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CONGRATULATIONS TO SIMONE WILLIAMS, NEWLY ELECTED BOARD MEMBER OF THE DC CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

This month, Simone Williams, Managing Attorney of Williams Global Law, was elected as a Board Member of the DC Chamber of Commerce (DCC). With over 1,700 members, the DC Chamber of Commerce has been an avid advocate, support, and resource or the small, medium, and large businesses in Washington DC for the past 75 years. Congratulations to Ms. Williams on her new role with the DCC!

NEW EB-5 VISA RULES ARE IMPLEMENTED AND LAWSUIT FILED TO STOP THE RULE!

The United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) has brought into effect the changes to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, as of November 21, 2019. The new rule includes a rise in the standard minimum investment amount from $1 million to $1.8 million and an increase in the minimum investment amount in a targeted employment area (TEA) from $500,000 to $900,000. According to the agency, the increase in amounts is to account for the rise in inflation. The new rule also includes the following changes: • Providing priority date retention to certain EB-5 investors • Clarifying USCIS procedures for the removal of conditions on permanent residence • Tightening of the definiti

ETHIOPIA TRADE MISSION A SUCCESS!

Last month, Ms. Williams participated in a historic trade mission to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia with DC Mayor, Muriel BowserM, DC Council members, members of the DC Chamber of Commerce and leaders of the DC business community. The trip included renewal of the sister city agreement between the District of Columbia and Addis Ababa; meetings with Prime Minister of Ethiopia, President of Ethiopia, mayor of Addis Ababa, mayor of Lailebela, U.S. Ambassador of Ethiopia, and Ethiopia Ambassador to U.S.; visit to religious cultural site, digital library and orphanage in Lailebla; and meetings with the Ethiopian business community. During the visit, Addis Ababa city renamed a roundabout formerly called

USCIS ISSUES UPDATE ON H-1B CAP ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEM

The USCIS has issued an update declaring the agency`s intention to start a new system for the H-1B cap filing season. This new system would require petitioning employers to complete an electronic pre-registration. The USCIS would, then, select the cases eligible to be filed and provide employers with a defined time period to file the H-1B petition. Although the agency is still on the development phase of the new system, this process represents a significant change in procedure. Previous registration systems have been filled with technical glitches and operations disruptions in other visa categories. For that reason, there has been widespread concern about the limited outreach available to

LEGAL IMMIGRATION BENEFITS ARE BECOMING MORE EXPENSIVE UNDER NEW TRUMP POLICY

There has been an across-the-board 21% overall increase for certain immigration applications proposed by USCIS a couple of weeks ago. The agency says the hikes are needed to cover operational costs and to pay for better vetting of applicants. However, analysts worry that the increases will keep eligible immigrants from being able to complete the immigration process. Especially, considering that the proposal also limits availability of some fee waivers. Jason Boyd, policy counsel for the American Immigration Lawyers Association, said increased USCIS processing times are due to several policy changes the agency instituted since President Donald Trump came into power. The agency has added some

THE CONGRESS EXTENDS EB-5 AND OTHER PROGRAMS UNTIL DECEMBER 20!

Members of Congress announced that a deal had been reached to extend federal government funding for one month, until December 20. Initially, the temporary funding bill that the government is operating under, went until November 21, 2019. Other immigration programs would also be part of the extension. These include the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, the Conrad 30 J-1 waiver program, the E-Verify program, and the special religious workers' program.

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