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Allen and Hodgman

   

Update: DHS files regulation to cancel H-4 EAD (but H-4 EAD still available for now!)

On February 20, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) filed a proposed regulation with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. The regulation is titled “Removing H-4 Dependent Spouses from the Class of Aliens Eligible for Employment Authorization.” The regulation itself will not be published until the review by OMB is complete. However, the title of the Regulation leaves no doubt that the Trump Administration has taken an important next step to eliminate the H-4 EAD. It usually takes about 60 days for OMB to complete its review. At that point the proposed regulation will be published…

Parent born in Canada? You’re Canadian!

Was your mother or father born or naturalized in Canada? Under recent amendments to Canada’s Citizenship Act, nearly all persons whose parent was born or naturalized in Canada are now Canadian citizens. This is true even if your parent left Canada as a child; married an American citizen (or other non-Canadian); or became a U.S. citizen (or citizen of another country). These new laws apply to the first generation born abroad. So if your mother or father was born in Canada you are likely a citizen. However, with some important exceptions, your own children are generally not Canadian citizens if…

Worried about your U.S. H-4 EAD? Come to Canada!

On February 20, 2019 , the Trump administration submitted a new proposed regulation for final review by the Office of Management and Budget. The new regulation would abolish the so-called “H-4 EAD.” The H-4 EAD is an open work permit that is available to spouses of H-1B specialty workers who have advanced to a specific stage in the drawn out U.S. Green Card process. The H-4 EAD is an important benefit to H-1B workers and spouses who are citizens of India or China. These workers typically wait ten years or more for their immigrant visas to become available due to…

USCIS resumes premium processing for most H-1B petitions

As of Monday, January 28, 2019, USCIS resumed premium processing of pending H-1B petitions subject to the FY 2019 annual cap. These were mostly petitions with long standing RFEs which have not yet been finalized by USCIS. Many beneficiaries of these petitions have been unable to work since October 1, 2018 because their “cap gap” OPT extensions expired on that date. These petitions have all been pending for ten months since they were filed April 1, 2018. On February 19, 2019,  USCIS resumed premium processing for all H-1B petitions filed on or before December 21, 2018 regardless of category. Premium…

Express Entry cutoff holding steady in 440’s

After the lowest ever Express Entry draw was held on May 31, 2017, with a cutoff of 413, recent draws have risen to the low to mid 440s, including a draw of 443 on January 23, 2019. (A few draws have been a little higher or lower based mainly on the timing of the draws.) These levels are still readily attainable by persons with strong language test results, a bachelor’s degree or better, and several years of work experience. Most applications continue to be processed very rapidly in six months or less. We consider it likely that the cutoffs may…

Move to Canada after Trump election? It may be easier than you think!

We receive many inquiries from U.S. citizens, H-1B visa holders, DACA recipients, and other persons living in the U.S. who want to move to Canada in response to the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States. The election was closely followed by the Muslim Travel Ban, DACA cancellation, separating families at the southern border, and most recently shutting down the government over a phony “crisis” on the Mexico border. Many are shocked by the dangerous actions of the Trump administration, including Trump’s support for white supremacists, banning transgendered persons from the military, and withdrawal from the Paris…

Still no regulation to repeal H-4 EAD, so Court action resumes

The Fall regulatory Agenda of the Department of Homeland Security stated that the proposed rule to eliminate the H-4 EAD would be published in November 2018. However, as of the date of this post – December 20 2018 – there is still no regulation published. DHS previously had announced the new regulation would be published in February 2018. This was then pushed back to June 2018 and then to November. This would be a proposed rule to eliminate the H-4 EAD. It will not end the H-4 EAD immediately. There will be a period allowed for public notice and comment,…

Democrats take over House – what does it mean for immigration?

The U.S. midterm elections resulted in a “blue wave” of votes for Democratic Party candidates in the U.S. House of Representatives. Close to 40 seats changed hands from Republican to Democrat. This means the Democratic party will have a large majority in the House of Representatives. The Republican Party will still have a slim majority in the U.S. Senate. For a bill to become law in the United States, the bill must be passed by both the House and the Senate, and signed by the President. In the previous Congress, the Republican Party could pass laws without the support of…

Questions about how Canada’s new marijuana law impacts your right to visit the US? We have answers!

Beginning October 17, 2018, marijuana will be legal in Canada. Canadians will be allowed to possess up top 30 grams of legally produced marijuana, and allowed to grow up to 4 cannabis plants per household. This new law will create many complicated immigration questions, particularly issues arising under U.S. law. US immigration issues include the following: Will persons who admit to the legal use of marijuana in Canada be prevented from entering the U.S.? There is a good chance the answer is yes, due to the prohibition of persons who are “drug addicts or abusers.” However, use of marijuana in…

Update on third Trump travel ban

***UPDATE*** On June 26, 2018 the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, upheld the third Trump travel ban (as described below) in its entirety. The Supreme Court decision, including the inspiring and furious dissent by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, may be found by clicking here. As of October 24, 2017, all provisions of the second Trump travel ban (Travel Ban 2.0) have expired. Due to the federal court injunctions issued by federal courts in Hawaii and Maryland, many of these provisions were never enforced, at least against persons with significant ties to persons or organizations in the United States. Also…