Berardi Services at the Peace Bridge

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) encourages first time TN and L1 applicants to go to one designated ports of entry where applicants will receive optimized processing. There are fourteen total ports designated for optimized processing. This includes the Peace Bridge...
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Breaking News: Certain Ports of Entry No Longer Allowing L-1 Renewal Applications for Canadian Citizens

Berardi Immigration Law has recently learned that certain ports of entry along the Canadian border are now refusing to process petitions for renewal L-1 applications that are presented by Canadians pursuant to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). This new policy affects both individual and blanket L petitions.  Initial reports indicated that this was a problem only at Customs and Border Protection (CBP) locations near Calgary. However, it has since expanded throughout several ports of entry and preclearance locations including Toronto Pearson International Airport (preclearance), Winnipeg, Vancouver, Calgary, Montréal Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (preclearance), Edmonton, Seattle, Pembina, Warroad, Pt. Roberts, Sumas, and more. Over the weekend, we have been informed that the Peace Bridge located in Buffalo, New York is now also enforcing this policy. This impacts all ports of entry under the Buffalo jurisdiction, including the Rainbow Bridge, Queenston/Lewiston Bridge, and Thousand Islands Bridge and all ports of entry on the northern New York/Canadian border. All L-1 renewal petitions for Canadians must now be submitted directly to USCIS for adjudication. The ports of entry that are refusing to process these petitions are relying on a section of the regulations (8 CFR §214.2(l)(15)(i)), which state that petition extensions […]
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USCIS Issues Crucial Clarifications to L-1 Requirements

In accordance with President Trump’s Buy American Hire American Executive Order, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is reviewing employment-based immigration programs in an effort to eliminate fraud and ensure adjudications are consistent. As a part of this effort, USCIS recently published clarifications for the L-1 nonimmigrant classification foreign employment requirement...
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USCIS & CBP Extend Pilot Program for Canadian L-1 Nonimmigrants

the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) California Service Center (CSC) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Blaine, Washington, port of entry (POE) announced a new pilot program for Canadian citizens seeking L-1 nonimmigrant status under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The program was designed to evaluate how long USCIS needs to adjudicate these petitions and...
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USCIS and CBP to Launch Pilot Program for L-1 Canadian Nonimmigrants

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in conjunction with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has announced that beginning April 30, 2018, it will roll out a pilot program that will eliminate “on the spot” border L-1 NAFTA adjudications at the Blaine, Washington port of entry. Instead, the government will replace these instant border adjudications with a petition that must first be mailed in to USCIS for adjudication. The government hopes to rapidly turn these approvals around in one to three days with no premium processing fee, which is currently an additional $1,225 and guarantees a response within 15 calendar days. The pilot program will begin in Blaine, Washington and will only apply to the L-1 category. However, if the program runs smoothly, the government plans to expand the program to the rest of the Northern border and may expand to other categories. In a recent call with stakeholders, both USCIS and CBP stated that USCIS should be adjudicating L-1 and TN applications for simple organization reasons and so that CBP can focus on admissibility issues. Both agencies noted the process will likely process as follows: Petitioning company mails the petition to USCIS directly; USCIS will issue a receipt notice to […]
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What is a Function Manager?

Both the L-1A and the EB-1C are designated for multinational executive or managerial employees. The L-1A is a nonimmigrant work visa that permits a company to transfer a qualifying foreign employee to the U.S. to work temporarily in a managerial or executive capacity, while the EB-1C is an immigrant visa that permits a foreign company to do the same but on a permanent basis. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), there are two types of managers that qualify in both categories: (1) personnel managers, and (2) function managers. The difference between the two is quite simple. Personnel managers primarily supervise and control the work of personnel, whereas function managers primarily manage an organizational function. Qualifying as a “Function Manager” To establish that the beneficiary (employee) will be employed in a managerial capacity as a “function manager,” a petitioner (employer) must demonstrate that: (1) the function is a clearly defined activity; (2) the function is “essential,” i.e., core to the organization; (3) the beneficiary will primarily manage, as opposed to perform, the function; (4) the beneficiary will act at a senior level within the organizational hierarchy or with respect to the function managed; and (5) the beneficiary will exercise discretion […]
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Temporarily Working in the U.S.

There are numerous options available to foreign nationals who wish to enter the U.S. and work on a temporary basis. The first step is acquiring a nonimmigrant visa or work permit. This allows an individual to enter and work in the States for a limited period of time. The application process begins with an employer filing a paper-based petition with USCIS, and if approved, the beneficiary (foreign national seeking temporary work authorization) may then apply for a visa or work permit at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad. This process is a little different for citizens of specific countries seeking entry based on specific work permit categories. Thanks to NAFTA, Canadian citizens may apply for L-1 and TN status in-person at a Class A port-of-entry. As an added bonus, this on-the-spot adjudication procedure means that if approved, the beneficiary can begin working that same day. Here is a breakdown of the nonimmigrant categories available to foreign nationals seeking temporary employment in the U.S.: NAFTA Professionals (TN): The TN category was created under the North American Free Trade Agreement. It enables citizens of Canada and Mexico to enter the U.S. to engage in business activities at a professional level. The applicant […]
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