Orner Law, LLC

Orner Law, LLC Orner Law is a premier U.S. immigration and nationality law firm. Our attorneys have a wide array of experience in U.S. immigration law, with a particular emphasis on business immigration matters.

We have successfully handled hundreds of immigrant (permanent) and nonimmigrant (temporary) visa petitions, including appeals and cases with criminal issues. Orner Law is committed to delivering exceptional client service and creative immigration solutions to both corporate and individual clients through personalized attention and direct attorney-client contact. We invite you to contact us at [email protected] or at 240.395.1506 to learn more about how we can help your business.

Operating as usual

Trump administration rescinds foreign students rule
07/14/2020
Trump administration rescinds foreign students rule

Trump administration rescinds foreign students rule

The Trump administration on Tuesday rescinded a policy that would have stripped visas from international students whose courses move exclusively online amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Harvard and MIT have filed the first lawsuit to prevent the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Cus...
07/09/2020
Harvard, MIT Sue Immigration Authorities Over Rule Barring International Students from Online-Only Universities | News | The Harvard Crimson

Harvard and MIT have filed the first lawsuit to prevent the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement from enforcing federal guidelines barring international students attending colleges and universities offering only online courses from staying in the U.S.

Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology filed a lawsuit in District Court in Boston Wednesday morning against the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, according to University President Lawrence S. Bacow.

ICE tells students on visas they must leave US if schools go online-only
07/06/2020
ICE tells students on visas they must leave US if schools go online-only

ICE tells students on visas they must leave US if schools go online-only

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced Monday that international students in the U.S. whose schools switch to online classes for the fall semester will have to leave the country or risk violating their visa status.

Last night, Pres. Trump tweeted that he plans to unilaterally suspend all immigration into the United States.  Today, hi...
04/21/2020
Draft of Trump Order Reveals 90-Day Ban With Food, Health Exceptions

Last night, Pres. Trump tweeted that he plans to unilaterally suspend all immigration into the United States. Today, his press secretary stated that this is part of an economic effort.

A draft version of an executive order would bar people from seeking a range of work visas.

03/18/2020

In response to COVID-19, USCIS has finally suspended all routine face-to-face services with applicants at all offices, including all interviews and naturalization ceremonies.

All USCIS field offices, asylum offices and Application Support Centers (ASCs) will not provide in-person services until at least April 1. This includes interviews, naturalization ceremonies, and biometric collection appointments. If you have an emergency service request, please contact the USCIS Contact Center.

USCIS field offices will send de-scheduling notices to applicants and petitioners with scheduled appointments impacted by this closure, including naturalization applicants scheduled for naturalization ceremonies. All applicants will be rescheduled when USCIS resumes normal operations.

USCIS asylum offices will send interview cancellation notices and automatically reschedule asylum interviews. When the interview is rescheduled, asylum applicants will receive a new interview notice with the new time, date and location of the interview.

USCIS will also automatically reschedule ASC appointments due to the office closure. Those impacted will receive a new appointment letter in the mail. Individuals who had InfoPass or other appointments at the field office must reschedule through the USCIS Contact Center once field offices are open to the public again. Please check to see if your field office has been reopened before reaching out to the USCIS Contact Center.

This ruling potentially opens the way for opponents to challenge any policy made by the agency when Cuccinelli, a Trump ...
03/02/2020
Ken Cuccinelli’s appointment to top immigration job was unlawful, court rules, invalidating policy memos he signed

This ruling potentially opens the way for opponents to challenge any policy made by the agency when Cuccinelli, a Trump appointee and the current acting deputy secretary of Homeland Security, served as USCIS’s principal deputy director from June through November of last year.

The ruling amounts to a rebuke of President Trump’s stated preference for filling jobs with “acting” leaders. A judge said federal vacancy rules require an agency’s “first assistant” to assume leadership when the top job is open. The administration is expected to appeal.

The additional countries facing varying degrees of travel restrictions to the U.S. include Nigeria, Myanmar (Burma), Eri...
02/02/2020
Trump Administration Adds Six Countries to Travel Ban

The additional countries facing varying degrees of travel restrictions to the U.S. include Nigeria, Myanmar (Burma), Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Sudan, and Tanzania.

The proclamation will take effect on February 22nd. Immigrants who obtain visas before then will still be able to travel to the U.S. Nonimmigrant visas, including those for students and certain temporary workers, as well as visas reserved for potential employees with specialized skills, will NOT be affected by the ban.

Immigrants who would experience undue hardship if denied entry to the U.S, will be able to apply for waivers from the restrictions, although in reality the approval of waivers seems arbitrary.

President Trump added Africa’s biggest country, Nigeria, as well as Myanmar, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Sudan and Tanzania, to his restricted travel list.

Starting tomorrow, visitors to the US will be denied temporary visitor (B-1/B-2) visas if it's found that the "primary p...
01/24/2020
US issues new rules restricting travel by pregnant foreigners, fearing the use of 'birth tourism'

Starting tomorrow, visitors to the US will be denied temporary visitor (B-1/B-2) visas if it's found that the "primary purpose" of travel is for obtaining US citizenship for a child by giving birth in the United States, according to an amended State Department regulation.

It will be interesting to see how this will be implemented since (1) most people don't admit that they are planning to travel to the U.S. to give birth and obtain citizenship for their child and (2) consular officers cannot directly ask a visa applicant if she is pregnant unless they have a specific articulable reason to believe she may be pregnant and planning to give birth in the U.S.

The Trump administration will implement a new policy Friday to make it more difficult for foreign nationals to travel to give birth on US soil to ensure their children become American citizens, a practice commonly known as "birth tourism."

01/22/2020

ICYMI: USCIS today announced that, due to the October 3, 2018 termination of the 1955 Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations, and Consular Rights with Iran, Iranian nationals are no longer eligible for E-1 treaty trader and E-2 treaty investor changes or extensions of status based on the treaty. Due to the termination of the treaty, USCIS will send Notices of Intent to Deny to affected applicants who filed applications after the State Department's October 3 announcement. Iranians currently holding and properly maintaining E-1 or E-2 status may remain in the U.S. until their current status expires.

Companies say the extremely high rate of visa refusals is increasing company costs, wasting company time that should be ...
11/20/2019
Companies Say U.S. Consulate In India Denies L-1 Visas At Alarming Rate

Companies say the extremely high rate of visa refusals is increasing company costs, wasting company time that should be spent serving customers, and making it highly unpredictable to conduct business and manage personnel.

The problems most likely started after Donald Trump issued the “Buy American and Hire American” executive order in April 2017, and the State Department followed up by incorporating the order into its Foreign Affairs Manual.

U.S. consular officers are making it extremely difficult for U.S. companies to transfer employees from India into America.

A federal judge has ruled that U.S. border agents need "reasonable suspicion" but not a warrant to search travelers' sma...
11/19/2019
U.S. Judge Rules Suspicionless Searches of Travelers' Digital Devices Unconstitutional

A federal judge has ruled that U.S. border agents need "reasonable suspicion" but not a warrant to search travelers' smartphones and laptops at airports and other U.S. ports of entry. The ruling sets a higher standard than the one CBP and ICE agents must apply to conduct routine searches of electronic devices under current policies. The number of electronic device searches at the border has ballooned during the Trump administration, rising from about 8,500 in FY2015 to more than 30,000 in FY2018.

A federal judge on Tuesday ruled that U.S. border agents need "reasonable suspicion" but not a warrant to search travelers’ smartphones and laptops at airports and other U.S. ports of entry, a practice that has been growing in recent years.

In a defeat for the Trump administration, three federal judges have issued injunctions temporarily blocking the public c...
10/18/2019
Federal Judges In 3 States Block Trump's 'Public Charge' Rule For Green Cards

In a defeat for the Trump administration, three federal judges have issued injunctions temporarily blocking the public charge rule, which was scheduled to take place on October 15th. In his 24-page ruling, Judge George Daniels of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York said the Trump administration likely exceeded its authority.

Under the rule, officials would weigh whether a green card applicant will be self-sufficient. The rule had been set to go into effect on Oct. 15. It's now blocked by three preliminary injunctions.

Last week, President Trump issued a far-reaching presidential proclamation that would bar new immigrants from entering t...
10/11/2019
Trump just quietly cut legal immigration by up to 65%

Last week, President Trump issued a far-reaching presidential proclamation that would bar new immigrants from entering the US without health insurance. The proclamation, which goes into effect on November 3, 2019, excludes new lawful immigrants who cannot show the ability to purchase unsubsidized commercial health insurance within 30 days of entry, unless exceptions apply (i.e., unless they can find a way to purchase health insurance outside of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges).

In related news, the new public charge rule is set to go into effect next Tuesday, October 15th. Expect to provide USCIS with a lot more financial information (18 pages worth on the new Form I-944) if you are applying for adjustment of status. What a mess.

This is what immigration restrictionists have been waiting for.

On August 12, the Department of Homeland Security published the final Public Charge rule in the Federal Register that wi...
08/13/2019
New rules can deny green cards for immigrants on food stamps

On August 12, the Department of Homeland Security published the final Public Charge rule in the Federal Register that will take into account the U.S. income level and prior use of certain public benefits of those seeking green cards and admission to the U.S. In addition, USCIS officers will now weigh public assistance along with other factors such as education, household income and health to determine whether to grant legal status.

"Under the new rules, the Department of Homeland Security has redefined a public charge as someone who is “more likely than not” to receive public benefits for more than 12 months within a 36-month period. If someone has two benefits, that is counted as two months. And the definition has been broadened to include Medicaid, housing assistance and food assistance under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.

Following publication of the proposed rules last fall, Homeland Security received 266,000 public comments, more than triple the average number for a rule change at the agency, and it made a series of amendments to the final rules as a result.

For example, women who are pregnant and on Medicaid or who need public assistance will not be subject to the new rules during the pregnancy and for 60 days after the birth of the baby.

The Medicare Part D low-income subsidy won’t be considered a public benefit. And public benefits received by children up until age 21 won’t be considered. Nor will emergency medical assistance, school lunch programs, foster care or adoption, student loans and mortgages, food pantries, homeless shelters or disaster relief."

This new rule has already resulted in higher immigrant visa denial rates by consular officers (see article in comment below). Stay tuned for more info on the impact of this new rule (and litigation sure to follow).

Trump administration rules that could deny green cards to immigrants if they use public assistance are going into effect

Revocations of H-1B Visas Rise in New Front Against Immigration
06/13/2019
Revocations of H-1B Visas Rise in New Front Against Immigration

Revocations of H-1B Visas Rise in New Front Against Immigration

Comtrix Solutions Inc., a Virginia-based health care staffing company, got approval to bring in skilled foreign workers on H-1B visas for several clients in October 2018, six months after it applied.

06/06/2019
House Votes to Give ‘Dreamers’ a Path to Citizenship

The Dream and Promise Act is “a political bill” that won’t become law, according to Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee. It will likely be blocked by the Republican-controlled Senate or else will be vetoed by Pres. Trump. But Democrats celebrated passage as a major victory, for their own party at least, which has been pushing for a "Dreamers" bill for many years without success.

The House voted Tuesday to give 2.5 million young undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship, a defiant gesture as President Trump pushes a crackdown on migrants.

The average processing time for naturalization applications is now 10 months and can take up to 2 years in some parts of...
10/30/2018
Wait times for citizenship applications stretch to 2 years

The average processing time for naturalization applications is now 10 months and can take up to 2 years in some parts of the country. Now, according to this article, some immigrant rights groups are questioning whether the delays are an intentional effort to keep individuals who may vote against President Trump from being able to cast ballots in the 2020 presidential election.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — More than 700,000 immigrants are waiting on applications to become U.S. citizens, a process that once typically took about six months but has stretched to more than two years in some places under the administration of President Donald Trump. The long wait times have prompted som...

Well here's a nice feel good story for once.
07/20/2018
Twins send pitcher out early to become American citizen

Well here's a nice feel good story for once.

Twins closer Fernando Rodney had an important plane to catch when he left Sunday’s game against the Rays. The 41-year-old had to leave Target Field by 3 p.m. central time in order to make a flight …

This article highlights an immigrant population that we don't often hear about.  H-1B visas are not just for IT workers....
06/14/2018
Immigrant doctors in rural America are sick of waiting for green cards

This article highlights an immigrant population that we don't often hear about. H-1B visas are not just for IT workers. These are doctors who are saving lives in rural America, where we have a physician shortage that is only getting worse. Indian and Chinese physicians can wait upwards of 15-20 years for a green card, prompting many of them to think about moving elsewhere and leaving hundreds of small towns across the U.S. without a doctor.

Frustrated by an onerous wait for their U.S. permanent resident status, immigrant doctors serving in rural towns with doctor shortages have hit a breaking point and are willing to leave America.

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10411 Motor City Dr, Ste 500
Bethesda, MD
20817

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Monday 08:30 - 17:30
Tuesday 08:30 - 17:30
Wednesday 08:30 - 17:30
Thursday 08:30 - 17:30
Friday 08:30 - 17:30

Telephone

(240) 395-1506

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