. These applicants will compete for the Congress-mandated maximum of 85,000 work visas offered annually.

According to estimates from Compete America, the current caps limit economic growth and result in a loss of about 500,000 jobs in the U.S. every year. The advocacy group, which represents a number of tech companies, such as Amazon and Microsoft, has lobbied for an increase in the cap. However, one source suggests that reform is unlikely in the current political climate, and a number of labor organizations suggest that a cap increase would limit wage growth in the sector.

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