Immigration Law

Meet the Co-chairs - TAGLAW

Paget, Joel H.
Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC

Immigration Law

Author: Monika Jones

Following the Brexit referendum, the positon of EU nationals in the UK has become part of the complex withdrawal negotiations. After months of uncertainty, in June 2018, the Government announced the details of the agreement reached with the EU regarding protecting the rights of EU nationals in the UK. The Principles of the proposed Withdrawal Agreement were to be implemented by means of the EU Settlement Scheme, which has already been piloted within the higher education and healthcare sectors and is reportedly working well.

Read more: Brexit negotiations and EU nationals in the UK

Author: Monika Jones

The in country application process is currently going through a major overhaul. From the beginning of November, the Home Office started gradually introducing changes to the way the applications are being submitted and processed. Various immigration categories are transitioning in accordance with different timescales, but overall most of the in country applications will follow a similar unified process eventually.

Read more: New process for in country applications

Now Accepting Applications From October 3, 2018 Through November 6, 2018

50,000 permanent residency visas become available each year for those who have completed the equivalent of a U.S. high school education, or have worked for at least two years within the last five in a qualifying occupation and were born in countries with less than 50,000 immigrant visas issued in the last five years. Once chosen, successful applicants need to respond quickly.

Read more: Immigration Alert: Diversity Lottery

The Immigration Group at Ryan Swanson advises employers to start early preparation of H-1B petitions subject to the annual quota or cap for the 2019 fiscal year. Based on prior years, it is anticipated that USCIS will start accepting H-1B cap-subject petitions on Monday, April 2, 2018, for at least five business days, until April 6, 2018.

Congress has imposed an annual limit of 65,000 H-1B visas available to individuals with a Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent), and an additional 20,000 H-1B visas available to individuals who have a U.S. master’s degree. Last year, USCIS received nearly 199,000 H-1B petitions in the first week, and fewer than 50% of the H-1B petitions were selected in the lottery.

Read more: Get Ready for H-1B Cap Filings on April 2, 2018

USCIS has started denying Form I-131 advance parole applications where the applicant has traveled abroad during the pendency of the application. USCIS is denying the pending Form I-131 application even if the applicant has a separate valid advance parole document or a valid H or L visa to return to the United States while his or her I-485 application is pending. In the denial notification, USCIS points to the Form I-131 instructions at page 6 where it states that "[i]f you depart the United States before the advance parole document is issued, your application for an advance parole document will be considered abandoned."

This shift in policy contravenes USCIS’s prior longstanding policy, which allowed an applicant for advanced parole to travel abroad while the application was pending, as long as the individual had other valid means of being readmitted to the United States.

Read the entire article.