Government Agency Actions - USCIS, ICE, etc.

DHS Expects to Launch “Known Employer” Pilot Program in 2015 to Aid U.S.-Canada Business Travel

The Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) expects to launch the “Known Employer” pilot program by late 2015 which is designed to streamline adjudication of certain types of employment-based immigration benefit requests filed by eligible U.S. employers. The pilot program is designed to make adjudications more effectively and less costly and reduce paperwork and delays for both the department and U.S. employers who seek to employ foreign workers.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would jointly implement the pilot program. A goal would be to expedite or otherwise facilitate legitimate cross-border business travel along the northern border ports of entry. Doing so is a binational commitment under the North American Free Trade Agreement as well as the U.S.-Canada Beyond the Border initiative.
We will provide additional information about the “Known Employer” program in the coming months.

Government Agency Actions - USCIS, ICE, etc. Visas - H-1b, L-1, E, O, TN

CBP on L visas under NAFTA

The CBP released a statement on its procedures for handling L petitions under NAFTA.  Our experience is that CBP officers have a far greater grasp of the L regulatory standards and far less of a political agenda  than their US Consulate brethren and that well-prepared L petitions are met with routine approval at the border.

Green Cards

USCIS Announces proposed rule to increase validity of TN visas

The USCIS followed up on plans announced last fall to increase the vailidity period of TN visas from 1 year to 3 years. this would apply to both new admissions as well as extensions. The proposed rule is expected to be published in the Federal Register shortly. Many IT cos. use the TN category for computer systems analysts.  THe USCIS announcement can be found below.