On the night of Monday, April 20, 2020, the President tweeted that he would “protect” American jobs during the COVID-19 crisis by issuing an Executive Order that would “temporarily suspend immigration.” After several uncertain days of conflicting information, reported in the media, about how sweeping the scope of the order would be, it turns out
COVID-19: Are Nonimmigrants Eligible for Unemployment Benefits?
Unemployment insurance, as described in a recent blog post by our Labor and Employment colleagues, is a “joint federal-state program, administered separately by each state following guidelines established by federal law.” While the requirements of these programs vary from state to state, eligibility criteria generally exclude nonimmigrants whose work authorization is tied to a specific position with a specific employer (e.g., TN, H-1B, and L-1 workers).
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COVID-19: How Do Furloughs Affect Nonimmigrant Workers?
Employers nationwide are implementing work reductions, closures and furloughs in order to reduce costs during the COVID-19 economic slowdown in the United States. When employees are put on reduced hours or furloughed, employers face changing legal obligations in multiple areas of labor and employment law. Companies that employ nonimmigrant workers should not overlook the additional legal obligations they have toward these employees, especially those who are on visas that have prevailing wage requirements.
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Buckle Your Seatbelts: 2018 Will Be a Watershed Year in Business Immigration
If 2017 is any indication, the new year will bring a fresh cascade of changes – both announced and unannounced, anticipated and unanticipated – in the business immigration landscape. Few, if any, of these changes are expected to be good news for U.S. businesses and the foreign workers they employ.
In 2017, while much of the news media focused on the Trump Administration’s draconian changes to practices and policies that affected the undocumented – including ending the DACA Dreamer program, shutting down Temporary Protected Status for citizens of countries ravished by war and natural disaster, and aggressively enforcing at the southern border and in “sensitive” locations such as churches, courthouses, and homeless shelters – relatively less attention has been paid to the steady, incremental erosion of rights and options for legal immigrants, particularly those who are sponsored for work by U.S. employers, under the Administration’s April 2017 “Buy American / Hire American” executive order. There is no doubt that such restrictions to the legal immigration system will continue to cause business uncertainty and disruption in 2018. Here’s what to expect:…
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USCIS Issues New Guidance Restricting who Qualifies as a TN Economist
On November 20, 2017, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) issued a policy memorandum restricting TN nonimmigrant classification under the profession of Economist, to those who will primarily engage in activities consistent with the profession of Economist and specifically excluding those employed as Financial Analysts, Market Research Analysts, and Marketing Specialists. USCIS explains that the policy memorandum was necessary, because the lack of an in-depth description of the Economist profession in the North American Free Trade Agreement, which created the TN nonimmigrant classification, has led to inconsistent adjudications regarding which positions are encompassed under the Economist profession.
In its memorandum, USCIS explains that Economists generally specialize in either the analysis of individuals or firms to better understand the relationship between supply and demand or in the analysis of aggregated indicators to determine how different sectors of the economy are related to each other. USCIS adds that Economists may apply economic analysis to issues in a variety of fields including labor, international trade, development, econometrics, education, health, and industrial organization.…
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Long-Awaited Employment-Based Immigration Rule Published by USCIS
The Retention of EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 Immigrant Workers and Program Improvements Affecting High-Skilled Nonimmigrant Workers rule was published in the Federal Register today. …
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TN Status Increased to Three Years
After years of rumors and high hopes, the USCIS has finally announced that Canadian and Mexican citizens applying for TN status may be admitted for up to three years at a time. Previously, they were limited to one-year renewable increments. The TN visa category, created as part of the North American Free-Trade Agreement (NAFTA), allows…