Most entries below contain actual legal discussions of events directly related to Filipinos in or immigrating to the United States.
Remember- These writings are provided for general information only and do not constitute legal advice, nor do they create any attorney-client relationship. Each person's needs and requirements are different and require a personal evaluation to determine the proper legal course of action.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

H-4 EAD Your Personal Q&As Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Updated December 30, 2015

The comments on this post were from a live discussion on H-4 EAD issues held on April 1, 2015. That discussion has ended and this post is now closed to comments. 


See more recent H-4 EAD Updates

See How to File I-140 Based H-4 EADs on Your Own.

              Best Lawyers Award Badge
                    U.S. IMMIGRATION LAW

Go to the Most Recent US Immigration Topics 

View Qualifications of Attorney James W. Austin

Blog Comments open on April 1st for questions until 1:00 p.m. CDT.

For those who still may have questions about H-4 EAD processing or eligibility, I will be happy to answer any questions based on the information we now have available.

All questions and my answers will be posted as comments to this posting – no questions will be taken by direct email – so everyone will see all the conversations.

The usual disclaimer:  Any answers to comments are based only on the information presented and in no way should be taken as a substitute for a full consultation with a qualified attorney.  Any comments or answers to comments does not create an attorney-client relationship and the presence of additional facts may lead to starkly different advice.
View Qualifications of Attorney James W. Austin

Go To Austin & Ferguson, LLC Home Page+

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Waiting for USCIS H-4 EAD FAQs

We have the Final H4 EAD rule, but we are still left with many questions. 

For the simple case of an H-4 whose spouse has an approved I-140, most questions are answered and everything is fairly simple.  For other scenarios, the rule is vague.

 Here are a some of the H-4 EAD issues awaiting clarification:

--EAD validity after I-140 withdrawal

--H-4 EAD eligibility after I-140 revocation

--Effect of travel on pending H-4 EAD requests

--Ability to file from outside of the country

--Start date of simultaneously filed I-765s

--Gaps in employment authorization in change of status cases

--The big question - §106(a) duration parameters (discussed in detail here

--Need for multiple 765 filings when capturing both current and future eligibility?

USCIS has been presented with a lengthy list of H-4 EAD issues for their consideration prior to the publication of H-4 EAD FAQs, anticipated in late April or early May.

Go to the Most Recent Philippines-US Immigration Topics 

View Qualifications of Attorney James W. Austin

Go To Austin & Ferguson, LLC Home Page

See our US$60 Attorney Consultation Offer

Expected Overhaul of Philippine Immigration Law

After years of planning, there has now been substantial progress towards reforming the immigration laws of The Philippines.  A draft immigration reform bill was approved by the House of Representatives Justice Committee on March 9 before being sent to the Appropriations Committee for review prior to being called up in a House plenary session. 

Included among the many proposed changes are provisions promoting investment and streamlining the immigration processes.

                                Pictured:  Hon. Feliciano Belmonte, Jr,; Attorney Jim Austin

The day after the bill was passed out of committee, it was discussed at a meeting between visiting U.S. immigration law attorneys and the House Justice Committee.  Also discussed during the meeting, hosted and led by House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr., was the progress made towards resolving several other issues hindering foreign investment in the country. It was a very informative meeting.

Go to the Most Recent Philippines-US Immigration Topics 

View Qualifications of Attorney James W. Austin

Go To Austin & Ferguson, LLC Home Page

Fact Check: Jeane Napoles' Use of U.S. Property for Citizenship Application?

I have been asked to review statements made in the Philippine media that touched on U.S. immigration law.

Here is the back story.  Jeane Napoles is the daughter of Janet Lim Napoles.  In what has become known in the Philippines as the “pork barrel scam”, the elder Napoles is accused of being the organizer behind a scheme that may have criminally diverted millions of government dollars originally intended to fund various projects throughout the country.  During the investigation it was learned that her daughter, Jeane, is the registered owner of multiple valuable properties, including a luxury Ritz-Carlton condominium in Los Angeles. Jeane Napoles has been charged by the [Philippine] Bureau of Internal Revenue with tax evasion.

Jeane Napoles’ defense to the tax charges, as stated by her attorney, is that the properties were put in her name to meet a requirement for U.S. Citizenship.  That brings us to U.S. immigration law.  I have been asked to judge the validity of this statement.

First, to ensure this is just not a misquote from a single reporter, we review multiple media sources.

“...Jeane acquired the properties from her mother because she was applying for a US citizenship.”  [ABS-CBN News]

“She said her mother Janet had said she placed the properties under Jeane’s name because the fashion designer needs to show she has properties in her bid for US citizenship.”  []

"Pinangalan namin sa kanya iyan kasi at that time she was applying for a US citizenship. Alam n'yo naman kung mag-apply ka ng citizenship kailangan mo ipakita na meron kang mga holdings, may properties ka,...". []

The essence of the statement remains consistent across multiple news sources and both languages.

So, the question:  “Is property ownership ever a requirement for U.S. Citizenship?”

Answer:  No.  Property ownership is never a requirement for U.S. Citizenship.  Residing in the U.S. over a period of time is a requirement In most - but not all - Citizenship cases, yet there is no requirement that any real property be owned by the applicant.  Ever.

That was easy to answer, but the real question remain as to the source of the money.  I expect courts in The Philippines to be wrestling with that question for years to come.

Go to the Most Recent Philippines-US Immigration Topics 

View Qualifications of Attorney James W. Austin

Go To Austin & Ferguson, LLC Home Page