Category: Immigration

The National Interest Waiver: How to Prove a Beneficiary is Beneficial

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The National Interest Waiver: How to Prove a Beneficiary is Beneficial

  By Maddie Carlson  What is a National Interest Waiver and how can you get one? As one might expect from the name alone, having an offer of employment is typically required for individuals seeking an EB-2 employment-based, second preference visa. But in certain cases, a candidate may want to waive the employment requirement and labor certification portion of the EB-2 petition process. This commonly occurs when an applicant displays expertise in their industry and is seeking work that would benefit the United States. In these cases, the candidate may qualify for a National Interest Waiver (NIW) that would remove the need for a pre-established employment offer. However, pursuing a National Interest Waiver does add to the petitioner’s burden of proof. In addition ...

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Reopening Continues: Impact on H-1B Visa Petitions

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By Ben Chappelow With Mark Rogers  Special thanks to Susanne Heubel, Special Counsel with Duane Morris, for contributing to this post. Be sure to follow Park Evaluations on LinkedIn for future updates. Introduction As vaccination rates increase and COVID-19 restrictions ease, companies will be looking to safely reopen offices. Reopening continues to present challenges as business leaders, especially in spaces served by foreign nationals immigrating the United States on a non-immigrant work visa, work hard to keep up with the latest guidance to ensure safe and effective workplaces. Leading IT services companies are transitioning to a hybrid model, where select employees will come into the office on designated workdays. Industry watchers believe this return-to-work model of work will have a comparative advantage ...

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EB-5 Visas Still Not Being Processed: Why This is Problematic

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By: Annika Minton The United States EB-5 visa was created in 1990 to provide a method for foreign investors (and their spouses and unmarried children under 21) to obtain a U.S. visa by investing capital with the goal of financing a business that will employ at least 10 American workers.[1] The US government allocates 10,000 of these visas per year. This particular program has not been renewed since June 2021, when a federal judge struck down the 2019 EB-5 “modernization” regulation, the goal of which was to increase the investment threshold from $500,000 to $900,000 in targeted employment areas (a rural area or an area with high unemployment). This has left many people wondering what the future looks like ...

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Vaccine Mandates Restrict P-1A Athletes in the NBA

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By: Maddie Carlson As of early December, a memo issued by the National Basketball Association (“NBA”)  revealed that any unvaccinated athlete who possesses a temporary visa status will not be allowed to reenter the United States following international travel. This statement primarily pertains to those with the P-1A Athlete visa classification, which allows athletes to compete in the United States temporarily. Concurrently, the Canadian government also announced that non-vaccinated NBA athletes are now not allowed to enter the country to participate in competitions against their Toronto team. Both announcements threaten the legal status of U.S. athletes who have planned, and are expected to, participate in any upcoming basketball competitions in Toronto. Many NBA Athletes are eligible for the P-1A visa based ...

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Visa Extensions Granted for L-2 and H-4 Holders

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By: Annika Minton Spouses of L-1 and H-1B visa holders recently  got some good news. A US court decision is granting L-2 and H-4 visa holders an extension of their work authorization, lengthening the amount of time spouses can remain in the United States on work visas. L-2 visa holders will receive a 180-day auto extension of their work authorization (or an I-94 expiration date, whichever is shorter); and all H-4 visa holders will get extensions of their H-4 employment authorization document (EAD) until the expiration of their I-94s, or 180 days from the expiration of the prior EAD, whichever comes first. L-2 visa holders will get the extension automatically without applying for it, but H-4 visa holders are still required ...

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Blanket L-1 Visas and How Companies can Benefit

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By: Hannah Rae Welbourn When a multinational company sends an employee to a subsidiary in the United States, candidates will need to be granted L-1 status through USCIS. But what if they need to send more than one employee at a time? That’s where the L-1 Blanket visa comes in. While a regular L-1 visa is granted on an individual basis, Blanket status grants multiple employees from the same company the ability to transfer to the states to work at a U.S. branch. The criteria for employees (managerial capacity for L-1A and specialized knowledge for L-1B) remains the same, but the process of obtaining this kind of L-1 status is expedited, sometimes up ...

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The O-1: Eight Ways to Identify Extraordinary Ability

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By Maddie Carlson When a beneficiary’s innovations have been recognized either nationally or internationally, an O-1 visa may be the ideal application process for highlighting their importance to their field. An O-1, or Extraordinary Ability or Achievement letter, focuses on up to eight different criteria that demonstrate an individual’s excellence in their career. The O-1A details a beneficiary’s excellence in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics. This visa can also be further specified as an O-1B, which focuses on individuals with extraordinary ability and achievement in the motion picture or television industry. Forming an O-1 application requires enough evidence to build a case that the beneficiary is indeed hard to come by ...

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Business Immigration Today: Chris Thorn’s Perspective

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By Kelsi Swenson It’s no surprise that the business immigration sphere, in addition to the rest of the world, experienced some arduous and unprecedented moments over the past couple of years. The coronavirus pandemic coupled with the former presidential administration created a seemingly impenetrable barrier for visa seekers. However, despite a largely dismal 2020, there were small victories against USCIS—from overturning IFRs to refining the definition of specialty occupation, it seems the path to more flexible business immigration regulations is not as inaccessible as believed. For all the changes happening over the past two years, the future of business immigration is certainly malleable, but also opaque. There are still numerous processing delays, waiting lists, and outdated regulations needing to ...

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TN Visas 101: What They Are and How Park Evaluations Can Help

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By Madison McKenzie   What is a TN visa?   The TN visa is a special classification issued under the United-States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which replaced the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 2020. Under this classification, citizens of Mexico or Canada can fill certain specialty occupations—listed under the approved list of USMCA professions—in the United States for an initial period of three years.     What eligibility requirements must be met to file a TN visa?   As outlined by USCIS, an applicant is eligible for a TN visa if they meet the following criteria:   The applicant must be a citizen of Mexico or Canada. The applicant must have a pre-arranged job offer in the United States. The proffered position in the United States must qualify as ...

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Judge Rules Acting DHS Secretary’s Appointment Unlawful

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By: Rachel Horner In New York, a U.S. federal judge has blocked DHS secretary Chad Wolf from restructuring DACA permits. Justice Garaufis ruled that Wolf’s promotion to the position of secretary was unlawful; therefore, Wolf’s decision to reduce the validity of DACA permits, as well as to reject new DACA applications, is beyond the scope of his power.   Chad Wolf proposed multiple restrictions to the DACA program that would significantly harm its recipient by reducing work authorization and protection from deportation from two years to one. He also stated that those who submitted new DACA applications would not be accepted ...

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