News from the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers Vol. 10, No. 6B • June 15, 2014
1. Comprehensive Immigration Reform Prospects Appear Dim Following Cantor’s Defeat – House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s historic defeat in Virginia in favor of the vocally anti-“amnesty” David Brat suggests that Congress will not enact comprehensive immigration reform this year, although not everyone agrees.
2. DHS Announces DACA Renewal Process – The first Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals approvals will begin to expire in September 2014. To avoid a lapse in the period of deferral and employment authorization, individuals must file renewal requests.
3. Labor Dept. Extends Transitional Worker Program for Northern Marianas – DOL has extended the transitional worker program for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands until December 31, 2019.
4. U.S. Consulate in Osaka-Kobe Stops E-1/E-2 Nonimmigrant Visa Appointments for Summer – Through August, E visa applicants must interview at the U.S. embassy in Tokyo or the U.S. consulate in Fukuoka instead of the U.S. consulate in Osaka-Kobe.
5. New Publications and Items of Interest – New Publications and Items of Interest
6. Member News – Member News
1. Comprehensive Immigration Reform Prospects Appear Dim Following Cantor’s Defeat
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-Va.) historic primary election defeat in Virginia on June 10, 2014, in favor of the vocally anti-“amnesty” Tea Party-backed David Brat suggests that Congress may not enact comprehensive immigration reform this year, according to many commentators. They have observed that Republicans are unlikely to want to address immigration issues in the near future now that Cantor has been defeated unexpectedly, in part because he was willing to consider measures such as a modified Dream Act for young undocumented immigrants. Even Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.), who won her primary while supporting immigration reform, noted that it was in the “forefront” of Republicans’ thinking that “in the state of shock that we are all in,…right now [comprehensive immigration reform is] not where we need to go. She acknowledged, however, that “[t]hat doesn’t mean it’s off the table.”
Candidates who want to win primaries generally must cater to their parties’ extremes and portray themselves as purists. On the other hand, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who is pro-immigration reform, won his June 10 primary. Some argue that immigration issues shouldn’t take the blame for Cantor’s defeat, and that many realize that our country’s prosperity depends on resolution of thorny problems in the system. Others say that Cantor had simply grown out of touch with the people in his district, and that immigration was only one reason for his defeat. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Cal.) said, “I’m not one of those who thought Eric Cantor was an advocate for immigration reform. In fact, I thought he was an obstacle. So I don’t think this is an impediment to immigration reform. I don’t think the race was about immigration; it was about a lot of other things.”
With the 2014 midterm elections coming up, many candidates may not want to take any further political risks in the short term. Incremental progress may still be possible even if passing comprehensive immigration legislation remains out of reach. Stay tuned.
2. DHS Announces DACA Renewal Process
The first Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) approvals will begin to expire in September 2014. To avoid a lapse in the period of deferral and employment authorization, individuals must file renewal requests before the expiration of their current period of DACA. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) encourages requestors to submit their renewal requests approximately 120 days (four months) before their current periods of deferred action expire.
On June 5, 2014, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the process for individuals to renew enrollment in DACA. USCIS has updated the related form to allow individuals previously enrolled in DACA to renew their deferral for a period of two years. As of June 5, USCIS has begun accepting renewal requests.
USCIS will also continue to accept requests for DACA from individuals who have not previously sought to access the program. As of April 2014, more than 560,000 people have enrolled in DACA. Those who have not continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, are ineligible for DACA.
Individuals may request DACA renewal if they continue to meet the initial criteria and:
- Did not depart the United States on or after August 15, 2012, without advance parole;
- Have continuously resided in the United States since they submitted their most recent DACA request that was approved; and
- Have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor or three or more misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
Enrollees may begin the renewal process by filing the new version of Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals; Form I-765, “Application for Employment Authorization; and the I-765 Worksheet. There is a $465 filing and biometrics (fingerprints and photo) fee for filing the I-765. As with an initial request, USCIS will conduct a background check when processing DACA renewals.
USCIS will host national and local DACA informational sessions.
INFORMATION ON DACA ENGAGEMENTS. Additional information will be forthcoming.
To learn more about the renewal process or requesting initial consideration of DACA, see http://www.uscis.gov/childhoodarrivals.
Initial guidelines for DACA are available in the 2012 MEMORANDUM.
3. Labor Dept. Extends Transitional Worker Program for Northern Marianas
On June 3, 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) extended the transitional worker program for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) until December 31, 2019.
In 2008, Congress passed the Consolidated Natural Resources Act (CNRA), which applies the immigration laws of the United States to the CNMI. To minimize potential adverse economic effects, the CNRA provides for a five-year transitional worker program, known as the CNMI-Only Transitional Worker (CW-1) program, which ends on December 31, 2014. Under the CW-1 program, employers in the CNMI can apply for temporary permission to employ foreign nationals who are ineligible for any existing employment-based nonimmigrant category under the Immigration and Nationality Act. The CNRA authorizes the Secretary of Labor to extend this transition period for up to five years based on the labor needs of the CNMI to ensure that an adequate number of workers are available for legitimate businesses.
DOL said it will continue to monitor and assess the labor needs of the CNMI, in particular any good-faith efforts to locate, educate, train, or otherwise prepare U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and unemployed foreign workers already in the CNMI to take jobs in legitimate businesses.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) said it will resume approving CW-1 status in periods of up to one year. There are no changes to the application process or fees for the CW program. Employers must still file Form I-129CW, Petition for a CNMI-Only Nonimmigrant. The timetable for petitioning remains the same: employers may file an I-129CW up to six months in advance. USCIS “encourages employers to file as soon as possible within that time frame to prevent gaps in employment authorization.”
USCIS noted that spouses and minor children of CW-1 workers can obtain CW-2 derivative status. DOL’s CW-1 extension also permits USCIS to grant spouses and minor children CW-2 status for the same duration as the principal CW-1 petitioner whose status is extending beyond, or was granted after, December 31, 2014.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) determines the annual numerical limitation on CW-1 workers, as required by the CNRA. DHS set the CW-1 limit for fiscal year (FY) 2014 at 14,000 to meet the CNMI’s existing labor market needs and provide opportunity for potential growth. With DOL’s extension of the CW-1 program, DHS will reassess the CNMI’s labor market needs and opportunity for growth to determine the FY 2015 numerical limitation for CW-1 workers.
4. U.S. Consulate in Osaka-Kobe Stops E-1/E-2 Nonimmigrant Visa Appointments for Summer
The U.S. consulate in Osaka-Kobe has announced that it has temporarily stopped accepting
E-1/E-2 nonimmigrant visa appointments through August. During this time frame, E visa applicants, including dependents over the age of 14, must interview at the U.S. embassy in Tokyo or the U.S. consulate in Fukuoka instead. The Osaka-Kobe consulate will continue to process drop-box/mail-in renewal cases as usual. Individuals can also send minor dependent (under the age of 14) cases under the usual mail-in (no-interview) procedures. Companies who are registering for the first time as E visa companies with Osaka may submit their paperwork as usual. The consulate in Osaka-Kobe will contact first-time applicants on an individual basis to set up appointments as needed. The consulate says 10-12 weeks are needed for the processing of these cases. Beginning on September 1, the consulate will resume processing all E applications as usual.
ANNOUNCEMENT (scroll down)
5. New Publications and Items of Interest
USCIS E-Verify and I-9 Forum. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will hold a forum on Monday, June 23, 2014, from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. (eastern) to discuss the future and present state of E-Verify and the latest information on Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. During this session, Department of Homeland Security and USCIS officials will discuss new program innovations and best practices, and answer questions about employment eligibility verification. Members of the public will share their experiences. Users and non-users will be encouraged to share their comments.
You may attend this engagement either in-person at one of the USCIS offices if you are located in the Washington, DC; Fairfax, Virginia; Charlotte, North Carolina; or Atlanta, Georgia, areas; over the Internet through live Web stream; or by teleconference. Space for attendance in person is limited, so USCIS advises early registration.
REGISTER for in-person or virtual event
The 2014 edition of the Global Business Immigration Practice Guide has been released by LexisNexis. Dozens of members of the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers co-authored and edited the guide, which is a one-stop resource for dealing with questions related to business immigration issues in immigration hotspots around the world.
The 2014 edition adds a chapter on Singapore. Other chapters cover Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, the European Union, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Latchi Delchev, a global mobility and immigration specialist for Boeing, called the guide “first-rate” and said the key strong point of the book is its “outstanding usability.” She said she highly recommends the book and notes that it “is helpful even to seasoned professionals, as it provides a level of detail which is not easily gained from daily case management.”
Mireya Serra-Janer, head of European immigration for a multinational IT company, says she particularly likes “the fact that the [guide] focuses not just on each country’s immigration law itself but also addresses related matters such as tax and social security issues.” She noted that the India chapter “is particularly good. The immigration regulations in India have always been hard to understand. Having a clear explanation of the rules there helps us sort out many mobility challenges.”
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.
The list price is $299, but discounts are available. Contact your Lexis/Nexis sales representative; call 1-800-833-9844 (United States), 1-518-487-3385 (international); fax 1-518-487-3584; or go to the Lexis/Nexis website.
ABIL on Twitter. The Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers is now available on Twitter: @ABILImmigration. RECENT ABIL MEMBER BLOGS
6. Member News
Charles Kuck has published several new blog entries. “How To Apply for DACA Renewals” “Why a Corporate Immigration Policy is Important for Every Employer”
Cyrus Mehta has co-authored a new blog entry. “Scialabba v. Cuellar de Osorio: Does the Dark Cloud Have a Silver Lining?”
Angelo Paparelli has published a new blog entry. “The Immigration Pony in Eric Cantor’s Defeat”
Stephen Yale-Loehr was interviewed on CCTV-America, the U.S. branch of China’s state news network. The clip at the first link below concerns the prospects for immigration reform this year. The second clip concerns relations among Mexico, the United States, and Canada regarding immigration.
Below are links to the clips; each is about 4 minutes: