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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The Trump Administration's Immigration Policies

The Trump administration's immigration policies and procedures are making it more difficult for U.S.-based employers to fill job openings, according to talent and immigration experts.

The government has stepped up its scrutiny of visa applications, resulting in delays and higher costs for hiring foreign workers.


Read more . . .


Monday, June 13, 2016

Form I-983 F-1 OPT Students Employed at Client Worksites

Please see detailed information and article by Cora-Ann Pestaina copied and linked below:

 http://blog.cyrusmehta.com/2016/06/can-a-stem-opt-student-be-employed-at-a-third-party-client-site.html


Read more . . .


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Current PERM Processing Times as of June 1, 2015

The US Department of Labor tags a case once it is certified, denied, withdrawn or denied or certified-expired (they expire 6 months after approval so file your I-140 within that 6 months).  Trackitt posts statistics about DOL here:  http://stats.trackitt.com/

The latest update on PERM processing time as of June 1, 2015 is as follows:

Regular Processing:  7 months [adjudicating cases filed in/before  November 2014]  

Audited Applications: 18 months [adjudicating cases filed in/before December 2013]

Appealed applications (requests for reconsideration to the Certifying Officer):  2-3 months [adjudicating cases appealed in April  2015 (after a PERM case is denied and a request for appeal is sent to the Certifying Officer)]

“Government error” appealed applications.  Uncertain, but colleagues are reporting that adjudication is taking over 3 months.  Look for a response from DOL that the case is back in processing within 45 days of filing the PERM Appeal.


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Subsidiary versus Affiliate

Blog content source: read more 

Both affiliates and subsidiaries are measurements of ownership that a main company holds over other smaller companies. However, the similarities end there. A company that acts as a subsidiary to the main company has a major share of its stocks controlled by the main company. There are even cases when the main company controls all of the stocks of a subsidiary.

On the other hand, an affiliate company only has a minor share of its stocks controlled by the main company. For example, the major company Walt Disney Corporation has an eighty-percent stake on ESPN, forty-percent stake on History Channel, and complete ownership of stocks of the Disney Channel. In this example, Walt Disney has stakes over three smaller companies, thus enabling the categorization of these companies either as subsidiary or affiliate. History channel would be categorized as an affiliate, because Walt Disney Corporation only has a partial, or forty percent control of its stocks. However, ESPN can be said to be a subsidiary of Walt Disney Corporation, since majority of its stocks are controlled by the main company. Lastly, the Disney Channel can be branded as a wholly owned subsidiary, since Walt Disney Corporation owns a hundred percent of its stocks.

There are cases wherein an affiliate company is not directly under the main company, but instead a partner company which simply shares its stocks with the main company. Affiliate companies may also possess subsidiary companies in which they control a majority, or a hundred percent of stocks. Multinational corporations create subsidiaries and affiliates to proliferate host countries without having to stake their name, or in the case of affiliates, a major share of their stocks. There are countries wherein certain multinational corporations do not operate well because they are perceived as purveyors of capitalism and foreign investment. In such scenarios, multinational companies create subsidiaries or affiliates in order to secretly penetrate a target market. Some subsidiary and affiliate companies have been branded as ‘dummy companies’ which are in fact owned by a huge, main company in order to enter a market hostile to their brand name. This strategy is termed as foreign direct investment. Aside from multinational corporations, banks also adopt the foreign direct investment tactic in order to adjust to a target country’s banking regulations, at the same time still allowing them to issue insurance policies.

Summary

  1. Both subsidiary and affiliate refer to a company which has a portion of its stocks controlled by a main company.
  2. Subsidiary companies have majority of their stocks controlled by the main company. Wholly owned subsidiary companies have all of their stocks controlled by the main company.
  3. Affiliate companies have only a minor portion of their stocks controlled by the main company.
  4. Banks and multinational corporations use a strategy called foreign direct investment, wherein they create affiliates or subsidiaries to penetrate a target market which they have difficulty entering if they use their main name.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Who Should be in Law School

The need has never been greater for “idealistic, wise and ethical” lawyers to help resolve legal questions about issues ranging from the need for gun restrictions to the proper construction of the Constitution.

But that doesn’t mean the current crop of 1Ls should all be in law school, according to George Mason law professor Michael Krauss. Writing at Forbes, Krauss describes two groups of law students, and says only one group should pursue a law degree.

Krauss says you should be in law school if you answer yes to these questions:

“Are you interested in pursuing justice, in making the world/your country/your state a place governed by the rule of law, freer from predators and safer from tyrants than it currently is?

Are you interested in helping the 50 percent of Americans with legal problems who cannot currently afford legal help to resolve them?

Are you interested in soberly attempting to understand and solve the incredibly difficult, and incredibly interesting, intellectual problems that underlie so many of today’s legal disputes, and that are so misconstrued by a journalistic profession obsessed with political correctness?”

But Krauss says this group should get out of law school while a partial tuition refund is still available!

“If you’re in law school because you didn’t know what else to do after your BA, because you hate math (and erroneously think law doesn’t require math skills) and the sight of blood, therefore couldn’t be a physician, and have no goal other than to make a lot of money, and if you dislike work but have always relied on your IQ and adrenaline to ace all your courses, well, you chose the wrong generation to go to law school.”

 

Posted in ABA Journal Aug 20, 2014 by Debra Cassens Weiss

 


Friday, August 22, 2014

Is Your Firm Tech Savvy? It Will Save you Money

Read the article below taken from the ABA Law Journal which brings up the software-technology angle on a point that we harp upon repeatedly: just because you work really hard does not mean you are doing a good job.  Billing a client for “hard work” spent navigating a software system that has you baffled is a crying shame.  Everyone has to learn to do new things, yes, sure.  And we often learn new things, because it is necessary during the course of a case.  But as the author below points out, should lawyers bill clients for slowness on plain old software systems? No!  Especially those old ones the author notes below where lawyers are often still deficient like MS Office applications (Word, Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint and a new favorite, OneNote).  Software applications that we should know well … at least since Y2K (yes, it’s been 15 years).

What’s the solution? Consider making the learning curve part of the firm’s expense by giving the client a discount.  Frankly, you should not even admit how much time you spend fixing errors in Word anyway. Either lower your hours, or lower the hourly rate if you admittedly are using a new system.

Our firm has chosen individuals, both lawyers and staff, who know how to make a case or issue move quickly inception to preparation and filing because of our knowledge and methods using software. We realized we don’t need high overhead nor the frustration of navigating software poorly and clicking our lives and client-dollars away.  Furthermore, why so many softwares? A few (2-3) good applications can easily cover office systems and client management. 

What can a client do to guard against this?  Not much.  But there are clues along the way. Ask questions.  If you are big, audit your law firm like the author below suggests.  And ask the lawyers to train their staff.

Article: “Tech test could give law firms an incentive to make efficiency gains” Posted Aug 18, 2014 by Monica L. Sandler and pulled from ABA Journal Aug 22, 2014.

First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. Then they attack you. Then you win. As a legal technology trainer, I'm eagerly anticipating the winning that should accompany the launch of the Suffolk Flaherty Legal Technology Audit. For more than a year, I’ve been working on the automated version of the LTA alongside the eponymous Casey Flaherty and Suffolk Law’s Andrew Perlman. The LTA is finally ready for prime time.

Casey developed the LTA when he moved in-house. He was motivated by what he witnessed as outside counsel: institutionalized waste driven by poor utilization of standard, labor-saving features built into everyday software (e.g., Outlook, Word, Excel). Casey created an assessment based on labor-intensive assignments commonly given to junior attorneys and paralegals. He administered the original LTA to associates and staff at his outside counsel.

Not surprisingly, the associates and paralegals fared abysmally on Casey’s assessment. What should have taken one hour took five, at an average rate of $270 per hour. Casey publicized the results in these very pages and, along the way, gained a partner in Suffolk’s Andy Perlman, a board of advisers (including me), and an opportunity to disseminate the LTA to a much wider audience. We’ve been working towards making the LTA commercially available and are thrilled to announce that the time is now.

Sign-ups begin Aug. 18 to coincide with the International Legal Technology Association’s annual conference. Administration of the LTA commences Sept. 2. But life should become truly interesting on Halloween. The Association of Corporate Counsel’s annual conference ends Oct. 31. On that day, the LTA will begin to fulfill free score requests submitted by in-house counsel. That is, in-house counsel will be able to see how their outside counsel performed (if outside counsel agree to release their scores). This transparency is the true genius of the LTA.

The theory is that clients have not held law firms accountable because accountability is near impossible without transparency. Sans accountability, there have been far too few incentives for law firms to sustain efforts to invest in the efficacy and efficiency gains that come with basic tech competence. I am excited to see what happens when the LTA is fully available. Will clients, who have complained about inefficiency for years, actually hold firms to account now that they have a tool to do so? Will law firms—famously slow to change—respond to pressure from their clients? Will LTA scores become the new metric that underscores law firm marketing (better, faster, cheaper)? Will bar associations put more an emphasis on tech training in granting CLE credits? And what about law schools? How long will it take them to respond to the "new" old reality that much of legal practice requires working on a computer? (There is also a law school edition of the LTA.)

Undoubtedly, I have a vested interest in the success of the LTA. My company and I stand to benefit from increased demand for technical training in law firms, especially because I have been so involved in bringing the LTA to market. But, for me, it goes way beyond short-term gains. My fellow trainers and I have been beating this drum for decades. We found lawyers and their staff wanting in basic tech competence, despite the fact that most spend the vast majority of their days sitting at a computer and billing for their time. But not many attorneys listened to our message until Casey came along.

If our industry finally ups its tech game, we will be celebrating a victory for everyone involved. Trainers will get our audience. Lawyers and staff will get the training they desperately need while securing blissful release from the low-value-added drudgery that occupies too much of their valuable time. Most importantly, clients will get the service they have always deserved.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Sept 2014 Visa Bulletin Moved!

The Visa Bulletin for September 2014 moved forward.  Big news for many.  Some of our clients want to know if they will indeed receive their green card next month, if their I-485 has been pending.  The things to know or consider are the following:

 

  1. Your spot in line will open (check the Visa Bulletin here http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/law-and-policy/bulletin/2014/visa-bulletin-for-september-2014.html ).

     

  2. The number of applications filed and pending is large.  Will US CIS be able to process and spit out Approval Notice for everyone who deserves it?  We assume they will.  Nonetheless, here is the chart of employment-based I-485 applications pending at CIS  -- sorted by month/year: http://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/EB-I-485-Pending-Inventory-July2014.pdf

     

  3. Item #2 brings up another good point: Did your Medical RFE Response and/or employment RFE that was mailed back (in response the mass-RFE’s issued in June 2014) meet up with the filing on time. In other words, will is your file re-reviewed, finalized and tagged to simply need the issuance of an Approval Notice? … or does it require yet another look by an officer? 

     

  4. And not least, US CIS will be ready to issue an approval of your Adjustment of Status, so make sure your address is current with CIS! See the CIS cite link about retrogressed visas pending adjudication: http://www.uscis.gov/green-card/green-card-processes-and-procedures/visa-availability-priority-dates/visa-retrogression.

 

We hope that things have gone smoothly on your case and it is queued for approval now.  No way to be sure until the moment of potential approval comes and goes starting Sept 1st (when approval notices start getting issued) and near the end of October (when all mail has surely arrived and the lack of approval would also be telling).


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Applicants Beware!

Unauthorized practice of law is an issue in every practice area of law. The practice, however, is especially common in the area of immigration law. Unauthorized individuals who represent themselves as immigration attorneys and notarios often take advantage of immigrants who are not knowledgeable about the legal issues in question, nor about standards governing the practice of law in the United States. A great deal of harm can result from going to a notario, who is not a licensed attorney and who may not have the correct knowledge of immigration law.

On Wednesday, June 4, 2014, AILA’s DC UPIL Committee held a presentation on this issue and taught the attendees, many of whom were Brazilian and Jamaican nationals, the importance of hiring an attorney as well as the dangers of using a notario.

Foreign nationals who need assistance with their immigration matters should always seek assistance from a licensed attorney knowledgeable on immigration law, rather than a notario, to prevent harm to their legal status and cases.  And, please report unlawful notario fraud to an organization under the American Immigration Lawyers’ Association (AILA) at http://www.stopnotariofraud.org/.


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Third-Country Nationals’ (“TCN”) Processing in Canada “Extremely Limited”

Last week, Department of State (“DOS”) informed American Immigration Lawyers Association (“AILA”) that “due to increasingly heavy demand by Canada-based visa applicants, the seven U.S. visa processing posts in Canada are extremely limited in their ability to accept TCN cases during the peak demand period of June, July, and August. Canadian posts encourage such applicants to seek appointments elsewhere in the world, such as in the applicant’s home country.  Canadian posts will offer increased appointment availability for TCNs during non-peak processing times, such as October and November, and January through May.”[1]

 

Mexico, with ten posts (Ciudad Juarez, Guadalajara, Hermosillo, Matamoros, Merida, Mexico City, Monterrey, Nogales, Nuevo Laredo, or Tijuana), is a possible alternative.

  • TCNs who do not reside in Mexico and who seek to renew their visas in any category other than B1/B2 (pleasure/business) and H2 (temporary worker) can apply in Mexico. 

“NOTE – The applicant must apply to renew in the same visa category and cannot apply in a different category.”[2]

  • TCNs should keep in mind that they may need to acquire a visa to visit Mexico.

     

Istanbul, London and Paris are some of the alternative locations for TCN processing this summer, so long as the applicant has proper documentation to lawfully enter the countries where the processing posts are located.  Acceptance of processing by a consulate is always optional. 

We also remind clients that failure to be issued a visa in the third-country will result in a trip directly onward to the home country if the visa stamp is otherwise expired/invalid for US reentry.



[1] "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 14060447 (posted Jun. 4, 2014)"

[2] “Who Can Apply,” Embassy of the United States Mexico, http://mexico.usembassy.gov/visas/non-immigrant-visas/who-can-apply.html.

 


Thursday, June 12, 2014

RFEs Issued to Refresh Medicals (I-693) Pending Over One Year

Effective June 1, 2014, USCIS is issuing Requests for Evidence (RFE’s) on Adjustment of Status Applications submitted for the green card asking applicants to submit a new Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record if the I-693 has been pending at US CIS for more than one year.  We note that the Medical Examination does not have to be less than one year old.  But, long-pending green cards will need to refresh their Medicals.

In the Policy Alert (PA-2014-005) issued on May 30, 2014, USCIS also restates that applicants must submit Form I-693 to USCIS within one year of the immigration medical examination, and, interestingly, that USCIS will provide additional ways to submit Form I-693.[1]



[1] “USCIS Issues New Policy on Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record” (posted May 30, 2014), http://www.uscis.gov/news/alerts/uscis-issues-new-policy-form-i-693-report-medical-examination-and-vaccination-record.


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Lang Wallace LLC is based in Falls Church Virginia, USA near Washington D.C. and serves clients throughout the United States and globally.



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