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Author: gipadmin

Global Immigration Partners > Articles posted by gipadmin

Validity Periods of Certain EADs Updated to 2-Years

GIP Employer Alert: Validity Periods of Certain EADs Updated to 2-Years  Effective today, USCIS announced in a Policy Alert that it is updating the maximum validity period of EADs granted to certain applicants in the following categories:  Admitted as a refugee (a)(3);   Granted asylum (a)(5);   Granted withholding of deportation or removal (a)(10); and   VAWA self-petitioner (c)(31).   Individuals in the aforementioned categories will now receive initial and renewal EADs granted for a 2-year period (as distinguished from the previous 1-year validity period).   Additionally, USCIS confirmed that it will grant new and renewal EADs up to the end of the parole or deferred action period...

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E and L Dependent – New Class of Admission Code

GIP Employer Alert – E and L Derivative Status Admission Codes Updates   This past November, as part of an earlier settlement agreement, the USCIS agreed to make work authorization incidental to L or E dependent status. As such, these dependent spouse categories are no longer required to apply for employment authorization separately. It has just been confirmed that as of January 31st, 2022, CBP will issue I-94s to L and E spouses upon entry into the US that will reflect updated Class of Admission (COA) codes. For I-9 purposes, I-94s with the new COA code can be used in lieu of the...

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Employer Alert (STEM Expansion)

Employer Alert: Recent Immigration Policy Changes to Promote STEM Fields On January 21, 2022, the Biden Administration released a series of policies aimed to attract and retain talent in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (“STEM”) fields in the United States. These policies include: Expansion of STEM fields relating to Optional Practical Training (“OPT) for F-1 students: The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has updated and expanded its list of STEM fields to include 22 new fields of study, which includes Business Analytics, Mathematical Economics, and Financial Analytics, just to name a few.  This addition will enable F-1 student visa holders to...

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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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