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September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.1 World Trade Center Institute: Maryland International Trade & Embassy Conference 2009 U.S.

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Presentation on theme: "September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.1 World Trade Center Institute: Maryland International Trade & Embassy Conference 2009 U.S."— Presentation transcript:

1 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.1 World Trade Center Institute: Maryland International Trade & Embassy Conference 2009 U.S. Immigration Strategies in International Business Compliance Michael L. Kabik, Esq. © 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A Park Potomac Avenue, 6 th Floor, Potomac, MD T: (301) F: (301) ShulmanRogers.com

2 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.2 Work Visas and Permanent Residence H-1B “Specialty Occupation” F-1 Optional Practical Training (“OPT”) Visa Alternatives to H-1B & OPT PERM Greencard Sponsorship

3 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.3 H-1B “Specialty Occupation” H-1B – “Specialty Occupation” Employer-Specific Professional Requires Bachelor’s degree or equivalent –CIS work experience 3:1 rule 3 Year validity period 6 year max. Extensions beyond 6 year max. in limited circumstances H-1B Cap = 195,000 in FY-2003 H-1B Cap = 65,000 in FY-2004 and later

4 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.4 H-1B “Specialty Occupation” H-1B “Portability” Greatly simplifies mobility among employers H-1B workers can start new employment Upon filing of new “non-frivolous” H-1B Petition –Subject to final approval of new H-1B Petition Need not wait for approval of H-1B Petition to begin work

5 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.5 H-1B “Specialty Occupation” H-1B “Portability” Requirements Lawfully admitted to U.S. New petition filed prior to expiration of authorized stay –CIS has discretion to forgive “lapse in status” No prior employment w/o authorization

6 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.6 H-1B “Specialty Occupation” H-1B Cap Employers can file H-1B petitions up to 6 months before start date FY-2010 starts 10/1/09

7 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.7 H-1B “Specialty Occupation” H-1B Cap H-1B Lottery If maximum number reached in initial filing window Computer-generated random selection of H-1B petitions Wait list selection also by lottery To replace selected H-1B petitions later denied, withdrawn, or found ineligible Non-selected or wait listed H-1B petitions Returned to sponsoring employers With filing fees

8 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.8 H-1B “Specialty Occupation” H-1B Cap Earliest filing date for FY-2010 start date of 10/1/09 was 4/1/09 Initial filing window 1st 5 business days 4/1/09 to 4/7/09

9 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.9 H-1B “Specialty Occupation” H-1B Cap (FY-2009) FY-2009 H-1B Cap reached 4/7/08 5th day of H-1B filing window for FY /1/08 start dates Approx. 163,000 H-1B petitions filed subject to FY-2009 cap During initial lottery period Between 4/1/08 to 4/7/08

10 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.10 H-1B “Specialty Occupation” H-1B Cap (FY-2009) Only non-cap H-1B’s approvable until FY (start dates beginning 10/1/09) H-1B workers previously counted in cap Other exempt H-1B workers

11 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.11 H-1B “Specialty Occupation” H-1B Cap (FY-2010) FY-2010 H-1B cap not reached during initial filing window 4/1/09 to 4/7/09 No H-1B lottery for FY-2010 All H-1B petitions filed during initial filing window assigned H-1B cap number (subject to approval) As of 8/28/09, approx. 45,100 H-1B petitions filed towards 65,000 H-1B cap

12 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.12 H-1B “Specialty Occupation” H-1B Cap Exemptions Institutions of higher education Nonprofit entities related to or affiliated with institutions of higher education Nonprofit research organizations Governmental research organizations

13 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.13 H-1B “Specialty Occupation” H-1B Cap Exemptions Holders of U.S. Masters or higher degrees 20,000 H-1B cap exemptions each fiscal year Random selection lottery, if necessary –Preceding the general 65,000 cap lottery –Advanced degree holders not selected for one of 20,000 exemptions also included in 65,000 cap lottery

14 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.14 H-1B “Specialty Occupation” H-1B Cap Exemptions Holders of U.S. Masters or higher degrees FY-2009 advanced degree holder exemptions exhausted 4/7/08 FY-2010 as of 4/9/09 approx. 20,000 advanced degree holder petitions received –As of 8/28/09, CIS continues to accept petitions since not all petitions received are approvable

15 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.15 H-1B “Specialty Occupation” H-1B Cap Exemptions Prospective H-1B employees previously granted H-1B status In the past 6 years Not left U.S. for >1 year after attaining H-1B status Not previously worked for a cap-exempt organization/not counted against the H-1B cap in past 6 years

16 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.16 F-1 OPT F-1 – Optional Practical Training University students 12 months cumulative validity period (per degree) includes Pre-completion OPT Post-completion OPT Additional 17 months post-completion OPT STEM degree holders

17 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.17 F-1 OPT F-1 – Optional Practical Training Pre-completion OPT After enrolled 1 full academic year Must be directly related to major area of study Part time during school Full time during breaks Post-completion OPT Must be directly related to major area of study

18 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.18 F-1 OPT F-1 – Optional Practical Training F-1 students 60-day departure period Following graduation F-1 students with post-completion OPT also receive 60-day departure period Following end of OPT Without employment authorization

19 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.19 F-1 OPT F-1 – Optional Practical Training Employer not required to file visa petition to sponsor student Student files Application for Employment Authorization and required documentation directly with CIS

20 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.20 F-1 OPT - Interim Final Rule 4/4/08 OPT EAD extensions for qualified F-1 students 12 (original) + 17 (ext.) =29 months total STEM degrees (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Employed by business enrolled in CIS E-Verify program

21 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.21 F-1 OPT - Interim Final Rule 4/4/08 OPT EAD extensions for qualified F-1 students Once enrolled in E-Verify Employers must use E-Verify to verify employment eligibility for all new hires within 3 days of hire

22 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.22 F-1 OPT - Interim Final Rule 4/4/08 OPT EAD extensions for qualified F-1 students In 2008, 70,000 F-1 students in OPT Including 23,000 in STEM fields

23 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.23 F-1 OPT - Interim Final Rule 4/4/08 OPT EAD extensions for qualified F-1 students 17 month STEM OPT extension (29 months total) gives employers opportunity to sponsor for H-1B status in 2 successive fiscal years

24 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.24 F-1 OPT - Interim Final Rule 4/4/08 Eligibility for 17 month OPT extension F-1 student Completed STEM degree Currently participating in 12 month post- completion OPT Based on STEM degree Employed by U.S. employer in job directly related to degree

25 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.25 F-1 OPT - Interim Final Rule 4/4/08 Eligibility for 17 month OPT extension Employed by or accepted offer of employment with employer enrolled in CIS E-Verify program Properly maintain F-1 status

26 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.26 F-1 OPT - Interim Final Rule 4/4/08 Eligibility for 17 month OPT extension Where post-completion OPT expires while 17-month extension application is pending, if timely filed Employment authorization extended after current EAD expires Up to 180 days

27 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.27 F-1 OPT- Interim Final Rule 4/4/08 “Cap-Gap” Gap in status between Student’s F-1 status and OPT employment authorization expiration –In current fiscal year Start of H-1B status –In next fiscal year

28 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.28 F-1 OPT- Interim Final Rule 4/4/08 Cap-Gap relief for F-1 Students Where pending or approved H-1B petition For following fiscal year (with 10/1 start date) Automatically extends period of F-1 status and employment authorization Covers period between end of OPT/60-day departure period to start of following fiscal year H-1B petition approval start date

29 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.29 F-1 OPT- Interim Final Rule 4/4/08 Cap-Gap relief for F-1 Students Automatic extension terminates if CIS rejects, denies, or revokes H-1B petition Cap-Gap benefits only if no violation of status

30 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.30 H-1B and F-1 OPT H-1B cap issues for F-1 OPT Recruitment Impact of future OPT expirations Strategic planning to avoid Delayed start new H-1B employees Interruptions to existing employees changing to H-1B status

31 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.31 H-1B and F-1 OPT Strategic Planning FY-2010 H-1B cap not exhausted during initial 5-day lottery window on 4/7/09 As of 8/28/09, CIS still accepting cap- subject H-1B petitions towards FY-2010 H-1B cap When will FY-2010 H-1B cap be reached?

32 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.32 H-1B and F-1 OPT Strategic Planning When will the following year’s FY-2011 H-1B cap hit? Accelerate future H-1B Filings for F-1 OPT’s Identify potential employees not subject to H-1B cap

33 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.33 Visa Alternatives to H-1B & OPT TN – NAFTA Professional Canada Mexico H-1B1 – FTA Professional Chile Singapore

34 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.34 Visa Alternatives to H-1B & OPT E-1 – Treaty Trader E-2 – Treaty Investor E-3 – Professional Australia

35 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.35 Visa Alternatives to H-1B & OPT L-1 – Intracompany Transferee O-1 – Extraordinary Ability J-1 – Trainee

36 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.36 TN NAFTA Professional TN – NAFTA Professional Employer specific U.S. Employers Canadian or Mexican Employers Limited to Canadians and Mexicans 67 specified professions

37 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.37 TN NAFTA Professional TN – NAFTA Professional 3 Year maximum admission New regulation effective 10/16/08 Increased admission/extension period from 1 to 3 years Indefinite extensions

38 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.38 TN NAFTA Professional TN – NAFTA Professional Canadians visa exempt Apply directly at Border or POE Mexicans require TN Visa Apply directly at U.S. Consular Post Changes as of January 2004 –5,500 FY Cap eliminated –LCA approval eliminated –I-129 approval eliminated

39 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.39 H-1B1 FTA Professional H-1B1 – FTA Professional U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement Limit = 1,400 per FY U.S.-Singapore Free Trade Agreement Limit = 5,400 per FY “Specialty Occupation” requirement

40 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.40 H-1B1 FTA Professional H-1B1 – FTA Professional LCA requirement Limited to 18 months No “Dual Intent” as with regular H-1B’s Required to overcome presumption of “Immigrant Intent” After 5 renewals, counts against regular H-1B cap

41 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.41 H-1B1 FTA Professional H-1B1 – FTA Professional Application Options Primary U.S. embassies and consulates abroad –No CIS approval required Alternative application to CIS if in U.S. –If depart U.S., must apply for U.S. embassy or consulate abroad Change/Extension of status with CIS in U.S.

42 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.42 E-1 Treaty Trader E-1 – Treaty Trader Employer Specific No prior employment req’d (unlike L-1) Treaty must exist – U.S. & other country Majority ownership/control of U.S. entity At least 50% by treaty country nationals Alien must be citizen of treaty country 2 Year maximum visa validity period Indefinite extensions

43 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.43 E-1 Treaty Trader Application Options Primary U.S. embassies and consulates abroad –No CIS approval required Alternative application to CIS if in U.S. –If depart U.S., must apply for U.S. embassy or consulate abroad Change/Extension of status with CIS in U.S.

44 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.44 E-1 Treaty Trader E-1 Special Requirements Trade Exchange, purchase, or sale of goods, services or technology Substantial No minimum dollar threshold Volume of trade Number of transactions Includes binding contracts Continued course of trade

45 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.45 E-1 Treaty Trader E-1 Special Requirements Principally with U.S. 50%+ of total volume of international trade of the U.S. entity must consist of trade between U.S. and treaty country Duties Supervisory, Executive, Managerial Highly Specialized Essential Skills Not including “ordinarily skilled” workers

46 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.46 E-2 Treaty Investor E-2 – Treaty Investor Employer specific No prior employment req’d (unlike L-1) Treaty must exist - U.S. & other country Majority ownership/control of U.S. entity At least 50% by treaty country nationals Alien must be citizen of treaty country 2 Year maximum visa validity period Indefinite extensions

47 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.47 E-2 Treaty Investor Application Options Primary U.S. embassies and consulates abroad –No CIS approval required Alternative application to CIS if in U.S. –If depart U.S., must apply for U.S. embassy or consulate abroad Change/Extension of status with CIS in U.S.

48 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.48 E-2 Treaty Investor E-2 Special Requirements Active investment Irrevocable commitment of funds Actual active investment Substantial investment No minimum dollar amount –Standards for new or existing business Investment in process – start-up company Investor’s own resources “At risk”

49 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.49 E-2 Treaty Investor E-2 Special Requirements Creation of jobs Cannot be marginal –To only support the investor & his family Create job opportunities for U.S. workers Significant impact upon U.S. Essential role in enterprise Investor to develop and direct investment Executives, Supervisors, Specially Qualified Essential employee Not including “ordinarily skilled” workers

50 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.50 E-3 Australian Specialty Occupation Australian nationals Limit = 10,500 per FY

51 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.51 E-3 Australian Specialty Occupation E-3 – Australian Specialty Occupation Application Options Primary U.S. embassies and consulates abroad –No CIS approval required Alternative application to CIS if in U.S. –If depart U.S., must apply for U.S. embassy or consulate abroad Change/Extension of status with CIS in U.S.

52 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.52 E-3 Australian Specialty Occupation E-3 Special Requirements Employer specific Labor Condition Application required Same as H-1B Must meet “specialty occupation” definition Same as H-1B Requires bachelors degree or equivalent

53 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.53 E-3 Australian Specialty Occupation E-3 Special Requirements Limited to 2 years Unlimited extensions Intent to depart U.S. upon termination of E-3 status

54 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.54 L-1 Intracompany Transferee L-1 – Intracompany Transferee Employer specific Alien must be employed abroad by foreign entity 1 continuous year out of prior 3 years In “Executive,” “Managerial,” or “Specialized Knowledge” position Transfer to U.S. to fill “Executive, ” “Managerial,” or “Specialized Knowledge” position

55 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.55 L-1 Intracompany Transferee L-1 – Intracompany Transferee Foreign entity must be related to U.S. company Same company Subsidiary Affiliate

56 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.56 L-1 Intracompany Transferee L-1 – Intracompany Transferee Ownership/Control 50%+ ownership Effective control –With <50% ownership

57 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.57 L-1 Intracompany Transferee L-1 – Intracompany Transferee Qualifying Organization Doing business in U.S. and other country During whole period of transfer

58 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.58 L-1 Intracompany Transferee L-1 – Intracompany Transferee L-1A -- Executives & Managers L-1B -- Specialized Knowledge Personnel Visa Validity Terms 5-7 Year Maximum (3 years initially) Start-ups (1 year initially) EB-1 Greencard Benefit

59 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.59 O-1 Extraordinary Ability O-1 – Extraordinary Ability Employer specific Aliens of “Extraordinary Ability” Sciences, Arts, Education, Business & Athletics 3 Year maximum visa validity period Unlimited extensions EB-1 Greencard Benefit

60 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.60 O-1 Extraordinary Ability O-1 Criteria Receipt of a major internationally recognized award e.g., the Nobel Prize Receipt of 3/10 of other forms documentation

61 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.61 O-1 Extraordinary Ability O-1 – 3/10 Criteria Nationally/Intl’ly recognized prizes/awards for excellence in the field of endeavor Membership in associations in the field which require outstanding achievements as judged by recognized nat’l or int’l experts Published material about the person in professional or major trade publications or other major media

62 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.62 O-1 Extraordinary Ability O-1 – 3/10 Criteria Participation (on a panel or individually) as a judge of the work of others in the field Original scientific, scholastic, artistic, athletic or business-related contributions of major significance in the field Authorship of scholarly articles in the field in professional journals or major media

63 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.63 O-1 Extraordinary Ability O-1 – 3/10 Criteria Employment in a critical or essential capacity for organizations or establishments that have distinguished reputations High salary or other high remuneration in relation to others in the field Other comparable evidence

64 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.64 J-1 Trainee J-1 – Trainee Exchange Visitor Designation Training not available in home country Dept. of State jurisdiction Apply via DOS approved Program Sponsors 18 Month maximum

65 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.65 PERM Greencard Sponsorship Permanent Residence Sponsorship Based upon shortage of qualified U.S. workers In metropolitan area of job location Willing to work for the “prevailing wage” Requires attempted job recruitment

66 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.66 PERM Greencard Sponsorship PERM Process Pre-filing recruitment and compliance days average Electronic Filing with DOL Decisions expected within approx. 10 months (if no DOL Audit) DOL Audit Additional approx. 18 months

67 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.67 PERM Greencard Sponsorship PERM Requirements Prior employer recruitment Attestations Compliance Non-discrimination Strict recruitment requirements

68 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.68 PERM Greencard Sponsorship PERM Requirements DOL audits Average 40% audit rate While PERM Application pending Up to 5 years after PERM Application filing

69 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.69 PERM Greencard Sponsorship Employer Recruitment Recruitment Window 180 days to 30 days before filing Professional positions 2 Sunday ads in general circulation newspaper Or 1 Sunday ad in newspaper and 1 ad in professional journal

70 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.70 PERM Greencard Sponsorship Employer Recruitment 3 out of 10 alternate forms of recruitment 1. Job Fair 2. On-Campus Recruiting 3. Employer Website 4. Trade or Professional Organization 5. Job Search Website

71 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.71 PERM Greencard Sponsorship Employer Recruitment 3 out of 10 alternate forms of recruitment 6. Private Employment Firm 7. Employee Referral Program 8. Campus Placement Office 9. Local or Ethnic Newspaper 10. Radio or TV ads 1 of above can be within 30 days of filing

72 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.72 PERM Greencard Sponsorship Other Requirements Job Order with State Workforce Agency Prevailing Wage Request with State Workforce Agency Internal Posting at Employer Site In House Media Posting

73 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.73 PERM Greencard Sponsorship Other Requirements Must interview qualified applicants Can only reject for lawful, job-related reasons Prepare and retain recruitment report No restrictive requirements unless justified by business necessity

74 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.74 PERM Greencard Sponsorship DOL Audit Must maintain audit file for 5 years, including: Recruitment report justifying those disqualified Proof of business necessity Proof of advertising and alternate forms of recruitment Prevailing Wage Determination Posting Notice

75 September 25, 2009 Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.75 Legal Disclaimer Facts of individual cases differ The information provided herein is general in nature and should not be relied upon Consult with an experienced immigration attorney with regard to specific cases


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