Border Issues Resolved with Assistance from Berardi Immigration Law
Following are highlights from Berardi Immigration Law’s border work during the past week:
• Berardi Immigration Law’s managing partner, Rosanna Berardi, appeared at the Peace Bridge to present an L-1A application on behalf of a client who had reached his seven-year cap. Under the regulations, L-1A status and L-1B status is capped at seven- and five-year periods, respectively. This means an individual who holds L-1A status for a consecutive seven-year period must depart the U.S. and remain abroad for at least one year before he or she is eligible to apply for L-1 status again. There is, however, a caveat to this rule: If that individual has spent less than 183 days in the U.S., he or she may be eligible for additional time in L-1 status.
In anticipation of this issue, we provided Customs and Border Protection (CBP) with a package of detailed evidence to show that he spent less than 183 days in the U.S. the past year. Previously, CBP was approving such cases in increments of two years. Last week, however, we were able to secure our client a three-year period of stay. This new benefit was the direct result of a recent AILA/CBP liaison meeting over which Ms. Berardi presided as the committee chair.
• Our associate attorney, Jennifer Behm, was also busy last week. We were contacted by a client who had been denied entry at the Pearson port of entry two weeks earlier. Upon reviewing a business letter prepared by her employer, CBP determined she was entering the U.S. for purposes beyond the permissible business-visitor activities. Our client was advised to obtain proper work authorization.
During the initial consultation, Ms. Behm was able to determine that the client would qualify for status in the L-1 category. While the client’s employer agreed to consider an L-1 application, they wished to secure her immediate entry into the U.S. for a business conference that was essential to her employment in Canada. Our team prepared a package outlining her admissibility under the B-1 regulations and provided very detailed evidence of her travel plans and conference activities.
Ms. Behm met our client at the Peace Bridge last Friday to review her admissibility with CBP as a business visitor. CBP was willing to make a “note” in their internal system that our client’s admissibility for the conference had been reviewed, and that she would be prepared to show her compliance with the business-conference visitor regulations upon her next entry. On Monday we were happy to hear that our client was able to enter the U.S. for the conference without any problems.
CBP has the ultimate discretion on whether they will admit a person for entry and the duration of time a person can stay in the United States. Securing professional guidance can alleviate your concerns. If you are having problems at the border, contact our immigration attorneys today – we will help you cross the border with confidence!
For more information on the L category, check out L-1 Nonimmigrant Visa: Intracompany Transferees and the related articles posted on that page.
Want to know more about the B-1/B-2 Business/Tourist category? Check out some of these past postings: Fact or Fiction for B-2 Visitors, B-1/B-2 Visas: Visitors to the U.S., and B-1 or Not B-1? THAT is the question.