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Change to US immigration law requires health care coverage

The cost of health care in the United States can be quite steep. Even with insurance, many patients struggle to pay both monthly premiums and medical bills from seeing the doctor. Still, most people can receive excellent care across the country. A recent change to U.S. immigration law could make some of that care inaccessible by barring certain individuals from obtaining visas or even entering the country.

Within 30 days of arriving in the United States, immigrants will need to prove that they will be getting health insurance or that they have enough money to cover their own medical expenses. Those who support this change believe that it will cut down on how much U.S. citizens will have to pay in taxes and medical bills. However, there is not a uniform procedure for deciding whether a person can meet the requirement. This means that each individual consular officer in Louisiana can interpret the information differently.

Employment immigration can be a long waiting game

It can feel like a lot of time passes between submitting a green card application and receiving a decision. For a person pursuing employment immigration from one of two countries, that feeling can be very accurate, especially when it takes years before he or she can even apply for a green card. Although lawmakers recently tried to change the system that puts nationals of certain countries at a disadvantage, they were unable to do so.

Every year, there are approximately 675,000 green cards are available to foreign nationals not already living in the United States. Of those, only 140,000 are set aside for immigrants who are seeking employment in the U.S. Many of the employers in Louisiana and elsewhere who are hiring foreign workers are looking for high-skilled immigrants, particularly those who can work in the tech industry. However, some of the people who are most well-suited for these positions are facing enormous wait times.

Possible asylum decisions in US immigration law

Applying for asylum can be a matter of life or death. That's why a person may feel very worried when waiting for a decision. However, decisions can be a lot more complicated than just a "yes" or "no." According to U.S. immigration law, a person living in Louisiana could receive a number of different decisions. Here are just some of the possible results.

A grant of asylum is what asylum seekers are usually hoping for. This decision means that a person is eligible for asylum, and the decision is considered indefinite. It is possible that a grant of asylum can be terminated, though. A grant of asylum can be terminated for several different reasons. For example, if another country grants protection to a person or if the individual no longer have a legitimate fear of being persecuted in his or her home country.

Is employment immigration the right choice for entrepreneurs?

Entrepreneurs from across the globe are ready to bring their innovations and business ideas to the United States. However, finding the correct path to doing so can be tricky. While some choose to first pursue employment immigration, there are other options that might give entrepreneurs more time to focus on their personal business ventures.

The International Entrepreneur rule was supposed to be implemented in July 2017, and it would have granted certain entrepreneurs 30 months to develop and build their companies in Louisiana and across the rest of the United States. The Department of Homeland Security had predicted that 3,000 entrepreneurs a year would have benefited from this rule. Unfortunately, this rule was delayed and it is possible that it will be rescinded altogether. Entrepreneurs have other options, though.

Helpful tips for dealing with US immigration law

It would be nice if the immigration process were quicker and less confusing, but it is often a long journey with many different kinds of obstacles. Because of this, navigating U.S. immigration law is a lot harder than it may seem at first. Some of the following tips may be helpful for Louisiana immigrants who are struggling with the process.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services does not process applications quickly, and indeed the agency is almost always behind schedule. Depending on the circumstances and type of application, the process can take as long as three years. It is important to expect delays and to submit paperwork and applications for anything as early as possible. Even if a person has already applied to have his or her visa or green card renewed, if it is expired then he or she could still be arrested and deported.

Lawmakers walk back US immigration law medical policy change

Immigrants in Louisiana probably feel like this is an extremely uncertain period of time. U.S. immigration law is rapidly changing, and new policies that affect specific programs can be very confusing. What might be even more confusing is when policy changes are suddenly reversed, and those affected by these ongoing changes and reversals are not sure of where they stand.

A deferred action program that allows immigrants to defer deportation if they are receiving medical care for certain illnesses was recently brought to a halt because U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services was no longer in charge of the decisions. However, just as quickly as the policy was changed, it was quickly reversed. USCIS will continue to work on this deferral program, although in a limited capacity.

Another US immigration law change affects medical deferrals

Foreign nationals who need specialized medical care sometimes seek treatment in the United States, but these individuals sometimes receive orders for removal or need care beyond the time limits of their visas. According to U.S. immigration law, immigrants living in Louisiana and elsewhere who have serious medical conditions can apply for deferrals. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service -- USCIS -- used to be the agency that considered the deferrals. Now, Immigration and Customs Enforcement will be in charge of making those decisions.

Immigrants who applied to the medical deferred action program were not given any notice that the policy was changing. Many were surprised to receive denial letters, even after providing documentation regarding their medical conditions. To qualify for the medical deferred action program, a person must prove that he or she has an extreme medical need. If approved, people can stay in the U.S. for an additional two years. Most of the people who apply to this program are those who entered with visas or other forms of permitted statuses.

US immigration law allows for appeals

The average person may spend months or even years looking forward to the end of his or her immigration case. Unfortunately, it is not always a satisfactory end, and a person may receive a decision that is not favorable. Under U.S. immigration law, a person may have a right to appeal that decision.

An immigrant living in Louisiana who has been given a final order of deportation, exclusion or removal has 90 days to file a motion to reopen. This is when a person requests that his or her case be reopened and reconsidered. However, it is not enough to simply ask that an immigration judge reconsider the same information and evidence. This is because the purpose of a motion to reopen is so that changed or new evidence can be considered.

Revisions are coming to the U.S. citizenship test

There are many steps to becoming a naturalized citizen of the United States. From securing the appropriate documentation to come to the U.S. in the first place, a person must also meet the age requirement and have lived as a lawful permanent resident for five years or longer. Another step to becoming a citizen is to pass the citizenship test. Immigrants living in Louisiana who have been studying for that test should be aware that it will be revised soon.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services recently announced that the revisions are intended to create a more accurate measure of the civics knowledge of applicants and to help new citizens develop a deeper understanding of citizenship and American values. This is not the first revision, either. The 1986 test has been revised multiple times, most recently in 2008. It is not entirely clear when the USCIS will debut the new test, but the current plan is for the new tests to launch around late 2020 or even early 2021, and a pilot version of the revisions will go into use fall of 2019.

Is Louisiana state law different than federal US immigration law?

Most people already know that there are federal laws governing the immigration process in the United States. However, states also enforce their own laws on a variety of matters, including requirements for employment, driver's licenses and more. For certain matters, immigrants should be sure to adhere to Louisiana state law. However, when state law may seem at odds with federal immigration law, federal law typically controls.

An example of state law is that all public and private employers in Louisiana have to use E-verify with new hires. This process confirms that an individual is eligible for employment in the U.S. and may prevent undocumented immigrants from finding employment. The state also regulates the information that people must provide when applying for IDs or driver's licenses. Immigrants must be able to establish their identities and birth dates, which can be accomplished through a number of documents.