Supreme Court Puts Hold on Lower Court Decision to Allow More Refugees into the U.S.

On Tuesday, September 12, the Supreme Court agreed with the Trump Administration to put a hold on a lower court decision that would have allowed more refugees to enter the United States. The court issued a one-paragraph statement granting the administration’s request for a stay on the president’s executive order on immigration. There were no recorded dissents to the decision. The issue at hand is whether the president can block a group of about 24,000 refugees, who have assurances from sponsors, from entering the U.S. A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit had interpreted a Supreme Court directive earlier this summer to mean that such refugees should be allowed in, but the government objected. The latest court actions are part of a complicated legal battle that began in January when President Trump first issued his version of the travel ban. The Supreme Court is to consider the merits of his actions at a hearing on October 10. This current case comes from a Supreme Court decision back in June that approved a limited version of a presidential order that temporarily blocked refugees and citizens of six majority-Muslim countries. The Supreme Court justices said that President […]
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Frequently Asked Questions: OPT Employment

The F-1 visa enables an individual to enter the U.S. as a full-time student at an accredited college, university, seminary, conservatory, academic high school, elementary school, or other academic institution or in a language training program. The student must be enrolled in a program that culminates in a degree, diploma or certificate and the school must be authorized by the U.S. government to accept international students. Q: Can I work on-campus while in F-1 status? A: F-1 students are permitted to work on campus. Approval by a Designated School Official (DSO) or USCIS is NOT required, and students may work up to 20 hours per week while school is in session and full-time during official school vacation periods. On-campus employment includes work performed on school premises or at an off-campus location which is educationally affiliated with the school. Q: Can I work off-campus while in F-1 status? A: Yes, but only after completing an entire academic year of full-time study. After the first year, F-1 students may engage in three types of off-campus employment: (1) Curricular Practical Training (CPT); Optional Practical Training (OPT); or Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Optional Practical Training Extension (OPT). Q: What is Optional Practical […]
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Frequently Asked Questions: CPT Employment

The F-1 visa enables an individual to enter the U.S. as a full-time student at an accredited college, university, seminary, conservatory, academic high school, elementary school, or other academic institution or in a language training program. The student must be enrolled in a program that culminates in a degree, diploma or certificate and the school must be authorized by the U.S. government to accept international students. Q: Can I work on-campus while in F-1 status? A: F-1 students are permitted to work on campus. Approval by a Designated School Official (DSO) or USCIS is NOT required, and students may work up to 20 hours per week while school is in session and full-time during official school vacation periods. On-campus employment includes work performed on school premises or at an off-campus location which is educationally affiliated with the school. Q: Can I work off-campus while in F-1 status? A: Yes, but only after completing an entire academic year of full-time study. After the first year, F-1 students may engage in three types of off-campus employment: (1) Curricular Practical Training (CPT); Optional Practical Training (OPT); or Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Optional Practical Training Extension (OPT). Q: What is Curricular Practical […]
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Travel Update: Nonimmigrant Visa Issuance Suspended at U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Russia

The Russian Government recently imposed a personnel cap on the U.S. mission in Russia. As a result, the U.S. Embassy and Consulates now lack the personnel to handle the normal influx of nonimmigrant visa (NIV) applicants, and NIV issuance has been temporarily suspended beginning Aug. 23, 2017. Operations are set to resume on Sept. 1 but on a greatly reduced scale, and nonimmigrant visa interviews will be conducted at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow only. What You Need to Know: NIV interviews at the U.S. Consulates in St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok are suspended until further notice; As of 0900 Moscow time Monday, Aug., 21, the U.S. will begin cancelling current NIV appointments in Russia; Affected applicants will receive an email with a phone number to call to reschedule their interview at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow; NIV applicants who have their interviews cancelled should call +7 (495) 745-3388 or 8-800-100-2554 (ITFN) to reschedule; University students studying in the U.S. will be offered a visa appointment in early September; Since visa operations will be greatly reduced, NIV appointments will be prioritized with first priority given to officials of the UN, international organizations with offices in the U.S. and bilateral missions. […]
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The H-2B and the American Economy

The H-2B visa program enables U.S. employers to fill temporary nonagricultural jobs with foreign nationals. However, the petitioning employer must meet specific regulatory requirements. To qualify, the petitioner must show that: There are not enough U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified and available to fill the temporary positions; Employing the H-2B workers will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers; and Its need for the labor is temporary. An employer’s need is considered temporary if it is a one-time occurrence (i.e., seasonal, peak load or intermittent). The H-2B visa category is utilized by important sectors of the U.S. economy to address industry-specific labor shortages. The problem, however, is that the total number of visas available during any given fiscal year is capped at 66,000. When that number is reached, shrimp boats in the south are forced to dock, the Alaskan salmon industry tanks and seasonal resorts around the country are forced to close their doors early. Even President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Resort relies on the H-2B program to fill temporary positions like waiters, servers, cooks, housekeepers and landscapers during peak months. The historical trend of this issue has previously been addressed by Congress. In […]
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Berardi Immigration Law Unveils Brand New Website

Berardi Immigration Law has recently unveiled a brand new website with a completely different look and feel. We wanted to be sure our website was as easy to navigate as possible and was also a source of information for our clients. We invite you to spend some time on our new website and check out all of the information we have pertaining to your U.S. immigration needs. You’ll find a variety of articles, frequently asked questions, videos, and our newly introduced chat box feature which allows you to communicate directly with our office in real time. We also encourage you to subscribe to our blog. We regularly publish news posts and comprehensive quarterly immigration updates so that our clients can receive the latest information on immigration topics and trends. Our client relationships are at the heart of our firm. We treat each client as if they are our only client. By combining big firm knowledge, resources and expertise with outstanding service, our award-winning team of lawyers is able to handle all our client’s immigration needs with a personal touch. We work with corporations and individual business professionals across the globe, including Fortune 1000 companies, business owners, professionals, artists, celebrities and […]
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Part 4 of 4: U.S. Tax Requirements for Green Card Holders

**Please note: The purpose of this series is to provide general information on immigration tax issues commonly raised by our Canadian clients. Berardi Immigration Law does not practice U.S. tax law. Any information herein is for general informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal or tax advice. To ensure compliance with U.S. tax regulations, you should speak with your tax or financial adviser to assist you in all financial implications for your time spent in the U.S.** Dear Berardi Immigration Law, I’ve had my green card for three years now.  This past year, I’ve been living and working in Canada for a temporary job assignment.  I have a valid re-entry permit, so essentially the government has given me permission to live outside the U.S.   Since my income is earned in Canada, can I file my U.S. tax return as a non-resident?  Sincerely, Green Card Holder Living Abroad There is a common rumor circulating that the number of days you spend in the U.S. determines whether or not you are considered to be a tax resident, but this is only true for people who are in the country as nonimmigrant visitors or workers.  (Read Part 1 of […]
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