Monitoring practical developments in immigration law practice, theVISAGeek™ provides timely and insightful immigration law guideposts

TheVISAGeek™ is a publication of the immigration law firm of Lipson & Pretorius LLP. With over 50 years combined experience, we focus on immigration law for Entrepreneurs, Start-ups, Investors, Business and Research professionals as well as Artists and Entertainers worldwide.


Non-immigrant visa interview: Waivers expanded

State Department expands waiver of some non-immigrant visa applicant interviews In an effort to manage an increasing workload with less resources, the U.S. Department of State has added a large number of nonimmigrant visa applicants to the list of those for whom interviews may be waived. The program became effective on January 19, 2012 and… Read more »

Global Entry Program Now Available

CBP has begun processing applications for the Global Entry Program for expedited entry clearance Global Entry is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. Though intended for frequent international travelers, there is no minimum number of trips necessary to qualify… Read more »

E-2 Visa Option: A Missed Opportunity

U.S. misses out on foreign entrepreneurs – need to expand E-2 investor visa option for non-immigrant business investors As Pam Prather points out in her excellent piece in a recent issue of Immigration Daily despite the fact that 29.5% of new business in 2010 can be attributed to immigrant entrepreneurs, the E-2 visa, which is a… Read more »

Retaining Highly Skilled Immigrants Gaining Policy Traction

On January 31, 2012, USCIS announced several DHS reforms to attract the best and the brightest in furtherance of President Obama’s commitment “to make the U.S. more attractive to highly skilled foreign students and workers, thereby improving the competitiveness of U.S. companies int he world market and stimulating job creations.” Expand eligibility for 17-month extension… Read more »

Continued Battle over Kazarian for the “Extraordinary” and the “Outstanding”

USCIS not buying arguments from the immigration bar On January 18, USCIS held an open meeting to discuss immigrant petitions based on extraordinary or outstanding achievements. The issue, of course, is the addition of the new USCIS “merits determination” based on the “totality of the circumstances” which USCIS claims is mandated by the 9th Circuit’s… Read more »

Immigrant Entrepreneurs: Policy Momentum = Good News

Continued push from USCIS Director may benefit immigrant entrepreneurs USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas continues to push for reform that would benefit immigrant entrepreneurs particularly through the immigrant investor visa (EB-5) program and the utilization of the National Interest Waiver (NIW) category for job creation. In a series of “conversations” with the public, Director Mayorkas has begun… Read more »

Obama aims to lure more foreign tourists

President Obama’s recent executive order to increase tourism to the U.S. by expediting and simplifying the tourist visa application process is a step in the right direction. The goal is to fuel the economy and create jobs. “The more folks who visit America, the more Americans we get back to work,” says Mr Obama. International… Read more »

EB-5: Investing Your Capital

As an EB-5 investor with the required capital,  how must you invest it? Invest means to contribute capital, as that term was defined in an earlier blog. But a contribution of capital in exchange for a note, bond, or any other debt arrangement between the new commercial enterprise and the immigrant investor does NOT constitute… Read more »

EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program: Key Elements

The EB-5 Program is based on three main elements: The immigrant’s investment of capital In a new commercial enterprise That creates jobs. In a series of blogs we will lay out what each of these three elements means for both the original EB-5 program (investment of $1 million) and the Immigrant Investor Pilot Program such… Read more »

EB-5 investor Program: Favorable Climate

USCIS re-emphasizes thoughtful and careful adjudication of applications to further the program’s purpose to promote the immigration of people who can help create jobs for U.S. workers through their investment of capital into the U.S. economy In this environment of job scarcity, USCIS has promised to focus its resources on investment/entrepreneurial visas to beef up… Read more »