• 11Dec
    Department of State Comments Off on New Court Orders on Presidential Proclamation

    Department_of_State_official_seal_svgOn December 4, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court granted the government’s motions for emergency stays of preliminary injunctions issued by U.S. District Courts in the Districts of Hawaii and Maryland.  The preliminary injunctions had prohibited the government from fully enforcing or implementing the entry restrictions of Presidential Proclamation 9645 (P.P.) titled “Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry into the United States by Terrorists or other Public-Safety Threats” to nationals of six countries:  Chad, Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia.  Per the Supreme Court’s orders, those restrictions will be implemented fully, in accordance with the Presidential Proclamation, around the world, beginning December 8 at open of business, local time.

    The District Court injunctions did not affect implementation of entry restrictions against nationals from North Korea and Venezuela.  Those individuals remain subject to the restrictions and limitations listed in the Presidential Proclamation, which went into effect at 12:01 a.m. eastern time on Wednesday, October 18, 2017, with respect to nationals of those countries.

    For additional details and background visit the U. S. Department of State web site here.

    If you have any questions in connection with any of the foregoing, please contact Anthony F. Siliato and Scott R. Malyk of our firm’s Immigration Law Group.

  • 29Nov
    H-1B Visa News Comments Off on Heightened Scrutiny of the H-1B Visa Program under the Trump Administration

    Best Law FIrms - Immigration 2018Meyner and Landis LLP is pleased to announce that we have once again been ranked as a Tier 1 Immigration Law Firm both on a National level and in the New Jersey Region by U.S. News- Best Lawyers® Best Law Firms.

    We are honored by this recognition and continue to strive for excellence in immigration law, with an emphasis on corporate immigration.

    In our efforts to keep our clients abreast of the rapidly changing environment for employment- based immigration,  we want to share with you the seismic shift in immigration policy, as it applies to employment-based immigration petitions and applications, that is a direct result of the Trump Administration’s “Buy American, Hire American” executive order.

    Such shift in policy is especially highlighted in the H-1B visa program where we are seeing an inordinate number of Requests for Additional Evidence (RFEs) – in which USCIS is questioning not only the “specialty occupation” nature of the position, but often the wage offered by the petitioning employer. Under a recent USCIS field directive, even renewals of formerly “straightforward” H-1B petitions USCIS are receiving RFEs since USCIS is no longer giving deference to previously approved petitions, even for the same position with the same employer.

    We are also seeing new roadblocks for L-1 intracompany transfers, especially for “functional” managers and specialized knowledge personnel – again as a direct result of the “Buy American, Hire American” executive order. We also anticipate an increase in L-1 site visits.

    Likewise, employers should anticipate an increase in unannounced H-1B site visits by DOL and USCIS, especially if the employer places H-1B workers off-site at client locations.  Such site visits will most likely involve questioning of the H-1B worker to confirm employment in the position offered and salary paid as set forth in the H-1B petition. These site visits are of great importance, especially with respect to those RFE responses aiming to convince the USCIS that certain positions are truly entry-level. It’s important for the foreign national and his/her manager to have a full understanding and are in agreement with the information contained in an RFE response.  It is also important to note that an attorney is permitted to participate through a telephone conference during a USCIS site visit.

    We are deeply concerned for our clients that these changes are only the beginning of what will become a new world in the USCIS’ adjudication of employment-based petitions and applications; and the government’s enhanced policing of employers to insure compliance with the DHS and DOL regulations.

    If you have any questions in connection with any of the foregoing, please contact Anthony F. Siliato and Scott R. Malyk of our firm’s Immigration Law Group.

  • 01Nov
    Firm News Comments Off on SAVE THE DATE: Advanced Corporate Immigration: Don’t Cross that Line! Ethics for Corporate Immigration Law Practitioners

    Scott Malyk 2 -Sm, CaptionJoin NJSBA Immigration Law Section Chair Scott Malyk and his distinguished panel of top corporate immigration law practitioners in the region at this important immigration law conference and update on Wednesday. November 15.

    In an increasingly interconnected world, access to the best and brightest talent is vital for employers to address the skills gap, and for the United States to compete globally.

    With the seemingly constant changes and shifts in regulations and their interpretation, immigration lawyers also encounter some of the most perplexing issues of professional responsibility in the process of advancing both nonimmigrant and immigrant petitions on behalf of individuals and their corporate employers.

    This program will discuss ethical considerations and limitations imposed by the rules of professional responsibility when handling complex immigration petitions, using hypotheticals pulled from actual scenarios to address trends and provide guidance.

    Scott’s panel will focus specifically on ethical considerations for employers and their counsel in the H-1B visa context.  In the wake of receiving numerous Labor Condition Application (LCA) Level 1 Wage RFEs in pending H-1B cap cases, Scott will focus the discussion on ethical considerations relating to the employer-based sworn attestations contained in the LCA, including whether counsel can advise an employer to “level up” in an effort to avoid similar RFEs in the future.

    Location
    Best Western Robert Treat Hotel
    50 Park Pl Newark, NJ 07102-4308

    Date
    Wednesday, November 15, 2017

    Time
    9:00 AM – 5:00 PM ET

    Additional information and registration

  • 24Oct
    USCIS News Comments Off on USCIS Updates Policy to Ensure Petitioners Meet Burden of Proof for Nonimmigrant Worker Extension

    WASHINGTON — Under updated policy guidance, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is instructing its officers to apply the same level of scrutiny to both initial petitions and extension requests for certain nonimmigrant visa categories. The guidance applies to nearly all nonimmigrant classifications filed using Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker.

    “USCIS officers are at the front lines of the administration’s efforts to enhance the integrity of the immigration system,” said USCIS Director L. Francis Cissna. “This updated guidance provides clear direction to help advance policies that protect the interests of U.S. workers.”

    As before, adjudicators must thoroughly review the petition and supporting evidence to determine eligibility for the benefit sought. The updated guidance instructs officers to apply the same level of scrutiny when reviewing nonimmigrant visa extension requests even where the petitioner, beneficiary and underlying facts are unchanged from a previously approved petition. While adjudicators may ultimately reach the same conclusion as in a prior decision, they are not compelled to do so as a default starting point as the burden of proof to establish eligibility for an immigration benefit always lies with the petitioner.

    The previous policy instructed officers to give deference to the findings of a previously approved petition, as long as the key elements were unchanged and there was no evidence of a material error or fraud related to the prior determination. The updated policy guidance rescinds the previous policy.

    Under the law, the burden of proof in establishing eligibility for the visa petition extension is on the petitioner, regardless of whether USCIS previously approved a petition. The adjudicator’s determination is based on the merits of each case, and officers may request additional evidence if the petitioner has not submitted sufficient evidence to establish eligibility.

    Interim and final policy memos are official USCIS policy documents and are effective the date the memos are issued.

    If you have any questions in connection with the foregoing, please contact our firm’s Immigration Law Group at (973) 602-3455.

  • 13Oct
    H-1B Visa News Comments Off on Client Alert: Important Information Related to H-1B and Diversity Visa Programs

    Premium Processing Now Available for All Petitioners Seeking H-1B Visas

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) resumed premium processing on October 3, 2017 for all H-1B visa extension of stay petitions. Premium processing is now available for all types of H-1B petitions.

    H-1B visas provide skilled workers for a wide range of specialty occupations, including information technology, engineering, and mathematics. When a petitioner requests the agency’s premium processing service, USCIS guarantees a 15-calendar day processing time. If that time is not met, the agency will refund the petitioner’s premium processing service fee and continue with expedited processing of the application. Continue reading:

    If you have any questions in connection with the foregoing, please contact our firm’s Immigration Law Group at (973) 602-3455.

  • 10Oct
    Consular Processing Updates Comments Off on Government of Turkey Suspension of Visas to U.S. Citizens on October 8, 2017 – A Message to U.S. Citizens

    The government of Turkey announced the immediate suspension of visa services to U.S. citizens, effective October 8, 2017.  According to the government’s announcement, this includes the issuance of physical “sticker” visas at border posts, and the online Turkish electronic visa (e-visa).  U.S. citizens planning travel to Turkey, and who have questions regarding this regulation should contact the closest Embassy or Consulate of Turkey, or the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

    The U.S. Embassy in Ankara, the Consulate General in Istanbul, the Consulate in Adana and the Consular Agency in Izmir remain open, and continue to provide services to U.S. citizens in Turkey.

    If you have any questions in connection with the foregoing, please contact our firm’s Immigration Law Group at (973) 602-3455.

  • 03Oct
    H-1B Visa News Comments Off on Premium Processing Now Available for All Petitioners Seeking H-1B Visas

    USCIS LogoWASHINGTON — U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) resumed premium processing today for all H-1B visa extension of stay petitions. Premium processing is now available for all types of H-1B petitions.

    H-1B visas provide skilled workers for a wide range of specialty occupations, including information technology, engineering, and mathematics. When a petitioner requests the agency’s premium processing service, USCIS guarantees a 15-calendar day processing time. If that time is not met, the agency will refund the petitioner’s premium processing service fee and continue with expedited processing of the application.

    In addition to today’s resumption of premium processing for H-1B visa extension of stay petitions, USCIS had previously resumed premium processing for H-1B petitions subject to the annual cap, petitions filed on behalf of physicians under the Conrad 30 waiver program, as well as interested government agency waivers and certain H-1B petitions that are not subject to the cap.

    For more information on how the H-1B visa program is being used, visit the Buy American, Hire American: Putting American Workers First page. This page provides data and information about the hiring practices of employers who use H-1B visas to hire foreign workers.

    If you have any questions in connection with the foregoing, please contact our firm’s Immigration Law Group at (973) 602-3455.

  • 03Oct
    USCIS News Comments Off on New USCIS Form to Obtain Simultaneous Work Authorization Document and Social Security Number

    USCIS LogoWASHINGTON – Based on a new information-sharing partnership between U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA), foreign nationals in certain categories or classifications can now apply for work authorization and a social security number using a single form – the updated Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.

    To lawfully work in the United States, foreign workers in some categories and classifications need both an employment authorization document (EAD) from USCIS, and a Social Security number (SSN) from the SSA. Previously, applicants needed to submit a Form I-765 to USCIS for an EAD, and then submit additional paperwork in-person at their local Social Security office to obtain an SSN. Continue reading:

    If you have any questions in connection with the foregoing, please contact our firm’s Immigration Law Group at (973) 602-3455.

  • 25Sep
    Department of State Comments Off on New Presidential Proclamation on Visas

    Yesterday, September 24, 2017, the Trump Administration announced enhanced national security measures aimed at creating a minimum set of requirements for international cooperation to support visa and immigration vetting and adjudications for individuals seeking entry to the United States.  The announcement, effective immediately, is described by the White House as “a critical step toward establishing an immigration system that protects Americans’ safety and security in an era of dangerous terrorism and transnational crime.”  Countries that do not currently meet these new minimum requirements include Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen and Somalia.

    Additional information, including details on the phased implementation, is available from the U.S. State Department (DOS) web site which provides an overview of the various travel restrictions for nationals of the eight countries outlined in the September 24 Presidential Proclamation.  See DOS link.

  • 21Sep
    USCIS News Comments Off on ALERT: How Changes to DACA Impact Your Employees

    Tony and Scott and captionOn September 5, Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, announced that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) would be phased out in six (6) months if Congress fails to act on its own to pass immigration legislation. As initially designed, the DACA program provided administrative relief from removal/deportation to eligible immigrant youth (also known as Dreamers) who entered the United States when they were children. As part of the DACA petitioning process, an applicant was required to demonstrate, inter alia, that he/she had entered the U.S. as a child, that he/she met the education requirement (completed school or attending school) and had no arrests or criminal record of any significance. Approved DACA applicants were granted a temporary employment authorization document (EAD), typically valid for a period of two years, which EAD allowed them to work legally in the United States. Such document is also a stepping stone to obtaining a valid driver’s license, a social security number, and, ultimately, seeking college and graduate-level education. Continue reading:

    If you have any questions in connection with the foregoing, please contact our firm’s Immigration Law Group at (973) 602-3455.

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