Discover the Estate Planning Tool You Never Knew You Needed

You may be familiar with IRAs. You may also be familiar with Trusts, but have you heard of the ‘trusteed IRA’? The Trusteed IRA is an elegant financial planning tool that combines the best of the IRA world with that of the Estate document world. Learn more about the tool that many financial planners and estate planning attorneys are raving about.

No question that millions of Americans are using IRAs to save for their retirement. An estimated 48.9 million U.S. households, or 40.4%, owned IRAs as of 2012. However, current trends show that IRA withdrawals will increase significantly over the next decade, both in dollar amount and as a percentage of total retirement income, as the baby boomer generation enters retirement.

The problem, however, from an inheritance point of view that arises for the IRA creator is that when he or she dies, the beneficiary can withdraw part or all of the IRA funds at that time. That is probably not what the IRA creator intended long term.

What if there was a way, however, to control the ultimate beneficiaries, a way in which one could designate contingent beneficiaries that could not be altered by the primary beneficiary?

Enter the trusteed IRA or ‘individual retirement trust,’ an estate-planning device, which gives people considerable control and flexibility over their IRA funds.

Give us a call or email us to get to know more about this device.

Nalini Mahadevan, Esq


This blog post is not intended as legal advice.


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Texas v. United States Reduces Work Eligibility!

3 Year EADs recalled for DACA recipients

The Court in Texas v. US stopped the ability of the federal government to issue work eligibility cards ( employment authorization document or EAD cards) beyond 2 years as allowed under current regulations for DACA eligible recipients.  About 2000 EADs had been issued with a 3 year expiration.  Any 3 year EAD issued after February 16, 2015 has to be returned to USCIS.  About 1200 EAD cards have been returned.  A second letter has also been issued to recipients of 3 year EAD cards.   The last date to return cards is July 17th, 2015.  The letter states that non return can affect deferred action and employment authorization.

3 Year EADs reduced to 2 years eligibility following Texas Court Order

In addition to other measures that are underway, the three-year DACA grants and EAD cards have been invalidated for all of these individuals and changed to two years; the SAVE database that states use to verify eligibility for driver’s licenses and other state benefits has been updated to reflect the two-year authorizations for all of these individuals; and USCIS has now sent two rounds of individualized letters demanding the return of the three-year EAD cards and warning recipients that a failure to return the card could affect their deferred action and employment authorization.

Applies only to DACA holders

This action applies only to DACA EAD cards issued for 3 years.  The 3 year authorization has been reduced to a 2 year eligibility to work.  The Court’s order applies to all 50 states even though it was issued in Texas.



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US Visas face overseas outage!

DOS alert that the Bureau of Consular Affairs is currently experiencing technical problems with its overseas passport and visa systems. The issue is not specific to any particular country, citizenship document, or visa category.

Visas are not being issued due to a server malfunction on June 9th  in the United States, resulting in delays in issuing visas at Posts overseas and issuance of US Passports at consulates and embassies abroad.  In addition, biometric data was not being processed to allow security checks at consulates to issue visas.

There are about 100 computer experts from all over the US working on the problem with the system.

The Takeaway

Travelers to the US are advised not book trips unless they have a valid visa stamp in their passport.  US citizens are advised to be patient because the system has not be fully restored to enable U.S. consulates and embassies to issue or renew passports.  Any action that requires security clearance or biometrics is likely to be delayed until further notice.  Persons awaiting immigrant visas stamps in their passports are likely to be delayed as well.

By Nalini Mahadevan, JD MBA

Attorney at Law

This blog is meant for informational purposes only.

Visit our page to learn about “ 6 Mistakes Immigrants Make that put them in Financial Peril and how to solve those problems.”

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Pressure Mounts to File Green Cards for H1B Workers

Ever since USCIS announced that as of May 25, 2015, it would allow spouses of H1B workers to file for EAD ( employment authorization) to work in the USA, the pressure has been mounting on employers to file green card applications for their workers on H1B visas.

Denied the right to work

H4 visa holders, spouses of H1B workers have long been denied the right to work.  They have had to choose between working back in their home country or abandoning their careers to follow their ‘better’ half to the USA and to stay home, so that they can have a life together.

Wait times are 10+ years

H4s wait patiently, some at least 12-15 years if their H1B spouse is a Master’s degree holder and others even more if less qualified.  Blame the lack of visas for these talented workers.

Now the wait is over. 

File the application on May 26th, 2015.

Contact us at or at (314) 374 8784.

Nalini S Mahadevan, Esq

The information is strictly for educational purposes only.

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US Companies Lose the Immigration Game!

Employer seeks quality candidate; employer finds their match.  But problem!  Candidate is not a US citizen and hence needs a visa.  There is only a 36% chance that the employer will be able to employ the chosen candidate and there is a 100% chance that the employee will be unable to start until October 1, unless the employer is a nonprofit institution!

This year USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Service) received 233,000 visa applications for 85,000 spots! So there was a 1 in 3 chance that a Bachelor’s degree holder would be able to obtain a slot in the visa Lottery.

US companies open offices overseas because that is where the sales are.  Factories, back offices, retail, affiliates, branches, subsidiaries.  But product is researched, developed and nurtured in the US.  The customers are overseas, but the development is here.  Which is why US companies are demanding more visas for employees.  Companies need more technical talent here, so that they can sell more overseas and enrich the bottom line for US stakeholders.  Legal employees contribute to taxes, consumer spending, real estate, banking, insurance and social security!

US Industry loses

US universities spend roughly $250,000 per student in a PhD program (stipend, tuition, grants and other benefits).  When a US Masters or PhD applicant cannot obtain a visa, he or she either returns to their own country or finds greener pastures in Canada, UK and other European countries and Australia, who are not shy about accepting them.

The ‘cap’ of 65000 for Bachelor degree H1B visas is artificial.  Industry is self-regulating.  If there is no demand for H1B jobs, there will be fewer visas issued.  For example, in 2008 and 2009, the cap was filled in the first week.  But in 2011 and 2012, the cap was reached only in December, and January of the following year.  In 2013, the US economy was in recovery and the cap was reached in the first week.  The average pay of H1B workers is $70,000 (according to USCIS H1B Handbook for 2011, 2012 available at  In general, these are not workers who are short changed or paid lower wages.  Employers also have to factor in cost of ‘onboarding’ these employees in addition to wages and other benefits paid to US workers.

The public are focused on just computer programmers and other IT employees.  But the truth is that there are other professions that also use the H1B program such as occupations in Architecture, Engineering and Surveying, Administrative Specializations, Education, Medicine and Health, Managers, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, Other Professional, Technical, and Managerial Occupations, Social Sciences, Art, Law and Jurisprudence, Writing, Entertainment and Recreation, Sales, and Museum, Library, and Archival Sciences, which are 40% of the cap based applications.

Companies such as Microsoft have started opening offices over the border in Canada, which has a ‘friendlier’ immigration system which accommodates guest workers easily without fuss.

The solution

Expand the number of visas for US Master degree holders.  This would boost the US University ‘industry’ and reverse brain drain of US trained foreign students leaving with their US gained knowledge to enrich ‘home’ countries, that increases competition for US companies!

Expand and create an H1B visa quota for entrepreneurs, because these start-ups will eventually employ local US workers.  Tie these visas to local incubators who can become sponsors for talent.  This will encourage industry in economically depressed areas, much like the Conrad program does for rural health and EB 5 visas does for ‘Targeted Employment Areas’.  Today the capital threshold required for a startup has dramatically shifted from the millions to a few thousand dollars, which means that it is easier to start a company.  The financial requirements to not become a’ public charge’ and the ‘ability to pay employees’ can be kept the same.

The takeaway

Our economy needs jobs that pay a living wage.  Our population is aging.  The majority of H1B applicants were in the 25 to 39 age range, workers with long employable lives who can pay into our economy.


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EAD – Renew Early

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)  is reminding recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) that their current period of DACA and employment authorization could expire if they wait too long to request renewal.

Please apply for a renewal at least 150 to 120 days before your current period of DACA and employment authorization will expire. Timely filing will help ensure USCIS has sufficient time to consider your request.  On March 27, 2015, USCIS began mailing renewal reminder notices to DACA recipients 180 days prior to the expiration date of their current period of DACA. Previously, these reminder notices were mailed 100 days in advance.

USCIS is accepting initial and renewal requests for two-year grants of DACA under the guidelines established in 2012. A federal district court order issued on February 16, 2015, enjoining USCIS from implementing the expanded DACA guidelines did not impact USCIS’ ability to continue processing DACA requests under the 2012 guidelines.

Applicants can request renewal of DACA if the initial DACA guidelines are met and the applicant:

  • Did not depart the United States on or after August 15, 2012, without advance parole;
  • Has continuously resided in the United States since submitting the most recent, approved DACA request, up to the present time; and
  • Has not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors, and does not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

Call or email Mahadevan Law Office at 314 74 8784 or

Nalini S Mahadevan, JD, MBA

Attorney at Law.

Not meant as legal advice!

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The Elephant in the Room

Discrimination in Immigration!  You’re are kidding, right?

I have been reading about double digit denial rates for L1B visa applications from India.  The denial rate for L1B ‘specialized knowledge’ workers out of India is 56% while for Mexico and China it is 22% and 21%.  L1B visas are issued for intracompany transfers from an affiliate or branch to the US Company.  ‘Specialized Knowledge’ requires a worker to have specialized skills about his company’s product. For an Indian applicant who is usually a software engineer that seems to be an insurmountable hurdle for more than half the applicants!   The current standard of adjudication has been drifting upwards.  Now a company needs a ‘star’ employee with astronomical specialized knowledge to be approved.

Many top Fortune 500 companies outsource their technology needs to other companies.  These other companies have operations which run in a 24 hour cycle.  While the US sleeps the work is carried on in China and India.  Now the company wants to bring some of its overseas employees from China and India for some face to face time to promote synergy between the overseas team and the US team, run a ‘SCRUM’ operation, and improve US business profits.  These workers have specialized knowledge of the company customized software built on a platform that is universally available in the US, but these employees are not ‘stars’. The same application has a 50% chance of denial by either USCIS or the US consulate in India and a 21% chance of denial for China.  The only losers are US businesses!

What can we do?

  • File applications for employees who are more senior in the company and have more specialized knowledge about the company’s process, technology or other matter.
  • Document, document, document! the application with every training at every international branch, leadership position in the company, and knowledge based expertize.
  • Then Pray!

Nalini S Mahadevan Esq

314 374 8784

Not meant as legal advice!

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Trafficked Men Awarded $14 Million

I always thought that it was women who had to be wary of being lured into unsavory and inhumane working conditions.  But men should also beware of an offer too good to be true.  They were promised green cards and entered the US on H2B visas that do not lead to a green card.  500 Indian workers were lured by Sachin Dewan, an India based recruiter to work in a ship repair yard in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina.  They were represented by a US lawyer.

They lived in labor camps under inhumane conditions, 24 to a trailer, where according to reports the company prayed that there would no federal government inspections.  To top it off, each paid $1050 per month to live there and were not allowed to live off campus! Each paid $10,000 to $20,000 to the recruiter, so the men were in debt up to their eyeballs!

ACLU and several law firms contributed their services pro bono. 5 men were awarded $14 million in damages.  Of course the company Signal International has appealed the award.  Cases for about 200 have been filed.

Nalini Mahadevan

Caveat:  Not intended as legal advice!

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EADs for H4 visa holders

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director León Rodríguez announced today that, effective May 26, 2015, USCIS will issue employment authorization to certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B non-immigrants who are seeking employment-based lawful permanent resident (LPR) status. The regulations were amended to allow these H-4 dependent spouses to accept employment in the United States.

Nalini S Mahadevan, JD, MBA

Attorney at Law

Not intended as legal advice!

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How to Employ A Foreign Student

Last year I gave a presentation at a local University to employers about the advantages of employing students from foreign countries, here in student visa status.  The Director of the Career Center told me that local employers were afraid of the process involved in hiring them!

To this I say Pshaw!!!  Look at the untapped potential for a wonderful talented employee, who is willing and wanting to learn and be part of the employing company.  Imagine that student has already passed several hurdles such as qualifying to enter a prestigious University, probably has a revealed a superior understanding of her subject and has demonstrated to University admission officers and professors at their college that she can match the best of any local talent!  These students have probably passed several more exams in an effort to enter an American University!  Does that not show grit and hard work – truly American as apple pie! Like the old E.F. Hutton ad said, “they earned it”.

How to hire a student on an F-1 visa?

  • Do they have an OPT (Optional Practical Training) granted at the end of a course of academic education. If yes, Non STEM students can work up to 12 months and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) students can work for up to 29 months for an employer.
  • STEM students have 2 bites at the H1B apple. STEM students can apply twice for an H1B visa while in OPT status and can stay employed for at least 6 more years with the employer, so the training is not wasted!
  • The student should be in valid F-1 status
  • Proposed employment should relate to the student’s academic work
  • New Obama executive orders will expand and extend the use of OPT
  • CPT – Curricular Practical Training A student can work either part time or full time for an employer during the course of their study as either an employee, an intern (paid or unpaid), in a cooperative (co-op) educational experience, or as a practicum participation in the field of their major.
  • Full time CPT will reduce entitlement to OPT.

This is a great way to test the waters.  There are many foreign students with experience who are at University in a Master’s program or even a second Bachelor’s degree.

Caveat! Employ a student from an accredited University, please.

Nalini S Mahadevan, JD, MBA


This blog is not intended as legal advice nor is it to be construed as creating a attorney client relationship!

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