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http://smalawyers.com/coming-to-america-on-the-franchise-visa/

 Today we’re going to talk about the E-2 visa and how it applies to franchises. As we’ve talked about in previous articles, the E2 visa allows foreign investors to set up a U.S. company, invest in that company, and obtain a visa to run the company for up to 5 years with unlimited renewals, as long as the business is functioning and creating/maintaining jobs. There are lots of people who are trying to come to the U.S. and want to start a business. When a foreign national comes in to start anew business, the government has no idea if that business is going to be successful or create any jobs. Franchising, however, is a natural fit for the E-2 visa because the government sees a franchise as a proven system and a more reliable business model than a startup that is unknown to them. The most important thing about a franchise is that it incorporates employees.  It can be any scale from 2 to 200, i.e. whatever number of employees are necessary for that specific location to function, to generate revenue and be successful. So once a foreign national has made the decision to purchase a franchise, they will create jobs which is the most important element of the E-2 visa application.  When they want to renew their E-2 visa, the most important factor that’s taken into consideration is whether they have or haven’t created and maintained jobs. So, the franchise is not only the great American  business model but it’s also the ideal business model for E-2 investors. Which franchise should they select? There are consulting firms available that help prospective franchisees. They work with individuals who are thinking about being entrepreneurs and/or franchisees. They sit and get to know the individuals: – Assess their skills and experience – Discuss their goals – Investigate their interests – Research the financial picture – Determine their preferences Once the assessment is done, these specialized firms help point them in the right direction, finding the right fit, from skill set to investment level to the kind of support they want, and matching them with franchises that are out there and coaches them through the entire process. Everyone knows the big franchises: McDonald’s, Starbucks, etc. What is important to point out is that there are great franchises out there that most people have never heard of, but they have phenomenal systems in place for prospective franchisees. Franchising is great for E-2 investors because of these strong and proven systems that clients are buying when they buy the franchise. The name brand really doesn’t matter. The franchise system will provide answers to: – What’s the marketing plan? – What about the sales plan? – What about operations? – What about accounting? – How does everything work? Franchising is a proven product. It’s been done by the home office, and it’s been done by other franchisees. Some franchises may have only 2 franchisees, while others have thousands. This means the E-2 investor has a whole support network in place to help grow their business. It also means that, since these businesses depend on manpower, jobs will be created, thus meeting the most important criteria in visa qualification. The E-2 visa is perfect because essentially the foreign national signs a franchise agreement with the franchise of their choice, pays the franchise fee and then can choose the location where they want to reside. So if the foreign national wants to live in, let’s say Pompano Beach, Florida, or the west coast of Florida, or northern California, or the badlands of North Dakota, they can find a franchise that, having already done the research and knowing that it should be profitable, wants to expand to that area. The most important step is to choose the right franchise through a franchise broker, and then to make sure to work with the right immigration attorney to structure the purchase and set up the business in a way that will qualify for the E-2 visa. For questions about franchises, please e-mail: johnarmstrong@frannet.com. For any immigration questions, please e-mail: smaggi@smalawyers.com.

The Cleansing of 46th Street 2015

It's July 2015 and I know that most are wondering how credible are the rumors that are being circulated, regarding our annual event of the cleansing of the street that takes place on the Brazilian Day weekend. As a result of some unfortunate incidents, LAVAGEM as we all know it will not be taking place this year; however, I have great News to share with you. Behind every dark cloud, there is a SILVER LINING.  We have been working very hard on a scaled down version of the LAVAGEM. Thanks to Marta Moreno Vega and the Caribbean Cultural Center who made this entire event possible. This event will be taking place at the LINCOLN CENTER Outdoor Plaza on August, 2, 2015 at 7 PM. Please come out and experience the same excitement and camaraderie that we have shared throughout the years, in promoting the culture that we all embrace and value highly.

Go Greece! Gone Greece!

Greece gave the world Democracy.  Germany gave the world Blitzkreig and the Holocaust. Who ya gonna root for in the current fight-to-the-death, hellbound-for-disaster European Union financial cage match? Ever since the European Union launched the Euro as their common currency in 1999 and particularly since the globalized robber baron banksters nearly crashed the world’s economy with their monumental cons, frauds and trickerations in 2007/8, the German dumpling, Der Führeress…uh… Chancellor Angela Merkel, and her Deutsche Bank, IMF, ECB and EC financial storm troopers have been re-fighting World War II across Europe and so far getting a different result as they politically pulverize and economically povertize Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Italy and now Greece in pursuit of every last Euro rolling across the ground. This is the Shock Doctrine On Steroids…On Steroids!  An economic/financial war crime in progress! The EU was misconceived from the start.  In a sense it was a unicorn, a fantasy, based on a world that existed in 1959.  But that world barely survived ’til the mid-60s.  By the 21st century it was lost in the amnesia of history. As for the Euro, it was always a scam by which the re-united powerhouse Germany and the gnomes/Eichmanns of Berlin, Frankfurt and Brussels could financially hamstring, drown in debt and loot the rest of Europe. Austerity was the main feature of this diabolical concoction not a bug. It was designed to be the WMD (weapon of massive debt) to be “debtonated” across Europe.  Followed by the helter-skelter plundering of those debt-blasted countries’ assets by the cannibal capitalist cabal.  Ka-Boom!  In order to join the Eurozone in 2001, the right wing Greek government paid the financial world’s giant vampire squid, Goldman Sachs, around $730 million to cook Greece’s fiscal books.  Using the financial alchemy of concocted securities and dodgy currency swaps, they made it look like Greek debt was less than it actually was.   Once officially in the EU club, the bandit banksters of Frankfurt, Brussels, Paris and Wall Street, ostensibly “loaned” Greece $billions to buy a heap of born-to-lose toxic derivatives and other poisonous securities and bonds, all ticking debt bombs, being peddled around the globe promising interest rates too good to be true.  By the time these WMDs “debtonated” on Greece in 2010, the hapless country was $340 billion in debt to the international loan sharks, who were demanding repayment in full even as the real world was facing financial chaos. Of course, it wasn’t the Greek people, the working stiffs, shop keepers, teachers, tour guides, policemen and bazouki taverni waitresses who borrowed all that moolah.  It was the Greek millionaires, oligarchs, tax cheats, media moguls, shipping magnates and corrupt government officials, not to mention all the banks who padded their books with fake profits and the global hedge funds betting with the house’s money.. While the wolves of Wall Street were being saved from the catastrophe of their own rapacious and criminal devising with a massive injection of $17 trillion in free taxpayers’ money, the European financial cabal proposed to bail out Greece (they were performing the same slight-of-hand trickeration on Ireland, Spain and Portugal).  In fact, it was a con that would make the most villainous old time Mafia loan shark blush with embarrassment (or jealousy). The criminal cohort of unprincipled European finance ministers, unscrupulous banksters, bellowing bond traders and hedge fund hooligans ponied up the money to pay themselves back on Greece’s account (essentially a giant bank-to-bank money laundering scheme with hardly even a wooden nickel for the Greek people) in exchange for Greek economic and political “reforms”  that would essentially throw the country into a 1930s depression - massive unemployment, increasing poverty, severely reduced pensions, busted labor unions, greatly diminished public services like health care and education and a firesale selloff (to themselves and their international investor cronies) of every valuable state asset from the port of Piraeus, the Post Office and (probably) the Parthenon to state industries, infrastructure and the Aegean/Mediterranean shoreline.  Old time plunder, pillage, poverty and slavery renamed Austerity. In early July this year the European financial vampires were demanding yet more blood from Greece’s nearly drained cadaver.  Alexei Tsipras, the 41-year-old Greek Prime Minister and leader of SYRIZA, a sort of social democratic political party that had booted out the old thieving, tax-dodging conservative oligarch politicians in January, defaulted on a $1.6 billion debt payment due and called a surprise referendum.  The Greek people would have a vote on whether they wanted to continue to be economically mauled and blackmailed by Brussels and Berlin.   The result was a big fat Greek vote of “OXI”.  NO!  61% to 39%.   Democracy in action!  Eeeek! The banksters went berserk! The IMF, ECB and EC (the Terrible Troika) put the stressed and almost insolvent Greek banks in a chokehold and declared the end of the world for Greece was nigh.  The German Finance Minister bloviating with venomous condescension and the Big Dumpling herself armored with the haughty smugness of self-righteous moral superiority suggested international suicide for the deadbeat country: Grexit.  Greece abandoning the Euro and leaving the EU.  If only… After a week of sturm und drang, breathless consultations and an alarmist and inflammatory media propaganda campaign by the Troika and their co-conspirators, Prime Minister Tsipras turned out to be rather less heroic than Achilles but no less vulnerable. He agreed to an extended bailout “deal” even worse than the one the Greek referendum resoundingly rejected.  Greece could remain in the Eurozone and the EU but strapped into an even tighter debt straightjacket and obliged to gulp down an even bigger cup of the poisonous hemlock of Austerity.  A modern Greek tragedy. This is inevitably what happens when the vast bulk of the world’s economy is not based on serving or benefiting the public welfare nor on the production of anything useful to society – food, clothing, housing, sound infrastructure, industrial production, construction, manufacturing and accompanying services – but instead is based on harvesting money through massive frauds, deception, thievery, cooked books & crooked accounting, tax dodging, bribery, extortion, rigged markets, insider trading, blackmail, flim-flam propaganda, financial conspiracies and death by debt.  It was, perhaps, a forlorn hope that Greece could give the world another lesson in Democracy.  Alas, it may now take surviving a financial $iege of $talingrad to reach a turning point against the Panzer onslaught of this brutal, arrogant, greedy and pathologically corrupt cabal of vulture banksters and cannibal capitalists. Until then…En Garde, France!!!   *****      

USCIS Seeks Comments on Proposed Expansion of Eligibility for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waivers

USCIS is seeking public comments on a proposed rule that would expand eligibility for provisional waivers of inadmissibility based on the accrual of unlawful presence. The proposed rule would expand eligibility to all foreign nationals who are statutorily eligible for an immigrant visa and for a waiver of inadmissibility based on unlawful presence. Read the advance version of the notice of proposed rulemaking: Expansion of Provisional Unlawful Presence Waivers of Inadmissibility. Once the notice of proposed rulemaking is published in the Federal Register, the public will have 60 days from the date of publication to comment. To submit comments, follow the instructions in the notice. The changes, proposed in the interests of family unity and to enhance customer service, would take effect on the date indicated in the final rule when the final rule is published in the Federal Register. Currently, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) allows certain immediate relatives – specifically certain parents, spouses and children of U.S. citizens -- who are in the United States to request a provisional unlawful presence waiver before departing for consular processing of their immigrant visas. The waiver currently is only available to those immediate relatives whose sole ground of inadmissibility would be unlawful presence under section 212(a)(9)(B)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act and who can demonstrate that the denial of the waiver would result in extreme hardship to their U.S. citizen spouse or parent. Under the proposed rule, USCIS may grant a provisional waiver to foreign nationals if they are statutorily eligible for an immigrant visa and for a waiver of inadmissibility based on unlawful presence. The proposed rule also would expand who may be considered a qualifying relative for purposes of the extreme hardship determination to include lawful permanent resident spouses and parents.   These proposed changes do not take effect with the publication of the notice of proposed rulemaking. When the final rule is published, the final rule will indicate the date on which foreign nationals may begin to apply for provisional unlawful presence waivers under the changes. At this time, foreign nationals should not submit applications requesting provisional unlawful presence waivers based on the proposed changes. USCIS may deny any such application filed before the effective date indicated in the final rule, once the final rule is published. For more information, see the Provisional Unlawful Presence Waivers page.

H-1B Cap Solutions: The H-1B cap has been met for this year. Where can foreign nationals be sponsored and work?

What happens when you are a foreign national looking for a job and the H-1B visa has been met? You need to think outside the box and be strategic about your search. Here is a brief guide regarding H-1B cap-exempt sponsors. This year approximately 2/3 of H-1B petitions were returned as innocent victims of the hated H-1B visa lottery. This leaves only current H-1B holders and candidates looking for H-1B exempt sponsors as those still able to get a new H-1B sponsorship between now and next April. H-1B cap exemptions are based on determinations by the USCIS on the employment or an offer of employment in three categories: 1. An institution of higher education 2. A affiliated or related nonprofit entity 3. A nonprofit or government research organization There has been a lot of confusion as to what entities qualify for this exemption, therefore we would like to give you a quick overview of the 3 organizational types that have cap exemptions: 1. An institution of higher education is commonly considered to be a college or university. 2. An affiliated or related nonprofit entity is an organization that is connected or associated with an institution of higher education. This is usually through shared ownership or control by the same ownership board operated by an institution of higher education. 3. A nonprofit or governmental research organization is an institution that is primarily engaged in basic research and/or applied research in different fields. Here are two examples provided by USCIS to demonstrate how the exemption works. These examples should clarify how the organizations fall within the three aforementioned categories. Example 1: A medical fellow in pediatrics has been employed at a qualifying non-profit university medical center for two years in H-1B status. At the end of the fellowship, the doctor will become a member of Company C, a private pediatrics practice group which has its primary offices within the university medical center and predominantly trains medical students and treats patients in the medical center. The doctor will be doing exactly the same work that he did during his fellowship, including remaining on the university medical center’s faculty, but for reasons related to hospital billing practices and medical malpractice insurance requirements, his technical, and therefore petitioning employer will be the private pediatrics practice group. In this scenario, the individual would qualify for an H-1B exemption because the doctor is working at an organization connected to the university. The doctor is performing the same work that he did while employed directly by the university medical center. The doctor remains on the university’s faculty and continues to train and educate students while treating patients at the medical center. Example 2: Company D, a for-profit market research firm that would not otherwise be a qualifying institution, files an H-1B petition on behalf of a direct employee. The H-1B petition states that the alien beneficiary will be conducting a specific kind of market research on-site at a qualifying university. In addition, the petition states that the university has a specialized research tool that can only be accessed from its facilities and that the alien beneficiary’s research will be conducted for the benefit of the petitioner’s clients and business, and not for the university. In this example, the individual would NOT qualify for an H-1B cap exemption. The individual is only located at the university and there is no work relationship that connects the university to the work done by the applicant. The work done by the individual is solely for the for-profit company and not the qualifying institution. These situations show us the distinct difference between what entities qualify for a cap exemption and what work relation is needed to show a relationship in cases of an affiliated or related organization to that qualifying entity. If you believe you qualify for an H-1B exemption or have any questions about the topics we discussed, please contact us at info@smalawyers.com for further information.
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http://smalawyers.com/coming-to-america-on-the-franchise-visa/
Jornal.us News Agency

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The Cleansing of 46th Street 2015
Jornal.us News Agency

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Go Greece! Gone Greece!
Jornal.us News Agency

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USCIS Seeks Comments on Proposed Expansion of Eligibility for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waivers
Jornal.us News Agency

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H-1B Cap Solutions: The H-1B cap has been met for this year. Where can foreign nationals be sponsored and work?
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Covering All Bases in the H1-B Visa Process
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Real Estate Investment As A Means to a Visa
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For certain individuals , military service opens a path to citizenship
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Does Sen. Bernie Sanders have Dual Citizenship with Israel?
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ICE Reports on Removals for Year 2014
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