Categories News & Updates

Baker Law Corporation Becomes Part of Graham Adair

Graham Adair is pleased to announce a transition agreement with Baker Law Corporation. After many successful years of managing her own firm, Debra Baker has decided to retire and turn her practice over to Graham Adair. As part of the transition, Graham Adair will also be bringing on her experienced and dedicated staff.

Sam and Chad previously worked at a large international law firm where Debra ran the immigration practice group in the Bay Area. It is an honor for Graham Adair to carry on the illustrious practice that Debra has built, which includes a focus on customer service and customized solutions to meet varying client needs. Debra will remain involved during the transition.

The official transition will take place as of July 1, 2021.

Categories News & Updates

Final Rule Reverts H-1B “Specialty Occupation” to Previous USCIS Standard

On October 8, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security issued an Interim Final Rule (IFR) titled “Strengthening the H-1B Non-Immigrant Visa Classification Program”. The IFR previously revised and narrowed the regulatory definition of and raised the standards for “specialty occupation” for H-1B nonimmigrant visa applicants.

On December 1, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued a judgment that blocked the implementation and enforcement of the IFR. In compliance with the vacatur, USCIS has vacated the IFR and restored the previous definition of and standard for the “specialty occupation” requirement.

Under the IFR, H-1B applicants were required to obtain a bachelor’s degree in the exact field related to their position. For example, under the rule, employers seeking software engineers would not be allowed to hire applicants with an information technology degree. Nor would they be allowed to use experience or a combination of experience and education as a bachelor’s degree equivalency. Now that the IFR has been vacated, applicants can satisfy “specialty occupation” by obtaining a bachelor’s degree in a field relevant to their profession, or a work experience equivalency.

If you have any questions, please contact your Graham Adair attorney.

Categories News & Updates USCIS

USCIS To Suspend Biometrics Requirements for Certain I-539 Applicants

From May 17, 2021, USCIS will suspend the biometrics requirements for the H-4, L-2, E-1, E-2 and E-3 categories of Form I-539 applications. The suspension will be for at least 2 years. USCIS will retain the discretion to require biometrics on a case-by-case basis.

The suspension will apply if: 1) the application is pending as of May 17, 2021 and a biometrics appointment notice has not been received; or 2) the application is received by USCIS between May 17, 2021 and the expiration date of the suspension.

USCIS has expressed an intention to eliminate the current backlog and to significantly reduce delays in processing times for these applications. The proposal came in a declaration from USCIS Service Center Operation Directorate Associate Director Connie L. Nolan in the pending federal case Edakunni v. Mayorkas.

If you have any questions, please contact your Graham Adair attorney.

Categories Global News & Updates

Singapore Extends Mandatory Quarantine Period

The mandatory quarantine period (or Stay-Home Notice) for travelers to Singapore has been extended to 21 days starting on Friday, May 7, 2021 at 11:59 PM. Quarantines must be served at dedicated facilities.

Countries exempt from this order are Australia, Brunei, mainland China, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Macau. This order excludes bilaterally negotiated travel lanes, such as the reciprocal green lane or air travel bubble arrangements.

If you have any questions, please contact your Graham Adair attorney.

Categories News & Updates

New India Travel Restriction

The US will impose travel restrictions from India starting Tuesday, May 4, 2021 from 12.01 am ET (0401 GMT). This is on the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in light of the high COVID-19 caseloads and multiple variants circulating in India. This will restrict entry of non-US citizens into the US for those who have been in India within 14 days of their arrival.

This restriction will not apply to US citizens, permanent residents and other exempted individuals, such as humanitarian workers. Exempted travelers will still need to meet testing and quarantine requirements currently in effect for international travels entering the U.S.

If you are a nonimmigrant visa holder and have plans to travel India we recommend you talk to your employer and your Graham Adair attorney about those plans. It may be advisable to postpone travel while these restrictions are in place.

If you have any questions, please contact your Graham Adair attorney.