In this episode we talk to immigration attorney Greg Siskind about the impact of President Obama’s executive actions on business and employment immigration
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Greg Siskind is a founding partner of Siskind Susser and has practiced immigration law for nearly 25 years. He writes several books including the annually published LexisNexis J-1 Visa Guidebook, the ABA’s Lawyers Guide to Marketing on the Internet and SHRM’s Employer’s Immigration Compliance Desk Reference. In 1994, he created the first immigration law web site and in 1998 he created the world’s first law blog. Greg was recently named by Who’s Who in Corporate Immigration Law as one of the top ten immigration lawyers in the world and is the only immigration lawyer ever featured on the cover of the American Bar Association Journal. He also serves on Board of Governors of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.
In this episode you will hear:
The impact of President Obama’s recent executive actions on business and employment immigration.
Advocacy campaign when then H1B caps was raised. The timing when Feds lower and raise the number of H1B caps depends on the economy.
Legal Immigration Reform
The concept of pre-registration that could impact people that are waiting in employment based green card lines where they will allow those people to file for employment authorization documents & travel documents even though they can’t file an Adjustment application because green card numbers are not available and that really has a big impact on China and India in particularly employment based second preference category for advanced skilled workers and the lowest skilled workers also will be able to work immediately after filing a green card application as opposed to having to wait for 10-12 years to get their green card.
- Recapturing unused green cards.
The concept of visa modernization basically President Obama directing USCIS and the State Department to look at modernizing the visa system and considering a variety of ways that they can make the system work efficiently.
All federal agencies make the announcements of new rules and proposed rule making. The Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State jointly published a request basically for information, put out a series of questions, asking for feedbacks on how to improve the immigration system.
The National Interest Waiver green card holder category which is traditionally been used for people on the Sciences to be opened up for Entrepreneurs.
To use the authority which the immigration services called “parole in place” which will allow certain Entrepreneurs who are considered to be providing “significant public benefit” to be able to get what’s called “parole status” in the U.S. which allows them to be in the U.S. and work without necessarily having to fit into an existing visa category.
People on H1B visas right now their spouses can’t work on the basis of being a spouse, that is supposed to be changing where H4 Spouses are gonna be able to get work authorization, that’s coming out sometime in the next couple of weeks.
Memo dealing with L1B Specialized Knowledge Workers, these are intracompany transfers for people working for at least a year overseas for a company in highly specialized position and the company wants to bring them over, the State Department and the Immigration Service has been very inconsistent and has been very difficult in approving applications for people in that category and hopefully this guidance memo is gonna make it easier for the companies to be able to file applications that can get approved.
- Other options:
H1B Students to request for visa extension for up to 29 months which is used to be just 12 months.
Being able to apply for Adjustment Application or Special Work Authorization on the basis of having a green card application filed and maybe able to transition from Student status into the Work status type of the green card and skip the H1B all together.
- Message to HR Managers or HR Fields
They have to be active in an organization or have the access to information that’s coming out these changes.
Go to an organization like SHRM. SHRM has been active in implicating an employment based immigration reform and putting a lot of information out to their members.
If you are a company with outside immigration counsel, check with your outside lawyers to see what kind of information you’re putting out.
Be proactive and go out and work with a number of immigration lawyers.
Continue educating yourselves.
It’s important to understand the timings of when these applications are gonna be about to be filed when people are gonna get their work authorization documents, what to happen when there is a sticky issue with your workers.
- Habits that contribute to success:
Technology has given us marketing boosts because of the internet. Being an early adapter to keep your marketing edge and make you more efficient and could help you be able to produce high-quality work.
Always try to investigate where there are technology solutions out there that can improve the quality of your work.
A lot of people who are not great marketers are pretty good writers, try and channel talents into business development. Try to figure out where your talents lie.
Greg’s parting thoughts:
2015 will be a very exciting year for immigration, head start with the President’s Announcement.
We’re going to see Congress, a lot of legislative initiative this year on producing immigration legislation.
To pay attention with what’s happening because it’s gonna change the way a lot of us have to do with immigration on a day to day basis, hope in a good way.
Greg specializes in:
Full Service Immigration Law
- For Company needing help to get a visa for their employee.
- Help with family immigration issues.
- Help with removal proceedings.
- Advice companies of employer complaints.
Ideas for Visa Modernization
1. Streamlining and improve immigrant visa processing at US consulates.
2. Streamlining and improve non-immigrant visa processing at US consulates.
3. Improving USCIS processing of the following types of applications:
- family-sponsored green cards
- employment-based green cards
- non-immigrant petitions
- humanitarian petitions and applications (U, T and VAWA applications)
- H-1B petitions
4. Improving the process for changing non-immigrant status.
5. Improving the process for adjusting status to permanent residency.
6. Improving the process of inspecting immigrants and non-immigrants at US ports of entry.
7. Implementing policy changes to attract the world’s most talented researchers to US universities, national laboratories, and other research institutions.
8. Implementing policy changes to attract the world’s most talented entrepreneurs who want to start businesses in the US.
9. Policies that could assist in creating additional immigration opportunities for high-demand professions such as physicians.
10. Ways to improve the EB-5 immigrant investor program.
11. How to improve labor market requirements for temporary workers to protect both US and temporary foreign workers and also achieve efficiency for employers and government agencies.
12. Improving the occupational data that is used to determine prevailing wages for various visa programs.
13. How to improve the diversity visa program including stopping fraud.
14. Any other changes to combat waste, fraud, and abuse in the legal immigration system.
15. Ways to ensure that non-immigrant visa numbers are fully and fairly allocated.
16. Ways to ensure that immigrant visa numbers are fully and fairly allocated.
17. Which elements of the current legal immigration system are most in need of modernized IT solutions?
18. Which government-collected data and metrics would be must valuable to make available to the public in order to improve oversight and understanding of the legal immigration system?