Green Card Lottery Now Open

Fiscal Year 2024 Diversity Visa Lottery 

Otherwise known as the Green Card lottery, the Diversity Immigrant Visa program is a government lottery program for non-citizens wishing to obtain U.S. Permanent Residence. 

This program makes 50,000 visas available every year to applicants from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. It provides an inexpensive and relatively simple path to a green card, without needing sponsorship from a U.S. employer or family.

The lottery is now open for FREE online registration — from October 5th through  12:00 pm (noon), Eastern Standard Time (EST) (GMT-5), Tuesday, November  8, 2022.

To be eligible, you or your spouse must have been born in a country that sent less than 50,000 immigrants to the U.S. in the previous 5 years. In addition, applicants must possess a high school diploma or its equivalent, or 2 years of work experience in an occupation that requires at least 2 years of training or experience. 

More information, plus a list of eligibility requirements and a link to register online is available here on the Department of State website:

Global Gab: EB1 aka The Artist Green Card

September 27, 7:30 p.m.

Have you had your O1 visa for a while now and are looking for something more permanent? Are you exhausted by the constant O1 visa renewals? Is your bank account taking a huge hit with every visa application?

To help you find solutions to these questions and more, Rakhel Milstein will be joining an informative Global Gab discussion at the Rattlestick Theater about the requirements of the EB1 visa. She will be talking with host Jody Doo and another immigration lawyer, Flavia Santos Lloyd. 

Join us! 

RSVP to save a seat for permanent solutions to visa woes.

USCIS Announcement: H-1B Lottery Cap

USCIS just announced that the H-1B lottery is now complete for 2023.

“USCIS has received a sufficient number of petitions needed to reach the congressionally mandated 65,000 H-1B visa regular cap and the 20,000 H-1B visa U.S. advanced degree exemption, known as the master’s cap, for fiscal year (FY) 2023.

We have completed sending non-selection notifications to registrants’ online accounts. The status for registrations properly submitted for the FY 2023 H-1B numerical allocations, but that were not selected, will now show:

We will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap. Petitions filed for current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap, and who still retain their cap number, are exempt from the FY 2023 H-1B cap. We will continue to accept and process petitions filed to:

U.S. businesses use the H-1B program to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations. We encourage H-1B petitioners to subscribe to the H-1B cap season email updates located on the H-1B Cap Season page.”

MLG at Art Law Conference 2022

Rakhel Milstein represented MLG at last week’s Art Law Conference in NYC, an annual event celebrating “all things art and law,” offering educational resources and programming for the “advancement of a vibrant arts and law community.”

“Say Art Law!” by Sofia Tomilenko/Софія Томіленко @tsofiako.

Panels included the following topics:

Rakhel moderated the panel: Immigrants, Political Refugees, Artists: Legal Lessons from Asylum Work and Afghan Artists. The discussion featured three smart, accomplished people in the arts world. Many thanks for a great, informative conversation to our colleagues:

After the event, a reception honored Judith Bresler, recognized leader in the field and co-author of the seminal Art Law treatise. The evening concluded with a tour highlighting the stunning collection of artwork at New York Law School, including works from artists such as Emilio Sanchez and Keith Haring, among several others.

Many thanks to the Art Law Center for including MLG and to all of the attendees who contribute to NYC’s illustrious art—and law—world!

Client Focus: Gazillion Bubble Show

The Gazillion Bubble Show has struck wonder in hearts young and old on stages across the world.

The mesmerizing, family affair of a show was created in 2007 by international bubble artist, Fan Yang. A former circus performer, Yang holds sixteen Guiness Book World Records for brilliant feats, such as making the world’s biggest bubble—a bubble so big it enveloped 181 people; the most soap-bubble domes inside of one another; the longest soap bubble wall, etc. He brought his master bubble skills to the stage with the help of his wife Ana, who has been performing with him ever since their circus and street days juggling, tumbling, and doing martial arts-type routines. 

Together, they trained their two children, Deni and Melody, as toddlers, and cousin Jano, as well. As Deni says, “When you’re three or four years old, it doesn’t feel like practicing. It feels like playing.”

Since the New York beginnings of the Gazillion Bubble Show, Milstein Law Group has regularly helped the Yang family with all of their legal matters. As well as the five family members who perform the show, there is a crew of fifteen employees from around the world. MLG has provided all of the legal immigration services for all of the employees for years. 

“It has been very effective, a very positive experience for us. That’s why we’ve been partners for so long,” Deni says. “Some of our employees have been with us for ten years or so, and MLG has kept us all consistent, issuing green cards and visas, communicating about regulations, and making sure to keep us in compliance on a regular basis. It is very critical, you know. We continue to love working with them and I hope that we continue to do so for many more years.”

The Yang Family has performed on stages worldwide. They have also wowed television audiences on The Oprah Winfrey show, Good Morning America, David Letterman, Ellen DeGeneres, The View, CBS Sunday Morning, and many other TV shows and networks. After living and traveling in a kind of nomadic existence for several years—from Vietnam to Serbia, Paris, Belgium, Switzerland, Australia, China, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Canada, etc., most of the family is now settled in New York City where the show has a home off Broadway, at World Stages on West 50th Street. Incorporating a mix of art and science, the show caters to young children and their families, “including giant bubbles that take up the entire span of the stage, children being caught inside bubbles, light shows featuring bubbles of all colors of the rainbow, and even an underwater bubble extravaganza that would have you believing you were exploring the depths of the crystal clear Caribbean waters.” Many families become repeat viewers so that all of their children, newborns on up, can experience the wonders.

Congrats to our 2022 Super Lawyers

Super Lawyers Magazine Cover

Milstein Law Group is proud to announce that we have been named 2022 Super Lawyers by Thomson Reuters’ Super Lawyers Magazine. We were counted among the top immigration lawyers in the New York Metro Top Women 2022 edition and amongst all Immigration Lawyers in NYC for 2022.

According to the magazine, “The Super Lawyers selection process is a comprehensive, good-faith and detailed attempt to produce a list of lawyers that have attained high peer recognition, meet ethical standards, and have demonstrated some degree of achievement in their field.”

Congratulations to:

Rakhel Milstein, Esq., Christina DiCerbo, Esq., Natalie Bello, Esq., Shayra L. Cruz, Esq., and Ryan Elizabeth Todd, Esq.!

Good News! USCIS To Begin Implementing Premium Processing

For EADs, EB-1bs, EB-2 NIWs & more.

USCIS Announces New Actions to Reduce Backlogs, Expand Premium Processing, and Provide Relief to Work Permit Holders.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is announcing a trio of efforts to increase efficiency and reduce burdens to the overall legal immigration system. USCIS will set new agency-wide backlog reduction goals, expand premium processing to additional form types, and work to improve timely access to employment authorization documents. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resource constraints resulting from the prior administration, USCIS inherited a significant number of pending cases and increased processing times. Through today’s actions by the Biden administration, USCIS is acting to reduce these caseloads and processing times, while also ensuring that fair and efficient services are available to applicants and petitioners.

“USCIS remains committed to delivering timely and fair decisions to all we serve,” said USCIS Director Ur M. Jaddou. “Every application we adjudicate represents the hopes and dreams of immigrants and their families, as well as their critical immediate needs such as financial stability and humanitarian protection.”

Reducing Processing Backlogs

To reduce the agency’s pending caseload, USCIS is establishing new internal cycle time goals this month. These goals are internal metrics that guide the backlog reduction efforts of the USCIS workforce and affect how long it takes the agency to process cases. As cycle times improve, processing times will follow, and applicants and petitioners will receive decisions on their cases more quickly. USCIS will increase capacity, improve technology, and expand staffing to achieve these new goals by the end of FY 2023.

The agency’s publicly posted processing times show the average amount of time it took USCIS to process a particular form – from when the agency received the application until a decision was made on the case. Internally, USCIS monitors the number of pending cases in the agency’s workload through a metric called “cycle times.” A cycle time measures how many months’ worth of pending cases for a particular form are awaiting a decision. As an internal management metric, cycle times are generally comparable to the agency’s publicly posted median processing times. Cycle times are what the operational divisions of USCIS use to gauge how much progress the agency is, or is not, making on reducing our backlog and overall case processing times.

Expanding Premium Processing

Today the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a final rule that aligns premium processing regulations with the Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act. The rule codifies premium processing fees and adjudication timeframes provided by Congress.

Premium processing is an expedited adjudication service now available only to petitioners filing a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, and to certain employment-based immigrant visa petitioners filing a Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers. This final rule expands the categories of forms ultimately eligible for premium processing services, including Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status; Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization; and additional classifications under Form I-140.

USCIS intends to begin implementing, through a phased approach, premium processing availability of Form I-539, Form I-765 and Form I-140 in fiscal year 2022. USCIS will also adhere to the congressional requirement that the expansion of premium processing must not cause an increase in processing times for regular immigration benefit requests.

USCIS plans to begin this phased implementation process by expanding premium processing eligibility to Form I-140 filers requesting EB-1 immigrant classification as a multinational executive or manager, or EB-2 immigrant classification as a member of professions with advanced degrees or exceptional ability seeking a national interest waiver.

Improving Access to Employment Authorization DocumentsUSCIS continues to make progress toward a temporary final rule currently named “Temporary Increase of the Automatic Extension Period of Employment Authorization and Documentation for Certain Renewal Applicants.”

In recent months, USCIS has begun streamlining many EAD processes, including extending validity periods for certain EADs and providing expedited work authorization renewals for healthcare and childcare workers. The temporary final rule aims to build on this progress and to ensure certain individuals will not lose their work authorization status while their applications are pending.

For more information, visit AILA.org.

Client Focus: AF Creative Media

An Interview with Brian and Dayna Lee.

The duo behind AF Creative Media—partners in marriage, parenthood, theatre production and a successful blog @artsandfood—have been clients of Milstein Law Group for several years. With the careful and clearsighted guidance of MLG, Brian and Dayna Lee have created an exciting new life in the States—including multiple hit Broadway shows, Tony Awards for Moulin Rouge and Angels in America, an impressive social media following, and twin girls.

Here, they tell us how they did it. 

How did you get your start in theater production?

My wife and I started our theater company, AF Creative Media, on our honeymoon—because we decided that we were going to jump into our nuptials full swing! We were both not-so-thrilled with our careers at the time, and we really wanted to work together. We both shared a love of producing. We had a few initial investments on Broadway shows. I had already been an assistant director on a few shows and Dana had worked in music syncing at Warner Music. We also had an Instagram back then with about 10,000 followers and it just felt like the right time to become true entrepreneurs. 

We jumped right in, and it will be five years this June, two Tony awards and a host of projects later. Truthfully, the only reason we’re able to do it and to live in this country is because of Rakhel. She empowered us and gave us the tools to stay in the U.S. and make a life here.

Where are you from?

We’re both from Toronto. We grew up five minutes from each other, but we didn’t know each other there. We met in college in Boston.

You both went to Berklee College of Music, right?

Yes, we met in our second semester. We looked at each other and thought, hey, you look familiar. We’d actually been in the same room before. We’d had the same vocal coach, but had never met. It’s nauseatingly cute, and it’s true.

Five years later and two Tony Awards under your belt, what are you working on now?

Yes, we won Tony Awards for Moulin Rouge and Angels in America. We’re currently developing a slate of new musicals. Next November, we’re opening a musical about Nelson Mandela in London that we’re producing in partnership with his family. And we’re working on a bunch of other projects, including an adaptation of Nowhere Boy, about the life of John Lennon. 

It’s been a pretty wild ride for two kids from the Canadian suburbs.

We also have a social media blog (@artsandfood) that’s a fulltime job in itself. It started as a food blog that we did for fun when we first moved to NYC. Now it chronicles our life as business partners and parents—we have 10-month-old twin girls—parenting, producing, traveling, and living as the most positive Canadians we can possibly be.

How long have you been clients of Milstein Law Group?

We met Rakhel when we were in school in Boston, and she helped us get an F1. So, we had a year of OPT. The notion of it is this: you’ve come to this country and educated yourself here, so we’re going to give you a year to work and try to create a life. I think that’s the notion. But don’t quote me on that. We met with Rakhel and she told us what it would look like, how we could do it, and what we would have to achieve in the year of our OPT to try and make a life here.

How did you find Milstein Law Group? 

Rakhel had gotten a green card for a friend of mine from Toronto who was working in LA, writing songs for Disney and Nickelodeon. After graduating, I asked her how she’d done it. Canada is just a country to the north, but it feels like a massive shift to move to the States. 

My friend said, You have to meet Rakhel. She’s amazing. So, we met her, and we have since sent dozens of people to her and her team because they are phenomenal, diligent, caring and emotionally available. The notion of immigration—moving to a new place—is incredibly scary. And the rules change every day, so you don’t quite understand what and how. MLG holds your hand. It’s seamless. They are so on your team. They’re incredibly honest. 

Starting with our very first conversation, they were honest about what we could try to do, what we could not do, what helps, what doesn’t. Rakhel is the only person I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with, that when I send an email, it’s less than 36 hours before I hear back. I don’t know how she does it. And it’s always a real response, diligent and thoughtful. She and her whole team are like that. We had trouble getting passports for our twin girls and they were so on board with us. They have such a wonderful network internationally and they’ve held our hand the whole time we built a life in the United States. We realistically would not be here without them.

It’s an active relationship.

When I was an assistant director, Rakhel helped me build my portfolio; it was like 300 pages. Then, as I made the decision to shift into producing, and Dana made the decision to get her Master’s in media management, and then to become a producer, too, MLG helped us make the shift. They have taught us how to work within the parameters of our visas. The visas are good for three years, and we’ve started the process of applying for green cards. Through everything, MLG has been with us every single step of the way. I can’t say enough about them. Rakhel and her team are unbelievable. 

Can you tell me about your Instagram channel? 

When we started, we were still living in Boston. We love food and restaurants, and New York has the best restaurants in the world. So, we started this list of places we wanted to visit. And we started posting our food pictures. Soon, we grew to 10,000 followers. Now we’re at 75,000. It’s morphed. We got our first campaign sponsorship, and our IG has become a forward-facing part of our production company. Our industry is in its infancy of understanding how social media can engage with new audiences. We became influencers unintentionally and have grown a brand awareness for ourselves that follows our life—where we eat, what we do, our kids (we have twin girls), our struggle to have kids, our business—this whole journey.

US Immigration and Covid-19

Covid-19 has continued to create complications with immigration to the United States.

This is a moving target. Things are changing constantly. We are keeping close track of the situation and are here to guide you.

Further questions? Don’t hesitate to reach out.

O-1 Visas for Foreign Nationals in the Arts

Milstein Law Group obtains O-1 visas for foreign nationals in all professions.

An O-1 Visa is a 3-year work visa based on extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, athletics, business, education and/or extraordinary achievement in the motion picture and television industry.

O-1 Visa Requirements

To qualify for an O-1 Visa

Send your detailed resume to info@milsteinlg.com for a free assessment.

Questions about 0-1 Visas or other immigration issues? Let’s talk!