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Upcoming Retrogression for Indian EB-2 Immigrant Visas 09/16/2014

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Immigration, Legal Developments.
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After months of steadily moving forward the priority date for the Employment-based Second preference category (“EB-2”) for foreign nationals chargeable to India, in the October 2014 Visa Bulletin the Department of State (“DOS”) has stated that the EB-2 India priority date will retrogress to 2005 as early as on November 1, 2014.  Any Indian national with a “current” priority date for the EB-2 category is therefore encouraged to immediately file their I-485 Adjustment of Status application.

Additionally, officials within the DOS have told the American Immigration Lawyers Association (“AILA”) that the maximum number of Indian EB-2 immigrant visas for the current government fiscal year (running to September 30, 2014) has been reached.  Therefore, the DOS will not be allocating any new immigrant visas for EB-2 Indian nationals until October 1, 2014, which is the start of the next government fiscal year.  However, the Citizenship and Immigration Services (“CIS”) has stated that it will continue to accept filings with a current priority date – presumably through the end of October.   In addition, pending I-485 Adjustment of Status application and new applications filed during the month of September will be held until October 1, 2014, at which time they will begin to be processed.  As a result, Indian nationals should not delay their filing due to the unavailability of Immigrant Visas.

What this all means for the next 6 weeks is not clear.  There are a number of pending I-485 Adjustment of Status applications filed by Indian nationals with current priority dates.  We expect that some number of these pending cases will be approved when visa numbers again become available for a short period of time on October 1st.  How many will be processed and approved within this short window of time cannot now be determined.

Feel free to contact any member of our Immigration Law Group with any questions.

Grant Godfrey to Speak at Lesley University 02/25/2014

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Attorney News, Immigration.
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Immigration Attorney Grant GodfreyOn Wednesday, March 5th MBBP Immigration Attorney Grant Godfrey has been asked to speak to international students attending Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Grant will be discussing immigration options for students once they receive their degree.

Please feel free to contact Grant with any questions on immigration.

Visit our resources page for MBBP immigration articles and newsletters.

MBBP Immigration Event: I am a Foreign National in the U.S. and I Want to Start a Company 09/12/2013

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Events, Immigration, Legal Developments, MBBP news.
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On Thursday, October 24th MBBP is hosting a brown bag lunch event titled “I am a Foreign National in the U.S. and I Want to Start a Company” at the Cambridge Innovation Center in Cambridge, MA. Foreign Nationals who are already in the U.S. and want to start a company have special considerations relating to their U.S. visa status. This brown-bag event will discuss the considerations foreign entrepreneurs should take into account if they don’t yet want to (or cannot yet) be sponsored for employment with the new company, and what they should consider if they do. We will review some of the current nonimmigrant and immigrant visa options available to foreign entrepreneurs who are already in the United States, and will provide critical information for foreign students in F-1 status. The discussion will be interactive with time for questions and answers.

This event is complimentary, but space is limited. Register today!

Please visit our event page for more details and to register.

CIS Will Likely Need Until The End of May to Sort Out Accepted and Rejected H-1B Cap Cases 04/16/2013

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Immigration, Legal Developments.
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In recent alerts, we have informed clients that the H-1B Caps had been reached and the lottery had been held, provided a FAQ in regards to the H-1B Cap, and provided an alert describing the H-1B caps and provided an overview of eligibility for the status.

At a recent conference, an official at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“CIS”) informed the audience that CIS would first process data entry for the H-1B cap cases filed requesting premium processing, and that they expected data entry for those cases would be completed by April 15. Note that this is the only preferential treatment that CIS is providing to premium processed cases. CIS must process those cases first as they are required to make an initial determination on all premium processed cases by May 1st. Premium processed cases did not receive any preferential treatment in the lotteries.

Once data entry is complete on the premium processing cases, CIS will begin data entry for all other cap-subject H-1B cases. CIS anticipates that data entry for the non-premium processed cases will continue until sometime in May, and rejection notices for petitions not selected in the lottery will be sent out after that.

Unfortunately this information confirms our prediction in the H-1B Cap FAQ that both the employers and sponsored employees will likely need to wait another month or more before they will definitively know whether the case was accepted for processing or not.

We again encourage anyone who is in Human Resources or Recruiting who are interested in learning more about the other work authorized visa categories to attend our event on May 9th, “Alternatives to H-1B Visas.”

“Getting in Line”: A flawed concept in the Immigration debate 04/12/2013

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Immigration, Legal Developments.
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Immigration Attorney Grant GodfreyBy: Grant Godfrey

Anyone who has navigated through our maze of immigration laws understands that it is complicated and takes a long time. An NBC news article published today sheds light on how the concept of “getting in line” for a Green Card is a dramatic oversimplification of our current system. The better questions are: (a) which line do you have to get in?, (b) how many years are you going to have to wait?, and (c) is there even a line available to you?

To help you answer these questions and more, please contact any member of our Immigration Practice Group.

MBBP Immigration Event: Alternatives to H-1B Visas 03/20/2013

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Events, Immigration, Legal Developments, MBBP news.
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On Thursday, May 9th MBBP is hosting a complimentary immigration event on the topic of “Alternatives to H-1B Visas“. With the economy steadily improving, over the past two years the H-1B cap has been reached very quickly. The most recent year, it was reached in approximately two months.

This timely event will provide an overview of other visa options employers have to utilize the best available talent, including: 17 Month STEM Extensions, L, TN, O, E and B visas. We will address the advantages and pitfalls of each visa category, and will also host a question and answer session.

Please visit our event page for more details and to register.

John Gallini Panels MCLE’s Immigration Law Event 12/17/2012

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Attorney News, Events, Immigration, Legal Developments.
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Immigration Attorney John GalliniOn December 12th – 13th MBBP Immigration Attorney John Gallini was a panel member for MCLE’s BasicsPlus! two-day intensive immigration law program. The event helped to provided attendees with a practice introduction to the concepts, procedures and practice of immigration law. John lead a discussion on Employment-Based Green Cards Without Labor Certification.

John Gallini is also the co-chair of the Boston Bar Association‘s Immigration Law Section. Please feel free to contact John with any questions on immigration.

Immigration Reform Is An Early Priority After the Inauguration 11/12/2012

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Attorney News, Immigration, Legal Developments.
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Immigration Attorney Grant GodfreyBy: Grant Godfrey

According to the Huffington Post the Senate Democrats are planning on making immigration reform a priority post-inauguration. While exact measures or legislation have not been disclosed, Washington is showing an increased willingness to tackle what has proven to be a politically dividing topic. Many businesses find our immigration system to be confusing and too rigid to be able to adapt to 21st century business practices. Future legislation could provide needed flexibility so that U.S. employers can focus on hiring and retaining top educated workers who fill critical functions in their organizations.

MBBP’s immigration practice has experience advising companies ranging from start-ups to multi-national corporations, as well as experience advising families and individual workers. If you have any questions about this article, or any other important immigration topic, do not hesitate to contact a member of the Immigration Team.

Real World Issues in the Hiring & Retention of Foreign Workers 09/21/2012

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Events.
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On Thursday, October 11th MBBP is hosting an immigration event on Real World Issues in the Hiring and Retention of Foreign Workers. Employers who find candidates that have the education, training, skills and experience matching their needs may also find that those candidates require visa sponsorship. This interactive session will provide an analysis of real life scenarios that HR and recruiters face in the hiring process, and will explain how different types of visa status may impact hiring and retention of the prospective employee.

The program will review top immigration compliance issues post-hire and also touch upon factors to consider in Green Card sponsorship.

Other topics of discussion will include:

  • Pre-Hire Considerations
  • Meaning and relevance of visa types
  • The Offer Letter
  • Determining the appropriate employment visa category
  • E-Verify and I-9
  • Sponsorship costs – who bears the burden?
  • Record keeping and reporting
  • Changes in pay, job duties, job titles and job locations
  • Time limits and timing considerations for long-term retention

For more information, directions, or to register, please visit the event page: 10/11/12 – Real World Issues in the Hiring & Retention of Foreign Workers.

John Gallini Named BBA Immigration Section Co-Chair 05/22/2012

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Client News, Immigration.
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Immigration Attorney John GalliniOn May 21st, the Boston Bar Association announced the new 2012-2013 Co-Chairs of its 24 sections.  MBBP Attorney John Gallini was selected as a Co-chair for the Immigration Law Section within the BBA and will serve for two years. BBA President-elect, J.D. Smeallie, had this to say of the section leaders:

The lawyers named to lead our Sections represent a talent pool enriched by the diversity of their respective backgrounds. They are drawn from law firms of all sizes, from the legal departments of businesses and non-profits, and from government, legal services, and academia.

Congratulations John!

For more information, please visit the Boston Bar Association.

MBBP Welcomes Attorney Grant Godfrey 05/09/2012

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Attorney News, Immigration, MBBP news.
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Immigration Attorney Grant GodfreyMBBP is pleased to announce that Attorney Grant Godfrey has joined the firm as an associate. Grant concentrates his practice in immigration law. Prior to Morse, Barnes-Brown & Pendleton, he was an associate at Blake J. Godbout & Associates where he worked on a variety of litigation, transactional, and bankruptcy issues.

After receiving his undergraduate degree, Grant worked as a paralegal at McNamara, Koenig & McCarthy (now McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter), and then at Morse, Barnes-Brown & Pendleton, where he focused on business-based immigration law. He then changed careers and worked at Bullhorn, a software company, as a hybrid account and project manager before attending law school.

Please feel free to contact Grant directly.

Donald Parker to Speak at Columbia University 03/31/2011

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Immigration Attorney Donald ParkerOn April 1, 2011, Immigration Attorney Donald Parker will speak at Columbia University on behalf of the International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO). Don will discuss employment-based statuses with a focus on H-1B1 and other non-immigrant statuses eligibility requirements and procedures, and a brief overview of Permanent Residency (“green card”) status if time permits. The session will run from 2:00-4:00 and is being held in 602 Hamilton Hall at Columbia University.

To learn more on the program, please visit the ISSO.

For more information on immigration law, please contact Donald Parker.

John Gallini Moderates Immigration CLE Event 03/30/2011

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Attorney News, Events, Immigration.
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Immigration Attorney John GalliniOn April 13, 2011, MBBP Immigration Attorney John Gallini will be co-moderating the Boston Bar Association’s CLE event: U.S. Immigration Options for Entrepreneurs and Investors.  The event includes panel discussions on L-1 intercompany transferee visas and topics relating to visa processing at U.S. Consulates and Embassies as well as E-2 Investor Visas and EB-5 Immigrant Visas.

To register for the event, click here.

For more information on the topic, please the Boston Bar Association.

New Release: MBBP December 2010 Immigration Alert 12/17/2010

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Attorney News, Immigration, Legal Developments, New Resources.
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By Donald Parker and John Gallini

Immigration Attorney Donald ParkerVisa Waiver Program: ESTA Fees

The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) was implemented in 1986 in order to allow travelers from certain countries to enter the U.S. for vacation or to attend business meetings without requiring a visa. To utilize the Visa Waiver for trips to the U.S., travelers must register online with the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior to their trip. Previously, registering with ESTA was free for passengers; however, on September 8, 2010, the government began imposing a fee for new registrations and renewals. Read more in our full Immigration Alert.

Immigration Attorney John GalliniFY 2011 H-1B Cap Count Update – Supply Dwindling

As of December 10, 2010, the total number of H-1B cap-subject petitions counted under the regular cap was 52,400. This means that there will soon be less than 10,000 H-1B visas available. With respect to the 20,000 H-1B visas that are made available under the U.S. Master’s degree exemption tranche, 19,100 visas have already been called for as of the same date. As a result, now is a good time to review your hiring plans for any foreign nationals or foreign students.

MBBP’s December 2010 Immigration Alert also contains information on other topics including:

More information can be found in our full Immigration Alert.

John Gallini Moderates Panel Discussion at AILA 2010 Annual Conference 06/30/2010

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Attorney News, Immigration.
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Immigration Attorney John GalliniOn July 3rd Attorney John Gallini will be moderating a panel discussion on the fundamentals of naturalization to U.S. citizenship at the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) 2010 Annual Conference on Immigration Law in Washington, DC. The AILA Annual Conference is the largest gathering of immigration law professionals and includes senior representatives from all government agencies involved in the administration and enforcement of immigration and nationality law.

For more information on the event, please visit AILA.

MBBP June 2010 Immigration Alert Discusses New Changes in US Immigration Policies 06/28/2010

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Client News, Immigration, Legal Developments.
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By Donald Parker and John Gallini

Immigration Attorney Donald ParkerVisa Fees Have Increased
On June 4, 2010, the Department of State implemented increases in its nonimmigrant visa application fees. The fee increases are relatively minor for most temporary visas, with two exceptions: applications for K visas, which are for fiancé(e)s and spouses of U.S. citizens and their minor children – and E visas, which are for Treaty-Traders/Investors (E-1/E-2) and Australian Professional Specialty Worker (E-3), have gone up significantly. This Immigration Alert provides a breakdown of the nonimmigrant visa application rate increases.

Immigration Attorney John GalliniUp-Dated Count on H-1B Numbers
As expected, the global recession has resulted in a significant reduction in the number of new H-1B visa petitions being filed in the current fiscal year of the USCIS. While in years prior to 2009, H-1B visas had been used up within weeks of April 1st, as of June 24, 2010 H-1B visas will likely be available through the end of this year. For a detailed count please click here.

MBBP’s June 2010 Immigration Alert also contains information on other topics including:

  • USCIS changes to “Green Cards” and “Employment Cards”
  • Visa Waiver Program Going Paperless

Click here to read our full Alert.

9th Annual Immigration Law Conference 2010 Co-Chaired by John Gallini 05/26/2010

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Attorney News, Events.
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Immigration Attorney John GalliniOn May 21, Attorney John Gallini co-chaired the 9th Annual Immigration Law Conference 2010 sponsored by MCLE. The full day program covered current trends and the most effective strategies for dealing with the constantly changing business immigration landscape. Topics covered by the 13 panel members included presentations on F-1 students and their transition into the workforce, H-1Bs in a new era of enforcement, L-1 intracompany transferee problem cases, creative E visa options, an update and analysis on PERM labor certifications, traversing Form I-140 immigrant petition minefields, and H-1B and green card portability. The conference also included a special keynote panel with the Assistant Director of the Department of Border Security for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Boston.

For more information on Immigration Law, please contact John Gallini.

H-1B Cap Reached for 2010 Fiscal Year 12/24/2009

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Client News, Immigration, Legal Developments.
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Immigration Attorney Donald ParkerBy: Donald Parker & John Gallini

On December 22, 2009, the CIS announced that the H-1B cap for the 2010 fiscal year had been reached on December 21, 2009. Any H-1B cases received by the CIS after December 21, 2009 will be rejected and returned. They  will place all cap-subject H-1B petitions that were received on December 21, 2009 into a lottery and winners will be chosen through a computer-generated random selection process. Immigration Attorney John GalliniH-1B1 visas continue to remain available for Chile and Singapore citizens under their respective Free Trade Agreements. As you know, the CIS makes available 58,200 new H-1Bs each fiscal year, plus 20,000 new H-1Bs for foreign nationals with a Master’s degree or higher from a U.S. academic institution. We are currently projecting that the demand for FY 2011 H-1B visa allocation, which opens on April 1, 2010, will be heavier but that new H-1Bs will likely remain available for several months after the new H-1B filing season begins.

For the full article, please see MBBP’s Immigration Alert Newsletter.

Gallini Teaches Babson Students the Basics of Immigration and Employment Law 10/30/2009

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Immigration Attorney John GalliniOn November 2, MBBP Attorney John Gallini will teach the basics of business immigration and employment law to a group of Babson undergraduates, graduate students, and students of the Olin College of Engineering. This legal workshop is part of the Babson College Chamber of Commerce, which was established to support entrepreneurial activity on campus.

John Gallini advises and represents businesses, entrepreneurs and families with visa matters, ranging from temporary work visas to Permanent Residence to naturalization to U.S. citizenship.

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