Sep 25, 2015

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Types of EB-1 Visa, the Persons These may be Granted to and the Specific Requirements Under Each Type

The EB-1 visa, which is an Employment-based First Preference Immigration petition, is granted to foreign nationals who can be classified as “priority workers,” that is, individuals who are recognized as the most able and accomplished in their chosen field. As priority workers, they are given the opportunity to continue their work as well as (permanently) reside in the US. There are three types of the EB-1 visa that is granted by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). These types, the specific persons who may be granted it and the specific requirements that will have to be met to be considered eligible for it, are as follows:

1. EB-1A Visa or Extraordinary Ability Category. Thus far the most advantageous immigration visa granted by the US government, this EB-1A or EB 1-1 visa is conferred to aliens with extraordinary ability in the field of science, arts, education, business, or sports. This ability should have been shown and proven through sustained acclaim, nationally or internationally, and the accomplishments, recognized internationally through a major international award (similar to a Pulitzer Prize, a Nobel Prize, or an Olympic Gold Medal). The absence of a major international award can be offset, though, by presenting evidences in at least 3 of the following (10) criteria:

  • Receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the chosen field of endeavor
  • Membership in associations that require no less than outstanding achievements from their members (achievements are determined as outstanding or not by respected national or international experts in the same field)
  • Information about the foreign national and his/her work or extraordinary skills that is published in professional or major trade publications or major media
  • Having judged, whether individually or as a member of a panel, the work of others in the same field or similar discipline
  • Contribution of an original (piece of work or idea) that has a major significance in the field of science, education, arts, sports, or business
  • Published scholarly articles(authored by the foreign national) in professional or major trade publications or other major media
  • Original work displayed at artistic exhibitions or showcases
  • Performance of a critical or lead role in a distinguished organization
  • Salary or remuneration that is significantly higher compared to others in the same field
  • Commercial successes in the performing arts

Qualifying for an EB-1A visa presents many advantages, including: exemption from labor certification; exemption from having to present a job offer from an American employer; faster time (compared to EB-2 and EB-3 immigration categories) in obtaining a Green Card; the petitioner, or the qualified foreign national, can also immediately provide a green card for his/her spouse and unmarried children (under the age of 21); and, the alien with an extraordinary ability can also petition himself/herself.

2. EB-1B/EB1-OR Visa or Outstanding Professors and Researchers Category. This type of visa is granted to professors or researchers who are recognized as outstanding performers in the academic field and so are offered employment (in the US) by a US employer. For the prospected outstanding professor or researcher to be granted a US visa, the US employer intending to hire him/her should:

A. Accomplish Form I-140, an Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker. Form I-140 is a request made with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to classify a foreign national as eligible for an employment-based immigrant visa;

B. Attach a permanent job offer letter to Form I-140; and,

C. Submit evidence of foreign national’s (at least three years) teaching or research experience and documents that will prove that at least two of the following criteria are met:

  • Receipt of major prizes/awards for outstanding achievement
  • Membership in associations that require no less than outstanding achievements from
    their members
  • Materials about the alien’s work in the academic field which others wrote and which
    are published in professional publications
  • Participating as judge, either as a member of a panel or alone, in judging the work of
    others in the same or related academic field
  • Contribution of original scientific or scholarly research in his/her chosen field
  • Authorship of scholarly articles or books in his/her field which are printed in
    scholarly journals with international circulation

3. EB-1C or Multinational Manager or Executive Category. The EB-1C visa, which is another type of visa in the First Preference category, may be granted by the USCIS to a foreign national or immigrant who is a multinational executive or manager in a foreign firm that is connected to a company in the US. The petition to the USCIS to classify a foreign national as eligible for an EB-1C employment-based immigrant visa will have to come from the US employer.

Here are some of the specific requirements that the US employer and the immigrant will need to satisfy:

  1. The petitioning company must have been in existence in the US for at least a year and must have a qualifying connection with the foreign firm where the multinational executive or manager immigrant is presently connected (this qualifying connection between the two firms can be like a parent company and a branch, a subsidiary or an affiliate).
  2. The immigrant, as a multinational executive, should prove that he/she: directly manages a major component, function, or group within the firm; creates company goals and policies; has extensive decision-making authority in the company; and, receives general supervision only from top executives, stockholders, or the board of directors.
  3. As a multinational manager, the immigrant must prove that he/she: has direct managerial control over one of the company’s departments, organizations, components or functions; is authorized to fire, hire and make decisions that will affect company personnel; has control and supervision over the work of other supervisors, manager, professional employees; and directs a department’s day-to-day operations, functions and activities.

Despite the seeming assurance of being qualified for a First Preference Category visa, this visa category still requires more than a handful of legal documents that need to be satisfied. And when it comes to the possible further growth of US businesses where the participation of extraordinarily talented foreign nationals are warranted, no law firm would advise a petitioning employer to see to his/her own business concerns since much is at stake. Rather, US companies (as well as individuals), deserve nothing less than fast and professional solutions to all their business-related immigration concerns.

The chance of being granted a First Preference Category visa (and eventually a green card) can either remain to be just that – a chance, or it can be actualize.

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May 10, 2015

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How a Criminal Charge or Conviction Affects a Divorce

Going through a divorce can be extremely difficult. It’s a process that is emotionally tense and easily stressful. No matter how long a couple’s relationship lasted, there’s no way to avoid the devastation that is typically associated with such a situation. Aside from the intense emotions divorcing spouses have to deal with, there’s also a host of different matters they need to come to an agreement about. These matters include making decisions about issues like how properties and assets will be divided and how child custody and child support will be arranged. In some cases, divorcing couples are able to make decisions about these issues through amicable means. However, there are usually a lot of contest regarding these topics. As such, the final decision on is often brought to family court through a lawsuit.

When a lawsuit is filed by a spouse to settle a contested divorce, the power to make decisions regarding all aspects and issues involved in the process will be left in the hands of a judge. As a result, the judge ruling the case will have to take into consideration several specific factors in order to come to a decision that is fair for all parties involved. Aside from considering the point of view and interests of each spouse, he or she will also have to be wary of the needs of any children that may be involved. A judge, for example, will have to look at each spouse’s individual income and earning opportunities in order to decide how properties and assets should be divided. He or she will also have to consider each spouse’s capability to care for their children to determine a suitable custody arrangement.

According to the website of the Cedar Rapids divorce attorneys from Arenson Law Group, PC, another crucial consideration in contested divorce proceedings is a spouse’s criminal record. This can hold a lot of weight in the case. Having a criminal charge or conviction can severely affect one’s chance at being granted a favorable decision in issues like child custody, child support, and property division. A charge or conviction involving illegal substances can point to a drug abuse problem that will determine that a spouse is an unfit parent. In the same light, a charge or conviction involving crimes like fraud and identity theft will tell the court that a spouse is not fit to be given his or her fair share of properties and assets.

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May 3, 2015

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Take Home Killer

Much like some cases of second-hand take-home exposure for certain industrial materials, PCBs or polychlorinated biphenyls piggy-back their way into the home through a worker’s clothing. Studies have shown that the dust in homes of people who work in close proximity to high levels of PCBs have significantly more PCBs than in non-worker homes.

One early case of this secondary exposure involved the wife and child of a Monsanto Industrial Chemical Company employee. Monsanto PCBs were the only locally produced PCBs in North America. The case was reported to the US Public Health Service in 1936. The officer that interviewed the wife and child saw that pustules and blackheads had developed on their skin, and concluded that it was due to the PCBs that the employee brought home with him from the work site.

Other cases prompted the release of papers linking PCBs and adverse health effects. In 1947, in an article by Robert Brown in the journal Chemist-Analyst, he warned about the toxicity of Aroclors. He pointed out exposure could lead to disfiguring skin conditions such as dermatitis. Despite these many warning signs, PCBs continued to be manufactured and used in many products.

It was only in the 1970s when the dangers of PCBs became widely known that pressure was put on legislators to restrict its use. By then, it had been widely disseminated. It is estimated that Monsanto alone produced 1.5 billion tons of PCBs. Between 1935 and 1971, the Anniston plant was dumping anywhere from 16 to 250 pounds of PCBs in Snow Creek daily. There have been efforts to clean up years of waste disposal in Snow Creek, but the contamination levels are still severe. The Environmental Protection Agency continues to prohibit the consumption of fish from Snow Creek.

Anniston is just one site that declared a hazardous area because of PCBs. Several other sites are also problematic because these are where the products using PCB were manufactured.

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Feb 19, 2015

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Cell phone use in Car Accidents

Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of dangerous and even fatal car collisions. Cell phone use has long been one of the reasons for distractions while driving. Although it may seem to be offering convenience, the use of mobile phones while driving has been known to make up 26 percent of car accidents in the United States. Despite having state laws banning the use of mobile phones while driving, many motorists still risk their safety (along with the safety of others) by purposely disregarding the laws against it.

Many arguments have been made regarding cell phone use and safe driving. There are those who believe that cell phone cause fatal accidents and should be banned from being used while driving while there are others that advocate that the cell phones themselves are not a threat, but their use while driving is what causes the distraction. Many safety specialists believe that cell phone use provides two basic risks, the first being cell phone use pose as a distraction while driving, and secondly that cell phones add conversation into the driving equation.

According to recent studies, only 5 percent of cell phone-related car accidents happened due to the driver texting; a great majority of these car crashes are due to the driver having a conversation on their hand-held or wireless cell phones. The National Safety Council reports that talking on the phone can be more distracting that texting; and this applies even to those using hands-free devices. Furthermore, NSC states that a likely 245, 358 car accidents occurred last year which involved the use of cell phones, with data showing that 350 crashes that occurred were fatal. The problem with these car accident reports related to cell phone use are mostly underreported simply because the drivers themselves do not report or admit using their phones when the accident happened.

The debate regarding cell phone use and distracted driving may be a long one. What can be the best way to prevent car crashes due to distracted driving caused by cell phone use is by modifying the behaviors of drivers and having additionally cell phone features that would help lower statistics related to distracted driving.

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Oct 21, 2014

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Lack of Site Inspectors Slowing Down Construction

The New York Department of Buildings have alluded time and again to the improvements in the construction industry in terms of safety, indicating that this is partly because of the 25 new safety regulations it has implemented since the two 2008 crane collapses in New York City which killed a total of 9 people. However, the improvement could be because many construction projects have been put on hold due to these new regulations and the lack of site inspectors to sign off on new projects.

The construction industry is urging the city committee to modify these regulations to release hundreds of jobs for multimillion-dollar projects which are currently on hold because of the lack of a signature. It isn’t because site inspectors are too lazy to do their jobs; there simply aren’t enough of them to go around.

The city had reduced the number of site inspectors when the budget was cut, but city officials are promising to hire more to cover more ground. However, getting approval to hire more may not even be the big problem; there may not be enough with the proper qualifications to do the job even if the budget is in place. With more stringent regulations and no inspectors to sign off on compliance, many construction companies are feeling the pressure of missed deadlines, investment capital lying idle, and a restless labor force.

It is understandable why the city government of New York feels the need to pay tough guy; too many preventable construction accidents happen that result in serious injuries or death. However, without the manpower to facilitate the inspection process and to enforce regulations, the new laws are counterproductive. They are costing construction companies a lot of money and denying workers and local industries the chance to make money.

Nevertheless, if you have been seriously injured because of negligence on a construction site, there may be a way to get compensation. Find out more from a qualified New York construction accident attorney.

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