News & Articles

Immigration Law Update: November 2014

By Janet Cheetham, Joel Paget & Marsha Mavunkel

President Obama’s Remarks on Immigration Reform

In case you missed last night’s announcement by President Obama, the following provides a short overview of some of the provisions applicable to our clients:

  • Two Deferred Action initiatives and an expansion of Provisional Waivers for Unlawful Presence may be implemented within the next 180 days.
  • An estimated 4.4 million undocumented individuals may benefit from the deferred action initiatives: 1) Deferred Action for Parents – parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents who have been continuously present since January 1, 2010, and who pass background checks and pay back taxes; 2) DACA Expansion – the age cap on DACA may be removed and the date when continuous presence must have started may be changed from June 15, 2007 to January 1, 2010.
  • There may be an expansion of the Provisional Waiver program announced in 2013 by allowing the spouses, sons or daughters of lawful permanent residents and sons and daughters of U.S. citizens to get a waiver if a visa is available. There may be instances when the qualifying relative is not the petitioner.
    Modernization of the current employment based visa system to assist in reducing backlogs for high skilled workers which could impact about 400,000 people waiting in the backlog.
    Evaluation and expansion of the current OPT program to expand the degree programs eligible and lengthen the time period of the STEM OPT program for students and graduates.
  • Grant of parole status to entrepreneurs, investors and startups to incentivize innovation and job creation in the U.S.
  • A number of business immigration improvements are included regarding investors, H-4 employment authorization, and improved regulations for L-1B cases and National Interest waiver applications.

Although passage of his proposals will be an uphill battle, our lawyers are well-positioned to assist in any of the applications that may soon be available.

Happy Thanksgiving!
As the Thanksgiving season approaches, the Immigration Group at Ryan Swanson wants to thank all of our friends and clients for their continued support. We are always here to serve not only your immigration needs, but other legal needs as well.

Janet Cheetham, Joel Paget and Marsha Mavunkel are attorneys in Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC’s Immigration Group. Janet can be reached at 206.654.2235 or cheetham@ryanlaw.com. Joel can be reached at 206.654.2215 or paget@ryanlaw.com. Marsha can be reached at 206.654.2253 or mavunkel@ryanlaw.com.

This message has been released by the Immigration Group at Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC to advise of recent developments in the law. Because each situation is different, this information is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice on any specific facts and circumstances. Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC is a full-service law firm located in Seattle, Washington.


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