• The USCIS has reminded employers of religious workers regarding the recently imposed mandatory notification of the R-1 employee's employment termination or reduced work hours before the end of authorized employment in the U.S. R-1 petitioners must provide notification within 14 days and indicate the reason for the notification, explain late notification (if that is the case), and provide specific information pertaining both to the employer and the sponsored worker. The notification may be made via e-mail (which is preferred by the government) or via mail.
  • If you or your employee is a conditional legal permanent resident of the U.S. based on marriage to a U.S. Armed Forces member or another U.S. government employee stationed abroad, talk with immigration counsel regarding eligibility for expedited U.S. citizenship eligibility despite the conditional status of the Green Card. Under certain circumstances, you might become a U.S. citizen before the conditional status is removed!
  • The USCIS has reopened the current fiscal year (FY2009) filing period for H-2B petitions. Due to the lower than expected number of H-2B petitions received by the USCIS in FY2009, more than 25,000 H-2B visas have been unused to date. The reopening of the filing period allows employers to sponsor additional foreign laborers for U.S. employment start on or before September 30, 2009 (i.e., prior to the beginning of FY2010 on October 1). Interested employers should proceed expediently as H-2B petitions must be adjudicated by September 30 in order to qualify under the FY2009 visa allocation and the H-2B proceedings require time sensitive local recruitment and Department of Labor (DOL) filings.
  • The upcoming sunset of the non-minister religious worker provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) on Sept. 30, 2009 puts a rush on Form I-485 Adjustment of Status proceeding adjudications for religious workers. To maximize chances for pre-sunset adjudication, follow up with the USCIS's processing center may be necessary to alert an officer with a relevant case regarding time sensitivity of the matter.