Category Archives: Legal

Trump’s Immigration Rules Will Hurt U.S. Tech Industry

Visa ApplicationIn January 2017, tech leaders across the U.S. and abroad expressed their qualms regarding President Donald Trump’s plans to change immigration policies across the board. Among the many visa categories, the president has proposed new rules for those wanting to enter the country via H-1B visa. As an employment-based, non-immigrant visa category, it will also hurt several tech employers in Utah and nationwide.

Proposed Changes for H-1B Visa Norms

H-1B visas are usually awarded to the highest-paying and highest-skilled jobs across a range of disciplines. Unlike other visa norms which are awarded through a random lottery, you won’t have to wait years to get an H-1B visa, granting that you meet all the requirements and have already secured a sponsoring employer.

One of the changes proposed by Trump and reforms lobbied by senators is to double the minimum salaries of H-1B visa holders to $130,000; furthermore, new rules are being positioned to give preference to students educated in the U.S. and to prohibit spouses of H-1B visa holders from working in the country. To sum it up, many of the proposed reforms are aimed at making it difficult for companies to employ skilled foreign workers.

How Does It Affect Utah’s Tech Sector?

A big percentage of the workforce consists of skilled migrants from India and Asia. You can say that they have played a big role in building one of the country’s most competitive and lucrative sectors. As a net creator of highly specialized jobs in the US, it is undeniable that R&D institutions will suffer from these changes. In the case of Utah and its metropolitan areas, new H1-B visa restrictions could hamper innovation and expansion operations.

Who Will Suffer the Most?

Indian tech companies have already expressed their outrage over the proposed legislation. According to a Hindustani Times report, over 86% of the H-1B visas issued for IT jobs go to Indian workers. This could mean millions of dreams shattered not only for highly skilled tech workers from India but from all parts of the world. The H-1B visa, which has allowed many of the best minds in the tech sector to work in America, will all too soon become more difficult to obtain.

 

Myths Vs. Reality: Truth about Acquiring H-1B Visa

United States Visa

There are a large number of foreign citizens who want to work in America. This might or might not be because of perceived better job opportunities and working conditions that they otherwise can’t find in their home countries. Whatever their reasons, foreigners need to acquire work visas first before being allowed to work in the country legally.

H-1B visas are the most popular type of working visa since it can turn into a long-term arrangement and even a permanent residency later on. Acquiring an H-1B visa is not that simple, however, and its complex procedures can be hard to navigate. Let’s go through some common myths about H-1B visa and learn the truth behind them.

Only Large Companies can hire through an H-1B Visa

There is no requirement for a company to reach a certain amount of revenue or number of employees to petition for an H-1B visa. It can file an H-1B petition as long as it is a U.S. entity with an Employer Identification Number acquired from the Internal Revenue Service.

The government, however, may require smaller companies to provide additional information to verify the need for the position they’re trying to source.

Companies Have to Prioritize Americans before Petitioning

It’s not true that U.S. employers have to prove that they tried to look for eligible Americans who could do the job before filing the H-1B petition. This only applies to employers who already have over 15 percent of their employees with an H-1B status.

H-1B Visas are Available Anytime

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) only releases 85,000 H-1B visas annually, and the filings start on April 1st. After meeting the visa cap, the USCIS will no longer accept further petitions until April 1st of the next year.

H-1B Employees Mean Cheap Foreign Labor

Employers must pay their H-1B employees the market rate for their respective positions. The rate depends on the company’s location and is referenced with the wage database of the Department of Labor.

Because of its popularity and complex procedures, accurate information regarding the H-1B visa is often hard to separate from the myths. Getting the facts straight, though, will help foreign citizens and companies make informed decisions.

Understanding America’s Sky-High Incarceration Rates

Man's hand inside a prison cellAmerica incarcerates more people than any other country in the world. That’s a hard fact, and the statistics prove it. Only 5 percent of the global population lives in the United States. But a massive 25 percent of the worldwide prison population is in the same country. Despite crime rates being at historic lows, the incarceration rate is still much higher compared to 30 or 40 years ago.

If not for the likes of bail bonds in Raleigh, N.C. and elsewhere, the prison population might be much larger. Understanding America’s sky-high incarceration rates, however, escapes both commoners and even several criminal justice experts.

A Few Truths

Some people might think that crime in the U.S. is pretty rampant for the incarceration rate to be as high as it is. The truth isn’t exactly like that, but it’s easy to understand. The U.S. imprisons more types of criminal offenders, including non-violent ones, and keeps them locked up for longer periods of time. Also, there exist the concepts of ‘truth in sentencing’ and ‘mandatory minimum’ which limit discretion in sentencing and release.

Many analysts also point to the war on drugs. America is known to specifically target people for dealing and possession. As a result, prisons fill up due to drug-related sentences. This is notwithstanding the tendency of federal courts to levy impossibly harsh sentences on people convicted of even the most minor offenses. True enough, during the last 30 or 40 years, laws on tougher sentencing have been passed.

Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor to former President Barrack Osama, reinforces these truths. She cites that courtrooms often put Americans in jail with sentences not commensurate to the nature of the transgressions. For instance, many troubled young people are tried as adults, when all they need is some form of intensive, constructive help. Often, people serve jail time merely for not being able to afford a fine or bail bond.

Experts believe that it’ll take as long as 90 years for the U.S. prison population to decrease to 1980 levels. Until drastic and much-needed changes in the criminal justice system are made, millions of Americans are in danger of living behind bars for even the most minor offenses.

3 Tips to Ace Your Green Card through Marriage Application

Green Card

In 2015 alone, about 1.38 million individuals born outside of the U.S. moved to the country. This represented a 2 percent increase from figures in 2014.

More and more people are moving to the U.S., and some of them do so through marriage. If you’re moving to the U.S. soon, here are some of the things you should know about the marriage green card application in Utah.

Double-check Your Application Details

A single mistake in your Green Card through marriage application can result in massive delays and even in a denied application. You’ll be surprised to know that the most common mistake people make when filing for a Green Card is leaving it unsigned.

Make sure you review all the information you provided, including the spelling and dates, so you don’t risk any avoidable stressful delays. To protect your interests throughout this process and ensure that you are following state regulations, get in touch with a law firm specializing in marriage Green Card applications in Utah, such as Buhler Thomas Law, P.C.

Be Transparent with Police and Public Records

It is imperative for applicants to include all police and public records in their application. It is advisable that you disclose every single police encounter in the form, even simple things such as parking tickets or arrests that happen anywhere in the world.

Failure to do so can result in denials of services and even rejection. Be truthful. Do not attempt to conceal anything you think might keep you from getting your Green Card.

Prepare to Answer Personal Questions

During your interview, immigration officials may ask sensitive information about you and your spouse. This includes details about when, where and how you first met; where your spouse was living and with whom he or she was living with when you first met; how much is your spouse’s salary; what car does he or she drive, and so on.

You can look for sample interview questions on the internet and memorize the answers. You also need to be sure that both of your answers sync with each other.

Getting a Green Card through marriage can be a long and tedious process for some people. But with the right information and preparation, you can breeze through this application and settle into your new home faster.

The Children Come First: A Divorce’s Primary Priority

A Family Splitting Up

A Family Splitting UpDivorce is a painful process, especially for the children. The kids may continue to live in a fantasy of a reunion or grieve over the loss. Teens grow up too fast, while the young ones can become too dependent. Boys may become aggressive toward others, and girls tend to be withdrawn.

It may take as long as two years before the children adjust to the situation, and some never get over it. As parents, it is your responsibility to ensure your children’s welfare is a priority during the divorce, even if you have to point it out to your family lawyer in Colorado Springs. Speaking of which, they can enlighten you what Colorado divorce and custody laws allow when it comes to the care of children.

Best Interest of the Children

According to divorce and custody laws, there is no set age limit as to when the child can pick a parent to live with, but it will also evaluate the children’s maturity.

The court also considers several factors such as the children’s ages, the kind of adjustment they will go through during and after the divorce, children’s preferred parent, and visitation rights of both non-custodial parent and grandparents. All these factors simply mean the court doesn’t favor one parent immediately.

Relocation After Divorce

Many divorced parents tend to move out of state or in another city, perhaps to start a new life or to seek better economic opportunities. The Colorado law, however, doesn’t make this an easy process. It requires parents with custody to notify the ex-partner of the move and gives the latter the option to dispute the request. Moreover, the court still has to decide whether the relocation is in the best interest of the children, especially if it can change the visitation and parental responsibility agreements significantly.

Although ex-spouses may end up being great friends, it doesn’t take away the fact divorce is challenging for everyone. To make sure you get only the best advice and legal support, work with a reputable lawyer who will help you in every step of the way.

3 Things to Think About Before Filing a Legal Separation

Filing for Legal Separation

Filing for Legal SeparationAccording to the U.S. Census Bureau, 2000, a total of 4,795,270 people in the country considered themselves separated. Breaking it down, there were 2,916,327 women and 1,878,943 men who felt this way. In a 2002 report, findings showed that nearly half of these people stayed separated for a year prior to getting a divorce, while 16% stayed separated for over three years.

Legal separation and divorce can happen at any point during one’s marriage. For some, they stay together for a long time before hitting the wall. There are those who see the light after only a few years, even months after sealing the deal.

There are things you need to consider before calling it quits. If you’re thinking of filing for a legal separation, here are some factors you need to take note of before calling a family lawyer in Colorado Springs.

1. Change of income.

This is especially important for individuals who are the breadwinners or main income earners in a household. If you change from a high-paying job to a low-paying job after the legal separation, it could be used against you. The court might see it in such a way that you’re trying to escape your obligation to support your children (if any). In cases like these, the court can rule that you need to pay for child support based on your former, higher income.

2. Time spent with children.

When it comes to child custody, the court decides on the parent’s level of involvement based on the time spent before legal separation. Normally, fathers spend less time with the kids because of work, especially if your setup involves the mother working from home. If you wish to become more involved with your children after legal separation, it’s wise to increase time spent with the kids.

3. Moving homes.

In many cases, it’s often the man who moves out of the house and looks for a different place to live. If there are kids in the picture, the father usually finds a place that’s both near his former home and his place of work. Of course, this isn’t always the case. There are some cases that the mother is the one who moves away. Before filing for legal separation, you need to think about the cost of your new living arrangements. Can you afford to support your children and support your new life at the same time?

There are many couples that separate because they need to deal with their own issues first. In some cases, legal separation is a prelude to divorce. But there are many separated couples who reconcile after a few years, as well. If you’re planning to take this route, consider these three factors first before calling your lawyer.

Four Reasons Becoming a Lawyer is the Best Profession in the US

Law

It is no secret that the United States has many lawyers. In fact, in 2011, there were approximately 1.22 million lawyers in the country and the numbers keep on growing.

Practicing law is considered one of the most thrilling careers in the Western world. Modern technology has provided ways for more people to study law including the offering of legal studies courses in collaboration with universities and colleges as well as paralegal online programs.

But why are so many people answering to the call of the law? Here are 4 reasons why there is no better profession than practicing law.

  1. A legal profession is profitable.

Based on the 2013 figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor of Statistics, lawyers are the 21st top-paid professionals out of 820 other occupations. In the list, attorneys may fall behind some medical-related professions and top executive jobs but they are way ahead than hundreds of other workers including geoscientists, pilots, and even financial managers.

  1. The legal profession commands respect.

Lawyers have a long history of high respect in society. They are often considered highly esteemed individuals. They also venture into other fields. Some lawyers go on to become politicians, judges and legal advisers to top companies. In the 2012 Forbes’ 500 list, 46 out of 498 CEOs hold law degrees.

  1. The legal profession can help you build relationships with influential people.

This is especially true for corporate lawyers who go on to represent interesting people in the business world. The chance to work side-by-side for and with people of great influence is afforded by the practice of law. The same cannot be said fully about other professions.

  1. The legal profession provides a venue for continuous learning.

Laws change. And with each amendment, you need to update and study the new laws in place. The legal profession provides a venue for people who like to pursue continuous learning. For some, it can be quite challenging but for others, the intellectual challenge can be highly rewarding.

Are You Ready To Pursue Legal Studies?

The legal profession is not for everyone. It is especially not for people who don’t like to read and strategize. If you’re up for the challenge, consider the pursuance of legal studies and watch how far studying the laws can take you.

An Easy Way to Understand the Bail Process

Bail Bonds in Wake CountyMany Americans, who are often on the good side of the law, are not too familiar with the bail process. It is a common misconception that posting bail is like getting to stay out of jail by paying for it. While freedom is indeed the idea, it doesn’t automatically mean that a guilty person is not going to end up in prison. Unfortunately, the chance of jail time is still there.

Why Post Bail If It Doesn’t Mean Complete Freedom?

Here is where posting bail makes an impact. For instance, there are bail bonds in Wake County that prepare the arrestee for their future court proceedings. Not only does one get to debrief and organize their plan of action, he or she can also spend precious time with loved ones.

When law enforcement arrests a person for traffic offenses like DWI or DUI, probation violations, or domestic disputes, he or she may end up in jail. Detainment is another possible scenario. Posting bail is a step towards avoiding horrible sentences.

Having the luxury of freedom and time with family and friends is priceless, even if it’s temporary. It can change the mood and even save an arrestee from extended years of jail time.

The Bail Bonds Process

To make it easier for people to understand the bail process, here are some tips:

  • Think of bail money as a guarantee that the arrestee will attend his or her scheduled court proceedings.
  • When the defendant is present at the scheduled court date, there is a refund of bail bond money. Skipping the court date, on the other hand, results in losing the bail money to court and an issuance of a warrant of arrest.
  • A bail hearing is set around two days after the arrest. The hearing concerns the amount of the bail.
  • Take note that paying the bail amount can only happen after the hearing.
  • There are four ways to pay for bail bonds: cash, secured bail bonds, unsecured bail bond and signature or OR (own recognizance).

It helps to know a bail bondsman because they can provide the amount to the court as soon as possible. Through the bail bondsman, the arrestee can just pay 15 percent of the full bail amount in the meantime.

Mid-Career Shift to a Paralegal: Is It Possible?

Mid-Career Shift

A new paralegal career in the middle phase of your life may sound strange, but there are so many people who felt the urge to change at the same point in their lives. If it’s something you’ve always considered, now is the perfect time to do it.

Whether you’ve always seen becoming a paralegal an option or you have the aptitude to become one, there are ways to make it possible. Online paralegal programs are very popular these days, and since virtual education has greatly improved in efficiency, this won’t be like paying for videos and no guidance. If you’re serious enough, what these schools offer will most likely suffice your needs.

Now, as for the actual switch, looking for a successful paralegal who started out late is a little hard. But, looking at a victorious mid-career shift from a single perspective would be narrow. Making a career switch happens to everyone, and these examples may encourage you with your plan:

LaJuan Ramsey: From NFL DT to Chef

You don’t quit an NFL job, or so everyone thought. With millions of dollars at stake, you at least try to make it in the grueling league. Not LaJuan Ramsey, the former defensive tackle for the Eagles who became a chef. It was a combination of circumstances that led to his shift, but it was clear that he was going to have a harder time making it due to constant injuries. He always loved cooking, so when he made the decision, he had one thing in mind.

Now, though his job pays much less than his former work, he’s happy and content. Considering what he had to give up, this is a remarkable result.

Jonathan Hernandez: Coach with a Bright Future to Roofer

Another example from football, but nonetheless shows a successful shift, many know Jonathan as DJ Hernandez the assistant at Iowa and more famously, as the brother of Aaron Hernandez. Ever since his brother’s incarceration, it’s been a little hard to get away from the attention. He walked away from it all to become a roofer in Texas. It’s nothing like life in football, but it gives him peace.

He’s been getting compliments, and it was nicer than all the difficulties trying to land a job in football.

It will be hard, even more so as a paralegal. But, if it’s something you want, and the change will do you good, it’s something to consider. You won’t be short in options, either.

Entangled in Lawsuits: Prevention Advice for Your Business

Business Lawsuit in Brisbane

Business Lawsuit in BrisbaneNews of big companies getting into trouble with the law for both trivial and legitimate matters is a common occurrence. While big companies have the money to get into such legal battles, not all businesses can afford to be entangled in one. The reality of getting into a business litigation is present in all types of businesses.

Here are simple ways your company can do to avoid such cases:

  1. Get everything in writing

A contract is the heart and soul of a business. Before even operating, contracts between your company and your partners should be well drafted and agreed upon with complete procedures and policies. By getting everything in writing, you can minimise and even prevent consequences and losses.

  1. Train your staff

Your staff members are your frontliners, so an uninformed staff will most likely be the cause of a problem. Make sure that everyone is well-trained and educated regarding potential risks. Training your staff properly can minimise losses and even prevent issues from arising in the first place.

  1. Communicate with your clients

Customers can sue you as much as your business partners can. However, unlike a partner, a client suing a company for its services would scar your reputation on a wider scale. Prevent this by communicating with your clients. Keeping them informed of price changes and offers through traditional marketing methods and social media is one way to do it.

  1. Get help early

Do not wait until you get entangled in a commercial litigation in Brisbane before searching for a lawyer. Get help even before someone sues your company. This way, you can reduce losses and destruction of the public image.

Unfortunate incidents do happen, but by preparing well, the negative effects of such cases can be prevented.