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Author: gipadmin

Global Immigration Partners > Articles posted by gipadmin

Consulate Reopening and the Resumption of Visa Services

Consulate Reopening and the Resumption of Visa Services  Brandon Neuman, Attorney  For foreign nationals, traveling to the United States typically requires a visa or a visa waiver issued by the local consulate. Under normal circumstances, getting the visa stamp in a passport may require some initial preparation or authorization followed by scheduling and attending a visa appointment, then receiving the visa stamp.   Likewise, in normal circumstances, immigrants undergoing consular processing (for an immigrant visa, also known as a green card) would typically be able to go through a consular interview process in about half the time compared to immigrants in the United States who chose to...

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Potential Immigration Reform Measures on the Horizon

Potential Immigration Reform Measures on the Horizon  James K. Gotcher, Partner  In February 2021, the Biden Administration introduced the US Citizenship Act of 2021 in the House of Representatives, which provides comprehensive immigration reform (“CIR”). CIR was elusive for past administrations as the last major CIR occurred in 1986 with a smaller bill passing in 1990. However, in each attempt since, the bill would get caught up in partisan politics and never passed. The primary obstacle in each instance was the sheer size of the reform, making it impossible to get all sides to agree to all of the various parts or agree enough to pass a vote on it.   While the...

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H-1B Visa CAP Registration and Lottery

H-1B Visa Cap Registration and Lottery   David B. Raft, Senior Supervising Attorney  A prospective employer may file a H-1B petition to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (or USCIS for short) to qualify an individual for employment in a ‘specialty occupation,’ which is a position which requires the knowledge gained in completing at least a Bachelor’s Degree in a specific academic field (or one closely related to it).  The H-1B visa category is subject to an annual quota, with there being a total of 65,000 new H-1B visa numbers available each US Fiscal Year. An additional 20,000 are available to individuals that graduated with an advanced degree from a qualified academic...

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Returning to the Office

Ready for a Return to the Office?  What Employers Need to Know to Maintain Immigration Compliance  Danielle H. Gotcher, Managing Partner  As we begin to recover from the COVID crisis and companies start re-opening their offices, we want to provide employers with guidance and reminders related to certain immigration compliance requirements.  This article will highlight the areas where employers are vulnerable to liability and where certain actions may be needed to maintain proper compliance.    LCA Posting Notices (H-1b Compliance):   During COVID, the DOL relaxed the posting notice requirement for postings at the worksite; however, upon re-opening the office, the DOL expects employers to resume displaying the LCA Posting Notices. This is especially important for employees who may have moved outside of...

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June Visa Bulletin Update

Visa Bulletin Update Rapid Forward Movements in FINAL ACTION DATE CHART Benjamin Brueggemann, Senior Supervising Attorney We have seen rapid forward movements in the major employment-based categories, EB-2 and EB-3, over the past few months.  This is a direct result of the record number of visas available this fiscal year.  We remind the reader that the U.S. Department of State announced that 261,500 visas are available this fiscal year, as opposed to the regular allotment of 140,000 visa.  This is an increase of 120,000 visa.    The first half of the fiscal year, we have not seen as many adjudications of adjustment of status applications or consular processing of immigrant visas. ...

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Visa Bulletin Update: USCIS Flips Script and Opts To Use Final Action Date Chart for Adjustment of Status Filings

Benjamin Brueggemann, Senior Supervising Attorney  As of the January 2021 Visa Bulletin, USCIS opted to flip the script and move forward with adjustment of status filings using the Final Action Date Chart, rather than the Filing Date Chart as they have done since the beginning of the new Fiscal Year, which started October 2020.  For employment-based cases, USCIS has, historically, always used the Filing Date Chart at the beginning of the fiscal year and then gradually switched to using the Final Action Date chart for adjustment of status filings.  Although this is not a new concept, the timing of when USCIS chooses the Final Action...

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Travel Ban

Travel Ban  David B. Raft, Senior Supervising Attorney  Over the past 150 years, the United States considered and implemented numerous bans on the ability for individuals or certain groups of individuals to be able to travel to the United States.  These “travel bans” have been plentiful.  Most are long forgotten in the annals of history, but some, such as the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, do stand out.  From the perspective of the Administration in power at the time, they felt there were legitimate reasons for such travel bans.  From the lens of a historian, many seem unjustified and outright racist in nature today.  Over the past four years, the...

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U.S. Department of Labor Processing Times of PERMs and Prevailing Wages

Benjamin Brueggemann, Senior Supervising Attorney  Increased processing times is the name of the game at the U.S. Department of Labor.  This not only goes for PERM applications, but also PERM Audit reviews and Prevailing Wage Requests.   The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is currently processing PERM cases received in July 2020.  Specifically, the DOL states that the average perm application takes about 207 days, which is about 6.9 months.  This is extremely high, even for U.S. Department of Labor standards.  Historically, PERM processing times have ranged from 3 to 5 months, but now they are at almost 7 months.  The hope is that we will see a shift back to more “normal” processing times in the year 2021 as the U.S. Department...

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President Biden’s Immigration Updates & Proposed Immigration Legislation

James K. Gotcher, Senior Partner  Brandon D. Neuman, Attorney   Katie W. Wu, Attorney  Although having only been recently inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States on January 20th, 2021, President Joseph R. Biden immediately began the rollout of his immigration agenda, promising an end to the strict immigration policies of the preceding Trump Administration. In his first day in office, President Biden signed a series of executive actions and memoranda that reversed the course of immigration, including, but not limited to: Reversing the travel ban on predominantly Muslim countries. In an executive order, President Biden moved to repeal a prior executive order from the Trump Administration that restricted entry into the United States from predominantly Muslim countries. In addition, he instructed the State...

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Adjustment of Status Processing (January 2021)

Michelle A. Choe, Attorney  In September of 2020, the October visa bulletin was released which aggressively advanced the filing dates for the EB-3 category in India and China. This significant movement caused USCIS to receive an influx of I-140 downgrade petitions and Adjustment of Status applications. The USCIS received more applications than it could handle in a reasonable time. As a result, our office is still waiting on receipt notices for cases that were filed in October 2020. On December 15, 2020, The USCIS issued a statement that confirmed it is still experiencing delays in issuing receipt notices for filed petitions and applications. Although the statement asserts that the receipt notices should be issued within 30 days of the filing, our office is expecting a 60–90-day delay. In addition to delays in issuing receipt notices, we...

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