Tag: USCIS

Reopening Continues: Impact on H-1B Visa Petitions

Posted by: Park Evaluations | in , , , , , ,

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 ...

Continue Reading   

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

Posted by: Park Evaluations | in , , ,

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 ...

Continue Reading   

Vaccine Mandates Restrict P-1A Athletes in the NBA

Posted by: Park Evaluations | in , , , , , ,

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 ...

Continue Reading   

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

Posted by: Park Evaluations | in , ,

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 ...

Continue Reading   

Blanket L-1 Visas and How Companies can Benefit

Posted by: Park Evaluations | in , , ,

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 ...

Continue Reading   

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

Posted by: Park Evaluations | in , ,

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 ...

Continue Reading   

USCIS’s Response to the Afghanistan Conflict

Posted by: Park Evaluations | in ,

By Dillan Wright Intro With the withdrawal of US forces and subsequently rapid Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, there is a present and obvious need for clarity on the part of USCIS regarding the steps Afghani residents must take in order to take refuge in the United States. We will examine USCIS’s initial response to the crisis and offer a glance at how some organizations have responded in kind. USCIS’s Response USCIS last updated their policies for Afghani refugees on August 26, 2021, shortly after the closure of the US embassy in Kabul. Their site offers a comprehensive breakdown of how to achieve “parole”, including steps on how to apply, directions on waiving application fees, and a list of necessary documentation that must be ...

Continue Reading   

Second Lottery for 2022 H-1B Applicants Conducted by USCIS

Posted by: Park Evaluations | in , , ,

By: Hannah Welbourn A second round of H-1B seekers has been selected to submit their petitions for the highly sought-after visa. This is the second year in a row that USCIS has conducted a second lottery, releasing a statement Thursday reading: “We recently determined that we needed to select additional registrations to reach the FY 2022 numerical allocations.” Last year’s decision to make another round of selections was largely affected by the initial COVID-19 outbreak, as many who were offered employment early in the year were not able to be hired as a result of the pandemic. The Trump Administration’s travel ban also impacted the decision, as many who had been initially selected were then unable to get into the US. Following ...

Continue Reading   

Latest USCIS Announcements Suggest Leniency

Posted by: Park Evaluations | in , , ,

By: Rachel Horner USCIS has recently made several announcements that suggest the possibility of more relaxed H-1B policies in the future, contrary to the organization’s attempts at restrictions under the previous presidential administration.   Extension Eligibility First, it was announced that USCIS will be extending their flexibilities originally posted on March 30, 2020. These conditions have been renewed several times since, meaning that USCIS will potentially continue to uphold these measures for as long as COVID-19 is a pressing issue.   The initial decision made by USCIS was to grant a 60-day extension for applicants responding to agency requests. This ...

Continue Reading   

Federal Judge Blocks the Trump Ban on Foreign Worker Visas During the Course of the Pandemic

Posted by: Park Evaluations | in , , ,

By: Rebecca Anderson Last week, a Federal judge ruled that President Trump and his administration had “overstepped” their authority after suspending issuance of specific work visas during the COVID-19 pandemic. Judge Jeffrey S. White of the U.S. District Court of Northern California granted a preliminary injunction to temporarily block the implementation of the order, issued in June. According to The New York Times, the sweeping order applied to thousands of companies seeking to bring workers to the United States on a wide array of visas, including the H-1B for high-skilled workers, seasonal employees on guest-worker visas and others, such as au pairs, who enter the country on cultural exchange visas. “The entry of additional workers through the H-1B, H-2B, J, ...

Continue Reading   

.