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You Think Politics is Tricky TODAY?

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On this date in 1804, U.S. Vice President, Aaron Burr, mortally wounded former Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton in a pistol duel in Weehawken, New Jersey. 
The two had once been friends, but a long history of conflict spawned largely by their clashing political ambitions set them at odds. The bad blood may have started in 1791, when Burr replaced Philip Schuyler, Hamilton's father-in-law, in the United States Senate. 
In 1800 Burr very nearly won the presidency, tying Thomas Jefferson with 73 electoral votes, and Hamilton—who disliked both Jefferson and Burr, but distrusted Burr more—worked hard to ensure that Jefferson emerged the victor when the election was thrown into the U.S. House of Representatives. Hamilton similarly labored to defeat Burr's bid for the governorship of New York when it became evident that Jefferson meant to drop Burr as vice-president after one term. 
The situation reached a crisis when Burr challenged Hamilton to repudiate comments he'…

Should You Always Buy in Bulk?

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Okay, for the record it was fake news that Costco started to sell marijuana in bulk. See here: https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/kushland-signature/

Having said this, recently an attorney colleague asked me the following question:

Hey Satveer,

I have a client who is Laotian and came to the US when he was 9 or 10 years old. He’s charged with possessing 5 pounds of marijuana – Felony Fifth Degree Possession of a Controlled Substance. He qualifies for a Minn Stat. 152.18 diversion, but will that disposition still affect his ability to become a citizen eventually? I don’t want to enter a plea to this if it means he will either be subject to deportation, or he will not be able to become a citizen. Do you know the ramifications of this off the top of your head?

ANSWER:

A drug diversion program under Minnesota Statute 152.18 is usually an ideal disposition for first-time drug offenders. It’s an opportunity to realize one’s mistake and not let it follow you the rest of your life.

However, noncit…

American Immigrants: Because, D-Day

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Today is June 6, 2018. June 6 is a hallowed day in world history, and for America in particular. Today is the 74th anniversary of the invasion to take back earth from the slimy grip of Nazi Germany.

Because this is an immigration blog, I focus here on asking every would-be American—Indian, Chinese, Somali, Mexican—to pause for at least 1 minute today and reflect on what this day means to every software developer, home health aide, roofer, doctor, temple priest, baseball player, or fashion model.

It has been said, and I agree, that every historical event of the 20th century ultimately lead up to D-Day. And, every event of the 20th century since, was a result of it.

Think about that. The world before June 6, 1944 had to change, and that change started on France’s beaches. And who lead that change? Yes, a handful of military brass chalked out a brilliant strategy. But it only happened because of ordinary American, British, Canadian, French, and Australian soldiers.

But get this, you …

Time to Play...OPT Jeopardy!

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It seems the immigration scammers become bolder every day. Today I came across this little gem posting for indentured servitude amongst the foreign student population. And why not?  As I said before in previous posts about IT consultant abuse, there are no prevailing wage requirements for foreign student trainees like there is for H1B visa workers. However, this erstwhile recruiter forgot the U.S. has another area of law that governs fair labor for everyone. For fun, how many violations in this post can you guess?

So, in the spirit of Jeopardy and honoring Alex Trebeck, here are the "questions":

1) What is a maximum age requirement?
2) What is hiring someone from a specific immigration category?
3) What is inducement into prohibited work arrangements?
4) What is the requirement of work authorization before a job offer?

For verification of these violations and more, you can visit theUSCIS explanation of employee rights here.

Can you identify any more violations from Mr. Ram Rajan, …

Choosing An Immigration Lawyer

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This is going to be an ongoing series of postings about choosing an immigration lawyer. Today I chatted with someone who needed a lawyer because his mother died but left property in India and has a dispute with his sister. It was mainly a counseling session on how to focus the issues, sift out emotions, and pick the right lawyer. To recap:

One. Absolutely be aware of any impending deadlines and tell a prospective lawyer immediately. I advised this individual to send a letter overnight express to request additional time to respond to a motion so he could find another lawyer. He can even ask his previous lawyer as a courtesy to e-file it.

Two. Dial back the emotional fervor. Seek grief counseling. If there is no relevant death in the circumstances, think about one’s emotions in general. This helps a potential lawyer analyze your situation and decipher facts from emotions.

Three. When looking for attorneys, focus on the factual issues. Identify your specific role in the matter to a pote…

Can Day 1 CPT End Your Status?

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The recent USCIS memo explaining unlawful presence rules in the context of F1 student status has reverberated through the legal community It has also posed many questions.  I posit here that the memo is aimed primarily at curbing Day 1 abuses.

Attorneys across the country are reporting their clients are receiving RFEs investigating past maintenance of F1 status, including past enrollment of OPT, CPT and Day 1 CPT in particular.   Maintaining valid status is a requirement of changing to a new status such as work and most categories of permanent residence.  The H1B petitions submitted by Chaudhary Law Office are not in premium processing and thus early in the application process, so we have not gotten any RFEs  as yet.  We expect that we will and anticipate similar requests for proof of status during our clients’ student days.

But, the increase in RFEs, plus the new unlawful presence memo, point to one thing: If you are not enrolled in CPT properly, for EXAMPLE if CPT was used ONLY as an…

Mawage.

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I was recently asked the following question:I am planning to get married in India later this year. We will opt for court marriage instead of traditional one. For visa interview purposes, is court marriage sufficient to prove that marriage is legal. Do we need to do traditional marriage to prove marriage is legal? Answer:I get this question a lot, because it's a good one.  Traditional marriages are usually better to demonstrate that a "bona fide marital relationship" exists. But, they are not always necessary because the method of marriage is not the only determinant of a bona fide marital relationship. It's not even the primary determinant. One must provide a whole body of evidence to meet the standard. So it's not whether the marriage is legal, but whether the relationship is real. I recommend reading the instructions for form I-130, or some people hire an attorney to assemble a quality application.
In my experience, sincere marriages are not difficult to …