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USCIS Public Charge Inadmissibility Final Rule: Revised Forms and Updated Policy Manual Guidance


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2/5/2020

Public Charge Inadmissibility Final Rule: Revised Forms and Updated Policy Manual Guidance

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has published revised forms consistent with the final rule on the public charge ground of inadmissibility, which the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, including USCIS, will implement on Feb. 24, 2020. Beginning Feb. 24, 2020, applicants and petitioners must use new editions of the following forms below (except in Illinois, where the rule remains enjoined by a federal court): 

In addition, except in Illinois, applicants for adjustment of status subject to the public charge ground of inadmissibility and the Final Rule will be required to submit Form I-944, Declaration of Self Sufficiency. Certain applicants whom USCIS invites to submit a public charge bond will use the new Form I-945, Public Charge Bond, for that purpose, and the new Form I-356, Request for Cancellation of Public Charge Bond, to request cancellation of a public charge bond.

Certain classes of aliens (such as refugees, asylees, petitioners under the federal Violence Against Women Act, and certain T and U visa applicants) are exempt from the public charge ground of inadmissibility and therefore are not subject to theInadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds final rule. For more information about the classes of aliens who are exempt from the final rule, please see the USCIS Policy Manual.

Reporting Information About Benefits

The final rule requires aliens to report certain information related to public benefits. Instructions for Form I-944 require aliens subject to the public charge ground of inadmissibility to report and submit information about whether the alien applied for, was certified or approved to receive, or received certain non-cash public benefits on or after Oct. 15, 2019.

Instructions for Forms I-129, I-129CW, and I-539 require the petitioner or alien to report whether the alien received public benefits since obtaining the nonimmigrant status the alien seeks to extend or change.

Due to litigation-related delays in the rule’s implementation, USCIS is applying all references to Oct. 15, 2019, as though they refer to Feb. 24, 2020. Petitioners and applicants should do the same. In other words, aliens do not need to report the application, certification or approval to receive, or receipt of certain non-cash public benefits on the Form I-944 before Feb. 24, 2020. Similarly, petitioners and aliens do not need to report an alien’s receipt of any public benefits on Forms I-129, I-129CW, and I-539 if the benefits were received before Feb. 24, 2020.

Postmarks and Submission Dates for Forms

USCIS will accept the current edition of these forms if they are postmarked (or submitted electronically, if applicable) before Feb. 24, 2020. We will not accept them if they are postmarked on or after Feb. 24, 2020, except in Illinois. For applications and petitions that are sent by commercial courier (such as UPS, FedEx or DHL), the postmark date is the date reflected on the courier receipt.

Illinois Residents

​​USCIS is prohibited from implementing the final rule in Illinois, where it remains enjoined by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. If the injunction in Illinois is lifted, USCIS will provide additional public guidance. If you are applying for immigration benefits and live in Illinois, or are a petitioning employer in Illinois, please review the information on our website about how Illinois residents may access forms and apply in light of the injunction.

Further Information

USCIS has also published guidance based on the final rule in the Policy Manual. For additional information, see the Policy Alert (PDF, 336 KB).

For more information about the final rule, see the Final Rule on Public Charge Ground of Inadmissibility webpage. 







01/31/2020

USCIS Announces Public Charge Rule Implementation Following Supreme Court Stay of Nationwide Injunctions

Release Date: Jan. 30, 2020


WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will implement the Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds final rule (“Final Rule”) on Feb. 24, 2020, except for in the State of Illinois where the rule remains enjoined by a federal court as of Jan. 30, 2020. Under the Final Rule, USCIS will look at the factors required under the law by Congress, like an alien’s age, health, income, education and skills, among others, in order to determine whether the alien is likely at any time to become a public charge.

The Final Rule, issued in August and originally scheduled to be effective in October, prescribes how DHS would determine whether an alien is inadmissible to the United States based on the alien’s likelihood of becoming a public charge at any time in the future, as set forth in the Immigration and Nationality Act. The Final Rule also addresses USCIS’ authority to issue public charge bonds in the context of applications for adjustment of status. Finally, the Final Rule includes a requirement that aliens seeking an extension or stay of change of status demonstrate that they have not received public benefits over the designated threshold since obtaining the nonimmigrant status they seek to extend or change.

“Self-sufficiency is a core American value and has been part of immigration law for centuries. President Trump has called for long-standing immigration law to be enforced, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is delivering on this promise to the American people,” said Ken Cuccinelli, the Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Deputy Secretary for DHS. “By requiring those seeking to come or stay in the United States to rely on their own resources, families and communities, we will encourage self-sufficiency, promote immigrant success and protect American taxpayers.”

Except for in the State of Illinois, USCIS will only apply the Final Rule to applications and petitions postmarked (or submitted electronically) on or after Feb. 24, 2020. For applications and petitions that are sent by commercial courier (e.g., UPS/FedEx/DHL), the postmark date is the date reflected on the courier receipt.  The Final Rule prohibits DHS from considering an alien’s application for, certification or approval to receive, or receipt of certain non-cash public benefits before Oct. 15, 2019, when deciding whether the alien is likely at any time to become a public charge. In light of the duration of the recently-lifted nationwide injunctions and to promote clarity and fairness to the public, DHS will now treat this prohibition as applying to such public benefits received before Feb. 24, 2020. Similarly, the Final Rule prohibits DHS from considering the receipt of public benefits by applicants for extension of stay and change of status before Oct. 15, 2019 when determining whether the public benefits condition applies, and DHS will now treat this prohibition as applying to public benefits received on or after Feb. 24, 2020.

USCIS will post updated forms, submission instructions, and Policy Manual guidance on the USCIS website during the week of Feb. 3, 2020, to give applicants, petitioners, and others ample time to review updated procedures and adjust filing methods. After Feb. 24, 2020, everywhere except in the State of Illinois, USCIS will reject prior editions of forms if the form is postmarked on or after Feb. 24, 2020. If USCIS receives an application or petition for benefits using incorrect editions of the forms, USCIS will inform the applicant or petitioner of the need to submit a new application or petition using the correct forms.

USCIS will continue to release information through its website in the weeks leading to the rule’s implementation date, including in the event that the injunction in Illinois is lifted. This will include an update to the USCIS Policy Manual.

In the coming weeks, the agency is planning to hold a public engagement for immigration attorneys, industry representatives, and other relevant groups to discuss the final rule.

DHS remains enjoined from implementing the Final Rule in the State of Illinois. Should the injunction in Illinois be lifted, USCIS will provide additional public guidance.

For more information on USCIS and its programs, please visit uscis.gov or follow us on Twitter (@uscis), Instagram (/uscis), YouTube (/uscis), Facebook (/uscis), and LinkedIn (/uscis).







01/11/2020

全美首例!得州州长宣布拒绝安置新难民


       美国德州州长艾波特(Greg Abbott)宣佈,将不再安置新难民,成全美首例。

  艾波特10日致函美国务卿庞培欧表示,德州和其非营利组织应该专注于‘已经在这里的人,包括难民、移民和街友---全部的德州人’。

  他表示,‘德州被国会留下来处理因爲联邦移民体系崩坏所造成的不成比例的难民议题’。他还补充说,德州做的已经‘超过分配比例’。

  根据联合国难民署,德州安置移民的表现一直领先,2018年会计年度间,收容的难民比其他州都要多。德州的数个大城都有庞大的难民人口。

  但共和党籍州长曾经试图阻挡难民,在2015年11月巴黎发生致命恐攻事件后声称,德州不欢迎来自叙利亚的人,但当时前总统奥巴马的政府持续将难民送到德州和其他由共和党籍州长主政的州,不顾他们反对。

  美国总统川普去年11月宣佈,2020年6月过后,主管机关决定安置地点前,必须先取得各州和地方官员的书面同意。川普也大砍截至9月底止2020会计年度允许入境的难民人数,减至史上最低的1.8万。美国前一会计年度安置大约3万名难民。







11/14/2019

川普政府新規 政庇者非法入境 拒發工作許可

(World Journal) 編譯郭宣含


圖為有意申請庇護者在美墨邊境排隊等候。(美聯社)


川普政府13日對非法入境的尋求庇護者提出新規定,拒絕多數人申請工作許可。圖為美墨邊境的移民官員檢查有意申請庇護者的證件。(美聯社)

川普政府13日提出一項規定,若尋求庇護者非法入境美國,則會禁止其中多數人申請工作許可,除非無證移民有非法入境的「好理由」,那麼移民局官員則可依個案酌情允許特例。

除此之外,若無證移民缺席移民相關會面,或者被控以任何聯邦或州的重罪和其他罪刑,此提案也允許移民局拒絕這些無證移民的庇護申請或工作許可申請。

移民律師和前移民法官預計會反對此計畫,他們曾表示文書錯誤和遺漏是美國移民體制中常見的情況。

川普政府最近幾周提出許多規定提案,使取得庇護的流程更加嚴格。根據負責庇護申請的美國公民及移民服務局(USCIS),這項最新計畫旨在阻止無證移民藉由申請庇護在美國合法工作。

USCIS局長古辛納利(Ken Cuccinelli)在聲明中表示:「非法移民為了經濟機會操弄我國庇護體制,此舉損害我國健全的移民體制,也延緩需要人道保護的合法申請庇護者獲得救濟。」

他指出:「這些改革提案旨在恢復庇護體制的完整性,並且降低為了取得工作許可而申請庇護的動機。」

川普政府上周提案擬針對特定庇護申請加收50元,這是美國首次為這類申請收費。當局9月也提出將尋求庇護者工作許可申請的30天處理時限取消,此舉恐延長庇護申請流程。

根據現行規定,尋求庇護者申請保護的當天起,必須等待180天才會收到工作許可;13日的提案呼籲將等待時間延長至365天。聯邦公報14日公布這項提案後有60天的公眾評論期。






8/11/2019

‘All’ immigration ‘cheaters’ to face prosecution. Marriage, fraud lawyers targeted

By Paul Bedard

The agency in charge of granting citizenship and visas to immigrants is tired of getting duped by scammers and fraud lawyers and its new boss plans to fight back.

Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, told Secrets that one of his top priorities will be to sniff out fraud among those trying to win citizenship, and take them to court.

“Anybody who lies to us about anything shouldn’t get whatever it is that they are asking for. And to me that’s pretty commonsensical,” he said.

Besides preserving citizenship for those who deserve or earn it, Cuccinelli said that the army of investigators and other officials at USCIS must be respected and not constantly lied to.

“We are taking steps to address all of these things ... I think to the great enthusiasm to the people here in the agency,” he said, adding, “I think we are going to put ourselves in a position to prosecute virtually all of these. And that’s very unique .”


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Officials said that some of those seeking visas and citizenship, and even lawyers representing them, have engaged in rampant fraud.

One typical example is marriage fraud.

“Marriage fraud ... is a high-level frustration, one for our folks who respect their own work. And when they see cheaters they want that dealt with. And it doesn’t respect their work and their effort and their commitment to making these legal processes legitimate if you just let the cheaters go,” said Cuccinelli.

“The reason marriage fraud is so important is because it is associated with citizenship, which is the most valuable thing that we offer here. Everything that we offer here is a privilege, not a right. No non-American has a right to anything that comes through USCIS,” he added.

And in several cases, lawyers for immigrants lie about their clients to get visas — and sometimes the immigrants don’t know their lawyer is committing fraud.

Just last month, for example, a Brooklyn man was charged with submitting over 1,800 fraudulent immigration applications on behalf of 1,000 migrants. In them, he claimed that the women were abuse victims and should get a green card to remain in the United States. But the Justice Department determined that the women were not abused, and never claimed to be.



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The new efforts to stop fraud are part of a broader administration campaign to limit illegal immigration and close loopholes in the system.

Among groups advocating for tighter laws, Cuccinelli’s effort is winning raves.

"Previous administrations have tolerated far too much fraud in our immigration system, instead emphasizing swift approvals. This is unfair to the legitimate applicants, and presents a security risk,” said Jessica M. Vaughan, the director of policy studies for the Center for Immigration Studies.

“His commitment to imposing more consequences on people who commit fraud will be a big help in reducing it, and that will help unclog the system for everyone,” she added.

Cuccinelli was blunt in his approach to going after fraudulent claims for citizenship, visas, and green cards.

“We want to get to the point of going after every single one of them. And I hope that relatively soon we will be doing that,” he said.

“The burden is on immigrants coming to us to justify whatever they want from us,” he said.






3/01/2019

70万美金办绿卡打水漂 移民局问了两句就露馅

近年来,不少富裕的中国人选择EB-5投资移民项目,不过随着市场上越来越多项目的加入,已经鱼龙混珠。

很多投资者等了数年,到头来绿卡没拿到,还损失了不少财力。

另走捷径,竹篮打水

H先生(化名)一家来自中国,四年多前开始办理EB-5。

但之后他听说投资移民等待排期超过十年之久,于是H先生就想找个快捷的方法。

这时,A中介(化名)上场了。

A仲介提议H先生尝试在美国加盟连锁餐饮店,从而可获取跨国高级主管的L1签证。

而且中介一再强调L1签证申请排期是比EB-5快不少的EB-1C移民绿卡。

H先生心动,就欣然接纳建议。

并在A仲介的协助下,依序签了合约加盟两家连锁餐饮店,签约后H先生以为已持有两家加盟店各51%股份,可在三年内取得绿卡。



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(图为示意图)

不料申请绿卡时,移民局多次反问?

如何证明自己的是高级主管?

最终移民局拒绝了H先生的申请。

此时A仲介也联系不上。

H先生原是为了快速取得绿卡,到头来不仅是空欢喜一场,还损失70万美元。

快餐店加盟算不算跨国高级主管?

律师表示该美国连锁餐饮店根本不允许非美国公民加盟,且H先生也未获得总公司的加盟批准,不占有该店任何股份。

移民局没有办法证明H先生是加盟店的高级管理人员,加盟店的规模大小与否、是否分别有低中高三端的服务等,都是批准EB-1C移民绿卡的关键。


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他强调,本来若不是公司高级主管,却想用跨国高级主管的方式办理绿卡,所付出的代价其实是远超过EB-5投资移民。

例如:若加盟五家美国连锁餐饮店,假设每家20多万美元,就得砸百万元以上的资金, 光是支付中央管理的白领阶级员工也都不便宜。

投资移民还合算吗?

近几年投资移民排期超过十年之久,让许多投资者着急,期望找寻其他移民方法,以便快速获取绿卡。

所以才有了一些不法中介出的招数。往往这些中介看到的就是投资者着急的心态。

事实上移民美国不外乎是靠两种方式:亲属移民与投资╱职业移民,其中投资╱职业移民分为五大类,并按照顺序排期。


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投资╱职业移民第一顺位是国际杰出人才、国际跨国经理;

第二类是研究╱博士生职业移民;

第三类是学士职业移民;

第四类是宗教移民;

第五类是许多投资客依靠的投资移民。

如今许多中国投资客办理EB-5,都得等上十几年才取得绿卡,若是人在美国,取得绿卡后可在境内就地转换身分。

假设人在中国,想在中领馆拿移民签证,还得等上额外一至两年,因此许多来自中国大陆的投资客,都在寻找其他更加快速的管道,取得合法移民美国身分。

“不想透过投资移民的民众,除了透过亲属外,也只能选择投资╱职业移民的其他四大类等待排期,而排期最快速的国际杰出人才,或跨国高级管理人员标准高,并非一般人能取得”。

如果现在希望来美申请绿卡,相对稳妥的方法最好先取得F-1学生签证在美读书,在当地找寻最适合自己的方式,且在了解移民过程可能经历的过程再尝试,没有其他方法了。

另外针对来自台湾的投资者,还有一项非移民类别的E2投资签证,俗称“小绿卡”。基本上只要花钱在美国投资生意,只要生意在,投资人可一直待在美国,只是坏处是无法申请绿卡。







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Quiros to Pay $84 Million for EB-5 Investment Fraud

Monday, February 5, 2018

On February 2, 2018, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced an $84 million settlement ($81.4 million in disgorgement, $2.5 million in prejudgment interest, and a $1 million civil penalty) with Jay Peak ski resort owner Ariel Quiros. The SEC brought charges against Quiros in early 2016 after discovering his nearly decade-long scheme perpetrated through the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program (EB-5 Program). The EB-5 Program offers foreign investors the chance to earn permanent residence in the U.S. if they make an investment of $1 million or $500,000 in U.S. project that creates or preserves at least 10 jobs.

Quiros and William Stenger, the president and CEO of Jay Peak (who has already agreed to cooperate with the SEC), used the EB-5 program to raise more than $350 million from 700 foreign investors for the construction of Jay Peak ski resort in Vermont. Unfortunately for the investors, a majority of their money was never used to construct the ski resort or create jobs. According to the SEC’s complaint, Quiros and Stenger misused more than $150 million of the foreign investors’ money in a “Ponzi-like fashion” to cover losses in unrelated projects. In addition, Quiros used more than $50 million of the investors’ money as his own personal piggy bank, which included the purchase of a luxury condominium, payment of his income taxes, and the acquisition of an unrelated resort.



This $84 million settlement represents only one of the many lawsuits initiated as a result of the fraudulent EB-5 project. In another suit, Jay Peak’s EB-5 investors filed a class-action lawsuit against Raymond James, which held the investors’ funds, and its former branch manager, Joel Burstein, for facilitating the scheme. According to court documents, Raymond James and Burstein aided and abetted the fraud by, among other things, providing millions of dollars in loans to Quiros that were collateralized with the EB-5 investors’ funds, even though they knew that the funds belonged to the investors. In April 2017, Raymond James agreed to a record-setting EB-5 settlement of $150 million with the investors. Citibank also agreed to a $13.3 million settlement for extending a $15 million personal line of credit to Quiros, which was also secured by using investors’ funds as collateral.

In total, the fraudulent EB-5 project and the subsequent litigation lasted more than a decade. In recent years, the SEC has utilized whistleblowers to detect and halt ongoing EB-5 investment fraud well before it grows to Jay Peak’s magnitude. In exchange for information about EB-5 fraud (or any other securities law violation), the SEC offers monetary awards to whistleblowers under its SEC Whistleblower-Reward Program. The SEC has already issued a $14.7 million SEC whistleblower award to a whistleblower who reported EB-5 investment fraud (see details below).













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