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San Antonio Immigration Law Blog

The H-2B visa program explained

A successful business creates valuable benefits to the company, its workers and the community it serves. But in the busy season, there are industries across the country that just can't find enough temporary American workers to meet their needs.

When that happens, the labor shortfall puts businesses and all of their employees at risk, according to the Economic Policy Institute. In those cases, there's a government program called H-2B that allows seasonal, non-agricultural workers from outside the U.S. to come in temporarily and fill the gap.

What are the classifications of "H" type visas?

If you are a prospective immigrant with your sights set on a working in the United States, what do you do next? Your first step is probably to look into options for work visas.

Today we will look at temporary work visas. We will examine the popular category of "H" visas and the situations to which they apply. 

Can filing for unemployment affect my green card?

When the effects of the coronavirus pandemic hit, millions of people suddenly found themselves without jobs. While unemployment benefits are available for most, many immigrants wonder whether their status will be affected by applying.

NPR recently heard from several legal immigrant workers who have been working and paying taxes in the United States but fear that filing for unemployment could put their cases in jeopardy. Some of them were waiting for their first green card, while others were close to being citizens or having their residencies extended.

SCOTUS case sheds light on sad truth about some immigration consultants

Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court published an opinion on an interesting criminal case against a former business owner who provided immigration consulting services. This case offers some important lessons to immigrants when selecting a professional to help them with immigration-related applications.

The case involves Evelyn Sineneng-Smith, a former immigration consultant based in San Jose, California. Ms. Sineneng-Smith was sentenced to 18 months in prison and forced to pay $15,000 in fines after being found guilty of fraudulent activities surrounding immigration applications.

Compliance is complicated when the same rules apply to same-sex

You probably rank marrying your partner as one of your life’s most meaningful events, and getting a visa could hit the same highs. U.S. law makes it possible to have both, but an even playing field on paper doesn’t always translate to real life.

The U.S. sees same-sex marriage as a protected right. That includes when one of the tens of thousands of binational same-sex couples applies for a marriage visa. But laws drafted with opposite-sex marriage in mind can lead to difficulties for same-sex petitioners.

Why you won’t receive a stimulus check if you married an immigrant

The CARES Act went into effect in March of this year. The aim of this act has been to provide financial relief to those affected by the coronavirus – from businesses to individuals. Under the act, each taxpayer with a Social Security Number (SSN) who earns less than $75,000 annually will receive a $1,200 stimulus check tax-free.

However, this benefit is not as cut and dried as it first seems. If you are married, and you filed your taxes jointly with your spouse last time, then you both have to have SSNs in order to receive the relief payment. This means that if you are an American citizen who’s married to a legal, tax-paying permanent resident – who is not a citizen and therefore does not have an SSN – then you get nothing.

U.S. immigration law: Automatic acquired citizenship

Perhaps you are one of many U.S. citizens in Texas who recently gave birth to a child while living abroad. While you may have been in another country throughout your pregnancy or only just arrived a couple weeks or months before you went into labor, you may have felt a bit nervous and anxious to be so far away from home during labor and delivery.

You may have been in contact with your regular doctor and medical team in the United States. You hopefully had a loved one or, at least, a trusted friend with you to provide support as you navigated new surroundings and medical systems. An important U.S. immigration law issue you might not have considered when giving birth to a baby overseas is citizenship.

Lawsuit filed to halt Trump immigration order

Several pro-immigration groups have asked a federal judge for a temporary restraining order on President Trump's April 22 proclamation that seeks to prevent American citizens from sponsoring family members for immigration.

The lawsuit was filed to stop potential harm to families, especially those with children who could fail to meet age requirements included in the immigration process, effectively aging them out of the system.

The new approach to investment visas focuses on quality and quantity

Last year’s policy changes for investment visas aimed for better submissions by raising the effort and money you need to commit. Now, the U.S. government is looking to repay you by reducing the other big cost – time.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) continues to change its approach to EB-5 visas. The previous improvements didn’t help the slow application process, but a new way of handling petitions could put you ahead of those who might be stuck waiting for years.

Trump administration sued for denying stimulus checks

The Trump administration is targeted in a lawsuit saying the CARES Act discriminates against more than 1 million Americans by denying $1,200 stimulus payments to those married to immigrants without Social Security numbers.

The lawsuit was filed on April 24 by an Illinois man, known only as John Doe, who claims to represent other families affected by the same restrictions under the stimulus package. The plaintiff says the rules discriminate against him and others because of the people they chose to marry.

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