Author: Lisa York

by Lisa York Lisa York No Comments

The Biden Administration is Appointing New DHS Leadership

The Biden Administration has announced that it will appoint new DHS leadership including: (1) Ur Jaddou, USCIS Director; (2) Jon Meyer, DHS General Counsel; (3) Chris Magnus, CBP Commissioner; (4) Rob Silvers, DHS Under Secretary for Policy; (4) John Tien, DHS Deputy Secretary; and (5) Jen Easterly, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Director. Click here for more information.

by Lisa York Lisa York No Comments

It’s Time for the H-1B Lottery! The FY2022 H-1B Registration Period Begins Tomorrow.

The FY 2022 H-1B registration period begins tomorrow, Tuesday, March 9, 2021 at 10am MT, and runs until Thursday, March 25, 2021 at 10am MT.  USCIS will notify the “winners” by March 31, 2021.  If your employee is “selected” to proceed with an H-1B (i.e. if you employee “wins the H-1B lottery”), then you must file your H-1B petition with USCIS between April 1, 2021 and June 30, 2021.

On March 5, 2021, USCIS provided tips on how to avoid the most common errors (creating the wrong type of USCIS online account and registering an employee more than once) in completing a registration for the H-1B cap. USCIS reminds employers to select “I am an H-1B Registrant” as the account type when setting up a registration account and provided guidance on how to avoid duplicate registrations for the same employee.  Click here for more information.

by Lisa York Lisa York No Comments

Traveling to Canada? For Canadians Residing in the U.S., Returning Home to Canada is Becoming Increasingly Challenging

Canada has been vigilant in their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is particularly exemplified by Canada’s most recent travel restrictions for those trying to cross the border into Canada via land or air.  Canadian citizens, Canadian permanent residents and persons registered as Indians under the Indian Act are subject to Canada’s preventative COVID-19 protocols. As such, planning a trip back to Canada from the United States will result in a series of regulated quarantine and testing measures.

Canada’s policies regarding what is required for entry into Canada is changing and evolving almost daily. Therefore, international travelers should check the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) website regularly when planning to travel. As of today, Canadians returning home via air travel will be required to adhere to the following protocols:

  • All travelers must wear a non-medical mask or face covering when they arrive in Canada.
  • Before boarding the flight to Canada, travelers must submit a detailed quarantine plan to the Canadian government.
  • All air travelers must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test to the airline before boarding international flights to Canada. The test must be taken within 72 hours of the scheduled flight departure.
  • Upon arrival in Canada and before leaving the airport, travelers will be required to take another COVID-19 test.
  • Following the arrival test, travelers will need to stay in a pre-authorized hotel for 3 nights while they await the results of the COVID-19 test they received on arrival.      
    • Note that travelers must pay for their hotel, as well as all associated costs for food, cleaning and security (and potentially COVID testing)

All hotels will be located near one of the 4 Canadian airports currently accepting international flights:

  1. Vancouver International Airport
  2. Calgary International Airport
  3. Toronto Pearson International Airport
  4. Montreal-Trudeau International Airport
  • Once released from the hotel through a negative COVID-19 test, travelers must then still quarantine for 14 days and must take another COVID-19 test at the end of their 14-day quarantine period.
  • Travelers who have COVID-19 symptoms or who develop symptoms of COVID-19 during the hotel stay or quarantine period will be required to comply with mandatory isolation instructions.
  • Limited groups of people are exempt from these policies. See the CBSA website for more information on who is exempt.
  • There are very harsh monetary penalties for failure to comply with these preventative measures.

Similarly, Canadians seeking to enter Canada via land will be required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of arrival at the border. Beginning on February 22, 2021, Canadians returning home will also be required to take a COVID-19 test upon arrival in Canada as well as at the conclusion of their mandatory 14-day quarantine period. Travelers entering by land also must submit a detailed quarantine plan in advance of their arrival into Canada.

Given the increase of new COVID-19 variants and the limited number of available vaccines doses, Canada is putting into place some of the strictest travel and border restrictions in the world and is sending a strong message to their citizens and residents that now is not the time for international travel.

For more and updated information, see: https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/services/covid/canadians-canadiens-eng.html; https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/services/covid/menu-eng.html 

by Lisa York Lisa York No Comments

All Your Questions Answered about the 2021 H-1B Cap

The 2021 H-1B Cap season is just around the corner!  Join us on Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 2pm MT for a Zoom presentation on how the H-1B Cap process will work this year. 

Topics to be covered include:

  • Overview of H-1B basic requirements
  • Updates & changes to the 2021 H-1B Registration process
  • Timelines & filing Deadlines
  • LCAs, COVID & working remotely
  • Updates on proposed regulatory changes to the H-1B program

If you are able to join us, please RSVP to conference@cyavisalaw.com by 5pm on Wednesday, February 17, 2021.  Please share this invite with any HR professionals that you think might be interested in this presentation! 

by Lisa York Lisa York No Comments

White House Extends COVID Travel Bans on Europe, Brazil & Adds South Africa

On January 25, 2021, President Biden issued a proclamation extending COVID-related travel restrictions on individuals traveling to the U.S. from the Schengen Area, the U.K., Ireland & Brazil.  Additionally, the order adds travel restrictions on individuals traveling to the U.S. from South Africa.  The proclamation goes in effect on January 26, 2021 (January 30, 2021 for individuals traveling to the U.S. from South Africa) and is in effect indefinitely until the President lifts the travel ban(s). The proclamation will be reviewed on a month by month basis.  Additionally, the previous restrictions on individuals from Iran and China are still in effect.  

by Lisa York Lisa York No Comments

November 2020 Visa Bulletin is Available!

The U.S. Department of State released the November 2020 Visa Bulletin this morning. Visa availability in the employment-based categories will basically stay the same as in October 2020. Additionally, USCIS has announced that it will accept filings based on the “Dates for Filing” chart.

by Lisa York Lisa York No Comments

Without Notice USCIS Increases Premium Processing Fees, But Doesn’t Expand the Program

On Friday, October 16, 2020, USCIS announced that it will increase the fee for premium processing from $1,440 to $2,500 starting on Monday, October 19, 2020. USCIS is implementing the portion of the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 & Other Extensions Act. (Pub. L. No. 116-159) that was enacted on October 1, 2020 and authorizes the agency to increase premium processing fees. Thus, any I-907 request for premium processing postmarked on or after October 19, 2020 must include the new fee amount. There is an exception for H-2B seasonal workers and R-1 religious workers in that the fee is only increasing to $1,500.00. Notably, the law enacted on October 1st also authorizes USCIS to expand premium processing to include other types of forms and applications. However, USCIS is not exercising its authority to expand the premium processing service at this time.

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