What should Employers do with Employment-Based Visas considering the Post-Election activity?

With the Presidential election over and recent Cabinet appointments, changes on  immigration policy will likely occur in some fashion.  Recent President-Elect’s comments and the appointment of Sen. Jeff Sessions as Attorney General give some indication of stronger immigration enforcement in the near future.  So, what does this mean for Employers and how should Employers begin to plan for any change in employment-related immigration policy?

For Employers with workers on employment-based visas, the Human Resource department should audit these visas and related visa expiration dates.  This enables an Employer to address changes on any visa renewals or adjustment of visas once the new Administration focuses on immigration issues in the U.S.   This also enables Human Resource professionals to plan ahead for any potential changes in the employer’s workforce.

The Post-Election activity also hints that employers should evaluate its immigration compliance procedures.  Anticipating an increase of immigration enforcement means the employer should audit its compliance practices on immigration matters.  This includes auditing Form I-9s, immigration practices (like E-Verify), and compliance files.

Ultimately, the employer will want to be in the best position to address any changes in employment-based visas and compliance efforts.

While the above provides some issues for employers to consider, an employer with any questions, should contact an experienced immigration-employment attorney. immigration-reform

Tips on Employee Disabilities

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Health problems are the No. 1 reasons for people leaving the workforce early (Survey by Employee Benefit Research Institute). When disabilities or health impairments involve the employee’s ability to perform their job, employers need to look at these issues closely.  The following provides a checklist.  Additionally, employers and employees should address these issues with an experienced employment attorney. https://www.shrm.org/hr-today/news/hr-magazine/1016/Pages/5-tips-for-addressing-employees-with-disabilities.aspx?utm_source=SHRM%20Tuesday%20-%20PublishThis_HRDaily_7.18.16%20(17)&utm_medium=email&utm_content=October%2004,%202016&SPMID=00655820&SPJD=02/20/2001&SPED=08/31/2017&SPSEG=&spMailingID=26690690&spUserID=MjIyOTY3MzE3NzUyS0&spJobID=900593926&spReportId=OTAwNTkzOTI2S0

 

Business Immigration – I-94 for Travel

For Businesses bring talented foreigners to the US, it is sometimes about timing. Getting the individuals into the U.S. can be important for the individual to begin work and the company to stay competitive.  Additionally, quickly being processed at the Port, makes the employee’s travel that much less stressful.  Now, an individual can secure their I-94 in advance to crossing at the Port with the online I-94 application payment.  A business looking to address business immigration issues should contact an experienced immigration attorney. https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/national-media-release/cbp-makes-online-i-94-application-payment-available-travelers

 

2016 Leaders in Diversity

The Wichita Business Journal announced the selection of individuals as Leaders in Diversity.  It is an honor to have been selected for this recognition in 2016.  http://www.bizjournals.com/wichita/news/2016/03/18/announcing-the-2016-leaders-in-diversity.html

 

Immigration Resources Now Available In Spanish

Spanish speaking clients and business owners frequently seek out attorney Trinidad Galdean, due to his experience in immigration issues and his ability to address their needs in Spanish. Trinidad utilizes his Spanish speaking ability to assist clients and employers on visa applications and other immigration related matters.  It is important for all clients to understand legal issues in their primary language.  The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) recently started a Spanish blog, USCIS Compás, to inform Spanish speaking individuals regarding immigration issues.  The USCIS also created a Facebook page, USCIS Español, to provide additional immigration information in Spanish.  While these resources are helpful, individuals and business owners should still consider consulting an experienced immigration attorney when dealing with matters of immigration law.

Family and Medical Leave Update for Employers

FMLA Update – Just prior to the Memorial Day, the Department of Labor issued the new FMLA forms.  Employers need to update these forms when dealing with leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.  Employers need to be aware of the changes in the forms.  A summary of the changes is referenced here.

H-1B Cap Reached Again in 5 Days

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (“USCIS”) announced yesterday it reached the H-1b cap for the Fiscal Year 2016.  Essentially, similar to past years, USCIS received more H-1b applications than the available number of H-1b visas for the upcoming fiscal year.  This happened in the 5 business days the USCIS began to accept H-1b applications.

Congress mandates 65,000 regular H-1b visas each year and an additional 20,000 H-1b visas for individuals with advance degrees (i.e. “master’s cap”).

USCIS now will place all the H-1b applications received from April 1, 2015 through April 7, 2015 in a random lottery to select the applications for continued processing.  Actually, two lotteries take place.  The first lottery relates to cased filed for the master’s cap.  The second lottery includes those not selected for the master’s cap along with the regular cap H-1b applications.  Applications not selected in the lottery are returned with uncashed filing fee checks to the petitioners of record.

Due to the nature of the H-1b cap being reached again, it is important to keep up-to-date on developments with a submitted application.  Employees and employers will need to plan and determine how to proceed on these issues.

HR Staying Current – Employment Law Update 2015

Employers and Human Resource Professionals today deal with continued changes in employment law.  On April 15, 2015, Trinidad Galdean, JD, PHR, SHRM-CP, will be speaking to the Wichita Society of Human Resources Management (Wichita SHRM) on Employment Law Updates for 2015.  Knowledge about these recent changes and those on the horizon are key to minimizing and preventing workplace claims. Individuals interested in attending can register with the Wichita SHRM Chapter.