New Zealand Nationals Now Eligible for E-1 & E-2 Treaty Trader & Investor Visas

Beginning June 10, 2019, eligible New Zealand companies and nationals are now able to apply for E-1 treaty trader and E-2 treaty investor temporary visa status. The U.S. Embassy in New Zealand announced the availability last week, following the enactment of the Knowledgeable Innovators and Worthy Investors (KIWI) Act, which was signed by President Trump on August 1, 2018. E-1/E-2 visa eligibility generally requires: A treaty between the U.S. and a foreign country or Congressional act; That majority ownership or control of the trading/investing company is held by treaty country nationals; and That each employee or principal of the company seeking E status is a treaty country national. Dependents (spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21) can join the E-1 or E-2 visa applicant in the United states for the duration of his/her stay. In this case, the dependent must apply for a derivative E-visa. To learn more about the E-1 and E-2 visa, please visit the E Visa Center page of our website. If you are interested in learning more about the E-1 or E-2 visa, be sure to contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today!
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I-94 Record Goes Alphanumeric

The I-94 is the Arrival/Departure Record Card that the United States government uses to keep track of the arrivals and departures of foreign nationals. Beginning May 2019, CBP is no longer using the 11-digit long number for the I-94 and is instead switching to alphanumeric I-94 numbers. The number will remain 11 characters, but will follow the format of 9 digits, followed by a letter in the 10thposition, and a digit in the 11thposition. Foreign visitors no longer need to complete the paper I-94 Arrival/Departure Record or I-94W Nonimmigrant Visa Waiver Arrival/Departure Record. The CBP arrival/departure record can be accessed and retrieved online through the CBP.gov website. A paper form I-94 will still be issued at land border ports of entry. All paper I-94 forms must be surrendered upon departure. For automatic I-94 forms, CBP will record the departure electronically. If you are coming to the United States and have questions about the electronic I-94 form, be sure to contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today!
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New Social Media Presence Question on DS-160 & DS-260 for U.S. Visa Applicants

If you are applying for your nonimmigrant or immigrant U.S. visa abroad, you will likely notice a new question on the DS-160 and DS-260 applications. This new question asks for the applicant’s username and handle for any social media or online presence within the last five years. It specifically requests the information for more than 20 social media outlets including: ASK.FM DOUBAN FACEBOOK FLICKR GOOGLE+ INSTAGRAM LINKEDIN MYSPACE PINTEREST QZONE (QQ) REDDIT SINA WEIBO TENCENT WEIBO TUMBLR TWITTER TWOO VINE VKONTAKTE (VK) YOUKU YOUTUBE It is mandatory that this question is answered – it cannot be skipped. The password for each account does not need to be given. The U.S. Department of State has noted that this information will be collected and used for “identity resolution and vetting purposes based on statutory visa eligibility standards.” If you have questions on obtaining a U.S. visa or the application process, please contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today!
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The E-2 Visa and Real Property Investments

The E-2 investor visa was created to allow entrepreneurs from countries which maintain a trade and commerce treaty with the United States to establish new businesses in the U.S. through investment. Though E-2 visas are less often granted for investments in real property, there is a possibility that this type of investment may qualify for an E-2 visa if certain conditions are met. Here, we elaborate on these conditions. Before qualifying for an E-2 visa using a real property investment, a real property investor must first qualify for the E-2 visa through three requirements. Firstly, the entrepreneur must have invested, or be actively in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital in a bona fide enterprise in the United States. The investment cannot be a relatively small amount of capital in a marginal enterprise initiated solely for the purpose of earning a living. The business must also be active, meaning that an investment that is earned through minimal activity and with little daily effort or upkeep, such as investments in stocks, would not qualify. Secondly, the investor must be seeking entry into the United States solely to develop and direct the enterprise. And thirdly, the investor must intend […]
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Client of the Month: Monica Chang

Berardi Immigration Law is proud to have helped our client, Monica Chang, obtain a five-year E-2 Investor Visa! Monica is the owner of San Korean Kitchen, a manufacturer and distributor of authentic and traditional Korean delicacies and beverages located in Mill Valley, California. (You can learn more about Monica’s business here.) Monica had a vision to share her favorite Korean foods with the world.  After establishing her business here in the United States, Monica began the search for a U.S. immigration attorney. After speaking with several different firms, Monica decided to retain Berardi Immigration Law. Monica says, “I was immediately impressed by how attentive they were to my situation. They gave me a sense that my case was important, and I was in good hands.  They were professional and diligent but still able to give a human context when dealing with me and my case.”  Monica worked closely with our Senior Associate Attorney Gabriella Agostinelli to fully prepare the many documents and forms that need to be submitted for the E-2 visa process. Here at Berardi Immigration Law, we take pride in offering our clients “white-glove” service. We don’t leave our clients with unanswered phone calls or emails for weeks […]
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Important Changes to Form I-539

Beginning March 11, 2019, USCIS will be accepting only the revised Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, with an edition date of 02/04/19. All other additions will be rejected. The new I-539 form will be published along with a new Form I-539A, Supplemental Information for Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status. Form I-539A replaces the Supplement A provided in previous versions of Form I-539 used for dependents.  The significant changes on Form I-539 will include the following:  (1) every co-applicant included on the primary applicant’s Form I-539 must submit and sign a separate Form I-539A (co-applicant must be mentally competent to sign; if under age of 14, a parent/legal guardian may sign for the co-applicant);  (2) every applicant and co-applicant must pay an $85 biometric services fee (except certain A, G and NATO nonimmigrants); and  (3) every applicant and co-applicant will receive a biometric services appointment notice, regardless of age, containing their individual receipt number. USCIS will reject any Form I-539 that is missing any of the required signatures or biometrics fees, including those required for Form I-539A. If you are interested in changing or extending your status, please contact Berardi Immigration Law to schedule a consultation with one of […]
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Travel Ban Update

The President’s third attempt at preventing certain foreign nationals from entering the United States has hit another speed bump. On December 22, 2017, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a unanimous decision to partially block the latest Trump travel ban, which was issued via Presidential Proclamation on September 24, 2017. The three-judge panel determined that the President exceeded his power in issuing the directive that established country-specific travel restrictions for nationals of Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. This ruling, however, will not have an immediate effect. Earlier this month, the Supreme Court issued a stay that will allow the government to continue fully implementing the travel ban despite the 9th Circuit ruling. Authority to Issue Travel Ban The President’s power to issue a travel ban is derived from federal statute and delegated to him by Congress. According to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), if the President determines that the entry of “any aliens or of any class of aliens” would be detrimental to the interests of the U.S., he may “suspend the entry of all aliens … or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem appropriate.” In addition, the President is authorized […]
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