Immigration Law

Meet the Co-chairs - TAGLAW

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

Immigration Law

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.

Contact: Benjamin Lau and David Rugendorf

The U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services has recently changed its policy regarding the adjudication of Advance Parole Travel Document applications (Form I-131). 

The Advance Parole Travel Document (“Advance Parole”) is a travel authorization granted to qualified applicants of pending Form I-485 Adjustment of Status Applications.  With the exception of H, K, L, and V visa holders, beneficiaries of pending Adjustment of Status Applications are prohibited from traveling internationally until they are issued an Advance Parole by the USCIS.  An adjustment applicant who departs the United States before the Advance Parole is issued will have his or her adjustment of status application denied based on abandonment.  

Read more: International Travel Alert: Change In Policy Regarding Advance Parole Travel Document Applications

Until May 1, 2017, all citizens of Bulgaria, Romania, and Brazil were required to obtain a Temporary Resident Visa (“TRV”) before applying for admission to Canada.  However, as of May 1, 2017, many citizens of these countries are now permitted to enter Canada without a TRV.
The prior TRV requirement for citizens of Bulgaria and Romania was a significant issue for the European Union (“EU”), of which Bulgaria and Romania are Member States.  The EU has a common list of countries whose citizens must have a visa and of countries whose citizens are exempt from that requirement.  A fundamental principle of EU visa policy is to ensure that third countries on the visa-free list grant a reciprocal visa waiver to citizens of all EU Member States.  

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"There will be dire skills shortages" warns Monica Atwal, Managing Partner at Clarkslegal, while speaking to Forbes Magazine on Brexit's impact on immigration in the UK. As head of the Employment and Immigration practice she and her team provide advice and help for businesses on immigration issues. And as she sees it, UK companies of all sizes are making plans that, in some cases, include relocation.

Read the full article here