F-1 ‘Cap-Gap’ Status and Work Authorization Only Valid Through Sept. 30, 2018

F-1 students who have an H-1B petition that remains pending after October 1, 2018, risk accruing unlawful presence if they continue to work on or after October 1, 2018 (unless otherwise authorized to continue employment), as their “cap-gap” work authorization is only valid through September 30, 2018. Due to increased demand for immigration benefits, resulting in higher caseloads as well as a significant surge in premium processing requests, USCIS has not been able to adjudicate H-1B change of status petitions for all F-1 students by October 1, 2018.  USCIS regulations allow an F-1 student who is the beneficiary of a timely filed H-1B cap-subject petition requesting a change of status to H-1B on October 1, to have his or her F-1 status and any current employment authorization extended through September 30. This is referred to as “cap-gap,” meaning the regulations provide a way of filling the “gap” between the end of F-1 status and the beginning of H-1B status that might otherwise occur. The “cap-gap” period starts when an F-1 student’s status and work authorization expire, and they are extended through September 30, with October 1 being the requested start date of their H-1B employment, unless otherwise terminated or the […]
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Careful consideration should be given to degree for TN application

In another successful TN border case, Managing Partner, Rosanna Berardi, represented a client who wanted to obtain a TN visa. The TN visa is available to Canadian or Mexican nationals seeking employment under the NAFTA Treaty.  The job position must be one of the approved professions set forth by NAFTA, like Accountant, Computer Systems Analyst, Engineer, and Management Consultant.  Also, a baccalaureate degree and/or appropriate business license is required. In this particular case, our client earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics.  While this degree major is not the “normal major” for an Accountant, the Berardi Immigration Law team presented the argument that our client should still be granted the requested status.  We showed through transcripts that our client’s degree included accounting and other “normal” courses that are taken in the accounting major.  Based on our argument, the transcripts, our client’s years of experience in the accounting employment field and his Canadian Chartered Accounting Designation, our TN application was approved. If you have questions about obtaining a TN visa or determining if your degree would satisfy the requirements, please contact our office today.
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New Filing Option for Canadian TN Nonimmigrants

Effective October 1, 2012, changes to filing procedures for TN classification have changed.  These changes impact both individuals and employers of foreign nationals.  Filing of L petitions are not effected by these changes. Canadian TN Nonimmigrants USCIS is now accepting Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Workers, filed on behalf of Canadian citizens seeking TN classification under NAFTA.  Prior to this, USCIS only accepted Form I-129 in connection with a request to extend a TN nonimmigrant’s stay, or to change a nonimmigrant’s status to TN. Canadian citizens will continue to have the option of applying at a port of entry, through Customs and Border Protection (CBP), for TN status in conjunction with an application for TN admission to the U.S. Canadian L-1 Nonimmigrants Canadian citizens may continue to apply directly to CBP for L-1 admission to the U.S. by presenting Form I-129 or I-129S, Nonimmigrant Petition Based on Blanket L Petition, with supporting documentation to CBP.  Employers also have the option of filing a Form I-129 (individual petition) with USCIS on behalf of a Canadian L-1 nonimmigrant.  A U.S. employer with an approved L-1 blanket petition may file Form I-129S along with supporting documentation with the same USCIS service center that […]
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How will the Beyond the Border Implementation Affect You?

In February of 2011, U.S. President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Harper announced the Beyond the Border Action Plan under which both countries work together to achieve security on our borders while facilitating the lawful movement of people and goods. Last week, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Canaddian Border Services Agency announced that both agencies would begin the Phase I pilot of the Entry/Exit program, which currently requires temporary foreign visitors to register with USCIS if they stay in the U.S. for more than 30 days. Under Phase I, routine biographic information from third-country nationals, permanent residents of Canada, and lawful permanent residents of the U.S. will be collected between September 30, 2012 and January 31, 2013. This will occur at the following four ports of entry: Lewiston-Queenston Bridge — Lewiston, NY/Ontario; Rainbow Bridge — Niagara Falls, NY/Ontario; Pacific Highway — Blaine, WA/British Columbia; and (Douglas) Peace Arch — Blaine, WA/British Columbia. Beginning October 15, 2012, both agencies will exchange this information to record entry into one country so that it becomes a record of exit from the other country. The entry/exit system will: identify persons who potentially overstay their lawful period of admission; monitor the […]
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NEXUS helps time-strapped business travelers

If you frequently travel between Canada and the U.S. for business, you have probably grown accustomed to long lines and delays at airports and border crossings. For frequent business travelers, using a NEXUS card to cross the border is a great solution to avoid lines,
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HR Professionals Ask About their Employment-Based Immigration Concerns

Recently, Berardi Immigration Law reached out to a number of our corporate immigration clients to find out what some of the most frequently asked questions from their foreign employees are.   Here are some of those responses: Q: Can foreign employees working in the U.S. travel outside the U.S.? A: Generally yes but the requirements may be dependent upon the visa
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Noncitizen Pharmacists Win Big Decision in New York State

In a recent case brought up the U.S. Court of Appeals by nonimmigrant pharmacists, the Second Circuit applied strict scrutiny review and found that New York Educ. Law §6805(1)(6), which limits the issuance of pharmacist licenses to U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents only, is unconstitutional.
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