What You Need to Know About the Hike in H-1B Visa Costs

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By: Rachel Horner The Actual Numbers Starting in October, the basic H-1B Visa fee will increase from $460 to $550 -- a 21% increase.  The H-1B visa is one of many visa categories that will see a change in price. The proposal put forth in November of 2019 states that there will be different fees for form I-129, depending on which visa category is used. The proposal will also directly affect “50/50” employers (employers who have 50% of their workforce on the H-1B or L -1 Visa.) For these employers, the extension fee will double in price -- specifically $4,000 for an extension of an H-1B visa (previously $2,000), or $4,500 (previously $2,250) for an L visa. Why the Increase? After a back-and-forth with the ...

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International students hit hard by the pandemic

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How Columbia, Harvard are trying to keep their students in the U.S. this fall with classes operating solely online. By: Rebecca Anderson The coronavirus pandemic is truly a global crisis, especially for international students trying to remain in the U.S. this fall. Confirmed in early July, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said its granting of visa flexibility to students outside the country applies to only those who were actively enrolled in American schools on March 9 of this year. "Nonimmigrant students in new or initial status after March 9 will not be able to enter the U.S. to enroll in a U.S. school as a nonimmigrant student for the fall term to pursue a full course of study that is 100 percent online," the agency said in a statement ...

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ICE Recovers a 19th Century Italian Painting Stolen from a Monastery Nearly Two Decades Ago

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By: Rebecca Anderson “The Assumption of the Virgin Mary” was an oil painting created by the great Italian artist Giuseppe Pappini in August of 1851. For over a century, the work of art was admired by many onlookers, but was stolen from its home—a monastery at the Abbey of Santa Maria in Sylvis in Sesto al Reghena, Italy—in May of 2002, and was perceived lost. That is until officers from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) team in Dallas, Texas recovered it this week. “Investigating the loss or looting of cultural heritage properties and returning them to their countries of origin is an important part of HSI's diverse mission” said Ryan L. Spradlin, special agent in charge ...

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Former U.S. President George W. Bush is releasing 43 portraits of immigrants and it’s nothing short of beautiful

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By: Rebecca Anderson With the looming uncertainty of what seems to be a never-ending global pandemic, furloughs across national companies—including within the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services—the increase of filing fees for foreign nationals and threats of potential deportation for students studying solely online in the fall, the complexities of working in immigration relations can seem a bit, well, concerning. But even in the darkest times, there is light. And that light comes in the form of previous U.S. President George W. Bush and his prolific output of amateur oil paintings. Forty-three individual portraits highlighting different foreign nationals will be presented in an upcoming book titled Out of Many, One. The artwork will be published in March of next year in conjunction with an exhibition on the importance of American immigration. In a statement given to CNN, Bush emphasizes how immigration policies should unify the country and remain a non-partisan issue. "While I recognize that immigration ...

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Trump’s admin can’t exclude undocumented immigrants from the census. What does this mean going forward?

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By: Rebecca Anderson Last week, The Trump Administration was blocked by a three-person panel in New York from excluding undocumented immigrants from the census totals used to determine how many seats will be selected for congress. According to The Guardian, President Trump acted unlawfully when he asked for data and information from the commerce department that omitted undocumented immigrants. This would also go against the 14th amendment. Federal Law states that only a single data source – the census count of total population – can be used to apportion the 435 seats in the U.S. House among states, the judges wrote. The decennial census does not ask about citizenship status and by requesting a second set of data outside of the ...

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A Look at the Latest Exemptions to Trump’s Travel Ban

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By: Rachel Horner Proclamation 10052, also known as the H-1B or L-1 Travel Ban, was enacted in August as a response to the coronavirus pandemic. However, the Trump Administration has relaxed restrictions and created several exemptions. Want to know who’s exempt? Read below. Those Applying for the Same Position with the Same Company H-1B and L-1 visas can now be issued for employees who are “seeking to resume ongoing employment in the United States in the same position with the same employer and visa classification.” Healthcare Workers Those who are working within the healthcare sector, especially on the frontlines for the battle against COVID, and other deadly diseases, like cancer, are exempt from the travel ban. H1B Visa Criteria Broadly speaking, the present criteria for H1B visas ...

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A Close Look at the Looming USCIS Furloughs and What’s Being Done to Prevent It

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By: Rachel Horner A new emergency bill was created and passed over the weekend in an attempt to halt the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) furloughs set to happen August 30 (originally August 3). Of the nearly 20,000 employees, 13,400 are to be possibly furloughed at the end of the month. What brought all of this on? Like the U.S. Post Office, USCIS is not funded by taxes. Its funding is generated through the fees it charges to applicants seeking U.S. citizenship or Visas to visit the country. A decrease in number of petitions points to one of the main reasons behind the proposed furloughs. As the Trump Administration enacted more restrictive policies, such as ending Temporary Protected Status for ...

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Outside the H: Park takes on the L, O, and other specialized visas.

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Outside the H: Park takes on the L, O, and other specialized visas.

By: Ryan Mernin Park is well-known throughout business immigration for specialty occupation expert opinion letters for H-1B visa petitions. However, Park also services L-1, O-1, EB, and a host of other visas offered by the United States government. In this series, “Thinking Outside the H,” we take a look at the unique challenges posed by these other visas, starting here, in this article, with the L-1B “specialized knowledge” petition. The L-1B: How to Make Specialized Knowledge Stand Out in Your Petition When it comes to filing an L-1 petition, perhaps the most difficult thing to do is gauge what USCIS is prone to challenge in your case. If you’re a client is a company executive transferring to the United ...

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