October 1st marks the beginning of the "onboarding" of new H-1B employees at many companies throughout the United States. Winning the lottery and having H-1B Petitions approved by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) were just two initial steps involved in the hiring and retaining process of talented foreign nationals in the United States. Carefully onboarding the H-1B employee is as crucial as selecting, hiring and bringing them into the United States (or assisting in changing their nonimmigrant status in the United States). This article briefly addresses few very basic but very important topics that HR Managers, HR Professionals and Business Owners should be aware of, and religiously comply with, in order to avoid potential pitfalls pertaining to the onboarding of new H-1B employees.
The 2016 Diversity Visa Lottery Program (DV-2016) will commence at noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT-4), Wednesday, October 1st, 2014, and will close at noon, EDT, Monday, November 3rd, 2014. Applicants must submit entries electronically during this registration period using the electronic DV entry form (E-DV) at www.dvlottery.state.gov. Paper entries will not be accepted. Applicants are strongly encouraged not to wait until the last week of the registration period to enter. Heavy demand may result in website delays. No entries will be accepted after noon, EDT, on November 3rd, 2014.
Section 106(c) of AC21, commonly known as the job flexibility provision, was enacted as Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) section 204(j). This portion of the INA states as follows: "A petition under subsection (a)(1)(D) [redesignated as (a)(1)(F)] for an individual whose application for adjustment of status pursuant to section 245 has been filed and remained unadjudicated for 180 days or more shall remain valid with respect to a new job if the individual changes jobs or employers if the new job is in the same or a similar occupational classification as the job for which the petition was filed".
Immigration practitioners are warning companies and employees to avoid immigration-related scams. Types of scams reported recently include:
Affidavit of Support under Section 213A of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) is required for most family-based and some employment-based immigrants to show that they have adequate means of financial support and are not likely to become public charge. Immigrants who are deemed likely to become public charges may gain admission to the United States if a sponsor signs United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, thereby promising to maintain the sponsored immigrant at no less than 125% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines for the immigrant's household size. See 8 CFR § 213a.2(c)(2). The Sponsor's promise to maintain the immigrant is intended not only to protect the immigrant from poverty, but to protect the Government from a public burden.
Canada is a bilingual country. All English speaking provinces (outside of Québec) must also provide some services, by law, in French. English Canada is thus looking to increase its French-Speaking population, and in order to attract French-speaking foreign nationals ("Francophones"), it has announced some very interesting immigration laws.
A new addition to the TFWP is the International Mobility Program (IMP). This program allows foreign nationals to be LMIA-exempt. The IMP's primary objective is to advance Canada's broad economic and cultural national interest. As a result, this program is not based on filling particular jobs or meeting employer demands. Rather, this program encompasses multilateral/bilateral agreements with other countries (e.g. NAFTA, GATS). Additionally, these workers are primarily high skilled workers with high wages from developed countries (ie. U.S.A).
The Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) governs the hiring of foreign workers to work in Canada temporarily. Plainly stated, the objective of the TFWP is to ensure the recruitment of foreign workers as a last resort, when no Canadians are available to do the job. In order for a Canadian employer to hire a foreign worker, a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) must therefore be approved by the Government.
The Canadian Law Group is pleased to announce that it continues to successfully transfer high-level IT workers from foreign countries like Israel, to Canada. This is indeed a success, considering the recent changes to intra-company transfer law.
Asylum is a protection granted to foreign nationals already in the United States or at the border who meet the international definition of a "refugee." A refugee is defined as a person who has been persecuted or has a well-founded fear of being persecuted "on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion."