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Meredith K. StewartBlog Posts

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L Intracompany Transfers Pilot Program for Canadian Citizens

USCIS and CPB at the Blaine, Washington, Port of Entry (POE) have formally announced that from April 30, 2018, until October 31, 2018, the agencies jointly will implement a pilot program for Canadian citizens seeking entry in L status pursuant to NAFTA. L-1 admission is for intracompany transfers into the U.S. of managers, executives, and...… Continue Reading
April 2, 2018

ALERT: Possible Change in Processing of L-1 NAFTA Applications

According to CBP personnel, a pilot program is being developed that would eliminate “instant” border adjudications of L-1 NAFTA applications. The pilot program is expected to be introduced at the Blaine, Washington port of entry.  At this time, processes and procedures are still under review and consideration but it appears that the current CBP border...… Continue Reading
March 28, 2018

Government Shutdown Is Over, For Now

Congress reached agreement and voted to end the government shutdown at least until February 8, 2018. In case another impasse occurs, this is how a federal government shutdown would affect immigration. Department of Labor (DOL) The Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) will stop processing all applications, and its personnel will not be available to...… Continue Reading
January 22, 2018

International Entrepreneur Rule Survives, For Now

The Trump Administration rule delaying the International Entrepreneur Rule (IER) until March 14, 2018, had been implemented without following the necessary Administrative Procedures Act (APA) Notice and Comment Period regulations and was therefore illegal, a federal court has found. The Administration has not yet commented on the court’s ruling, but likely will appeal the decision....… Continue Reading
December 5, 2017

Federal Immigration Resources Assisting in Hurricane Response in Texas

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is deploying staff and equipment for search and rescue efforts and to work at local, state, and federal emergency operations centers in Texas in response to Hurricane Harvey. Hurricane Harvey hit Texas just as the state’s plan to outlaw sanctuary cities is about to go into effect.  Texas also...… Continue Reading
August 29, 2017

Restrictions on Personal Electronic Devices, including Laptops, on Flights from 10 Airports

No personal electronic devices (PEDs) larger than a cellphone or smartphone, such as a laptop computer or e-reader, can be carried into the cabin of airplanes flying directly to the U.S. from 10 airports in the Middle East, North Africa, and Turkey, the DHS and TSA announced on March 21, 2017. Following are the airports: … Continue Reading
March 21, 2017

Reminder: USCIS Fee Increase Effective December 23, 2016

Any employer anticipating submission of an immigration application or petition should consider filing prior to December 23, 2016, to avoid higher USCIS filing fees. On October 24, 2016, USCIS announced a final rule that adjusts the required fees for most immigration applications and petitions. This will be the first increase in six years and, according … Continue Reading
December 1, 2016

Department of Justice, California Employer Reach Non-Prosecution Agreement over Potential Criminal Violations of Immigration Laws

Gridley, California-based natural food company Mary’s Gone Crackers Inc. agreed and consented to payment of $1.5 million and establishment of a corporate compliance program under a non-prosecution agreement reached with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California on July 19, 2016. The agreement requires the company to establish a corporate compliance program … Continue Reading
July 25, 2016

Overseas Travel Considerations for Employees on OPT During Cap-Gap Period

What if an F-1 student must travel outside the U.S. during the cap-gap period? OPT employment authorization and Duration of Status (D/S) are extended automatically for an F-1 student who is the beneficiary of a timely filed H-1B petition requesting change of status with a start date of October 1st. This permits an F-1 student … Continue Reading
March 31, 2016

USCIS to Issue Monthly Determination on Individuals’ Eligibility to Submit Adjustment of Status Applications

USCIS has announced that beginning with the November 2015 Department of State (DOS) Visa Bulletin it will issue a determination within approximately one week following the publication of the Visa Bulletin whether individuals may use the Dates for Filing Visa Applications chart. If USCIS does not post such a determination, individuals should continue to refer … Continue Reading
October 22, 2015

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