Immigration and Nationality Law and Compliance Year-End Newsletter
Giving thanks for your support
We are pleased to share the inaugural issue of the Wiggin and Dana Immigration and Nationality Law and Compliance Practice Group Newsletter. We will circulate this newsletter periodically by e-mail to bring to your attention the latest updates in the field, with reports on recent developments and upcoming visa deadlines, as well as happenings at Wiggin and Dana. We welcome your comments and questions.
Breaking News: President Obama's Executive Action Plan for Business Immigration
President Obama has announced a series of executive actions regarding immigration reforms, many of which focus on illegal immigration at the border and undocumented immigrants. The President also set forth a plan for foreign national workers, stating that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS") should make efforts with respect to "modernizing, improving and clarifying immigrant and nonimmigrant programs to grow our economy and create jobs." This initiative will focus on U.S. businesses, foreign investors, researchers, inventors and skilled foreign workers. There is not yet any defined process or timeframe for implementation of this initiative. Please click here to view USCIS' action plan for what the agency will do in the coming weeks and months.
Introducing the Wiggin and Dana Immigration Team
2014 brought some new members to our Practice Group. We would like to introduce our new and improved immigration team:
Peter Lefeber is Co-Chair of the firm's Immigration and Nationality Law and Compliance Practice Group. Mr. Lefeber has practiced labor and employment law exclusively on behalf of private employers for more than three decades. His client base and breadth of experience are expansive, representing management in all aspects of the employment relationship.
Najia Khalid is Co-Chair of the firm's Immigration and Nationality Law and Compliance Practice Group and Co-Chair of the firm's Diversity Committee. She represents clients in connection with non-immigrant and immigrant visa petitions, labor certification applications, family-based petitions, adjustment of status and citizenship applications and immigration interviews, and also regularly counsels employers with respect to I-9 compliance and global immigration procedures.
Caroline Park and Christina Williams are Associates who assist with the preparation of non-immigrant and immigrant petitions, applications, supporting documents, motions, briefs and legal memorandums for submission to government agencies.
Michael Callahan and Christopher Primini are paralegals who provide immigration support to attorneys and clients. Christine Holtz is a legal secretary who handles immigration administration.
Najia Khalid Named Chair of the Connecticut AILA Corporate Practice Committee
Immigration attorney Najia Khalid was named Chair of the Corporate Practice Committee for the Connecticut Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. As Chair, Najia is spearheading efforts to facilitate more discussions, events, and resources for local immigration attorneys with business-based practices, as well as to develop more outreach programs to connect such attorneys with area employers and educational institutions.
Lunch and Learn Visa Workshop Series
Earlier this year, we hosted our first in a series of hands-on visa training workshops designed to walk employers through the ins and outs of preparing a visa petition. This workshop provided an overview of preliminary information and the start to finish steps to secure an H-1B visa. Please stay tuned for future workshop announcements in the New Year.
e-IMMIGRATION AIR Upgrade
In an effort to continue providing efficient and cost-effective immigration solutions for our clients, we have upgraded to a new and improved cloud-based case management software system, eIMMIGRATION AIR. We look forward to introducing more of our clients to the online system for registering new visa beneficiaries, storing the most up-to-date documents and information, monitoring case milestones, and much more.
In the Community…
Below is just a sampling of the various speaking events that we participated in this year. Please contact Jennifer Paquin at 203-498-4358 or at [email protected] if you are interested in planning an immigration program at your organization.
H-1B Visa Cap Season is just around the corner and Wiggin and Dana would like to remind employers to plan ahead when considering recruitment of foreign workers. H-1B visa status is available to an individual who will perform services in a "specialty occupation" that generally requires a bachelor's degree or its equivalent to perform the responsibilities the position entails. There is an annual quota or cap for H-1B visas of 65,000. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting cap-subject H-1B petitions on April 1, 2015. If the H-1B cap is exceeded in the first five days of April, USCIS will conduct a random lottery to select which cases will be processed, and the cases not selected will be rejected. Employers who wish to utilize the H-1B visa category are urged to make preparations in advance.