Beyond a doubt: New State Department guidance may increase blanket L visa refusal rates

On March 30, the State Department published new Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) guidance for consular officers that changes the standard of proof for blanket L adjudications and is likely to increase the refusal rate for multinational companies with blanket L visa programs. The previous guidance advised consular officers that L-1 visa adjudications based on blanket
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Instead of flexibility, latest DOL guidance adds confusion to LCA compliance rules for H-1B employees

As employers implement social distancing in the workplace, work-from-home policies have raised questions about how companies can meet compliance requirements for H-1B employees, in particular how changes to an employee’s work location affects Labor Condition Application (LCA) requirements. It was hoped that the Department of Labor would provide temporary measures allowing flexibility in LCA compliance
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Green card applicants are seeing interviews waived, additional flexibility in processing

Employees in the green card process are seeing additional flexibility in processing as the COVID-19 national emergency continues to complicate the normal steps, and the government appears to be relaxing certain requirements. All U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offices have been closed to the public since March 18 and are not scheduled to reopen
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Does your company sponsor J-1 exchange visitors? Expect delays, complications under State Department’s new coronavirus policy

As governments continue to grapple with concerns over the COVID-19 virus, and policies around international travel are still in flux, the State Department recently expanded its recommendations that will limit travel for most J-1 international exchange visitors. U.S. employers that sponsor J-1 exchange visitors should plan to adjust their training schedules and take other actions
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Are your employees traveling overseas for the holidays? Know the immigration risks.

As the holiday season approaches and your employees begin requesting time off for vacation and international travel, it’s important that your foreign employees are aware of immigration-related requirements and the consequences of heading overseas for the holidays. Employees who were selected in this past April’s H-1B lottery and have an approved H-1B may wish to
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The talent pipeline: why U.S. companies should worry about declining foreign student enrollment

Foreign student enrollment at U.S. universities is on the decline for the first time in more than a decade. New enrollment of foreign students at U.S. universities dropped by 1% in the 2018-19 school year, 7% in 2017-2018, and 3% in 2016-17.1 This year, U.S. business schools saw a 13.7% drop in foreign student applicants,
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How does immigration law protect children from “aging out” of the employment-based green card process?

By Stephen D. Parker With continued unpredictability in the ever-growing green card immigrant visa backlog, employees are often concerned about their children turning 21 during the process and “aging out.” Children are typically included as “derivative” beneficiaries on their parent’s permanent residence process, and immigration law defines a child as unmarried and under 21. But
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Will the Supreme Court resurrect DACA? A 73-year old federal law will decide

By Martin Robles-Avila The Supreme Court will hear arguments on Nov. 12 about whether the Trump administration acted lawfully when it terminated Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the Obama-era program that has benefited roughly 700,000 Dreamers. Courts have kept DACA on life support and have required the government to continue accepting renewal applications while the
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Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP Expands Tech Presence with Opening of Silicon Valley Office

Expansion into Santa Clara offers tech clients on-the-ground support in Silicon Valley DALLAS, Oct. 17, 2019 – Berry Appleman & Leiden (BAL) LLP, one of the world’s largest immigration law firms, is expanding its presence in the U.S. through the addition of a new office in Santa Clara, the heart of Silicon Valley. BAL is already
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Understanding the ebbs and flows of the green card backlog

Your employee’s visa priority date has become current and she has completed her medical exam, background check, fingerprints, and a visa interview. More than a year passes, and she still has not received her green card. What is the hold up? The most likely reason is visa bulletin retrogression. Because of annual green card quotas
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