Immigration

“Nunc pro tunc” Equitable Remedy for Nonimmigrant Petitions

“Nunc pro tunc” is a Latin expression which means “now for then”. In immigration law, the expression refers to the equitable remedy for noncitizens who are beneficiaries of nonimmigrant petitions (such as L-1, H-1, R-1, O-1 etc.)[1] A similar provision is available for noncitizens to whom the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) applies and who failed to pursue their permanent residence within one-year of visa availability.

US Visa Document

THE OCTOBER 2022 VISA BULLETIN RETROGRESSES FOR INDIA UNDER EB-2 CATEGORY

Reports from members have been delivered to AILA regarding the status updates of pending EB-1 and EB-2 adjustment of status applications showing as “retrogressed”.

The United States State Department has released the October 2022 Visa Bulletin. Overall, there is movement in terms of Final Action Dates and Dates for Filing. EB- 2 India retrogresses two years and EB-3 moves slightly forward 3 months.

Qualifying and Applying for Optional Practical Training or Curricular Practical Training

By: Utkarsh Sharma

Optional Practical Training – OPT

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a 12-month training period given to international students to work temporarily in the United States of America. OPT offers 12 months of work authorization for students looking to gain experience working in their field of study. Students enrolled in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) degree programs may get up to total of 3 years OPT, provided they meet all requirement for a the 24 month extension.  

OPT is classified into 2 categories:

  • Pre-Completion Optional Practical Training: Pre-completion OPT is for current students, allowing them to work prior to completing their degree program. Typically, students utilize this period for an internship or apprenticeship.
  • Post-Completion Optional Practical Training: Post-completion OPT provides work authorization from USCIS for a full-time job or internship after graduating.

Prerequisites for OPT

  • Applicants must be enrolled in a full-time program at any university in the United States.
  • Applicants are expected to submit an updated form I-20 with their Designated School Official (DSO). The student is also required to submit form I-765. The I-765 is filed with USCIS along with support documents.
  • USCIS approved the I-765, and mails the student an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
  • The start date of the OPT period will be mentioned in the EAD. Students may begin working on or after the start date and must stop once the OPT expires. In order to continue working in the United States students must apply for another form of work authorization (For Non STEM degrees) or extend their OPT (STEM Degrees) depending on the type of degree pursued.

Curricular Practical Training – CPT

International students eligible for CPT, are allowed to work for a fixed employer, in a position relevant to their field of study, while pursuing their curriculum. In order to apply for CPT, students must receive authorization from their DSO for a specified 12-month period. The DSO will provide CPT authorization through the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVIS). International students are not permitted to work in the United States without authorization.

 Eligibility for CPT

  • In order to qualify for CPT, a student must be in the United States on an F-1 Visa. The authorization will be printed on the student’s form I-20.
  • Candidate must be pursuing a minimum 1-year course from the designated university.
  • Candidate has obtained at least a training position or full-time internship.
  • Must be proficient in English.

Difference Between OPT & CPT For F-1 Students

  • International students with an F-1 or J-1 visa are eligible for both OPT and CPT
  • CPT must be completed before the applicant graduates, however, the OPT can be completed during or after graduation.
  • CPT is required to relate to the applicant’s current curriculum and applies to paid or unpaid internships and education programs with a specific employer, however there is no need for a specific employer with OPT.
  • CPT is only valid for 12-months but OPT may be extended to 24 months if the applicant’s field of study is in an eligible STEM program
  • OPT applicants do not need an employment letter or offer to receive work authorization however CPT applicants need, a valid offer of employment to gain authorization from their DSO.

Conclusion

Understanding the requirements and applying for OPT or CPT can be a confusing process. To discuss which program will be right for you, assistance applying for work authorization, or case-specific questions, contact the trusted Chugh, LLP immigration team.

Disclaimer

Switching Employers for H-1B Visa Holders

H-1B Visa is a temporary non-immigrant visa that allows U.S companies and employers to temporarily hire nonimmigrants to work in “Specialty Occupations”. The “Specialty Occupation” requires application of  highly specialized knowledge. The nonimmigrants  working in specialty occupations are foreign professionals, possessing a bachelor’s or higher degree from an accredited college or university in the United States, or in equivalent in their country of origin.

B-1 and B-2 Visa Interviews

B-1 and B-2 visas are   non-immigrant temporary visas allowing individuals to travel to United States for business or tourism. B-1 and B-2 visas can be awarded for up to a period of ten years and permit multiple entries to the country.

Which Employers are Exempt from the H-1B Cap?

The regular H-1B cap visa lottery allots 65,000 H-1B visas to foreign skilled workers each year, with an additional 20,000 visas available for master’s degree holders. Employees can only receive an H-1B visa if their registration is selected in the lottery.

US No Longer Requires a Negative COVID-19 Test for International Air Travelers

The United States government will no longer require international air travelers to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test before boarding their flight to the US. International travelers departing from their point of origin on or after June 12, 2022, at 12:01 AM EDT will no longer have to submit a negative COVID-19 test pre-departure when arriving to the United States from a foreign country.

USCIS and NARA Subject to Lawsuit Aiming to End Naturalization Application Delays

A lawsuit was filed on May 25, 2022 against United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) for unreasonable delays in processing applications for naturalization. The plaintiffs in this case are current US lawful permanent residents who applied for naturalization to become US citizens in 2020 and who still have not been naturalized.

USCIS to Adjust Its Interpretation of Three and 10-Year Bars of Inadmissibility

As a result of a lawsuit, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) intends to no longer force adjustment of status applicants to leave the United States during their period of inadmissibility. Additionally, USCIS will not reject adjustment of status applications if an applicant was in the United States during the period of inadmissibility without a waiver. The new policy interpretation is still being finalized by the Department of Homeland Security and new USCIS guidance is expected soon.

Premium Processing Expanded to include Certain Form I-140 Petitioners

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is expanding the premium processing program to include certain Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker applicants under the EB-1 and EB-2 classifications. Currently the expansion only applies to previously filed Form I-140s. USCIS will not accept new Form I-140s with premium processing requests.

How to Qualify for O-1A Visas

The O-1 nonimmigrant visa is designed for foreign nationals with extraordinary abilities in a variety of fields including sciences, education, and business. Individuals must apply for the correct O-1 visa subcategory based on their qualifications.

EB-5 Visa Regional Center Program Extended Through September 2027

The EB-5 Regional Center Program has been officially extended through September 30, 2027 by Congress’s EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022. The policy also increases the minimum investment required EB-5 visas, and sets aside part of the annual EB-5 immigrant visa quota for rural areas, high unemployment areas, and infrastructure projects.

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