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Transcending BordersSM

March 2023

In this issue:

Immigration Policy News

Firm News

Immigration Policy News

H-1B Cap Exempt Options

By, Nikki Whetstone, Attorney

You weren’t selected in this year’s H-1B Cap lottery. What next? Many know about the H-1B Cap lottery held annually in March with about a 1 in 3 chance of selection. If selected, an employer can file an H-1B petition on the employee’s behalf for a start date no earlier than October 1st. However, for those who were not selected in the H-1B Cap lottery, an H-1B cap exempt petition may be an option.


Can I Work For My Foreign Employer While Physically Present In The U.S.? 

By, Becki Young, Partner

We are regularly asked by our clients—both those in non-work-authorized statuses such as B (tourist or business) and those in work-authorized statuses such as H-1B (specialty occupation) who want to do side jobs—whether they can perform remote work for a foreign employer while physically present in the U.S.  

This is a grey area of immigration law, but based on a review of relevant legal precedent and practice, we believe the best answer is “NO” because: 

Read more…

DOS Takes Steps to Attract STEM Talent

By, Avianna Davies, Legal Intern

The Department of State (DOS) has taken steps to make it easier for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) businesses in the U.S. to hire qualified foreign students and graduates. The Early Career STEM Research Initiative allows businesses to proactively recruit international STEM students and graduates and host them as J-1 exchange visitors.

In a statement released by the White House, STEM talent is identified as “critical to the prosperity, security, and health of the Nation.” This initiative is also meant to broaden eligibility for O visas and National Interest Waivers for people in STEM fields. According to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), this initiative is geared towards people with advanced STEM degrees concentrated in “focused critical and emerging technologies,” “other STEM areas important to U.S. competitiveness,” and “national security.”

The Biden administration already announced policy changes aimed at attracting foreign STEM talent earlier this year, including the expansion of the STEM Optional Practical Training (OPT) program and more. 

Premium Processing for Certain F-1 Students Seeking OPT or STEM OPT Extensions

By, Avianna Davies, Legal Intern

USCIS announced recently that their premium processing upgrade will be expanded to certain F-1 students.

Beginning March 6, USCIS will accept Form I-907 requests for F-1 students who already have a pending Form I-765 and are filing for OPT or STEM OPT extensions.

Beginning April 3, USCIS will also accept Form I-907 requests for F-1 students who concurrently file Form I-765 and are in the Pre-Completion OPT, Post-Completion OPT, or 24-month Extension for OPT for STEM students category. The addition of online filing for Form I-907 brings the total number of forms available for online filing to 16.

This expansion of premium processing helps to “streamline the immigration experience” for international students and is part of USCIS’ continuing development of a more efficient immigration system. 

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Firm News

Sofia Hassander Joins the SACC-DC Board

GYH is proud to announce that Attorney Sofia Hassander was recently elected as a Board Member for the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce in Washington, DC (SACC-DC)! Hassander writes:

“As an immigration attorney, I am very excited to work with an organization that is committed to promoting trade and investment between Sweden and the United States, while also fostering cultural exchange and networking opportunities for its members.

SACC-DC's mission of fostering stronger economic ties between Sweden and the United States aligns perfectly with my work as an immigration attorney, where I help individuals and businesses navigate the complexities of the U.S. immigration system to achieve their goals. By joining the SACC-DC board, I am looking forward to being part of an organization that is making a meaningful impact in strengthening the transatlantic relationship and promoting international cooperation.

I am honored to be joining such an esteemed organization and I look forward to working with my fellow board members to help SACC-DC achieve its mission.”

The firm looks forward to working more closely with the SACC and supporting the Swedish community in the U.S. 

Introducing the Interpol Resources Page!

We are thrilled to announce the release of our website’s new Interpol Resources page, which tracks evolving case law regarding treatment of Red Notices in the U.S. and provides statistics and reports on stopping transnational repression! Despite recent efforts to improve transparency, Interpol remains an opaque institution. Reports of autocratic regimes using Interpol’s system as a tool for transnational repression are on the rise. We hope this page will help attorneys, clients, and human rights activists understand the meaning and impact of Red Notices and how to best defend against the illegitimate use of Interpol.

We will be continuously updating this page with critical resources and developments so be sure to check back periodically. 

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