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US Immigration Update - 08 August, 2012

by Dominic 08/08/2012 10:59:00
New US visa category for foreign job makers proposed

A bipartisan bill in the US House of Representatives has been proposed which would allow foreign entrepreneurs capable of creating jobs for American citizens to obtain a US visa has gained widespread support...read more.

Obama’s US immigration directive outlined

Further details to President Obama's US immigration order have been outlined for the first time, explaining how as many as 1.4 million people can avoid deportation...read more.

US visa ban for foreign students attending unaccredited universities

The House of Representatives has passed a bill which would prevent foreign students from attending unaccredited universities...read more.




New US visa category for foreign job makers proposed

The bill proposes granting
immigrants who are capable
of creating jobs for citizens.
 

A bipartisan bill in the US House of Representatives has been proposed which would allow foreign entrepreneurs capable of creating jobs for American citizens to obtain a US visa has gained widespread support.

Democratic Representative John Conyers of Michigan and Republican Representative Jason Chaffetz of Utah have proposed amending the Immigration and Nationality Act to grant a US visa to more people who can help the struggling economy.

Under current legislation, foreign citizens can obtain work visas for themselves and their families but don't place any emphasis on job creation, says Mr Conyers.

"Our immigration system provides green cards to those who fill jobs in the American economy, but not to those who create jobs. This makes no sense," he said.

"The lack of a path to permanent residency deters many entrepreneurs from helping revitalise our economy and lower unemployment.

"The bill would address the concern by making existing employment-based green cards available to those who establish a new business and create and sustain jobs for American workers."

The American Investment and Job Creation Act of 2012 (HR 6210) has already won support from several reputable and influential bodies including the US Chamber of Commerce and the National Venture Capital Association but will need support from the Senate to become law. 

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Obama’s US immigration directive outlined

The president's directive has
proved exceptionally divisive.
 

Further details to President Obama's US immigration order have been outlined for the first time, explaining how as many as 1.4 million people can avoid deportation.

There are an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the US and how to deal with them has been almost as big an issue as how to stop them entering for decades. With so many people living in fear of deportation, President Obama used his executive powers to bypass the government and put a stop to the deportation of illegal immigrants who were brought to the US as children.

The move ignited an immediate political uproar; in an election year, bold political statements are common, moves are not and the president's move is seen as exceedingly risky, one which could cost him the election, or win it.

While the political ramifications remain to be seen, the actual ramifications were felt immediately. With only basic criteria outlined - applicants have to be under 30, brought to the US before they were 16, have no criminal record and have served in the military or graduated high school - and no definite date for applications, the potential for exploitation was rife.

Reports immediately began to flow in of unscrupulous US immigration agents and advisers reportedly offering to 'fast-track' applications for as much as $4,000 (£2,500). As all of the directive's target are technically illegal, few are willing to go to the authorities to report such scams, or even for assistance, through fear of deportation.

However, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have outlined the full requirements for the first time.

  • Applications will begin being accepted on 15 August
  • The cost of an application will be $465 (£298)
  • Evidence supporting an application will be required
  • Applications will be reviewed individually at one of four USCIS centres
  • Decisions will be received before Election Day (6 November)

Renowned civil rights activist and Democratic Representative Luis Gutierrez, who has been a vocal advocate of immigration reform, said the president's directive was a monumental achievement in the fight for equality among immigrant communities.

"You cannot overstate how important this moment will be in immigration communities and Latino neighbourhoods across the country."

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US visa ban for foreign students attending unaccredited universities

Only accredited universities
will be allowed to grant
foreign students visas.

The House of Representatives has passed a bill which would prevent foreign students from attending unaccredited universities.

The Student Visa Reform Act comes in the wake of charges against the dean of a Californian university over allegations of several cases of visa fraud. Jerry Wang, CEO of Herguan University was charged with 15 counts of visa fraud including forging documents and allowing scores of foreign students to remain in the country without a valid US visa.

In order to combat similar crimes, the bill passed by the House of Representatives prevents all postsecondary educational institutions from enrolling more than 25 students on non-immigrant visas if they are not accredited by an organisation approved by the Department of Education.

"The accreditation requirements instituted by this bill will prevent illegitimate institutions from cheating foreign students who legitimately seek a bona fide education in the United States," said Democratic Representative Zoe Lofgren, the bill's sponsor.

"In addition, this requirement will prevent fly-by-night [untrustworthy] institutions from engaging in student visa fraud to smuggle or traffic persons into the country."

The bill will now be presented to the Senate for further review. 

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- Dominic Ladden-Powell is the Online Editor for the American Visa Bureau.

Visa Bureau takes no responsibility and cannot be held accountable for action taken as a result of any information or comment provided on this blog, and we recommend that you always seek a number of opinions before making a decision regarding your migration or visa application. Please refer to the Visa Bureau terms of use for more information.

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