Today USCIS released the text of a proposed rule to be published in the Federal Register shortly, that provides temporary immigration relief to qualifying foreign entrepreneurs whose presence in the U.S. would be a public benefit to the country. Continue Reading Immigration Relief for Foreign Entrepreneurs

Late this spring, two lawsuits were filed against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) seeking information about and challenging the administration of the H-1B visa lottery process.

The first lawsuit was filed by two immigration organizations – American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the American Immigration Council (AIC) – who “teamed up” to file a lawsuit requesting information about the lottery process.

The second lawsuit is a class action filed on behalf of two companies and their employees. This lawsuit claims that the H-1B lottery process is illegal because the language of the statute does not allow for a lottery. Continue Reading Lawsuits Question Procedure and Substance of H-1B Lottery

As a result of the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, higher immigration fines and penalties will go into effect on August 1, 2016.   The fines and penalties cover Form I-9 paperwork violations, the unlawful employment of immigrant workers, certain temporary work visa programs, and immigration-related discrimination in hiring and employment. While these fines come into effect on August 1, they will be used for violations that occurred after November 2, 2015, the day the bill was signed into law.

Continue Reading Higher Immigration Penalties for I-9 and Other Violations Going Into Effect August 1, 2016

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske released the agency’s summer travel tips for international travelers.

Among the tips include:

  • Passports are now required for ALL outbound international air travel
  • Complete your Customs Declaration form (6059b) before you arrive at CBP’s processing facilities
  • Double check rules on agricultural products, including fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy, and even firewood before traveling to the United States

Safe travels!

From:  Ned Help

To:  Carrie Counselor

Subject: It’s been great working with you!

Carrie:

I’m writing to inform you that I am being transferred to our Rio de Janeiro office next month for a twelve month assignment.  It’s a bit daunting, but I am confident that the help you have provided me in establishing policies and practices that will serve my interests and the interests of the company. Continue Reading Innocents Abroad: Employer Considerations When Sending Employees on International Assignments or Business Travel

The Department of State released the visa bulletin for August 2016 and set cutoff dates for employment-based first preference Chinese and Indian chargeable applicants as well as second preference categories for “all other” nationalities. The setting of dates in these categories reflects the high demand for immigrant visas and lack of availability for prospective immigrants in these categories for the remainder of the fiscal year. We do not expect the government to move any filing dates forward until its new fiscal year begins on October 1, 2016.

Employment based All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed CHINA-mainland born INDIA
1st C 1-Jan-10 1-Jan-10
2nd 1-Feb-14 1-Jan-10 15-Nov-04
3rd 15-Mar-16 1-Jan-10 8-Nov-04

From:  Ned Help

To:  Carrie Counselor

June 29, 2016

Carrie,

I appreciate the guidance you have provided regarding the documents the company needs to have in place when sending an employee on an assignment abroad.

Now I have a related question about immigration risks and responsibilities:  where do we draw the line between the company’s obligations and assumption of risks in these scenarios and the employees’ obligations and assumptions of risks with respect to securing and maintaining visas and work permit approvals for our employees?

Thanks for helping me think through this thorny issue.

Ned


 

Continue Reading Innocents Abroad: Creating a Company’s Global Mobility & Immigration Policy

Practice Chair Susan Cohen and Of Counsel Bill Coffman have published annual guidance on travel for F-1 students who are the beneficiaries of H-1B petitions with change of status requests.  Continue Reading Work and Travel Guidance for F-1 Students with H-1B Change of Status Petitions

The United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Island) went to the polls June 23rd and voted to leave the European Union. Some pro-leave “Brexit” campaigners argued for the ability to limit migration of EU workers as an important issue in the run-up to the referendum.  But what practical effect would a UK exit from the EU have on immigration to that country?  Continue Reading Brexit: Immigration consequences to the UK leaving the EU?

From:               Ned Help

To:                   Carrie Counselor

Date:               June 15, 2016

Subject:           Benefit and Compensation Considerations

Carrie:

Thank you again for all your help over the past few weeks as we address our concerns with employees going abroad.  We previously talked about offer letters and employment agreements.  I know you covered some of the basic considerations regarding benefits and compensation, but I was hoping we could go into this topic in a little more depth, as we look to implement revised standards internally.

We will be sending some high level employees abroad for assignments in key geographic regions for the business and I expect to get plenty of push back on compensation packages.  I was hoping you could provide a quick overview of some key compensation considerations we should be aware of before we begin negotiations with these individuals.

Thanks,

Ned


Continue Reading Innocents Abroad: Benefit and Compensation Considerations