Robert Divine

Immigration Lawyer | Chattanooga, Tennessee

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About Robert

Mr. Divine has extensive experience serving clients throughout the world in the arrangement of all types of business-based temporary and permanent immigration status, including specialty occupations (H-1B, TN, E-3), individual and blanket international transferee programs (L-1), traders and investors (E-1/E-2,...

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Robert Divine
Filed I-526 Approved
Filed I-829 Approved
Filed I-924 Approved

Recent Best Answer

Yes, you can use one or more gifts for your investment. You will need to work with each giver to develop evidence about how the gift came from legitimate sources and about the relationship between you and the giver that provides motivation for making the gift (to overcome USCIS concerns that it is not really a gift but instead is a loan, subject to different policies). Under certain investment circumstances an NCE might not be willing to accept your investment unless you can confirm that you are an “accredited investor” (essentially, with at least $1,000,000 in net assets other than your home or with a job generating annual income of $200,000 for you or $300,000 for yourself and your spouse), and this issue naturally tends to come up more in gifted situations.

Biography

Mr. Divine has extensive experience serving clients throughout the world in the arrangement of all types of business-based temporary and permanent immigration status, including specialty occupations (H-1B, TN, E-3), individual and blanket international transferee programs (L-1), traders and investors (E-1/E-2, EB-5), medical workers, religious workers, labor certification, national interest waivers and extraordinary ability aliens.

Mr. Divine is active in the Firm's Government Enforcement and Investigations team and has represented and assisted employers and other parties in some of the largest immigration enforcement investigations and prosecutions as well as private RICO actions. He provides strategic advice and training for employers in their immigration compliance efforts. Mr. Divine also has litigated significant business matters, including contract, commercial, product liability, antitrust, ERISA benefits and business torts (including RICO, misrepresentation, Consumer Protection Act).

By presidential appointment, Mr. Divine served in Washington, D.C., from July 2004 until November 2006 as Chief Counsel of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the world's largest immigration services agency within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. From July 2005 until July 2006, he served as Acting Director and then Acting Deputy Director of USCIS, spearheading the USCIS Transformation Program, testifying in Congress about the E-Verify system, enhancing operational security, and increasing transparency of rules and procedures. In early 2004 he served as an expert retained to assist the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom in its congressionally mandated study on the expedited removal process. He has testified as an expert on immigration law for courts in the United States and abroad.

Mr. Divine represents many business developers in creating, managing and using "Regional Centers" that can create indirect jobs toward the 10 new U.S. jobs whose creation can give rise to EB-5 permanent residence for investment in the developers' projects. He is the elected Vice President of the national industry association of "EB-5" Regional Centers, Association to Invest in USA (IIUSA). He represents developers similarly using other parties' Regional Centers. He coordinates this work with attorneys supporting securities law compliance in offerings to investors, with economists identifying "targeted employment areas" and projecting indirect job creation, with licensed securities brokers coordinating offerings, and with attorneys obtaining U.S. Government (OFAC) licenses to serve investors from restricted countries. He also represents individual investors in obtaining conditional permanent residence and in removing conditions from permanent residence.

Since 1994, Mr. Divine has authored Immigration Practice (Juris Publishing, 15th ed.), a well-regarded 1,800 page practical treatise on all aspects of U.S. immigration law, which is republished each year to incorporate the constant changes in the field.

Mr. Divine is a frequent speaker on U.S. and international immigration rules, policies and procedures, and regularly appears before employers, investors, individuals, policy makers, other immigration lawyers and foreign governments. Click here for a transcript of Mr. Divine's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on December 7, 2011 regarding the job-creating effects of the EB-5 immigrant investor program and the importance of renewing the regional center authorizing legislation. He also authors numerous alerts on immigration-related topics, which can be found on the Firm's Immigration website

Education

  • Vanderbilt University School of Law, J.D., 1985
  • University of North Carolina, B.A., 1982
  • The McCallie School, 1978

Awards

  • AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® in Immigration Law since 1995
  • Listed in The International Who's Who of Corporate Immigration Lawyers (since 2012)
  • Named by EB5 Investors Magazine as a "2018 Top 5 Attorney in Specialized Fields"
  • Recipient – "EB-5 Hero" award, EB-5 Industry Achievement Banquet (2018)
  • American Immigration Lawyers Association – past chair of several national committees, past chapter chair
  • “Big Brother" since 1978; past or present board member of Big Brothers Association, Boys Clubs, New Life Homes for [delinquent] Boys, Chattanooga Resource Foundation (ecumenical), Robert and Catherine Maclellan Foundation