Immigration was a major issue for much of 2015. Despite the negative press, the news was not all bad for immigrants. Last week we covered some of the top developments of 2015 from January to June. Here are the top ones for the rest of the year:
California moves to allow undocumented immigrants to purchase Obamacare insurance.
New guidance regarding H1-B visas allows spouses of H-1B workers to apply for work authorization for themselves. This means H1-B employees do not have to be the sole support of their families and eases their financial burden.
The Department of Homeland Security announces Temporary Protective Status (TPS) classification for Yemen for 18 months due to the ongoing armed conflict within the country.
The Department of State releases new visa bulletins to help those applying for adjustment of status know when their visa will become available. The new rules implement the White House’s initiatives to modernize and streamline the immigration process.
The hotly debated EB-5 program gets a temporary extension. The EB-5 program enables foreigners to obtain legal permanent residency in the US through investment in a new commercial enterprise. Although the program brings almost $2 billion into the US annually, it has been subject to ongoing criticism. We expect the issue to be taken up again in December or January.
USCIS launches its electronic immigration system allowing immigrants to file certain documents online, such as applications for green card renewals and replacements.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit says mandatory detention of undocumented immigrants who commit certain crimes is allowed, but it cannot be indefinite. They have a right to a bail hearing.
On December 8th, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passes a bill imposing new visa waiver restrictions on those traveling to the U.S.
Immigration will continue to be a big issue for next year and we expect new challenges as well as positive changes. We will continue to keep you up-to-date on the latest developments and help you understand what it means to you.
If you have an immigration question, please contact us for assistance.