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"Strategies for Business: Employing foreign nationals on Hs, Ls, TN and other visas"
Speaker: George Lester with Guest Speakers Ellen Yost, Rick Gump and Charles Kuck

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Each call features an hour of analysis, strategy and practice tips by George Lester and guest speakers Ellen Yost, Rick Gump and Charles Kuck , followed by 30 minutes of questions and answers from participants.


FIRST Phone Session on July 29th:

1. H-1B "Specialty Occupation" Petitions (Part 1)

  1. Statutory Background and Basic Requirements of H-1B Program
  2. The H-1B Cap - is it really going back down to 65,000?
  3. The "U.S. employer" Petitioner
  4. The bona fide, "non-speculative" job offer; is "ability to pay" a requirement in H-1B petitions?
  5. What is a "Specialty Occupation"?
    1. Strategic drafting of a job description
    2. What evidence is needed to establish a "Specialty Occupation" in complex cases, and how to respond to a Request for Evidence on the issue
    3. Examples of "specialty occupation" positions in specific fields, both "easy cases" and positions that require more sophisticated preparation and argument
  6. The beneficiary's required qualifications
    1. Establishing a U.S. or foreign equivalent baccalaureate degree, and importance of the degree subject matter
    2. The harder cases: establishing H-1B qualification through a combination of education, training and progressive experience
    3. What evidence is needed, and how to respond to a Request for Evidence or consular visa refusal questioning sufficiency of the beneficiary's credentials
    4. Professions requiring a license, and what to do about the out-of-U.S. Catch 22
    [H-1B Specialty Occupations Presentation to be Continued in Session 2 on Aug 29th]

2. TN Status and Travel to the U.S. under NAFTA

  1. NAFTA Business Visitors
    1. What activities are permissible as a NAFTA Business Visitor
    2. Procedures for Admission
  2. TN Professionals
    1. Strategic issues comparing H-1B vs. TN status
    2. What jobs qualify under NAFTA for TN applications
      1. The specific list of 63 categories
      2. Special job offers receiving high scrutiny: Software Engineers, Computer Systems Analysts and other IT positions; Scientific Technicians and Technologists; the Manager vs. Management Consultant issue
    3. The Applicant's required qualifications
      1. Specified Degree, Professional License or Experience/Knowledge from the NAFTA list
      2. May experience be used in lieu of education like in H-1B?
    4. Strategic drafting of job offer/supporting letter
    5. Qualifying U.S. employer
  3. Procedures to obtain admission to U.S. as a TN professional
    1. Citizens of Canada - port of entry application
    2. Citizens of Mexico - advance petition filing and visa application
    3. Strategies for changing or adding employers
    4. What do you do if the application is denied?
  4. Procedures for L-1 intra-company transfers under NAFTA
  5. Current issues in NAFTA admission and cross-border travel
    1. Automated and Accelerated Inspection Systems (INSPASS and PORTPASS)
    2. Increased Border Enforcement and Expedited Removal
    3. Automated Entry-exit control and "Lookout" systems
    4. Change in policy affecting F-1 commuter students

SECOND Phone Session on August 29th:

1. H-1B "Specialty Occupation" Petitions (Part 2)

  1. The Labor Condition Application
    1. The "Required Wage" Attestation, including what is the "Actual Wage" and what is the "Prevailing Wage," and the "no-benching" rule
    2. The "No Adverse Affect on Working Conditions" Attestation
    3. The "No Strike or Lockout" Attestation
    4. The Notice to Employees Attestation, aka posting requirement, including discussion of electonic and other alternative forms of posting
    5. Additional Attestations for "H-1B Dependent" and "Willful Violator" employers
    6. The Public Access File
  2. Procedural and practical issues in H-1B Petition filing
    1. Requesting the correct action on the petition and the correct petition period
    2. Who can start work under "H-1B Portability" upon filing of the petition
    3. When to use "Premium Processing"
    4. Can the beneficiary travel out of the U.S. while a petition is pending?
    5. The Approval Notice and post-approval advice to employer and beneficiary
    6. The H-1B visa application at a U.S. consulate and entry to the U.S.

2. L-1 Intra-Company Transfers

  1. Overview and Basic Requirements
  2. The Qualifying Multinational Organization
    1. Special cases: non-profit organizations, partnerships
    2. The "doing business" abroad requirement
  3. Petitions for a "New Office" in the U.S.
  4. The Qualifying Employment
    1. The U.S. Job offer
    2. The Foreign Employment
    3. What is a "specialized knowledge" position
    4. What is a Managerial or Executive Position
    5. Strategies in deciding between L-1A or L-1B as the best petition category
  5. Preparing an individual L-1 petition
    1. Forms and Evidence required
    2. Extension/change of status vs. consular notice petition
    3. When should Premium Processing be used?
    4. Is it OK for the beneficiary to travel to the US as a Business Visitor before the petition is filed or while it is pending?
    5. Responding to a "Request for Evidence"
    6. Approval periods and limitation on maximum stay
  6. Using a "Blanket L-1"
    1. What kind of international organization qualifies for blanket L-1 approval?
    2. Preparing and filing the Blanket L-1 petition, both initial and extension
    3. L-1 visa applications at a U.S. consulate under blanket petition approval
      1. Forms, evidence required and procedures at the consulate
      2. Procedures at entry to the U.S.

THIRD Phone Session on September 30th:

1. H-1B "Specialty Occupation" Petitions (Part 3)

  1. Special Problems
    1. The "Roving Employee:" strategies for dealing with multiple unanticipated changes of job location
    2. Strategies for dealing with non-productive "bench" time
    3. What to do when the beneficiary is approaching the 6 year maximum stay, including the "7th year extension" and "recapturing" time
    4. Strategies where the beneficiary was laid off from a prior H-1B job, has otherwise failed to maintain prior status or overstayed an I-94 admission date
      1. Is there a "grace period" in H-1B status after being terminated?
      2. The INS' announced "zero tolerance" policy for status violators vs. traditional discretionary relief
    5. Mergers, acquisitions, relocations and other corporate changes
    6. What to advise the employer upon termination or resignation of the H-1B employee
    7. May an employer have the H-1B candidate pay the legal and filing fees associated with the petition?
2. Brief overview of other nonimmigrant admission categories addressing short term employment needs in the U.S.

  1. Business Visitor status (non-NAFTA)
    1. Procedures for Admission under a B-1 visa or Visa Waiver-Business
    2. What activities are permissible as a B-1 or WB Business Visitor
    3. The "B-1 in Lieu of H-1B" option
  2. H-2B Status
    1. The qualifying job and "temporary need"
    2. Process for Obtaining H-2B Status, including the Temporary Labor Certification and H-2B petition
  3. H-3 Status
    1. Designing an H-3 training program
    2. The H-3 Petition
  4. J-1 Exchange Visitor status as an employment category
    1. Examples of employment use of J-1, including Practical Training, work/travel, teaching, camp counselor, Au Pair and professor/research scholar exchanges
    2. Limitations on period of stay, and on ability to continue employment at end of program or stay in U.S. in another status
  5. F-1 Student Status as an employment category
    1. Optional and Curricular Practical Training
    2. Limitations on period of employment, and necessity to change to H-1B or another status
  6. O-1 Status for Aliens of Extraordinary Ability
    1. What is "Extraordinary Ability:" in the Arts; in Science, Education, Business or Athletics; or in Film and Television Production
    2. The O-1 petitioner and offer of employment
    3. The Peer Group Consultation
    4. Other Evidence to establish extraordinary ability
    5. O-2 Supporting personnel
    6. Procedure to Obtain O status
  7. P-1 Status for Athletes and Entertainers
    1. What athletes qualify
    2. What entertainers qualify
    3. The P-1 petitioner and offer of employment
    4. The Labor Organization Consultation
    5. Other Required Evidence
    6. The P-2 Exchange category
    7. P-3 support personnel
    8. Procedure to Obtain P status
Citations for Session 1      Citations for Session 2      Citations for Session 3


The Speakers below are the Authors of the treatise: Business Immigration Law: Strategies for Employing Foreign Nationals, published by Law Journal Press, New York, New York, 2000. For more information about this book, click here.

George N Lester is a member of the Immigration Practice Group of the Boston law firm Foley Hoag LLP. He represents U.S. employers seeking to hire foreign professionals, scientists, business persons and artists and foreign individuals applying for appropriate status to live and work in U.S. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Northeastern University School of Law. He is an active member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and regularly speaks to business, academic and continuing legal education groups on immigration issues. He is the lead author of Chapter 4, “Specialty Occupation Professionals” (a detailed discussion of the H-B program) in the treatise Business Immigration Law: Strategies for Employing Foreign Nationals, Law Journal Press, New York, New York, 2000.

Ellen Yost, is a Partner in Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, the largest U.S. law firm dedicated exclusively to the practice of global corporate immigration and nationality law. The firm's more than 180 attorneys assist their corporate clients with U.S. immigration; global work permits, residence permits and visas; regulatory compliance; immigration-related export control; in-house program support; and government affairs. Ms. Yost, who manages the Buffalo office of the firm, is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College, and of the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law where she was a member of the Law Review. She is on the Council of the American Bar Association's International Law and Practice Section, and chaired the Immigration Committee of the Section. She is the Liaison between the AILA Upstate New York Chapter and Buffalo District Office of the INS. A member of the New York and Brussels bars, she is listed in the current editions of the International Who's Who of Corporate Immigration Lawyers and Who's Who in American Law.

Rick Gump concentrates his practice in the human resources area of international law, with particular emphasis in immigration and authorized employment. Mr. Gump handled the first employer sanctions case filed in the Southwestern United States under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 ("IRCA"), and was co-counsel in the largest civil/criminal settlement in worksite compliance history. He has written and lectured on the Act numerous times from coast to coast before the American Bar Association, immigration law groups and trade associations.

Charles Kuck is an elected member of the national Board of Governors of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). He serves on various National Liaison Committees for AILA and recently completed a two-year term as the President of the Georgia-Alabama Chapter of AILA. He also chairs AILA INS Headquarter Benefits Liaision Committee. Mr. Kuck also sits on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the Latin American Association. He is the former president of the Immigration Section of the State Bar of Arizona. He was awarded the Joseph F. Minskey Young Lawyer Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Practice of Immigration Law, and is listed in Who's Who of International Corporate Immigration Attorneys. Mr. Kuck has written numerous articles on various U.S. immigration law subjects, and has spoken at various legal, industry, business, and civic organizations on a broad range of immigration topics.


$199 Seminar Package
Audio tape of Jul 29 seminar (90 minutes)
Audio tape of Aug 29 seminar (90 minutes)
Audio tape of Sep 30 seminar (90 minutes)

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Disclaimer: participation in this seminar does not create an attorney-client relationship with the speakers