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  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 2:35 pm on June 12, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    Your First Hearing at Immigration Court 

    Here is a video that I recorded a few years ago about the immigration court process. The procedures have not changed and hopefully the viewer will find this Houston immigration lawyer and Miami immigration lawyer explanation to be helpful and informative.

    It is very important for a foreign national to be properly prepared for court. Moreover, no one should be going to court without a lawyer. In Houston, there are various court venues, including the jail court on the north side of town, and two different federal buildings in downtown Houston. In South Florida, there are jail courts at the various immigration jails, plus the non-detained courts which are all housed in one building in downtown Miami.

    For further information, I can be reached at and at 713.850.0066 and 305.538.6800.

  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 3:09 am on June 9, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    Why Waste $500,000 on an EB-5 Green Card? 


    There is a lot of news concerning the EB-5 method of investing in the U.S. in order to get a green card. What gets little publicity, however, is how these EB-5 investors get any return on their investment (nominal at best), but more importantly, how can they extract, or “sell” their $500,000 interest in the investment. This important information is missing from every article I read about EB-5.

    These are very important questions for any investor to ask. The investor should also investigate and do due diligence to determine whether they ever really will be able to extract their investment. Ultimately, most investors have a partnership interest in an enterprise, and that interest is worth whatever a willing buyer will pay the investor to buy it. This Houston immigration lawyer and Miami immigration lawyer says  that the partnership interest is very unlikely to be able to be sold for $500,000 or more, and most likely cannot be sold at all, or has very little  value ($10,000?). Of course, each investment is different, but due diligence is the key.

    In light of the foregoing, an investor must ask themselves if it is worth it to pay $500,000 to invest in EB-5 where the investment may very well be worthless, and there is no guarantee of getting a green card, or is it better to explore other visa avenues.

    In my own personal experience as a board certified immigration lawyer, it is much better and safer to look at other options. I have found that, of my clients who had $500,000 available and ready to “invest” in EB-5, it was a much safer investment to spend less than 5% of that amount to try an EB-1 extraordinary visa for a green card. Most of my clients who have over $500,000 of available cash, have qualified for EB-1 green card status. Moreover, the EB-1 green card is significantly faster to get than EB-5.

    I urge all potential immigrants considering EB-5 to take a more serious look at the EB-1, self-sponsored green card for extraordinary workers.


    For further information, this Houston immigration lawyer and Miami immigration lawyer may be reached at or 713.850.0066 and 305.538.6800

  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 8:44 pm on June 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    Police Right to Act as Immigration Officers 

    CBP Officers pay tribute to fellow fallen officers during a Law Enforcement memorial service in Washington D.C.


    In certain parts of the country, police are taking it upon themselves to act as immigration officers. In the most recent case of illegal arrests and detentions, Ariel Vences-Lopez, a 23 year old from Minneapolis was detained by a transit rail police officer. Mr. Lopez failed to pay his fare and refused to verbally respond. This led to police officer, Andy Lamers, proceeding to taser and detain Mr. Lopez due to his immigration status.

    In the New York Times article, police Chief John Harrington states that, “it is not his department’s policy to question riders about their immigration status. Harrington said the officer who questioned Vences-Lopez in the video is no longer with the department”. The police officer who over-stepped his power was disciplined.

    While most state governments ensure to keep the line between police officers and immigration officers very clear and even punishable if crossed, the State of Texas encourages their police officers to ask for immigration status under Senate Bill 4 (SB4). This new law signed by Governor Gregg Abbott, grants local police the power to act as federal immigration officers. In an attempt to curb illegal immigration, Texas has taken a very tough stand against immigrants.

    Senate Bill 4, which goes into effect on September 1, 2017 is already creating a lot of negative backlash.  Now a simple act like driving without a license can get you detained and even deported if you are of color. Police are even encouraged to ask for immigration status in domestic violence calls.  In another controversial news story from The Washington Post, a woman was detained after seeking domestic abuse protection at a Texas courthouse.

    For further information, this Houston immigration lawyer and Miami immigration lawyer can be contacted at 713.850.0066, 305.538.6800 or

  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 3:56 pm on May 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    Self-sponsored Green Cards, Especially for L-1 Visa Holders 


    I meet with many potential clients who are on an L-1A or L-1B visa and want to get a green card. Sometimes, however, their employer will not sponsor them for a green card. This is especially true if they work for a giant multi-national company. In such cases, I often will suggest the EB-1 extraordinary worker green card, which does not require employer sponsorship.

    To qualify, an individual needs to have some superb accomplishments in their work history, and have a few people willing to write a reference letter talking about their accomplishments. They do not need a letter from their employer. We simply need to show, among other things, that the person played a critical role for a business with a distinguished reputation. Plus, if the person had original business-related contributions of major significance in the field, this too, is compelling evidence.

    So, workers who are employed or were employed by a large company, will often easily meet the requirement of a company with a distinguished reputation. Moreover, if they were part of a team, they likely will meet the requirement of original business-related contributions.

    There is the FAQ about whether this work needs to have been done in the U.S., and the answer is, “no.” In fact, the applicant is not required to have ever been in the U.S. So, no USA experience is required.

    This category of immigration allows for a green card for any worker, anywhere in the world, who has worked at a large company, or has created his own company with success, or has been part of a team at a company, as long as they meet the regulatory requirements to be considered extraordinary in their field.

    For further information, this Houston immigration lawyer and Miami immigration lawyer can be contacted at 713.850.0066, 305.538.6800 or

    • Helen 5:29 pm on May 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Simply thank you for keeping me updated and informed. Much appreciated.

    • Anonymous 6:13 pm on May 31, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      You’re welcome.

  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 3:24 pm on May 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    This Week’s Visit to Twitter Headquarters 



    I had the opportunity to visit the San Francisco headquarters of Twitter today, and got to meet the Twitter founder and CEO, Jack Dorsey.

    For those of you who know me well, I am a big fan of social media, so what a tremendous honor to meet the leader of Twitter and to hear about all the innovations in the works at Twitter and his vision for the future.

    As an immigration lawyer, it was also nice to see the mix of workers at Twitter, including immigrants as well as American-born employees. The General Counsel, herself, of Twitter, is an immigrant  (now a citizen) just like many of my clients. Thanks to the H-1B visa and EB-1 and EB-2 green card status, high tech companies have been able to recruit the best and the brightest to work at their companies, along with the best and brightest American workers.


    About the author: Bruce Coane is an attorney who specializes in employment law and immigration law, with offices in Florida and Texas. He may be reached at, 713-850-0066 or 305-538-6800.  

  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 7:23 pm on May 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    EB-1 Green Card for Individuals with Extraordinary Abilities 


    One of my favorite immigration topics is the EB-1 extraordinary worker green card. The great part of this is that it is a law which permits a foreign national to sponsor themselves for a green card. No American sponsor is necessary and no one signs the forms except the foreign national.

    One other important point is that the foreign national is not even required to be in the U.S. In fact, there is no requirement that the person has ever been to the U.S. I have done a number of cases where the person lived in Asia or the Middle East and had never been to the U.S., yet we got their green card case approved.

    To be qualified, the person must have some accomplishments in life, which could be in science, business, sports, art/music, etc. If they also have some notoriety in their own country or elsewhere, that is helpful, but not required.

    In this short video, I talk about the EB-1 green card  immigration process based on extraordinary skills in art.




  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 11:11 pm on May 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    Alternatives for H-1B Visa Cap 


    Within the first 5 days of April 2017 U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it reached the annual 85,000 H-1B visa cap. Although, USCIS did not make the number of applications received public, the computer generated lottery to select petitions to process will continue. Those applicants selected and approved can begin working for their U.S. employer under the H-1B Visa on October 1, 2017.

    The Trump administration is making many changes to the immigration laws in order to put American workers first. In a news release that USCIS issued on April 3, 2017 they announced that, “The H-1B visa program should help U.S. companies recruit highly-skilled foreign nationals when there is a shortage of qualified workers in the country. Yet, too many American workers who are as qualified, willing, and deserving to work in these fields have been ignored or unfairly disadvantaged. Protecting American workers by combating fraud in our employment-based immigration programs is a priority for USCIS”. They also mentioned site visits across the country to worksites of H-1B employees. Most of the USCIS site visits will occur in cases where, USCIS cannot validate the employer’s basic business information through commercially available data; H-1B-dependent employers (those who have a high ratio of H-1B workers as compared to U.S. workers, as defined by statute); and employers petitioning for H-1B workers who work off-site at another company or organization’s location.

    Since the H-1B window has closed for employers and foreign nationals seeking to apply in 2017, there are alternative Visa options. The following Visas have no cap and are available throughout the year.

    • EB-1 Visa: For foreign nationals of extraordinary ability who have achieved national and international recognition for extraordinary achievements in their field of endeavor.
    • L-1 Visa: For intracompany transferees who have worked for a foreign entity for one year and are seeking to transfer to a U.S. subsidiary, affiliate, parent, or branch office in the U.S. in a managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge capacity
    • TN Visa: For Canadian and Mexican citizens employed in certain professional categories seeking to engage in U.S. employment. Examples of qualifying TN professional occupations include, but are not limited to Engineer, Accountant, Architect, Computer Systems Analyst, Geologist, Geophysicist, Graphic Designer, Management Consultant, Scientific Technician, Engineering Technicians, and many occupations in the medical and allied health field.
    • H-3 Visa: For foreign nationals coming to the U.S. to engage in a course of training.
    • E-3 Visa: For Australian citizens who will be employed in a specialty occupation in the U.S. (similar requirements to the H-1B visa).
    • E-1/E-2 Visa: For international investors or traders from certain treaty countries looking to engage in substantial trade between the U.S. and their foreign country or to develop and direct the operations of an enterprise in which the foreign national has invested. The E-1/E-2 visa is a great option for foreign entrepreneurs seeking to work in an essential capacity for their U.S. entity.

    My law firm does many self-sponsored EB-1 green card cases for petroleum engineers and others upstream and downstream in the oil and gas business. This has become an effective way to get a green card in an environment where the employers will not sponsor their workers for a green card.

    About the author: Bruce Coane is an attorney who specializes in labor and employment law and immigration law, with offices in Florida and Texas. He may be reached at, 713-850-0066 or 305-538-6800.  

  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 3:06 pm on April 24, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    USA-Mexico Border: Immigration Enforcement 

    The attached video is from my live broadcast at the border wall between the U.S. and Mexico on April 23.2017. This Houston immigration lawyer discusses immigration enforcement and some changes under the Trump administration.

    In particular, I discuss the fact that Homeland Security and ICE have said that they plan to arrest and detain anyone who is out of status, even if they have a case pending or an extension pending. While they claim that such cases are not a priority, they have said that if they come across such individuals they will be arrested and detained. Moreover, from my own experience and those of my colleagues, we have observed that ICE is not granting bonds to those detained. That means that such detained individuals will sit in immigration jail for 2-4 weeks, or longer, until a judge sets bond.

    For further information, I may be reached at or at 713.850.0066 or 305.538.6800.

  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 8:09 pm on April 4, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    U.S. Isolation and Extreme Vetting 


    The United States, under President Trump’s leadership, is putting up walls against entry and travel. The president began with his infamous travel ban that discriminated against Muslims. He later followed by enforcing harsher Transportation Security Administration (TSA) rules. Thousands of people were detained at airports, searched, and questioned. The Trump administration is starting April by “updating” our vetting procedures. An article from the Wall Street Journal states that, “Foreigners who want to visit the U.S., even for a short trip, could be forced to disclose contacts on their mobile phones, social-media passwords and financial records, and to answer probing questions about their ideology”.


    His next wall against entry to the U.S. is literally a wall on the border between the U.S. and Mexico. This may take a while since that border is almost 2,000 miles long and because no one has volunteered to foot the bill. Along with the wall idea came an executive order that grew the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and made the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) more aggressive. The proceedings for deportations were also made quicker and in many cases people are deported without a fair trial or ever seeing a judge. Everyone who is not a citizen of the United States of America is at risk if they choose to travel here.

    • TL Brown Law 5:07 am on April 12, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Extremely strict! But a wall to border Mexico? In his term, I doubt it would happen. Unless he has hidden magic to do it right away!

  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 8:36 pm on March 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    ICE Jails Student’s Spouse-No Bond 


    In a case we are handling at our office, the immigration police (ICE) have picked up and jailed our client from India, who is lawfully in the country on an F-2 visa. Our client resides in Texas with his wife who is a full-time student on an F-1 visa, and we are handling the case from our Houston immigration lawyer office.

    Our client was picked up by ICE on March 10 and has been in their jail ever since. ICE, through its deportation officer Hector Marin, claims that our client was working “for wages or other compensation” in his cousin’s south-Texas convenience store. According to our client, however, he was simply visiting his cousin at his store on March 10.

    A F-2 visa holder is not permitted to work, but they are permitted to live in the U.S. while their spouse attends school. With absolutely zero evidence of “wages or other compensation,” ICE has jailed our client for almost three weeks and determined that no bond should be set. While normally a bond is always set, under the Trump administration, things seem to be changing. Unless a person is a danger to the community or there is reason to believe they won’t show up at their hearing, this Houston immigration lawyer has always seen a bond set by ICE.

    Since ICE has refused to set a bond, our client spends his days and nights in indefinite detention at the Houston immigration jail. We have forced the issue by asking an immigration judge to set a bond, and that hearing is scheduled for April 6. In the meantime, this unfortunate spouse on a lawful visa will continue to sit in the immigration judge until, presumably, a fair-minded judge will give him a bond.

    For further information, I may be reached at 713.850.0066 or 305.538.6800, or by email at


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