News from the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers Vol. 9, No. 6B • June 15, 2013
1. Full Senate Considers Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill; House Approval Uncertain – The Senate is now debating the bill and considering amendments. A full vote is possible by the end of June.
2. Temporary Protected Status Extended for Salvadorans – DHS has extended TPS for eligible nationals of El Salvador for an additional 18 months, beginning September 10, 2013, and ending March 9, 2015.
3. USCIS Office Permanently Closing in Tegucigalpa, Honduras – The USCIS Field Office in San Salvador, El Salvador, will assume Tegucigalpa’s former jurisdiction (Costa Rica, Honduras, and Nicaragua) and the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa will assume responsibility for certain requests.
4. USCIS Opens Field Office in Guangzhou, China – USCIS has opened the Guangzhou Field Office, which has jurisdiction over services in various provinces.
5. New Publications and Items of Interest – New Publications and Items of Interest
6. Member News – Member News
7. Government Agency Links – Government Agency Links
1. Full Senate Considers Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill; House Approval Uncertain
The full Senate is now considering the comprehensive immigration reform bill approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 21, 2013. The committee approved an amended S. 744, the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013,” by a bipartisan vote of 13-5. On June 11, 2013, the Senate voted 82-15 to consider the bill, more than the 60 votes needed. Senators are now debating the bill and offering amendments. A full Senate vote is possible by the end of June or early July; Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wants to vote before the July 4 recess.
Meanwhile, according to reports, recent bipartisan meetings in the House of Representatives on immigration reform have been fruitless so far. The main obstacle appears to be that Republicans say they will not approve any access to health care coverage sponsored by the U.S. government for newly legalized workers before they become U.S. citizens. Democrats argued that those workers should be eligible for benefits if they are paying U.S. taxes. Some observers say it is unlikely that comprehensive immigration reform legislation on the House side will pass, although portions of it could.
2. Temporary Protected Status Extended for Salvadorans
Current Salvadoran beneficiaries seeking to extend their TPS status must re-register during the 60-day re-registration period that began May 30, 2013, and ends July 29, 2013. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is encouraging beneficiaries to register as soon as possible.
The 18-month extension also allows TPS re-registrants to apply for a new employment authorization document (EAD). Eligible Salvadoran TPS beneficiaries who re-register during the registration period will receive a new EAD with an expiration date of March 9, 2015. USCIS recognizes that some re-registrants may not receive their new EADs until after their current EADs expire. Therefore, USCIS is automatically extending current TPS El Salvador EADs bearing a September 9, 2013, expiration date for an additional six months. These existing EADs are now valid through March 9, 2014.
To re-register, current TPS beneficiaries must submit Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status. All TPS re-registrants must also submit Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, but no Form I-765 application fee is required if the re-registrant does not want an EAD. Re-registrants do not need to pay the Form I-821 application fee, but they must submit the biometric services fee, or a fee waiver request, if they are age 14 or older. TPS re-registrants requesting an EAD must submit the I-765 application fee, or a fee waiver request.
TPS applicants may request that USCIS waive any or all the fees by filing a Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, or by submitting a personal letter requesting that these fees be waived. Failure to submit the required filing fees or a properly documented fee waiver request will result in the rejection of the TPS application, USCIS noted.
3. USCIS Office Permanently Closing in Tegucigalpa, Honduras
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will permanently close its field office in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, on June 20, 2013. The USCIS Field Office in San Salvador, El Salvador, will assume Tegucigalpa’s former jurisdiction (Costa Rica, Honduras, and Nicaragua) and the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa will assume responsibility for certain requests.
USCIS NOTICE, including details on forms, services, and filing instructions.
4. USCIS Opens Field Office in Guangzhou, China
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has opened the Guangzhou Field Office, which has jurisdiction over services in the provinces of Anhui, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Henan, Hubei, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Sinkiang (Xinjiang), Tibet (Xizang), Yunnan, and Zhejiang.
5. New Publications and Items of Interest
Several ABIL members co-authored and edited the Global Business Immigration Practice Guide, released by LexisNexis. The Practice Guide is a one-stop resource for dealing with questions related to business immigration issues in immigration hotspots around the world.
This comprehensive guide is designed to be used by:
- Human resources professionals and in-house attorneys who need to instruct, understand, and liaise with immigration lawyers licensed in other countries;
- Business immigration attorneys who regularly work with multinational corporations and their employees and HR professionals; and
- Attorneys interested in expanding their practice to include global business immigration services.
- An overview of the immigration law requirements and procedures for over 20 countries;
- Practical information and tips for obtaining visas, work permits, resident status, naturalization, and other nonimmigrant and immigrant pathways to conducting business, investing, and working in those countries;
- A general overview of the appropriate options for a particular employee; and
- Information on how an employee can obtain and maintain authorization to work in a target country.
Each chapter follows a similar format, making it easy to compare practices and procedures from country to country. Useful links to additional resources and forms are included. Collected in this Practice Guide, the expertise of ABIL’s attorney members across the globe will serve as an ideal starting point in your research into global business immigration issues.
Order HERE. International customers who do not want to order through the bookstore can order through Nicole Hahn at (518) 487-3004 or Nicole.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Green Card Stories. The immigration debate is boiling over. Americans are losing the ability to understand and talk to one another about immigration. We must find a way to connect on a human level. Green Card Stories does just that. The book depicts 50 recent immigrants with permanent residence or citizenship in dramatic narratives, accompanied by artistic photos. If the book’s profilees share a common trait, it’s a mixture of talent and steely determination. Each of them overcame great challenges to come and stay in America. Green Card Stories reminds Americans of who we are: a nation of immigrants, from all walks of life and all corners of the earth, who have fueled America’s success. It tells the true story of our nation: E pluribus unum–out of many, one.
Green Card Stories has won five national awards. It was named a Nautilus book award silver medal winner, and won a silver medal in the Independent Book Publishers Association’s Benjamin Franklin Award in the multicultural category. The book also won a Bronze Medal in the Independent Publisher’s “IPPY” Awards and an honorable mention for the 2012 Eric Hoffer Book Award. Ariana Lindquist, the photographer, won a first-place award in the National Press Photographers Association’s Best of Photojournalism 2012 and was a finalist for the International Photography Awards. The writer, Saundra Amrhein, was nominated as a finalist on the short list for the 2011 Santa Fe Writers Project Literary Awards. Green Card Stories is also featured on National Public Radio’s photo blog.
For more information, e-mail Lauren Anderson at email@example.com or see the Green Card Stories website.
ABIL on Twitter. The Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers is now available on Twitter: @ABILImmigration. Recent ABIL member blogs are available on the ABIL blog.
6. Member News
In Who’s Who Legal for Corporate Immigration Law 2013, 11 of the top 15 listings for immigration law are ABIL members. Over 70% of the top immigration lawyers worldwide are members of ABIL, which is the official research partner of the International Bar Association and the strategic research partner of the International Law Section of the American Bar Association.
ABIL members have been appointed to the following American Immigration Lawyers Association committees:
Mark Ivener is on the EB-5 Committee.
H. Ronald Klasko will chair the EB-5 Committee.
Charles Kuck is on the USCIS Field Operations Liaison Committee.
Sharon Mehlman will serve on the AILA Annual Conference Committee and the DMV/SSA. She is the Vice Chair of the Verification and Worksite Enforcement Committee.
Cyrus Mehta is chair of the Ethics Committee. He has also been appointed to the Access to Counsel Committee.
Angelo Paparelli is on the Access to Counsel Committee.
Bernard Wolfsdorf will serve on the EB-5 Committee and will chair the AILA Midyear Conference to be held January 24, 2014, in the Cayman Islands.
Stephen Yale-Loehr is serving on the AILA Business Committee again this year.
Several ABIL members will speak at the upcoming American Immigration Lawyers Association conference to be held June 26-29, 2013, in San Francisco, California:
- Steve Clark will speak on “Fundamentals: Labor Certification 103: The Basics of Audits, Supervised Recruitment & Denials”
- Bryan Funai will speak on “Masters: Advanced E-1/E-2 Visa Issues”
- Kehrela Hodkinson will speak on “Basics of Consular Processing in Family Cases”
- H. Ronald Klasko will speak on “Masters Business: Hot Topics With EB-5 Regional Centers”
- Charles Kuck will speak on “How to Handle DOL and USCIS Investigations”
- Sharon Mehlman will speak on “Things I Hate About PERM”
- Cyrus Mehta will speak on “Masters: EB-1 in the Age of Kazarian”
- Angelo Paparelli will speak on “Globalization, Technology, and Telecommuting: Does Where You Are Mean Anything Anymore?”
- Julie Pearl will speak at the AILA “Global Forum on the Role of Technology in Global Immigration”
- Bernard Wolfsdorf will speak on “Essentials of EB-5 and Other Investor Visa Options at the Urban Tavern for New Members Division”
- Mr. Wolfsdorf and Stephen Yale-Loehr will speak on “EB-5: The Essentials of Investment”
Cyrus Mehta co-authored a new blog entry. “Meet Our New Friend: Who Is An ‘H-1B Skilled Dependent Employer’ in Senate Immigration Bill, S. 744?”
Bernard Wolfsdorf, Wolfsdorf Immigration Law Group, received Who’s Who Legal‘s 2013 Lawyer of the Year award for Corporate Immigration, for the fourth consecutive year.
Stephen Yale-Loehr was quoted in USA Today on June 3, 2013. In an article on the new immigration bill, he said, “It’s a balancing act. The Gang of Eight has done a great job so far of walking that tightrope. Now we’ll see whether they can continue.”
Mr. Yale-Loehr was quoted in La Opinion, the largest Spanish-language newspaper in the United States. In an article on activists and immigration reform legislation now being considered in the Senate, he noted, “Creo que es una buena señal y que el grupo de los ocho ha manejado bien el proyecto de ley hasta ahora. Está claro que el senado se está tomando con seriedad el tema de la reforma, pero ahora hay que ver cómo manejarán el tema de las enmiendas que van a comenzar a llegar.”
7. Government Agency Links
Follow these links to access current processing times of the USCIS Service Centers and the Department of Labor, or the Department of State’s latest Visa Bulletin with the most recent cut-off dates for visa numbers:
USCIS Service Center processing times online
Department of Labor processing times and information on backlogs
Department of State Visa Bulletin
Visa application wait times for any post