News from the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers Vol. 12, No. 7B • July 15, 2016
1. Various Categories Oversubscribed for August, State Dept. Reports -High demand in various employment-based visa categories has required the establishment of cut-off dates in August.
2. USCIS Has Returned Unselected FY 2017 H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions -Those who submitted an H-1B cap-subject petition between April 1 and April 7, 2016, and do not receive a receipt notice or a returned petition by July 22, 2016, may contact USCIS.
3. DHS Extends Designation of El Salvador for Temporary Protected Status for 18 Months -The extension runs through March 9, 2018.
4. USCIS Launches ‘Refresh’ of InfoPass Appointment Scheduler -New features include a mapping function that USCIS said makes it easier to find a local office in the United States.
5. New Publications and Items of Interest -New Publications and Items of Interest
6. ABIL Member/Firm News -ABIL Member/Firm News
7. Government Agency Links –Government Agency Links
1. Various Categories Oversubscribed for August, State Dept. Reports
The Department of State’s Visa Bulletin for the month of August 2016 reports that various employment-based categories are oversubscribed:
India E4 and certain religious workers categories. The bulletin notes that there has been extremely high demand in the EB-4 and SR categories, primarily for Juvenile Court Dependent cases filed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for adjustment of status. This has now required the implementation of E4 and SR Application Final Action Dates for India, which has reached its per-country limit. The bulletin says that this action will allow the Department to hold worldwide number use within the maximum allowed under the FY 2016 annual limits. The India EB-4 and SR dates will become Current for October.
The August bulletin reflects a final action date of January 1, 2010, for EB-4 visas for special immigrants from India. This means that starting on August 1, 2016, applicants from India who filed Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant on or after January 1, 2010, will not be able to obtain an immigrant visa or adjust status until new visa numbers become available.
The July bulletin previously noted that the establishment of the EB-4 preference Final Action Date of January 1, 2010, “does not mean that applicants are now subject to a wait in excess of six years. That Final Action Date is intended only to stop any further use of numbers by applicants from those countries.”
China and India EB-1 categories. The continued high level of demand for EB-1 visa numbers for USCIS adjustment of status applicants has required the establishment of a cut-off date for August, the bulletin states. This has been done in an attempt to hold number use within the Worldwide EB-1 annual limit. The EB-1 date for these two countries will once again become Current for October, the first month of fiscal year 2017, the bulletin notes.
Worldwide, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Philippines E2 categories. Continued high demand for numbers for USCIS adjustment of status applicants has required the establishment of a date for August, the bulletin notes. This action has been required to hold number use within the Worldwide EB-2 annual limit. The date for these countries will once again become Current for October, the first month of fiscal year 2017.
2. USCIS Has Returned Unselected FY 2017 H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on July 8, 2016, that it has returned all FY 2017 H-1B cap-subject petitions that were not selected in the agency’s computer-generated random selection process. USCIS previously announced on May 2, 2016, that it had completed data entry of all selected cap-subject petitions.
Those who submitted an H-1B cap-subject petition between April 1 and April 7, 2016, and do not receive a receipt notice or a returned petition by July 22, 2016, may contact USCIS.
PREVIOUS ANNOUNCEMENT ABOUT COMPLETING DATA ENTRY
3. DHS Extends Designation of El Salvador for Temporary Protected Status for 18 Months
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is extending the designation of El Salvador for temporary protected status (TPS) for 18 months, from September 10, 2016, through March 9, 2018. The 60-day re-registration period began July 8, 2016, and runs through September 6, 2016. DHS said it is important for re-registrants to timely re-register during the 60-day re-registration period and not to wait until their employment authorization documents (EADs) expire.
The extension allows currently eligible TPS beneficiaries to retain TPS through March 9, 2018, so long as they otherwise continue to meet the eligibility requirements for TPS, DHS said. The agency said an extension is warranted because the conditions in El Salvador supporting the TPS designation continue to be met: “There continues to be a substantial, but temporary, disruption of living conditions in El Salvador resulting from a series of earthquakes in 2001, and El Salvador remains unable, temporarily, to handle adequately the return of its nationals.”
DHS also set forth procedures necessary for nationals of El Salvador (or those having no nationality who last habitually resided in El Salvador) to re-register for TPS and to apply for renewal of their EADs with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Re-registration is limited to persons who have previously registered for TPS under the designation of El Salvador and whose applications have been granted.
Certain nationals of El Salvador (or those having no nationality who last habitually resided in El Salvador) who have not previously applied for TPS may be eligible to apply under the late initial registration provisions, if they meet: (1) at least one of the late initial filing criteria; and (2) all TPS eligibility criteria (including continuous residence in the United States since February 13, 2001, and continuous physical presence in the United States since March 9, 2001).
USCIS will issue new EADs with a March 9, 2018, expiration date to eligible El Salvador TPS beneficiaries who timely re-register and apply for EADs under this extension. Given the time needed for processing TPS re-registration applications, DHS said it recognizes that not all re-registrants will receive new EADs before their current EADs expire on September 9, 2016. Accordingly, DHS has automatically extended the validity of EADs issued under the TPS designation of El Salvador for 6 months, through March 9, 2017. The notice explains how TPS beneficiaries and their employers may determine which EADs are automatically extended and their impact on Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) and the E-Verify processes.
NOTICE, which was published in 81 Fed. Reg. 44645-51 (July 8, 2016)
4. USCIS Launches ‘Refresh’ of InfoPass Appointment Scheduler
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently launched a “refresh” of InfoPass, an online system that allows users to schedule appointments at USCIS offices.
New features include a mapping function that USCIS said makes it easier to find a local office in the United States and a visual style that matches the rest of uscis.gov, as well as a new web address.
5. New Publications and Items of Interest
USCIS EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program stakeholder engagement. USCIS will hold a “stakeholder engagement” in Miami, Florida, on Thursday, July 28, 2016, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. USCIS officials will provide EB-5 program updates, answer non-case-specific questions, and listen to feedback. Participants may attend in person at the USCIS Miami District Office or by teleconference. TO REGISTER
E-Verify resources now available in Nepali. USCIS announced on July 7, 2016, that the following E-Verify resources are now available in Nepali:
- SSA/DHS Further Action Notices
- SSA/DHS Referral Date Confirmation Notices
- E-Verify Participation Poster
- Form I-9 Employee Information Sheet
- Fact Sheet: Correct Your Immigration Records
- E-Verify Know Your Rights Flier
E-Verify materials are available in many languages at USCIS’s Foreign Languages Resources page.
The latest E-Verify webinar schedule from USCIS is available HERE.
The latest edition of the Global Business Immigration Practice Guide has been released by LexisNexis. Dozens of members of the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers (ABIL) co-authored and edited the guide, which is a one-stop resource for dealing with questions related to business immigration issues in 30 immigration hotspots around the world.
The latest edition adds chapters on Malta and Romania. Other chapters cover Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, the European Union, France, Germany, Ghana, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Peru, Russia, Singapore, 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.”
Charles Gould, Director-General of the International Co-operative Alliance, said the guide is “an invaluable resource for both legal practitioners and business professionals. The country-specific chapters are comprehensive and answer the vast majority of questions that arise in immigration practice. Its clear and easy-to-follow structure and format make it the one volume to keep close at hand.”
This comprehensive guide is for:
- 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.
This publication provides:
- 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.
An excerpt of the book is on the ABIL website.
The list price is $431, but a 15% discount is available by visiting LexisNexis and entering discount code “ABIL15”. Contact your Lexis/Nexis sales representative; call 1-800-833-9844 (United States), 1-518-487-3385 (international); fax 1-518-487-3584
ABIL on Twitter. The Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers is available on Twitter: @ABILImmigration. RECENT ABIL BLOGS
6. ABIL Member/Firm News
Various ABIL members and colleagues have been appointed to committees of the American Immigration Lawyers Association:
- AILA President: William Stock (Klasko)
- Board of Governors: Ari Sauer (Susser)
- DOL Liaison Committee: Vincent Lau, Loan Huynh (Danielson)—vice chair of the H-2B section, Robert White (Funai)
- DOS Liaison Committee: Avi Friedman (Wolfsdorf)
- CBP Liaison Committee: Lynn Susser, Rich Yemm (Wolfsdorf)
- USCIS Field Operations Liaison Committee: Bernard Wolfsdorf
- EB-5 Committee: H. Ronald Klasko—chair, Carolyn Lee (Yale-Loehr)—vice chair
- Asylum/Refugee Committee: Stephen Yale-Loehr—chair
- Verification and Worksite Committee: Sharon Mehlman—chair
- Distance Learning Committee: Lynn Susser
- Practice Management Committee: Greg Siskind (Susser)
- Mid-Year Conference Planning Committee: Ari Sauer (Susser)
- DMV/SSA Task Force: Shannon Barnes (Mehlman)—chair
- Access to Counsel Taskforce: Angelo Paparelli—vice chair, Cyrus Mehta
- Preparer Attestations/Forms: Cyrus Mehta
Several ABIL members and colleagues will speak at the 2016 New York EB-5 & Investment Immigration Convention in NYC on July 17-18, 2016:
- Mr. Klasko will moderate a panel on EB-5 issues in China. Robert Loughran‘s colleague Charles Foster will speak on that panel.
- Mr. Paparelli will moderate a panel on investor protections.
- Mr. Yale-Loehr will speak on a panel about the future of EB-5. His colleague Nick Hinrichsen will speak on a panel about understanding and aligning investor needs with the best available protections. His colleague Carolyn Lee will speak on a panel about I-829 issues.
Mr. Loughran moderated, wrote the presentation, and co-presented a panel on the immigration and tax consequences of surrendering U.S. citizenship at the Investment Migration Forum’s “Advancing Investor Immigration and Citizenship” conference held June 6-8, 2016, in Geneva, Switzerland. MORE INFORMATION
Mr. Mehta‘s colleague, Michelle Velasco, has authored a new blog post. “Avoid the Confusion: Complying With the Simeio Decision One Year Later”
Mr. Mehta‘s colleague, David Isaacson, has authored a new blog post. “An Eventful Thursday for Immigration Law at the Supreme Court: United States v. Texas, Mathis v. United States, and What’s Next”
Mr. Paparelli was quoted in the Wall Street Journal in “Hundreds of Veterans Were Deported, Rights Group Says.”
Mr. Stock, Founding Partner of Klasko Immigration Law Partners, LLP, has begun his 2016-17 term as president of the 14,500-member American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). Mr. Stock leads the firm’s Corporate Immigration team. With more than 23 years of immigration law experience, he focuses his practice on employment-based immigration across industries including education, finance, information technology, life sciences, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, and retail. H. Ronald Klasko, managing partner of Klasko Immigration Law Partners and past president of AILA, said, “I’ve worked with Bill for more than twenty-three years now, so it’s easy to see why his passion for his work, coupled with his superior expertise in immigration law, has made him the perfect candidate to take the reins of [AILA].”
Mr. Wolfsdorf recently spoke at the Wailian 2016 Overseas Investment Seminar in Guangzhou, China, on the latest insights surrounding the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, including an update on the recent administrative and legislative efforts to extend and improve the job creation program. Mr. Wolfsdorf provided a detailed explanation of the Chinese EB-5 backlog and various options entrepreneurs may take to achieve immigration success as the China EB-5 cut-off date remains frozen.
Mr. Wolfsdorf was ranked as one of the United States’ “Most Powerful Employment Attorneys” for 2016 by Human Resource Executive (HRE). HRE is an industry publication informing more than 75,000 top-ranking human resource executives. The selection process for honorees of this distinguished award involved extensive research and vetting by HRE.
Mr. Wolfsdorf was also listed as one of the “Top 20 Lawyers in Immigration Law” in Lawdragon’s 2016 Guide To The Most Powerful Employment Lawyers. This is the fifth consecutive year in which Mr. Wolfsdorf has received this distinction. Lawdragon, a guide to the legal profession, selects honorees based on a combination of editorial research, submissions from law firms, and online nominations. MORE INFORMATION
Mr. Wolfsdorf was named by EB5 Investors Magazine as one of the “Top 25 Immigration Attorneys in the EB-5 Industry” for the third consecutive year. The selection was based on a combination of community member votes and input from EB5 Investors Magazine’s editorial board and in-house team. Candidates were evaluated based on their experience in the EB-5 industry, their track record, and their reputation within the field. MORE INFORMATION
Mr. Yale-Loehr was quoted in PolitiFact.com in “Carlos Beruff Wrongly Attacks Marco Rubio’s Record on Border Security and Immigration Bill,” published on July 8, 2016. He observed that since Rubio voted in favor of border security enhancements, “it is incorrect to assert that Senator Rubio failed to secure the border.”
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