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Allen and Hodgman

   

Trump cancels DACA program to outrage of millions

On September 5, 2017, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program would be cancelled. Sessions’s announcement was a hate-filled blistering attack on Dreamers, referring to them as criminals, and accusing them of stealing the jobs of hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens. Opposition to the announcement was immediate and continues to grow across the country. We call on all decent minded Americans to contact your U.S. Representative and Senators to demand the passage of new legislation to restore the DACA program including a path to permanent status for DACA recipients. In a…

Express Entry cutoff holding steady in 430’s

After the lowest ever Express Entry draw was held on May 31, 2017, with a cutoff of 413, recent draws have risen somewhat to the 430s, including a draw of 434 on August 23, 2017. 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. The cutoff marks from recent draws appear to be designed to attain Canada’s immigration goals for the current year. Applications continue to be processed very rapidly. Immigration to Canada in as little as six months remains a realistic goal for many,…

Move to Canada after Trump election? It’s easier than you think!

We are receiving 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, and other anti-immigrant actions. 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 Climate Accord. By contrast, Canada is a welcoming, progressive and pluralistic society with no anti-immigrant sentiment….

Supreme Court leaves orders blocking travel ban in effect for most immigrants

On June 26, 2017 the Supreme Court of the United States issued an order agreeing to review the decisions of the Fourth Circuit and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Both of these courts had issued nation-wide orders blocking the Trump travel ban for nationals of Iran, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yeman. The decision to review the cases was expected given the importance of these cases. In addition, the Supreme Court left in place the restraining orders blocking enforcement of the travel ban in most cases. The Supreme Court ruled that the travel ban could not be enforced against anyone…

Canada launches new “Global Skills Strategy”

On June 12, 2017, Canada announced a new “global skills strategy” that will make it easier and faster to get work permits for certain foreign workers. The strategy has four components (referred to as “pillars” in the government announcements). They are as follows: Workers coming to Canada for brief periods will be authorized to work without an LMIA or work permit. This provision applies to management and skilled employees classified as NOC 0 or NOC A. The employment will be permitted for one 30 day period every 12 months, or one 15 day period every six months. Certain university researchers…

Canada passes new citizenship law

On June 19, 2017, Canada’s new citizenship law receive Royal Assent, the final step in the legislative process. This is an amendment to existing Canadian citizenship law. The law, known as C-6, will make it easier for many people to attain Canadian citizenship. The law goes into effect in stages. As of June 19, persons applying for citizenship are no longer required to have the intent to live in Canada, making it easier for new Canadian citizens to live or work outside of Canada. Also, the age restrictions for applying for Canadian citizenship have been removed, so that minors can…

USCIS resumes premium processing of H-1B petitions for Conrad 30 doctors

On June 23, 2017, USCIS associate director Donald Neufeld announced at the American Immigration Lawyers Association conference that USCIS would resume premium processing of H-1B for Conrad 30 physicians. These are doctors who have agreed to work for three years in medically undeserved areas, in order to obtain waivers of the two-year foreign residency requirement resulting from completing medical training programs in J-1 status. Each state in the U.S. can designate up to 30 physicians for this program. A large number of doctors working in rural and undeserved areas are Conrad 30 doctors. The law requires that these doctors must…

“Hire American” – What does it mean for H-1Bs?

On April 18, 2017 President Trump signed a new executive order described as “Buy American and Hire American.” News accounts and presidential speeches suggested the new Executive Order would severely restrict the availability of H-1B visas. This order came out just a few days after completion of the H-1B filing season and the H-1B lottery, when H-1Bs were already in the news. During the campaign, Trump had threatened to abolish the H-1B program entirely. In reality, the new Order does not change the existing H-1B program in any way. The only specific reference to H-1Bs stated: “In order to promote…

H-1B Cap Reached for FY 2018 – First receipts received

USCIS announced on April 7, 2017 that the H-1B cap has been reached for both the 65,000 “bachelor’s cap” visas as well as the additional 20,000 visas for persons holding U.S. master’s degrees. As a result, USCIS holds a lottery to determine which petitions will be accepted, and which will be returned to the petitioners. USCIS has not yet announced how many petitions were received, or when the lottery was held. However, lawyers, including our office, are reporting that receipts have started arriving. As of April 17, 2017, all of the reported receipts so far have been for “Masters Cap”…

Second Trump travel ban blocked by U.S. Federal Court

On March 15, 2017, U.S. District Judge Derrick K. Watson of the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii issued a nationwide restraining order blocking implementation of the second Trump travel ban. The travel ban would have gone into effect on March 16, 2017. As a result, the second travel ban is not in effect. The second travel ban blocks entry to the United States for citizens of six predominantly Muslim countries, including Iran, Syria, Lybia, Yemen, Sudan and Somalia. It also blocks all entry by refugees. Unlike the first travel ban, the new travel ban does not…