Monthly Archives: August 2016

Athletes Qualifying for a Green Card After Winning an Olympic Medal

You Won a Gold, Silver, or Bronze Olympic Medal.  Now it’s Time to go for the Green!

Now that the 2016 Rio Olympics have come to a close, thousands of talented athletes are returning home with Gold, Silver and Bronze medals in hand. These athletes are among the most elite in the world – the best of the best. The United States covets these types of people and it just so happens that there is a way for those athletes who won an Olympic medal to immigrate to the United States.

A green card just for Olympic medalists, you ask? Not quite, the EB–1 green card is a specific employment-based category that allows applicants who have demonstrated extraordinary ability in certain fields, including athletics, to apply for a green card without having a job offer in the United States.

Generally, to qualify for an EB-1 green card, the applicant must demonstrate at least 3 of the following 10 criteria:

  • Evidence of receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence
  • Evidence of your membership in associations in the field which demand outstanding achievement of their members
  • Evidence of published material about you in professional or major trade publications or other major media
  • Evidence that you have been asked to judge the work of others, either individually or on a panel
  • Evidence of your original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance to the field
  • Evidence of your authorship of scholarly articles in professional or major trade publications or other major media
  • Evidence that your work has been displayed at artistic exhibitions or showcases
  • Evidence of your performance of a leading or critical role in distinguished organizations
  • Evidence that you command a high salary or other significantly high remuneration in relation to others in the field
  • Evidence of your commercial successes in the performing arts

However, USCIS explicitly states that in lieu of the aforementioned criteria, the applicant can also “provide evidence of a one-time achievement (i.e., Pulitzer, Oscar, Olympic Medal).”

So if you won Gold, Silver or Bronze at the Olympics, maybe it’s time to go for the Green? Contact Maximilian Law Inc. to see whether you are eligible to apply for an EB-1 green card.




Increased Fines for Violations of Immigration Law as of August 2016

Penalties for violations of immigration law increased on August 1, 2016 after the Department of Justice issued an interim final rule as an inflation adjustment.

The rule increased fines for Form I-9 paperwork violations, for engaging in unfair immigration-related employment practices such as discrimination, document abuse and document fraud, and for knowingly hiring or continuing to employ an unauthorized worker. These categories of activity were originally outlawed in The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. 

Form I-9 Paperwork Violations 

What this is: Form I-9 is used to verify the identity and employment authorization of anyone hired for employment in the United States. All U.S. employers must have a complete I-9 for each individual they hire whether a citizen or noncitizen.

To complete the I-9, the employee must attest to his employment authorization and show her employer documents that prove her identity and ability to work in the United States.

What the previous fine was: $110 – $1,100 per violation

What the new fine is: $216 – $2,156 per violation

 Unfair Employment Practice: Committing or Participating in Document Fraud

What this is:

Document Fraud is the forgery, counterfeit, or alteration of any document for the purpose of complying with Immigration law regarding the employment of aliens.

What the previous fine was:

$250 – $2,000

What the new fine is:

$376 – $3,005

Unfair Employment Practice: Discrimination

What this is:

There are several types of discriminatory unfair employment practices.

Employers are not allowed to treat individuals differently based on their immigration or citizenship status. Citizens, temporary residents, refugees, and recent permanent residents are protected from citizenship status discrimination. However, citizenship status discrimination that is required to comply with laws or regulations are permissible by law (such as not hiring immigrants without appropriate proof of their employment authorization).

Employers are also not allowed to treat individuals differently because of their country of origin, place of birth, native language, accent, or ancestry. All work authorized individuals, citizens, and lawful permanent residents are protected from national origin discrimination.

What the previous fine was: $375 – $3,200 for first order violations

What the new fine is: $445 – $3,563 for first order violations

 Unfair Employment Practice: Committing document abuse

What this is:

Employers must verify the identity and employment eligibility of their workers to comply with the Immigration Reform and Control Act. However, if the employer does not allow an employee to use any documents which are legally acceptable but instead, requires specific documents or requires more documents than are legally required by I-9.

What the previous fine was:

$110 – $1,100 per violation

What the new fine is:

$178 – $1,782

Employing an unauthorized worker:

What this is:

Employers must ensure that their employees are authorized to work in the U.S. by checking that the employee’s I-9 documents appear reasonably genuine and related to the employee. If you employ a worker who is not authorized to work and it cannot be shown that you followed I-9 procedures and acted in good faith, you may be fined.

What the previous fine was:

$375 – $3,200 for a first offense

What the new fine is:

$539 – $4,313 for a first offense

To learn more about fines for immigration law violations, contact an experienced immigration law at Maximilian Law Inc.