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A Busy Summer at the Border for BIL

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Over the last six weeks, BIL has met an impressive 34 clients at the Peace Bridge port of entry in Buffalo, N.Y., to present applications for temporary employment and admission into the U.S. A majority of these individuals were Canadian clients who were applying for TN and L-1 status to temporarily work and reside in the U.S. However, we also helped several clients resolve unique immigration circumstances with Customs & Border Protection. We are proud to report that each client’s case was approved.
Transitioning From TN Status to L-1A Status
Of the 34 clients we met at the Peace Bridge, 25 presented applications for TN and L-1 status prepared by our team. Most of these clients were either applying for TN or L-1 status for the first time or were renewing their current status. However, a few of these clients sought to actually change their status from TN to L-1.
To be eligible for L-1A status, an applicant must demonstrate that they have been employed in a managerial capacity with a company abroad for at least one full year during the previous three years. They must also show that they are coming to the U.S. to perform a managerial role for an affiliated company. Unlike the L-1A category, which concerns both U.S. and foreign operations, the TN category focuses mainly on the applicant’s prospective role in the U.S. and whether he or she has the appropriate credentials to fulfill this role.
One of the cases we recently presented concerned a client who held valid TN status but was now applying for L-1A status. His position with the U.S. employer had changed from Computer Systems Analyst to Manager. Crucially, throughout his period of time in TN status, he had held a managerial role in Canada for an affiliated company. Our office prepared an application that explained how he had been employed with the affiliated company in Canada for at least one full year in a managerial capacity, none of which included days spent in the U.S. in TN status. The client was approved for a three-year period.
O-1 Entries Without Visa During Global CCD Crash
While Canadians are visa-exempt, citizens of other countries are required to obtain an actual visa to enter the U.S. for employment purposes. These individuals typically appear for a visa interview following an approval by USCIS.
In mid-June, the Consular Consolidated Database (CCD) shutdown delayed issuance of visas to hundreds of thousands of individuals around the world. With the crash of this system, embassies and consulates worldwide were unable to run security checks and physically issue visas.
In very urgent situations, CBP is willing to waive the visa requirement on a case-by-case basis, depending on the circumstances of the emergency. During the visa crash, we helped facilitate the entry of three non-Canadian citizens into the U.S. in O-1 and O-2 status. While these individuals had already received approval notices from USCIS, the U.S. Consulate in their country was unable to print their O-1 and O-2 visas. The clients were in dire need of entering the U.S. to perform critical services for a film production that would have faced significant financial loss without their services. We met the clients at the Peace Bridge and successfully demonstrated their compelling set of circumstances to CBP. The individuals were granted entry into the U.S. in O-1 and O-2 status.
Berardi Immigration Law is dedicated to serving individuals facing all sorts of immigration needs. If you believe you qualify for a visa or status in the U.S., please contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.