Articles Posted in H-1B and EB-5 Visas

Earlier this month, the Biden Administration and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced two new initiatives related to immigrants. One is tailored toward expediting the work visa process for college degree-holding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients (“DREAMers”) who graduated from U.S. colleges and universities. The other is designed to help undocumented spouses and children of U.S. citizens in their pursuit of legal status. The new initiatives are yet another reminder that the law regarding DREAMers is fluid and evolves frequently. As you pursue your work visa, it is wise to retain a knowledgeable Maryland immigration lawyer who is fully up-to-date on the latest changes related to DACA and the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act.

One initiative will purportedly expedite the process for DREAMers with college degrees from accredited U.S. colleges/universities and have qualifying job offers. To access the new policy, the offer must be: (1) from a U.S. employer and (2) be in a field related to the applicant’s university major. Additionally, the applicant must “otherwise qualify for the nonimmigrant visa they are applying for.”

If the applicant meets these criteria, he/she could be eligible for a Section 212(d)(3) waiver. Section 212(d)(3) allows federal immigration authorities, on a discretionary basis, to waive most grounds of inadmissibility. This part of the new initiative involves providing enhanced clarity regarding waiver eligibilities, processes, and procedures under Section 212(d)(3).

The paperwork and procedural requirements involved in pursuing a work visa are often intricate and detailed. Even technical errors may substantially reduce your odds of success… or derail you completely. To ensure that the application you put forward is free of the pitfalls that can harm or destroy your chances of a successful outcome, it pays to work with a Maryland work visa lawyer who is fully knowledgeable and experienced in these matters.

Last month, the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service revealed the number of H-1B visa registrations it received for Fiscal Year 2025. That number of registrations for FY 2025 represented a massive 39% drop from the agency’s total registrations for FY 2024.

Multiple possible reasons may explain the substantial dip. One fact worth noting is that the number of registrations for 2024 – 780,844 – was vastly higher than in any other recent year. Since 2021, the second highest number of registrations came in FY 2023, at 483,927. (2025’s registrations, numbering 479,953, were less than 1% fewer than those received in 2023.)

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The EB-5 immigrant visa program serves a very important purpose, granting legal status to investors and entrepreneurs whose contributions are vital to maintaining a healthy U.S. economy. The program imposes numerous and sometimes complicated requirements that demand the production of considerable evidence to secure a green card. Failure to meet all the various requirements may result in unnecessary delay or denial. A knowledgeable Maryland investor visa lawyer can help you ensure that your business plan is strong and that you have everything you need to secure your visa.

The program provides green cards to investors who infuse a set minimum amount into a job-creating commercial venture in the U.S. Today, that figure generally is $1 million. That number is only $500,000, however, if the commercial venture is placed in a targeted employment area (TEA.) The federal government defines “high unemployment” TEAs as areas where the unemployment rate is 1-1/2 times the national average or higher. Additionally, the program demands that the venture create at least 10 jobs. Those jobs don’t have to exist at the time of the investment but they must be created within 2 years.

In 2022, Congress passed the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022 (RIA), which amended the statutory sections that govern the EB-5 program. One of those changes added new statutory language requiring that EB-5 investments “be expected to remain invested for at least two years.” A new guidance document from the USCIS addressed an important question created by this modified statutory language: what’s the start date for this 2-year requirement?

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