Ep. 70 Proposed Parole for Entrepreneurs

Proposed Parole for Entrepreneur Rule the proposed rule RIN 1615-AC04 was published in the Federal Register and the comment period is currently open until October 17, 2016. Following the comment period, the Department of Homeland Security will review all of the comments and decide whether any changes to the rule are needed. The final rule will be submitted to the OMB again for review before the final rule can be published in the Federal Register.


Ep. 69 Tips When Applying for H-1B Visa

  • H1B nonimmigrant visa petition may be filed starting April 1st 2016.
  • LCA cannot be submitted earlier than six months and therefore you must put the starting date on the LCA before October 1st, 2016.
  • Regarding US degrees, one must submit proof by way of an official of the school: dean, registrar, etc.
  • There are regulations that extend the authorized stay of all F1 students under the Cap Gap exemption.
  • Be very clear with the attorney working on your case as to the kind of position that you’re applying.

Raw Transcript:

Jacob: Hello everybody, this is Jacob Sapochnick, your host of You Ask, We Answer, my immigration lawyer podcast. I’m excited to record this episode because we are now in January 2016 and just a few months away from the H1B filing season. And so I wanted to — in a series of podcast episodes, talking about what needs to be done before you can file for the H1B visa. Today, I just want to talk about some general filing tips that are really important to know months in advance. Continue reading


Ep. 68 What are the Reasons for Green Card Denials?

  • Applying for green card can be family-base or employment-based
  • Reasons for the denial can be health-related, criminal-related, security-related, public charge, immigration crimes, not able to meet requirements, and not showing up to immigration appointments.

Raw Transcript:

Jacob: Hello everybody. Well, welcome to another episode of Ask an Immigration Lawyer. You ask, we answer, simple. Today, I wanted to tackle a general topic that people ask all the time. They want to know what are the main reasons green card applications might be denied.

So, permanent residency, green card in the common name, we have family-based and we have employment-based. The common reasons that when you apply for permanent residency may result in a denial of your application. Continue reading


Ep. 67 How To Pass A Marriage Interview

  • Green card marriage interview usually takes place three to four months after the green card application is filed.
  • Some things you need to know/prepare for the interview.
  • Common questions asked.

Raw Trascript:

Jacob: Hello everybody, this is Jacob Sapochnick, the host of Ask an Immigration Lawyer podcast. Welcome to the show. Today I’m going to cover something that people always, always ask me. How do we prepare for a green card marriage interview?

The green card marriage interview usually takes place about three or four months after the application for the green card is filed with the immigration service, also known the 485 and I-130 Adjustment of Status package. Again, there’s some things that you need to know in preparing and attending this green card. Continue reading


Ep. 66 Executive Action December Update

  • SCOTUS granted a request that secures timely consideration for the Executive Action raising the likelihood the case will be heard in the spring and a decision by the end of June; just a few months before the Presidential election .
  • When the Executive Action changes was announced last year, several states filed an injunction against DAPA and has since then been stopped.
  • Twenty-six states are involved and Texas is the lead plaintiff.

Raw Transcript:

Jacob: Hello everybody and welcome to another episode of Ask an Immigration Lawyer. You ask, we answer. This is your host, Jacob Sapochnick.

I wanted to cover one quick topic today. This is something that was announced earlier this week, a couple of days ago. The US Supreme Court on Tuesday granted a request from the Federal Government that essentially secures timely consideration of President Obama’s Executive Action on immigration and raising the likelihood that the justices will hear the case in the spring and decided by the end of June when the current term ends. Continue reading


Ep. 65 Is the Fiancé Visa a Safe Visa?

  • The San Bernardino gunwoman came to the US on a fiancé visa. Is the fiancé visa safe?
  • Applying a K-1 visa is a very rigorous and complicated process — too many things they have to go and disclose — for a terrorist to use to enter the US. It is much easier for them to falsify application for a tourist visa, and enter US, than with the K-1.

Raw Transcript:

Jacob: Hello everybody and welcome to another episode of Ask an Immigration Lawyer. This is your host, Jacob Sapochnick.

Today I want to talk about an issue that we’re getting a lot of inquiries via emails and also via our Facebook page. This is regarding the horrific shooting in San Bernardino right here in California. We have two gunmen, a husband and wife, who shot more than 14 people in a horrific act of terrorism. Continue reading


Ep. 64 STEM Extension Changes

  • STEM OPT proposal will provide for an extension of OPT optional practical training as compared to the 2008 proposal.
  • The proposal will increase the extension from 17 months to 24 months.
  • This will require employers to implement formal mentoring and training programs.
  • Proposal to safeguard US workers in related fields.
  • Students must report to DHS for any changes in their name, address, and employers.

Raw Transcript:

Jacob: You ask, we answer, simple. Welcome to Ask an Immigration Lawyer Podcast. This is your host, Jacob Sapochnick.

In this episode, I just wanted to kind of touch and explain a little bit the major provisions of the recently regular action F1 OPT STEM Extension changes. Those of you who have been following this, the STEM OPT proposal would, again, provide for an extension of OPT optional practical training, which is a work authorization for certain students with STEM degrees. Degrees in Science, Technology, and things like that, as compared to the 2008 proposals.

Some of the changes that were included, they were talking about lengthening the STEM extension period for OPT. The proposal will increase the OPT extension for STEM OPT students from the 2008 17 months to 24 months. The STEM definition for STEM OPT extension, the proposal would more clearly define which fields of study, which department of education. Basically what kind of fields will fall within in this.

Also sets process for public notification the federal register when the DHS updates the list because there’s a confusion as to really what professions or occupation fall within that category. They’re talking about mentoring and training plan. Proposal would require employers to implement formal mentoring and training programs, to augment students’ academic learning through practical experience. That’s something that they also propose.

Another thing is previously obtained STEM degrees. So the proposal would permit an F1 student participating in post-completion OPT to use a prior, eligible STEM degree from a US institution of higher education as a basis to apply for a STEM OPT extension. As long as the student’s most recent degree was also received from an accredited educational institution. That’s very interesting, it’s very broad, and we didn’t have that before.

In addition to talking about in order for such a student to be eligible for the STEM OPT extension, the employment opportunity must be directly related to the previously obtained degree, which is another interesting thing.

They’re going to propose safeguards for US workers in related fields just to protect US workers from adversity. They talked about school accreditation and employer’s side visit. This proposal would enhance the academic benefit and oversight of STEM extension which is good.

In addition to these changes as compared to what were proposed in 2008, the proposal would retain the other provisions from 2008. Among them the E-Verify and reporting requirements for STEM OPT employers, a reporting requirement for STEM OPT students. The students must report to DHS any changes in their name or address as well as their employers. And the Cap Gap Extension for F1 non-immigrant with time filed H1B petitions will remain.

Meaning that if you apply for an H1B in April and your H1B is going to expire — if your OPT will expire before October of the fiscal year, you’ll get an automatic extension between April and October. As long as you file your H1B on April 1st, those things will remain with the new OPT STEM changes.

Hopefully — just kind of give you a quick summary of these major provisions. If you have any other questions, feel free to email us. We look forward to seeing you at our next episode. You ask, we answer, simple. Your host, Jacob Sapochnick,


Ep. 63 November Visa Bulletin

  • November 2015 visa bulletin.
  • Final action dates and family-based preference categories.
  • A new chart called Final Action Dates.
  • EB visa updates for China, India, Mexico, Philippines.

Raw Transcript:

Jacob: Hello everybody and welcome to Ask an Immigration Lawyer Podcast, you ask, we answer, simple. Your host, Jacob Sapochnick here.

Today, beginning of November, I want to talk about the November 2015 visa bulletin. Department of State reports November 2015 visa numbers. We’ve seen that bulletin, it’s out. First of all, I always tell people check the bulletin every month to see if your date are current. If your dates are current, if you’re working with an immigration attorney, you need to let your attorney know so action can be taken because sooner is better than later. Continue reading