Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Attorney gives talk on immigration processes for international students

By Hayley Johnson

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Jessica Picard/Daily Collegian)

(Jessica Picard/Daily Collegian)

Attorney Dan Berger, of Curran and Berger LLP Immigration Law, gave a talk called “Immigration Hot Topics and Future Visa Strategies for Employment and Beyond” in the Campus Center Monday evening.

The talk focused on different aspects of the immigration process, targeting specific topics that are common concerns for international graduate and postdoctoral students in the United States.

The audience of about 50 people was predominantly made up of graduate students and post doctorates with F1 and J1 visas.

Berger began the talk by addressing the topic of immigration with respect to the new president-elect and how Donald Trump has voiced opinions of dissatisfaction toward immigrants.

“It’s always difficult to predict what is going to happen. I don’t think Donald Trump really cares that much about business immigration, about the kind of category you’re worried about,” Berger said. “It’s not something he talks a lot about. So, I don’t think anything is going to change right away. If he really wanted a change, if he really wanted to make it harder to get H1-B visas or make it harder to get green cards for scholars that would take years.”

Also regarding the next presidency, Berger explained there are some concerns to be raised for the next two years, beginning on Jan. 20. With the midterm elections, often times the vote doesn’t favor the party in office, so Trump may face resistance when it comes to passing legislation in the second half of his term.

“Once you get a green card, which is permanent residence, you don’t have to worry about politics,” Berger said. “But, if you apply now, you’re paying for it. If you wait until you have a job your employer will usually help you out with that. Your resume or CV will get stronger, so your case is probably going to get stronger in the future.”

The slideshow presented by Berger went through the two-step process of obtaining a green card and the types of things the visa bulletin can inform individuals.

“I thought it was really helpful, the talk itself. I’ve been into [the International Programs Office’s)] talks before, but not from any attorney office,” said Mahour Rahimi, a PhD Iranian student studying civil engineering. “I would say overall it was really helpful for both visa and green card processes.”

“This is definitely very helpful for me because I am a freshman undergrad and I have no idea what’s going on,” said Kunjie Qian, a freshman finance major who was born in China but grew up in South Africa. “This is definitely great and I’m sure that if the university hosts more of these talks, it will be even better.”

“I find that informational sessions like this, where we invite a guest speaker is vital,” said Pamela Dutta of the UMass Student Legal Services Office. “I think students have an amazing opportunity to come and learn about things and ask questions and to meet other administrators. So we hope to do these more often. We typically do them once a semester.”

The event was co-sponsored by Student Affairs and Campus Life and the International Programs Office.

Hayley Johnson can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @hk_johnson.

About the Writer
Hayley Johnson, Editor in Chief
Nathalie Amazan and Timmy Sullivan cite experience as active senators and founders of an on-campus organization.
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