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US Immigration Law Archives

Expedited processing for H-1B visas suspended

Arizona business owners may be interested to learn that, starting April 3, expedited processing for H-1B visas were scheduled to be suspended. These particular visas are used by U.S. companies to sponsor foreign talent and allow them to stay in the country for up to six years.

Resistance to Trump's immigration policy emerges

Many Arizona residents could be affected by President Trump's February 2017 order concerning immigration. Immigration and Customs Enforcement quickly arrested 680 alien residents residing in the nation without legal permanent resident status. Many arrested were student visa or family visa holders who had allowed their visas to expire. Senators Cortez Masto and Tammy Duckworth have come to the forefront of congressional and legislative opposition to Trump's order. Purportedly acting to protect immigrant rights, these senators have proposed legislation to immediately repeal Trump's order on illegal immigration.

Proposed immigration bill would cut legal immigration

Many Arizona residents are no doubt aware that President Donald Trump has been focused on reducing illegal immigration. Now, two Republican senators are proposing a law that would reduce the number of immigrants who enter the country legally. They believe that the proposed bill would bring the number of green cards that are issued each year down from about 1 million to 600,000.

Fast-changing immigration rules could further clog courts

People who need to go through immigration courts in Arizona and around the country may find their cases delayed even longer. Immigrants already wait approximately two years for their case to be heard. With new regulations from the Trump administration, the system could be even more overloaded.

Employer planning for H-1B visa needs

Arizona employers considering hiring individuals from other countries might do so by helping those future workers to seek H-1B visas. However, it is important to recognize that an application for this program does not guarantee that a worker will be approved. Because of the lottery system used to award these visas, it is important to apply promptly for consideration. In 2017, the earliest date for filing an H-1B petition will be April 3.

Foreign spousal immigration

Bringing a foreign spouse into the United States is currently a lengthy process for Arizona residents. Some observers would like to see the Trump administration expedite the process. Under one proposal, permanent citizenship status would still follow the regulations, but a faster process could be followed for allowing spouses to reunite quickly with a visitor's visa.

Supreme Court rules indefinite detention for some immigrants

By mid-2017, the Supreme Court is expected to decide on a case involving the indefinite detention of immigrants in Arizona and throughout the country. There are two sets of people who are in this situation. Some have been residing in the country for a long time and have been detained for what are often minor crimes such as drug possession. Others are seeking asylum. The long-term residents prevail in about 40 percent of cases while the asylum seekers are permitted to remain about 70 percent of the time.

Expedited naturalization for military service members

Lawful permanent residents in Arizona who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces could be eligible to receive expedited naturalization. An executive order that was signed by President Bush on July 3, 2002, granted all noncitizen military service members the right to immediately file for citizenship if they have served honorably on or after Sept. 11, 2001.

The changing face of immigration

While many immigrants in Arizona are from Central America and Mexico, according to the Department of Homeland Security, immigrants are crossing the Mexican border from other countries as well. While the majority of them are from Central America, officials say that a growing number are from India and China. From October 2015 through August 2016, officials took more than 8,000 people into custody from those countries and Nepal, Bangladesh and Romania.

Immigration fees will increase on Dec. 23

Immigrants applicants in Arizona as well as some employers will soon have to pay more to file immigration petitions. Beginning on Dec. 23, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will be implementing a new adjustment of fees. Immigration fees have not been overhauled since 2010, and USCIS said that it ignored recommendations to raise them in 2012 and 2014.

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