Currently, the importance of creative, strategic, and sound immigration solutions cannot be overstated. While USCIS has announced its dedication to ensuring as many employment-based visas are used in FY 2022 (ending 9/30/2022; leading to DOS and USICS confirming they issued 280,000+ employment-based immigrant visas), processing times for USCIS continue to hit historic delays and the government has now announced a 2-year retrogression in the EB-2 category for Indian nationals in the October 2022 Visa Bulletin. Considering this, our firm’s dedication to exploring meaningfully creative solutions for our clients has become evermore important. At BIL, we are committed to providing excellence in corporate immigration solutions, helping our clients to pursue their immigration options in both the United States and Canada.
Brown Immigration Law Proactively Expands Canadian Immigration Practice – Firm Well Positioned to Deliver Innovative Immigration Strategies on Both Sides of the US-Canada Border
Increasingly, the global market is looking to Canada because of its innovative immigration programs, which help companies compete for global talent and mobilize their global workforce. As more companies look to Canada to effectively plan for and grow their global operations, they face an equally evolving immigration compliance system and greater risk of non-compliance. Immigration non-compliance can bear significant financial penalties and limit companies’ ability to leverage these programs to scale their operations in Canada. As we partner with our clients to design and implement global strategies that leverage Canada’s innovative programs, Brown Immigration Law is excited to announce the expansion of our Canadian practice with the addition of Clinton J. Green, who will serve as our Canadian Practice Lead.
Clinton has almost a decade of experience working at leading immigration law firms in Toronto, Canada where he advised global companies and individuals on a broad range of complex Canadian immigration matters. He enjoys collaborating with businesses to implement Canadian immigration strategies as part of their global plan for workforce management and scaling. In addition to practicing immigration law, Clinton sits on the Executive of the Ontario Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Law Section as CPD Liaison, where he collaborates to design professional development programs for immigration lawyers in Canada’s largest province. He graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto, where he received the Joel S. Guberman Prize in Immigration Law for achieving the highest standing in the course.
Totaling 20 attorneys, Brown Immigration Law P.C., L.L.O is the largest immigration firm in the Midwest; we are poised – more than ever – to partner with you in the design and management of your global mobility program to deliver strategic, efficient, and innovative immigration solutions on both sides of the US-Canada border, as your company scales and responds to market needs. We look forward to connecting with you over the coming weeks on the strategic advantages of deepening our relationship to include our Canadian practice in the management of your cross-border global mobility program.
U.S. BUSINESS IMMIGRATION UPDATES
Medical Exams – Submit Before September 30, 2022
As the fiscal year ends on 9/30/2022 for USCIS, the Service has been issuing a high volume of Requests for Evidence (RFEs) for Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record. If you have received an RFE for your medical exam, we urge you to submit the exam as soon as possible for hopeful faster processing of your case. Our attorneys have been communicating with clients as soon as an RFE is received to ensure we are doing all we can to facilitate the submission. If you have questions, please reach out to your BIL attorney.
USCIS and DOL Accepting Comments on Proposed Rules (I-9 Document Examination; Prevailing Wage Request Application)
As reported by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), “USCIS issued a notice of proposed rulemaking that would create a framework under which the Secretary of Homeland Security could authorize alternatives to physical document examination for documents required by Form I-9. Comments on the policy are due by October 17, 2022.”
The Department of Labor has recently accepted comments on proposed changes and updated to DOL Form ETA-9141, which is the form used to submit prevailing wage requests. In addition, near the end of August, DOL announced a $7.2 million investment from the Technology Modernization Fund, noting a goal of improving “DOL’s permanent labor certification services, helping to increase efficiency, improve customer experience, and address fraud and security risks overall.” We hope these moves by the DOL lead to a smoother experience for all involved with the various processes DOL oversees.
USCIS Reached H-1B Cap
As confirmed in our August Breaking News Alert, near the end of August 2022, USCIS began sending “non-selection” notices for H-1B lottery candidates. USCIS followed these notices up on August 23, 2022, confirming that the H-1B cap had been reached for FY 2023. BIL attorneys promptly followed up with clients regarding the outcome of their case (non-selections, where applicable). Please reach out to your BIL attorney with any questions about the H-1B lottery, your non-immigrant status, or next steps for your case.
USCIS Provides Updated Policy Guidance for L-1 Cases
On August 16, 2022, USCIS released a policy alert, noting that the Service was issuing new policy guidance for L-1 nonimmigrants seeking classification as managers or executives or specialized knowledge workers. This guidance is not intended to change existing policy or create new policy but is intended as updated guidance for these cases.
USCIS’s policy alert can be found HERE.
To find comprehensive information about the L-1 classification, the USCIS policy memo can be found HERE.
Addition information on the L-1 classification can be found HERE.
Visa Bulletin Retrogression for India EB-2
Based on both USCIS announcements and reporting from various immigration interest organizations, the government is projected to have exhausted the supply of immigrant visas by the end of this month for the fiscal year. AILA reports that this is a significant feat, considering this is nearly double the annual allocated amount of EB immigrant visas in FY2022.
USCIS has announced the utilization of the Dates for Filing chart for October 2022. Generally, for October 2022, EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 remain current for all countries other than India and China. For China, EB-1 remains current, EB-2 advances two months, and EB-3 moves forward seven weeks.
Importantly, the October 2022 visa bulletin shows a two (2) year retrogression in the EB-2 category for individuals from India. EB-1 for India remains current, and EB-3 advances six weeks. Please note that if your priority date is current for September 2022, but is not current under the October 2022 bulletin, and you are prepared to file your adjustment of status application, USCIS should continue accepting these applications until the end of September. They will be unable to adjudicate the I-485 once the priority date is no longer current in October until the priority date is current again. If you have questions about your specific case, please contact your BIL attorney.
CANADIAN BUSINESS IMMIGRATION UPDATES
Below are some recent developments in the Canadian immigration landscape, which may impact your immigration planning:
- Peru recently ratified the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), expanding the pool of global talent Canadian companies can easily tap into: Companies may now hire a broader list of professionals and technicians from Peru without being required to undertake the costly and time intensive labour market impact assessment process. The eligible CPTPP countries are now: Australia, Japan, Mexico, and Peru.
- Canada to invest significantly in immigration backlog and restoring processing times to pre-pandemic levels but online work permit processing will continue face severe backlogs for the remainder of 2022: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) plans to hire 1,250 staff by fall 2022 to process permanent residence applications, such as Express Entry, provincial nominees, and spousal sponsorship applications. On the other hand, work Permits will continue to face even more backlogs, increasing to a 60% backlog by the end of this year, which represents a 30% increase.
- Upcoming major changes to Canada’s occupational classification system: The Canadian government will begin using the 2021 National Occupational Classification (NOC) system on November 16, 2022. The new system will reclassify many occupations, which may impact how some work permit and permanent residence applications are prepared. In fact, according to an internal IRCC, memo, sixteen new occupations will become eligible to apply under the Express Entry system, while three will become ineligible. We will provide further updates after November.
These updates further signal the importance of proactive planning and strategizing with respect to your global workforce and business needs; let’s chat about how we can take advantage of innovative programs for hiring talent in Canada while bearing in mind the rapidly changing immigration climate. Please feel reach out to your Brown attorney should you have further questions about we can serve your Canadian immigration needs.
New Learning Opportunities!
Onboarding Foreign Nationals and the Best Visa Options
In addition to facing the possibility of a RIF we find a significant number of our clients are still seeking key staff to ensure they find the talent they need to grow and compete. This session is intended for HR Managers and recruiters to better understand the key visa types employers use to hire key talent. Additionally, David will share best practices for hiring H-1B transfers to ensure it is a smooth and easy onboarding. David is happy to stay on after the core 30 minute program to discuss case specific hiring issues for individuals in a NIV status.
Please Join Us This Fall:
as we explore several other important facets of employment-based immigration. Our schedule of further learning opportunities is included below – register today for our fall events.
* Key New Covid Era Tricks, including AOS Portability for the Great Downgrade
Register for October 20, 2022 or October 25, 2022
* Key Business Immigration Updates in 2022
Register for November 3, 2022 or November 8, 2022
* Maximizing Your Immigration Policies
Register for November 17, 2022
* Top 10 Business Immigration Hacks
Register for December 1, 2022 or December 13, 2022
Once registered, you will receive an email with a link to use to join the video chat on the day of the event. Please note: This link should not be shared with others; it is unique to you. If you ever misplace the invitation link, simply visit the webinar schedule on our website.
If you have colleagues who may benefit from our talks, you are welcome to invite them to join by sharing our webinar schedule where they can subscribe for further information.
Don’t miss these opportunities to increase your knowledge on important immigration issues!
Thank you and we look forward to having you at the event.
The Team at Brown Immigration Law
** This newsletter/memo is provided for informational and discussion purposes only. It does not act as a substitute for direct legal contact on an individual basis **