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Updated: 1 hour 17 min ago

Teleconference: Other Nonimmigrant Options

Wed, 07/07/2021 - 21:00

Strategies for filing nonimmigrant visas when H-1 and L-1 are not available options are discussed by Murthy Law Firm attorneys in this teleconference.

Employers and their representatives are invited to participate in the teleconference scheduled for July 07, 2021 – another in this series designed especially for them. Find out how to register here.

 

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The post Teleconference: Other Nonimmigrant Options appeared first on Murthy Law Firm | U.S Immigration Law.

Teleconference: Litigation Trends

Wed, 06/02/2021 - 21:00

Recent immigration litigation trends, including how litigation strategies are changing with the Biden Administration, are the topic discussed by Murthy Law Firm attorneys in this teleconference.

Employers and their representatives are invited to participate in the teleconference scheduled for June 02, 2021 – another in this series designed especially for them. Find out how to register here.

 

Copyright © 2021, MURTHY LAW FIRM. All Rights Reserved

The post Teleconference: Litigation Trends appeared first on Murthy Law Firm | U.S Immigration Law.

Teleconference: Biden Administration Immigration Update

Wed, 05/05/2021 - 21:00

Updates on immigration policy and procedures in the first few months of the new Biden Administration, including H1B and green card processing, are discussed by Murthy Law Firm attorneys.

Employers and their representatives are invited to participate in the teleconference scheduled for May 05, 2021 – another in this series designed especially for them. Find out how to register here.

 

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The post Teleconference: Biden Administration Immigration Update appeared first on Murthy Law Firm | U.S Immigration Law.

Teleconference: TBA

Wed, 05/05/2021 - 21:00

The topic for discussion by Murthy Law Firm attorneys in May 2021 is forthcoming.

Employers and their representatives are invited to participate in the teleconference scheduled for May 05, 2021 – another in this series designed especially for them. Find out how to register here.

 

Copyright © 2021, MURTHY LAW FIRM. All Rights Reserved

The post Teleconference: TBA appeared first on Murthy Law Firm | U.S Immigration Law.

PERM Labor Certification Process and Timing (Part 1 of 2)

Tue, 04/13/2021 - 00:35

Most MurthyDotCom readers know that the PERM labor certification (LC) is the first in a three-step process in the majority of employment-based, permanent resident (commonly referred to as “green card”) cases. Our readers may be less familiar, however, with the steps that must be taken, and the timing requirements of each of those steps, in preparing a PERM LC for filing, as well as the timeframe for obtaining a decision once the case has been filed. This two-part article will help those who aspire to become U.S. permanent residents to understand the steps and timing involved from case initiation to the final determination or decision made by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).

Background: Typical Filing Timeline of Several Months

From the start of the case to filing the PERM LC application, form ETA 9089, the PERM process usually takes seven to eight months. As explained in greater detail below, employers must complete certain detailed steps pertaining to efforts to recruit U.S. workers as part of the PERM process. These highly detailed requirements must completely be met before the case can be filed with the DOL.

Minimum Requirements and Duties for Offered Position

The starting point in the PERM LC process is establishing the duties and requirements for the position that forms the basis of the PERM case. There are specific regulations governing the content of the job description, as well as the job requirements or qualifications. These regulations must be carefully adhered to, as cases can be denied for issues that, to the average employer, may seem to be minor technicalities.

The sponsoring employer must set forth clearly defined job duties and educational and/or experience requirements needed to qualify for the position. The requirements set by the employer for the position must meet the DOL’s “actual minimum requirements” rule. This means that the requested education and/or experience must reflect the employer’s absolute minimum qualifications for the job to be performed in a competent (not superior) way.

An employer may never have considered these matters in the detail or in the same manner as the DOL prior to commencing a PERM case. In such a situation, it could take a number of days or even longer to finalize this initial part of a case. There is a high level of employer participation at this stage. Thus, the length of time required to complete this portion of a case depends in part upon the employer’s availability.

A separate aspect of the analysis of the job definition is the determination of whether the sponsored employee will be able to document that s/he meets the employer’s education and/or experience requirements. This can cause delays while efforts are made to obtain sufficiently detailed experience letters from prior employers, educational documents, and evaluations of foreign educational credentials.

Benefits of Obtaining Prevailing Wage Before Recruitment

In order to file the PERM application, it is necessary to obtain a prevailing wage determination (PWD) from the DOL. This establishes the appropriate minimum wage level required for the position. Wage determinations take approximately five months, as of this writing. While the PWD can be processed during the recruiting period, it is often advisable to obtain the determination prior to starting recruitment.

There are a number of reasons that it is often beneficial for an employer to obtain the PWD before the recruitment process for the position begins. One reason is that there is a level of unpredictability in the DOL PWD process. If a wage is used that the employer believes will be the PWD, but the actual PWD issued weeks or months later turns out to be higher, the employer may be forced to restart the entire recruitment process from the beginning.

Timing issues are another reason that many immigration practitioners favor obtaining the PWD before the employer starts recruitment. Recruitment efforts are only valid for a limited time, and if recruitment starts before the PWD is obtained, the PERM LC must be filed during the assigned validity period of the PWD. Thus, if recruitment cannot be completed before the PWD expires, it is often necessary to start the entire case over again.

The case can sometimes be salvaged if there is enough time to obtain a new PWD before the recruitment efforts expire. However, even when a new PWD is issued in time, the wage may be updated to a higher rate. This, too, may necessitate starting the recruitment anew. On the other hand, if the PWD is issued prior to any recruitment steps being taken, the validity of the wage determination is prolonged. Therefore, obtaining the prevailing wage before recruitment begins can avoid these potential complications.

Recruitment Format and Requirements

The DOL has exacting regulations as to the form and content of the recruiting efforts required of the sponsoring employer. The employer is required to use newspaper ads, a posting in the state labor department’s job bank, and, for professional positions, three additional allowed forms of recruitment. The regulations address not only the types of recruitment, but also the content of the advertisements.

Various companies and agencies generally must be utilized during the advertising process, which sometimes leads to errors. Therefore, this process must be closely monitored. For example, the state labor job posting is required to run for 30 full days. Sometimes, however, the state agency will cut short the posting without authorization. If this occurs and is not corrected, the DOL may deny the case. Other forms of advertising may not have to run for such a long period of time, but they are subject to issues such as human or machine error, which could also render the recruitment campaign unacceptable to the DOL.

During recruitment, the employer must promptly and appropriately respond to any resumes or applications submitted by interested candidates for the proffered position. Otherwise, the DOL will not consider the recruiting efforts to be valid and acceptable. This almost always leads the employer to have numerous questions for the attorney as to the appropriate response and screening of potentially qualified applicants. If an employer improperly handles job applications or interviews, it can doom the process.

30-Day “Quiet” or “Hold” Period

Some people like to call the period between finishing most of the recruitment and filing the application a quiet or hold period. In reality, it is part of the required recruitment period. After the 30-day job order and most of the other recruiting is complete, the PERM LC filing still must wait for an additional 30 days. This is so that the employer can continue to receive and consider job applications in response to the prior recruiting efforts. In general, if a PERM LC is filed before the 30-day mark, it will be denied.

Employer / Employee Sign Form Under Penalty of Perjury

The attorney may be able to prepare the extensive ETA 9089 form during the recruitment period. However, the form cannot be finalized until after the recruitment process is completed. Once the form is finalized, it must be approved by both the employer and employee, who will be signing their respective portions of the form under penalty of perjury.

Review PERM Carefully Before Signing and Filing

Employers and employees should take the time to carefully review the entire form and address any issues or discrepancies prior to filing. A pending form cannot be corrected. The only option for fixing such errors is withdrawing and re-filing, and this is only possible if the recruiting and wage determination are still valid.

Qualified Candidate/s Applying Terminates PERM

Of course, if the recruitment locates qualified, willing, able, and available U.S. worker applicants to fill the offered position/s, the PERM application must end at that point, in most cases. If the employer wishes to do so, it may be possible to try again later, which would require starting the entire PERM process anew.

Conclusion

The PERM LC preparation process is a complicated, labor-intensive, time-consuming process with extensive case law on nuanced issues that most employers and employees may not realize. By understanding this process, the employer and employee can be sure to play their parts to help everything run smoothly. The Murthy Law Firm has qualified attorneys, with extensive experience, who are available to provide representation and assistance to employers and their employees throughout the PERM LC and green card process.

[Watch for Part 2 of this article, which will discuss timeframes for the DOL decision-making process once the PERM LC is filed.]

While some aspects of immigration have changed in significant ways in the years since MurthyDotCom began publishing articles in 1994, there is much that is still the same. From time to time, clients of the Murthy Law Firm are referred to articles, like this one, which remains relevant and has been updated for our readers.

 

Copyright © 2013-2021, MURTHY LAW FIRM. All Rights Reserved

The post PERM Labor Certification Process and Timing (Part 1 of 2) appeared first on Murthy Law Firm | U.S Immigration Law.

Search of Electronic Devices at the U.S. Border

Thu, 04/08/2021 - 22:54

Foreign nationals requesting admission to the United States and indeed, even U.S. citizens, may face additional scrutiny at the United States border. This includes the physical border itself or the functional equivalent of the border such as an international airport, port of entry, or border checkpoint.

At the Murthy Law Firm, we have heard many accounts of foreign nationals being denied admission into the U.S. based on information uncovered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) inspectors in cell phones, laptops, or other electronic devices, that ostensibly reveal possible status violations. Many of these accounts are related to unauthorized employment; even seemingly harmless conversations in texts and eMails that mention the word “work” may be perceived by a CBP officer as an admission by a foreign national of having engaged in – or intention to engage in – unauthorized employment.

Government has Broad Authority to Conduct Searches at Borders

The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution prohibits unreasonable search and seizure of individuals and their property. To satisfy the Fourth Amendment’s reasonableness requirement, searches and seizures typically require a government official to obtain a warrant based on probable cause prior to conducting a search of an individual or their property. However, there is an exception to this general requirement at the U.S. border, which allows the government to search individuals at the United States border or its functional equivalent (e.g., an international airport) without the need for a warrant or probable cause of wrongdoing.

Types of Searches at the Border

There are two categories of searches that occur at the U.S. border: (1) routine searches and (2) non-routine searches. Routine searches do not require a warrant or probable cause based on the suspicion of wrongdoing. Similarly, no warrant is ordinarily required for non-routine searches at the border, either, but at least some federal courts have held that they do require a level of particularized suspicion of illegal activity.

Routine Searches Can Include Search of Electronic Devices

Routine searches generally include searches of luggage, goods entering the country, and automobiles. Manual searches of electronic items such as cell phones and computers are also included in routine searches. Additionally, a person seeking admission to the United States may be required to submit to a search of her/his/their outer clothing, which may include an examination of the contents of a purse, wallet, or pockets and a canine sniff. While this is ongoing, the individual may be subject to a brief detention.

Non-Routine Searches May Require Suspicion of Illegal Activity

Non-routine border searches are searches that go beyond a limited intrusion to the person seeking admission to the U.S. Non-routine border searches may include prolonged detentions, strip searches, body cavity searches or involuntary x-ray searches. Some federal courts have held that these types of non-routine searches require reasonable suspicion of illegal activity.

Conclusion

People traveling to the United States should understand that anything being brought with them into the country, including electronic devices, may be searched. Foreign nationals who encounter problems at a port of entry are encouraged to schedule a consultation with a Murthy Law Firm attorney who can review the situation and advise accordingly.

 

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The post Search of Electronic Devices at the U.S. Border appeared first on Murthy Law Firm | U.S Immigration Law.

I recently had to renew my passport. Can I use my new passport, along with the unexpired B-1/B-2 visa in my old passport, to enter the U.S.?

Thu, 04/08/2021 - 16:03
Answer

Generally speaking: yes, a person may present a valid B-1/B-2 visa in an expired passport along with the new, unexpired passport to request admission in B-1/B-2 status. (08.Apr.2021)

Sheela Murthy and other senior attorneys provide guidance that clarifies the law. For information on our FREE online services, click here. Access more FAQs here.

 

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Every time I need to travel by plane, I run into problems at the airport. I am sent into secondary inspection, my belongings are searched, and I am sometimes detained for hours. Is there anything I can do?

Thu, 04/08/2021 - 16:00
Answer

It seems that, for whatever reason, your name is appearing in a U.S. Department of Homeland Security system as some type of security risk. We have seen such cases where a person had the same name as someone on a government watch list, or it could just be an error in some government system.

Regardless, the first step likely would be to file a request through DHS Traveler Redress Inquiry Program (DHS TRIP). Review the MurthyDotCom NewsBrief, DHS Traveler Redress Inquiry Program for Screening Problems (25.Dec.2009) for details on this program. (08.Apr.2021)

Sheela Murthy and other senior attorneys provide guidance that clarifies the law. For information on our FREE online services, click here. Access more FAQs here.

 

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The post Every time I need to travel by plane, I run into problems at the airport. I am sent into secondary inspection, my belongings are searched, and I am sometimes detained for hours. Is there anything I can do? appeared first on Murthy Law Firm | U.S Immigration Law.

I am a U.S. citizen, and I filed an I-130 for my mother. She would like to visit me on her B-2 visa for a few weeks. She has no desire to apply for adjustment of status, as she needs to go back to India to take care of some things before getting her...

Thu, 04/08/2021 - 15:53
Answer

Technically speaking, there is no rule that prohibits a foreign national with an approved immediate relative I-130 petition from requesting admission in B-2 status. However, CBP has the discretion to deny admission based on immigrant intent. And, unless the individual can provide a compelling reason for the travel and strong evidence of intent to leave the U.S. following the temporary stay, there is a significant risk that CBP will not admit the individual. (08.Apr.2021)

Sheela Murthy and other senior attorneys provide guidance that clarifies the law. For information on our FREE online services, click here. Access more FAQs here.

 

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The post I am a U.S. citizen, and I filed an I-130 for my mother. She would like to visit me on her B-2 visa for a few weeks. She has no desire to apply for adjustment of status, as she needs to go back to India to take care of some things before getting her green card. Is it ok for her to come on her B-2? appeared first on Murthy Law Firm | U.S Immigration Law.

Teleconference: Visas and Travel in the Current Climate

Wed, 04/07/2021 - 21:00

Details for this teleconference will be forthcoming.

Employers and their representatives are invited to participate in the teleconference scheduled for April 07, 2021 – another in this series designed especially for them. Find out how to register here.

 

Copyright © 2021, MURTHY LAW FIRM. All Rights Reserved

The post Teleconference: Visas and Travel in the Current Climate appeared first on Murthy Law Firm | U.S Immigration Law.

More Details on O, P, & Q Visas for Artists, Athletes, & Entertainers

Tue, 04/06/2021 - 16:05

The MurthyDotCom NewsBrief Artists, Athletes, and Entertainers: O, P, and Q Visas (30.Mar.2021) provides a general overview of some of the options available to artists, athletes, and entertainers seeking to come to the United States. However, determining which of these options may work best in any given case can depend upon a variety of factors. Further, while these categories are clearly useful for applicants such as premiere artists and professional baseball players, some may be surprised to learn just how inclusive these classifications can be.

Artist and Entertainers Broadly Defined

An artist, as that term is used in the immigration context, is an individual who is engaged in the field of visual arts, culinary arts, or performing arts. As such, the term “artist” includes entertainers, but also refers to a large group of professions beyond those who are principal creators or performers. Professions that fall within this category include: directors, set designers, lighting designers, sound designers, choreographers, choreologists, conductors, orchestrators, coaches, arrangers, musical supervisors, costume designers, makeup artists, flight masters, stage technicians, and animal trainers.

O-1 Extraordinary Ability Requirement

Eligibility for O-1 classification requires a showing of extraordinary ability. For an artist, this means being prominent within the field – that is, displaying a high level of recognition for being renowned, leading, or well-known as compared to the artist’s peers working in the same field. The required level of recognition can be evident by the receipt of a significant national or international award or prize. Alternatively, it can be proven by meeting at least three other criteria, such as having performed in a starring role in a production with a distinguished reputation, having achieved major commercial success, evidencing reviews in major publications, and commanding a high salary.

P Category Useful When O Category May Not Apply

The P category is often a good alternative to the O-1 classification in cases of foreign national artists who may not be able to meet the O-1 requirements. The P-1 may be a good option for a group of entertainers / artists that has been recognized as outstanding in the particular field. This category requires that the entertainer / artist prove the existence of a substantial relationship with, and playing an integral part in the group for at least one year. As a far more limited option, performing artists who come to participate in a reciprocal exchange program may be sponsored for the P-2 classification. This category is open to individuals as well as groups.

Individual artists or entertainers or entertainment groups can be sponsored for the P-3 category to allow them to perform, teach, or coach a culturally unique program. In a 2012 decision, Matter of Skirball Cultural Center, the Administrative Appeals Office clarified that the term “culturally unique…is not limited to traditional art forms, but may include artistic expression that is deemed to be a hybrid or fusion of more than one culture or region.” Therefore, it is possible for a culturally unique program to cross regional, ethnic, or other boundaries. More details of this decision are available in AAO on Culturally Unique Standard in P-3 Petitions (6.Aug.2012), also available on MurthyDotCom.

Q Cultural Exchange

Other artists who are coming to the United States as part of an international cultural exchange program administered by a U.S. employer for the purposes of sharing the history, culture and traditions of their country of nationality may be sponsored for the Q nonimmigrant classification. This is of shorter duration and is limited to designated programs.

Factors to Consider in Selection of Category

In order to select the best category for an artist or entertainer, one should carefully review the individual’s qualifications. In addition, the purpose and length of the proposed trip, type of employer, whether support personnel will be needed, and whether the artist or entertainer is coming individually or as part of a group should be taken into account when evaluating the most appropriate nonimmigrant classification.

Options for Athletes

Athletes coming to the United States potentially may qualify for O-1 or P-1 status. The O-1 category is limited to individual athletes and is subject to an extremely high eligibility standard. The sponsored individual must demonstrate extraordinary ability in his or her field and intend to continue working in the same area. When evaluating the O-1 option for athletes, it is important to consider not only the candidate’s past accomplishments, but also the proposed activity in the United States. For example, an individual who has achieved extraordinary ability as a tennis player, but who can no longer compete, may not necessarily be eligible for the O-1 classification as a tennis coach. A person who possesses or previously possessed extraordinary athletic ability, and wishes to enter the U.S. as an O-1 to coach will need to demonstrate a record of extraordinary ability as a coach.

An alternative to the O-1 classification for athletes is the P-1 category, which, while still highly selective, is generally easier to obtain than the O-1. The level of achievement required for P-1 classification is that of “renowned, leading, or well-known in more than one country,” which is lower than the extraordinary ability required for O-1. The P-1 category can be used for individual athletes or athletic teams, and can be used for participants in both professional and amateur sports.

Conclusion

There are immigration options for talented artists, entertainers, and athletes, but each category has specific requirements. It is important to carefully review these requirements, and to consider timelines and other logistical aspects for each case. Immigration planning needs to be an integral part of arranging for performances, competitions, and other artistic or athletic exhibitions within the United States. Attorneys at the Murthy Law Firm are experienced in providing guidance and representation to artists, entertainers, and athletes.

While some aspects of immigration have changed in significant ways in the years since MurthyDotCom began publishing articles in 1994, there is much that is still the same. From time to time, clients of the Murthy Law Firm are referred to articles, like this one, which remains relevant and has been updated for our readers.

 

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Trump’s Executive Order Restricting Work Visa Allowed to Expire

Thu, 04/01/2021 - 18:14

This morning, the nonimmigrant visa restrictions imposed by Donald Trump in June 2020 expired. This executive order applied to certain H1B, H-4, H2B, L-1, L-2, and J-1 visa applicants.

While the expiration of this executive order is a positive development, it is unlikely to provide much relief to foreign nationals seeking to apply for nonimmigrant visas. In practice, the biggest obstacle many nonimmigrants have faced in getting a visa to enter the United States has been the closure and/or limited operation of U.S. embassies and consulates across the globe.

Still, there are some encouraging signs. Some consulates, such as those in India, have resumed processing all nonimmigrant visa categories, albeit with fewer appointment slots available than normal. And, in a few areas where COVID-19 has largely been eradicated, such as New Zealand, consular services continue unabated. Other U.S. consulates are expected to follow suit, as the pandemic slowly comes to a much-anticipated end.

 

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My registration was not selected in the lottery. Is it possible the USCIS will select additional registrations later on?

Thu, 04/01/2021 - 15:33
Answer

Last year, which was the first time the H1B registration system was used, a second round of registrations were selected in August. However, this was likely the result of the sudden and massive hit to the economy created by the pandemic. (i.e., Job offers made in early March 2020, during the registration period, were rescinded weeks later when COVID-19 really took hold.)

It is possible there will be a second round of registrations selected this year, but last year may well have been a fluke caused by an unprecedented global event.  (01.Apr.2021)

Sheela Murthy and other senior attorneys provide guidance that clarifies the law. For information on our FREE online services, click here. Access more FAQs here.

 

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I am on F-1 and will soon be marrying a person who has a green card. Once I get married, will that impact my F-1 status?

Thu, 04/01/2021 - 15:30
Answer

Getting married to a person with a green card would have no direct impact on one’s F-1 status. However, if applying for certain immigration benefits, such as an F-1 visa at a consulate, it is possible this could create problems related to immigrant intent. (01.Apr.2021)

Sheela Murthy and other senior attorneys provide guidance that clarifies the law. For information on our FREE online services, click here. Access more FAQs here.

 

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I need to get an English translation of a document that I am submitting to the USCIS. Can anyone translate the document, or do I have to hire an official translation service?

Thu, 04/01/2021 - 15:26
Answer

Per the USCIS policy manual, “any document containing foreign language submitted to USCIS shall be accompanied by a full English language translation which the translator has certified as complete and accurate, and by the translator’s certification that he or she is competent to translate from the foreign language into English.” There is no requirement that a translation service be used.  (01.Apr.2021)

Sheela Murthy and other senior attorneys provide guidance that clarifies the law. For information on our FREE online services, click here. Access more FAQs here.

 

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Artists, Athletes, and Entertainers: O, P, and Q Visas

Tue, 03/30/2021 - 15:04

There are various nonimmigrant options that may be available to foreign national artists, athletes, entertainers, and those who wish to participate in a cultural exchange program in the United States. Choosing the right classification for an individual or group engaged in any such activities may sometimes be challenging. Therefore, it is important to understand the similarities and differences between the potential classifications when determining the course of action that would best meet the objectives of a specific individual or group.

Overview of O-1 for Extraordinary Ability or Achievement

The O-1 nonimmigrant category is reserved for individuals who possess extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics (O1A), or who have a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry (O1B). The request for the O-1 classification is filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) by the petitioning employer or agent no more than one year prior to the start of the proposed activity or employment, as is typical in the arts and entertainment industries. The O-1 classification request may be based on a single offer of employment or multiple offers of employment. The initial petition can be valid for up to three years. Extensions can be granted in one-year increments for an unlimited duration.

Written Consultation Requirement

As part of the required proof in an O-1 case, the petition must be supported by a written advisory opinion known as a consultation. This opinion must be issued by an appropriate peer group or labor organization, unless such a group or organization does not exist. If such a group does not exist, the case decision will be made based on the evidence of the beneficiary’s qualifications submitted with the petition.

O-2 Accompanying and Assisting O-1

The O-2 category is for individuals who accompany O-1 principals in the fields of the arts or athletics. The O-2 designation is limited to foreign nationals who can establish that they provide assistance that is an “integral part” of the O1A’s specific event or performance, or who are “essential” to the O1B’s production.

P Classification for Artists, Athletes, and Entertainers Overview of the P-1 Classification

The P-1 classification is available to internationally-recognized athletes coming to the United States, individually or as a member of a group or team, to perform at a specific athletic performance. P-1 is also appropriate for entertainers who are coming to the U.S. to provide an integral and essential portion of a performance as part of the entertainment group with which they have been affiliated for at least one year, and that is recognized internationally as outstanding.

Overview of the P-2 Category

The P-2 category is for artists and entertainers who are coming to the United States, either individually or as a group, to perform in a reciprocal exchange program between one or more U.S. and foreign counterpart organizations. This category is rarely used because of the extremely limited eligibility criteria. However, it should not be overlooked in cases where an appropriate exchange program does exist. Essential support personnel of P-2 principals can be sponsored for P2S classification.

Overview of the P-3 Category

P-3 visas are available to culturally unique artists and entertainers who are coming to the United States, individually or as a group, to perform, teach, or coach under a commercial or noncommercial program that is culturally unique. P3S classification is for essential support personnel of P-3 principals.

Duration and Procedural Requirements for the P Classification

Similar to O-1 petitions, requests for P classification are subject to a consultation requirement from an appropriate peer group or labor organization, but this requirement can be waived in certain circumstances. The petition must be filed by a U.S. employer or a duly authorized agent. Unlike the O-1 classification, however, which can be extended indefinitely, the P-1 / P-2 / P-3 classifications for an individual athlete or entertainer can be approved for the time needed to complete the proposed activity, not exceeding five years, with the total stay limited to 10 years. For an athletic or entertainment group, the initial approval period can be up to one year, with possible extensions in one-year increments as needed to complete the proposed activity. Essential support personnel in P1S / P2S / P3S classifications can be sponsored for an initial period of one year, with possible extensions in increments of five years, not to exceed ten years.

Q Classification for Cultural Exchange

The Q classification, while not specifically for artists, athletes or entertainers, can be appropriate for such individuals in connection with designated programs. This category is for those who participate in international cultural exchange programs designated by USCIS. Such a program must be established to provide practical training, employment, and the sharing of the history, culture, and traditions of the country of the individual’s nationality. The employer must show that the Q foreign national’s proposed activities will take place in a school, museum, business, or other establishment where the American public will be exposed to the foreign culture as part of a structured program.

The Q classification originated as a counterpart to the J-1 exchange program administered by the U.S. Department of State (DOS), and it is often referred to as a “Disney” visa, due to its original promotion and use by that company. The maximum stay in Q status is 15 months. The sponsored exchange visitor is not eligible for a new period in Q status after completing the maximum stay until the individual remains outside of the United States for one year.

Conclusion

There are numerous nonimmigrant classification possibilities for artists, entertainers, and athletes. It should be noted, however, that it is possible for a specific individual or group to potentially qualify for more than one category. It is important to consider not only each candidate’s personal accomplishments, but other factors, including timing and whether essential personnel is needed, when devising the best course of action. The Murthy Law Firm has experience in successfully representing a wide variety of highly qualified people who wish to come to the United States to participate in athletic, entertainment, artistic, and cultural events.

While some aspects of immigration have changed in significant ways in the years since MurthyDotCom began publishing articles in 1994, there is much that is still the same. From time to time, we at the Murthy Law Firm refer our clients to articles, like this one, which remains relevant.

 

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USCIS Further Extends Flexibility for Responding to Requests Until June 30, 2021

Thu, 03/25/2021 - 18:23

Once again, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has extended the response time flexibility, initially announced on March 30, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This flexibility applies to applicants and petitioners responding to any of the following, issued from March 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021:

  • Requests for evidence
  • Continuations to request evidence (N-14)
  • Notices of Intent to Deny
  • Notices of Intent to Revoke
  • Notices of Intent to Rescind
  • Notices of Intent to Terminate regional investment centers
  • Motions to Reopen an N-400 Pursuant to 8 CFR 335.5, Receipt of Derogatory Information After Grant

In addition, the USCIS will consider a Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion, or Form N-336, Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings (Under Section 336 of the INA), if:

  • The form was filed up to 60 calendar days from the issuance of a decision we made; and
  • The USCIS made that decision anytime from March 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021.

The USCIS will consider a response to the above requests and notices received within 60 calendar days after the response due date set in the request or notice before taking action. USCIS will consider a form I-290B received up to 60 calendar days from the date of the decision before it takes any action.

 

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I have a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and an MBA from a U.S. university. My employer submitted an H1B registration for me and listed that I am eligible for the master’s cap. However, the position requires a computer science degree, not an MBA....

Thu, 03/25/2021 - 17:59
Answer

To qualify for the master’s cap, one must have a master’s degree or higher from a qualifying U.S. university. This applies, even if you will not be using that degree to qualify for the H1B position. (25.Mar.2021)

Sheela Murthy and other senior attorneys provide guidance that clarifies the law. For information on our FREE online services, click here. Access more FAQs here.

 

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The post I have a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and an MBA from a U.S. university. My employer submitted an H1B registration for me and listed that I am eligible for the master’s cap. However, the position requires a computer science degree, not an MBA. Is that ok? appeared first on Murthy Law Firm | U.S Immigration Law.

My I-485 is pending. I recently had a child born in India. Would it be possible to add her to my pending I-485?

Thu, 03/25/2021 - 17:57
Answer

A child would not be added to a pending I-485. However, if the priority date is current and the child is in the U.S., it typically would be possible to file an I-485 for the child. (25.Mar.2021)

Sheela Murthy and other senior attorneys provide guidance that clarifies the law. For information on our FREE online services, click here. Access more FAQs here.

 

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When will the results of the H1B registration lottery be released?

Thu, 03/25/2021 - 17:54
Answer

The USCIS will release the results of the lottery by March 31, 2021. (25.Mar.2021)

Sheela Murthy and other senior attorneys provide guidance that clarifies the law. For information on our FREE online services, click here. Access more FAQs here.

 

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