Steffanie Lewis's blog

Employment Authorization Extension for Syrian Citizens with a F-1 Nonimmigrant Student Status

F-1 nonimmigrant students whose country of citizenship is Syria and who are experiencing severe economic hardship as a direct result of the civil unrest in Syria since March 2011, have been granted temporary relief by The Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  As of January 5, 2015 through September 30, 2016, an extension of an earlier suspension of the applicability of certain requirements governing on-campus and off-campus employment for F-1 nonimmigrant students has been granted.

TPS Extension and Redesignation of the Syrian Arab Republic

A recent notice by The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announces that the Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary) is extending the designation of the Syrian Arab Republic for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months.  The extension allows currently eligible beneficiaries to retain TPS from April 1, 2015, through September 30, 2016.  Additionally, Syria has received a redesignation TPS for 18 months, effective April 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016. 

5 New Countries Designated to have Eligible Nationals Participate in the H-2A and H-2B Nonimmigrant Worker programs

Five new countries are eligible to participate in the H–2A and H–2B Nonimmigrant Worker programs for the first time.  The newly designated countries include the Czech Republic, Denmark, Madagascar, Portugal, and Sweden.   This determination is effective January 18, 2015.  Additionally, 63 countries previously designated in the January 17, 2014 notice continue to be eligible.

EB-5 Q&A: Which banks have flexible early release terms when the offering contains non-escrow investor protections for possible I-526 denial?

Question Detail: Our project involves a two-stage, well-defined early release from escrow, with all early released funds guaranteed by a highly credit-worthy affiliate of the project. We have been told that some EB-5 escrow agents/service providers may be unwilling to waive their underwriting criteria around early release, even if we satisfy the underlying risk through the guarantee. What escrow companies or banks do you have experience with that are flexible with early release when the offering contains non-escrow investor protections for the possibility of I-526 denial?

EB-5 Q&A: How can I ensure that the business I invest in will securely handle my EB-5 investment?

Question Detail: I am interested in participating in the EB-5 program, and I understand that my investment needs to be “at risk,” but I am concerned about the security of my investment. How can I ensure that the business in which I invest will securely and legally handle my EB-5 investment?

EB-5 Q&A: Does Los Angeles qualify for the $500,000 minimum investment requirement?

Question Detail: I have a client who wants to buy an existing business, a grocery market with liquor store, in Los Angeles, California. Does Los Angeles qualify for the $500,000 minimum EB-5 investment requirement? Will the immigrant investor need to create ten new jobs for the grocery market, or simply maintain existing jobs?