USCIS Guidance Provides Clarity for F and M Student Visa Holders
Berardi Immigration Law
by Jeff MacArthur
18h ago
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has recently issued comprehensive policy guidance concerning F and M student nonimmigrant classifications, aiming to provide clarity on various aspects of student visas. It covers topics such as employment authorization, change of status, extension of stay, and reinstatement of status for F and M students and their dependents. This policy guidance consolidates existing policies, offering valuable information for international students and educational institutions in the United States. To read the USCIS policy guidance, visit here. F and M Nonim ..read more
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Navigating the H-1B Visa Process: What is a Specialty Occupation?
Berardi Immigration Law
by Jeff MacArthur
18h ago
In the realm of U.S. immigration law, the H-1B visa stands out as a beacon of opportunity for foreign nationals seeking temporary employment in specialty occupations within the United States. This visa category is instrumental for U.S. employers who are looking to sponsor highly skilled professionals in fields that demand a robust application of specialized knowledge.  Defining “Specialty Occupation” At the heart of the H-1B visa program is the concept of a “specialty occupation.” This term encompasses a broad range of professions that require the theoretical and practical application of ..read more
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EB-2 National Interest Waiver Policy for STEM Graduates
Berardi Immigration Law
by Jeff MacArthur
3d ago
Since 1990, the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) has provided that certain individuals eligible under the Employment-based, second preference (EB-2) immigrant visa classification may obtain a waiver of the job offer requirement if the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) deems such waiver to be in the “national interest.” This waiver provision applies only to the second preference (EB-2) classification for members of the professions holding advanced degrees and persons of exceptional ability. This waiver of the job offer is known as the “National Interest Waiver” (NIW).  ..read more
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L-1A Visa FAQ
Berardi Immigration Law
by Jeff MacArthur
4d ago
Do you hold a managerial or executive position with a multinational company? Would you like to come to the U.S. to work for the company’s U.S. operations? The L-1A visa may be a good option for you! What is the L-1A Visa Classification? The L-1A nonimmigrant visa classification is for intracompany transfers. It allows certain individuals who have one year of qualifying employment abroad in an executive or managerial position to transfer to a parent, subsidiary, branch, or affiliate business entity in the U.S. This visa classification is meant to facilitates the movement of key personnel to ens ..read more
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Exemption from the 6-Month Passport Validity Rule
Berardi Immigration Law
by Jeff MacArthur
1w ago
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has recently announced an update to its Carrier Liaison Program (CLP), presenting a refreshed list of countries exempt from the six-month validity rule for passports. This update, effective as of January 28, 2024, supersedes any previous lists, including those found in the 2022–2023 Carrier Information Guides. The six-month validity rule stipulates that visitors traveling to the United States must possess passports that are valid for at least six months beyond their intended period of stay. However, citizens of the countries listed below are exempt from ..read more
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H-1B Cap Exemptions for Physicians
Berardi Immigration Law
by Jeff MacArthur
2w ago
The H-1B program allows companies and other employers in the U.S. to temporarily employ foreign workers in occupations that require the theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge and a bachelor’s degree or higher in the specific specialty, or its equivalent. If the petition is granted, the H-1B visa will be valid for three years and can be renewed for another three years. Many healthcare workers can apply for this visa, including physicians. Physicians may apply for an H-1B visa to participate in a residency program, teach or conduct research, and work at a ..read more
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USCUS Policy Update: Untimely Filed Extension of Stay and Change of Status Requests
Berardi Immigration Law
by Jeff MacArthur
2w ago
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced an update to its Policy Manual, introducing provisions that allow USCIS officers to excuse a nonimmigrant’s failure to timely file an extension of stay or change of status request if the delay was due to extraordinary circumstances beyond the control of the applicant or petitioner. The update clarifies that extraordinary circumstances may include, but are not limited to, where the delay was due to a slowdown or stoppage of work involving a strike, lockout, or other labor dispute, or where the primary reason for the late filin ..read more
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USCIS Finalizes Fee Adjustments to Enhance Immigration Services
Berardi Immigration Law
by Jeff MacArthur
2w ago
In a significant development, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) has announced a final rule to adjust certain immigration and naturalization benefit request fees for the first time since 2016. This final rule aims to ensure that USCIS can recover a greater share of its operating costs and facilitate more timely processing of new applications. USCIS Director Ur M. Jaddou emphasized the importance of these fee adjustments, stating, “For the first time in over seven years, USCIS is updating our fees to better meet the needs of our agency, enabling us to provide more timely decisi ..read more
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L-1B Visa FAQ
Berardi Immigration Law
by Jeff MacArthur
3w ago
Do you hold a position with a multinational company that requires specialized knowledge? Would you like to come to the U.S. to work for the company’s U.S. operations? The L-1B visa may be your golden ticket! What is the L-1B Visa Classification? The L-1B nonimmigrant visa classification is for intracompany transfers. It allows certain individuals who have one year of qualifying employment abroad in a “specialized knowledge” position to transfer to a parent, subsidiary, branch, or affiliate business entity in the U.S. This visa classification is meant to facilitates the movement of key personne ..read more
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USCIS Final Fee Rule
Berardi Immigration Law
by Jeff MacArthur
3w ago
On January 4, 2023, USCIS proposed a rule which would adjust USCIS fees, add new fees for benefit requests, establish distinct fees for petitions for nonimmigrant workers, and limit the number of beneficiaries on certain forms. The proposed rule included an increase in application fees by a 40% overall weighted average increase. The White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) received the final rule containing the new fees on Monday, January 8, 2024. OIRA completed their review of this final rule on Friday, January 19, and the final rule could be published within the next ..read more
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