ABC News has recently reported a story on a foreign national entrepreneur who has invested $1.5 million in the US, has created at least nine jobs for US workers, and is highly likely to create many more over the coming years. Seehttp://abcnews.go.com/Business/Economy/visa-problem-prevents-entrepreneur-creating-american-jobs/story?id=14857757. Great story, right, of the ingenuity of the American immigrant and following the American Dream? Think again. This gentleman’s immigration petition to renew his status has been denied by USCIS, leaving him little option but to consider relocating his lucrative and job-creating operations outside the US.
What Does This Tell Us?
First, the story doesn’t say what type of immigration benefit the business-owner sought. It could have been an L-1A, an EB-5, an EB-1 I-140 petition. And we don’t know what type of documentation was submitted, if there was a request for evidence, if it was responded to properly. We can only assume so.
But assuming that the case was fully and properly documented, it tells us that the way immigration officers are adjudicating the current immigration law and regulations is always not pro-economy and job growth. This is aside from the need for comprehensive immigration reform to address the shortage of green cards for skilled workers, and the need for lower or non-skilled workers to do the jobs that Americans seemingly do not want. In fact, the current immigration laws and regulations do allow for foreign nationals to enter the US and create jobs- and profit-generating businesses, either when they first arrive, or once they have the opportunity to obtain permanent residence down the road. It means that the law is not necessarily the problem, though that could use some adjustments as well, but it’s the way the law is being applied.
Individual adjudicators are making decisions on the thousands of cases submitted to USCIS (the Immigration Service) every day. Those adjudicators themselves have discretion in whether they approve or deny a case, and they are trained by supervisors who may have their own policies or processes for adjudicating cases, and may receive direction from their superiors on unwritten policies and procedures.
With so much discretion and unwritten policy guiding how cases are decided with USCIS, selecting your immigration attorney is tremendously important. It’s a critical decision that you alone can make, but here are some points you may want to consider:
- How much experience does the attorney have with this particular type of case?
- How much time will the attorney spending talking to you to determine what your short-term and long-term goals are, and learning about how you want to accomplish your goals?
- How much time and care will the attorney put into creating the package to be submitted to USCIS? Will he or she spend adequate time creating a fully documented package that will reduce the chances of a request for evidence or denial?
- How much time does the attorney spend reading about the up-to-the-minute adjudication trends and issues? Does he or she regularly review USCIS liaison minutes, communicate with other attorneys who have recently filed the same or similar types of cases, read memos and other documents from USCIS, and attend seminars and conferences on the most recent trends?
Remember, every case is different, and no attorney can guarantee that he or she will have your case approved. Even a well-prepared and well-documented case can be erroneously denied by USCIS. However, carefully selecting an experienced and conscientious attorney may save you time and money in the end, and help you reach your goals all the faster.