Monday, April 24, 2017
China to begin rolling out 5-year work permits for foreigners, cutting down on the hassle
The good news just keeps rolling in for those hoping to live and work in China without too much hassle.
China's Ministry of Public Security announced a refreshing new pilot program which will allow any foreigner who has been working in China for at least two consecutive years to apply for a five-year work permit.
This is a pretty significant upgrade over the current system in which most expats are forced to reapply for a new work permit each year, even if they are on a multi-year job contract.
The trial program is expected to be rolled out later this year in nine cities and provinces, including Beijing, Wuhan and Hebei province, along with 11 trade free-trade zones, including those in Tianjin, Chongqing and Henan, according to Caixin.
At the same time, the outline of another program has been introduced which will allow foreigners who have resided in China for more than four consecutive years while spending at least six months out of each year inside the country to apply for a permanent residence permit, as long as they meet certain salary and income tax thresholds -- though the details of this plan have not yet been released.
Recently, China has begun introducing more and more new measures aimed at attracting high-level global talent to the country, relaxing residence and entry policies, leading to 1,576 foreigners becoming new permanent residents of China in 2016, up 163% from the previous year.
To go along with this new era of "openness," China announced in January that international graduates with master's degrees from Chinese universities or from "well-known" foreign universities are now eligible for a Z visa immediately after graduation, waiving the previous requirement of two years of postgraduate work experience.
At the same time, China has also been cracking down on less-skilled laowai, introducing a ranking system judging expats based on their "talent" and banning non-native English teachers from teaching in some regions.
Monday, April 17, 2017
H-4 Visa for Family of an H-1, H-2, or H-3 Visa Holder
An H-4 visa is a nonimmigrant (temporary) visa permitting a foreign national to enter the United States as the spouse or minor, unmarried child of someone who holds an H-1B, H-1C, H-2A, H-2B, or H-3 visa. (All of these categories are for temporary workers or trainees coming to the U.S. at the request of a U.S. employer.)
There are no limits on the number of H-4 visas given out each year.
H-4 Visa Rights and Restrictions
The H-4 visa allows you to come to the U.S. to accompany the primary visa holder. Your rights are basically derived from that person. You will have the same authorized length of stay. If the primary visa holder fails to maintain his or her status, you too will lose your status. If that person obtains an extension of status, you too may extend your status. Of course, if you independently do something that violates your status, like work without authorization, your visa can be cancelled.
Like the primary visa holder, you will be allowed to travel in and out of the United States at will.
You may not accept employment in the United States unless you separately qualify for a work visa in your own right. You may, however, go to school in the U.S. without obtaining a separate visa.
H-4 Visa Eligibility Requirements
In order to qualify for an H-4 visa, you must:
•be the spouse or unmarried child, under 21, of an H-1B, H-1C, H-2A, H-2B, or H-3 visa holder, and
•be able to prove that you intend to leave the United States at the end of your authorized stay and return to your residence abroad.
In addition, as with all U.S. visas, you will need to prove that you are not “inadmissible” to the United States. The grounds of inadmissibility include things like having committed a crime, been a member of a terrorist group, or contracted a disease of public health significance.
H-4 Visa Application Process
First, your spouse or parent will need to receive a job offer or other qualifying offer from an employer in the United States. After the employer has taken any required preliminary steps, such as obtaining approval of a visa petition from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), you will need to assemble or prepare the following and go to a U.S. consulate in your home country to apply for the H-4 visa:
•Printout of State Department Form DS-160, Nonimmigrant Visa Application, which you will prepare online.
•Receipt showing that you have paid the visa application fee.
•Payment for the visa reciprocity fee, if any.
•Passports for each of your family members, valid for at least six months.
•One photo of each applicant, passport style.
•Proof of your relationship to the primary visa holder, such as marriage and birth certificates.
•Documents proving your intention to return to your home country at the end of your permitted stay, such as proof of ownership of real estate and relationships with close family member staying behind, or a letter from your employer stating that your job will be waiting for you upon return.
H-4 Visa Fees and Costs
H-4 costs to the individual applicant include a nonrefundable application processing fee and possibly a reciprocity fee upon visa issuance, depending on which country you are from.
Monday, April 10, 2017
What’s the Difference Between a Green Card and Work Permit?
A lot of people mistakenly believe that green cards are nothing more than work permits. Although green cards and work permits are both photo identity cards, and they both permit the holder to work in the United States, they represent vastly different statutes. Let’s review those here.
What Is a Green Card?
People all over the world have heard of green cards. It is the unofficial term for the Alien Registration Card, which years ago were green in color. The cards have gone through various color changes over the years, including pink and white, but today they are green again. The card’s main function is identifying its holder as a lawful permanent or conditional resident of the United States.
While green card holders do give you the right to work legally in the U.S. where and when you wish, that is just one of the many rights that come with permanent residence. Green card holders can also travel in and out of the United States, petition for their spouse and unmarried children to join them in the United States as fellow green card holders, and eventually apply for U.S. citizenship.
If you are eligible for a green card, don’t bother applying if all you really want is a work permit, and actually living in the United States long-term is not your goal.
When you have a green card, you are required to make the U.S. your permanent home. If you don’t, you risk losing your card. If you only spend periods of time in the U.S., but your true home is elsewhere, your card may be revoked. It’s wise not to spend more than six months at a time outside the United States if you want to keep your green card .
All green cards issued to lawful permanent residents since 1989 carry expiration dates of ten years from the date of issue. This does not mean that the residency itself expires in ten years, just that the card must be replaced.
Green cards issued to lawful conditional residents always carry a two-year expiration date. In their case, their status actually will expire if they don’t take steps to convert to permanent residence.
What Is a Work Permit?
Work permits, more commonly known as an employment authorization documents (EADs), are issued to a wide variety of nonimmigrants (temporary visa holders) and to people with applications pending before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Work permits may last for a few months or up to a year (with possible renewals), depending on the visa or other status of their holder.
a person who entered the United States on a fiancé visa may apply for a work permit that lasts 90 days, to tide the person over until he or she has gotten married and applied for adjustment of status, at which time another, longer-term work permit will be issued to the person.
Among the many other categories of people who need to apply for work permits are asylees, people with Temporary Protected Status, students who will be doing optional practical training or working off campus based on unforeseen economic need, spouses of J-2 exchange visitors, spouses of E-1/E-2 treaty traders and investors and L-1 intracompany transferees, applicants for suspension of deportation, people granted withholding of removal, and more.
In some cases, the right to work comes with a person’s visa status, so that they do not need to apply for an EAD at all.
For people who need to apply for a work permit, the application is made on USCIS Form I-765, available for download on the USCIS website.
Getting Legal Help
If you seek to work legally in the United States, you will in most cases need to have a job offer, a pending application for a green card, or some other right to remain in the United States, such as asylum or Temporary Protected Status. If you are uncertain whether you qualify for a green card or a work permit, or need help with the applications, consult an immigration lawyer
If you have any questions regarding Green Card and Work Permit or any other immigration topic,
Please contact LEGiTiGO, today
Monday, April 3, 2017
WHAT TO DO IF YOU ENCOUNTER IMMIGRATION AGENTS AT WORK OR AT HOME
U.S. federal immigration officers have the right to ask an employer for permission to enter a workplace. Every worker in the U.S. must fill out a Form I-9, providing documentation of their authorization to work lawfully in the U.S. Federal immigration officers have the right to examine an employer’s files to inspect these I-9 forms. After immigration officers enter a workplace — whether it is a store, a restaurant, a farm, an orchard, etc. — they may ask you questions. However, you have the right to refuse to speak to the immigration agents and can remain silent and request to speak to an attorney.
If you encounter an immigration agent at the workplace, at your home or anywhere in between, the following rights and guidelines apply:
1.You have the right to keep silent. If you are questioned by an immigration officer, you do not have to tell the officer your name, where you were born, or what your immigration status is.
2.You have the right to talk with a lawyer before you answer any questions. You may want to give the officer your name so that your family or lawyer can locate you if you are detained.
3.You do not have to “show your papers.” You may simply tell the officer that you want to speak with a lawyer. Even if you have valid immigration papers, immigration officers may still ask you additional questions.
4.You have the right to refuse to let an immigration officer enter your home, unless they present you with an official search warrant signed by a judge. You have the right to ask any officer if they have such a warrant. You may refuse to open the door and request that they slide the warrant under the door for you to inspect. If they show you a signed search warrant with your specific address on it, you are required to let them enter your home.
5.You may remain silent and refuse to let an immigration officer enter your home, even if the officer shows you a signed removal/deportation warrant with your name on it, issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). If you choose, you may come out and close the door behind you. This should prevent immigration officers from questioning other people in your home unless they are listed on a warrant.
AT WORK OR AT HOME
6.REMEMBER, you have the right to remain silent and you may request to talk to an attorney.
7.IF YOU ARE DETAINED, you have the right to contact your home country consulate. You also have the right to contact and speak with a lawyer.
8.Never lie about your citizenship status or provide fake documents. If you do, you can face a lifetime bar from the United States.
9.Do not sign any papers without talking to a lawyer. Do not let any immigration officer persuade you to sign any papers by threatening that you will remain in jail or be deported if you do not sign. If you sign any papers at all, you could be giving up any chance of staying in the U.S.
If you have any questions regarding @ Home or Work or any other immigration topic,
Please contact LEGiTiGO, today