Year-End Border Recap

Year-End Border Recap

Following an eventful summer, Berardi Immigration Law has continued to successfully present clients’ cases before Customs & Border Protection (CBP) at the Peace Bridge port of entry. Since September 1, our team has entered an impressive 64 border appearances, each of which was quickly approved. While most of these appearances involved TN and L-1 applications, our firm also presented uncommon matters before CBP.

New Petition Following Corporate Name Change

A corporate client recently acquired a new business entity, resulting in a corporate name change for the acquired entity. An employee of the acquired entity had previously been approved for TN status on behalf of that entity, but subsequently became an employee of our corporate client following the acquisition. The client turned to us to resolve this discrepancy. Technically, a corporate entity does not need to file a new petition following corporate restructuring as long as (1) the new corporate entity assumes the underlying interests and duties of the acquired entity and (2) the terms and conditions of employee’s employment remain the same. Even if both of these prongs are met, the employee would still need to present a detailed letter and corporate documentation from his or her employer upon each entry to the U.S. to clarify the change in employer. Since the employee in this case was nearing the end of his original approval period, it was ultimately best to submit a new application, thereby avoiding future issues at the border. The employee was approved for the requested three-year-period.

Permanent Resident Status for American Indians

Under the Jay Treaty, any Canadian-born individual with at least 50% American Indian blood may be eligible for a U.S. green card. Qualifying individuals may submit this application through the mail to USCIS or directly with CBP at a U.S. port of entry. Last month, we submitted two applications at the Peace Bridge on behalf of a man and his young daughter who met the qualifying criteria. After presenting the associated regulations and their evidence of eligibility, both individuals were approved in less than an hour and their green card documents are currently being produced.

Final L-1A Approval Period

Per regulation, a foreign national is entitled to spend seven years in the U.S. in L-1A status. Once this period expires, the individual must depart the U.S. for one full year before applying for a new seven-year-period of L-1A status. If an individual has spent less than 183 days in the U.S. during the previous year, however, he or she is able to continue extending his or her L-1A status beyond the seventh year. A few of the clients we took to the Peace Bridge were renewing their L-1A status for the final time. We advised all periodic-border-crossers to carefully monitor their upcoming travel to qualify for the 183-day exception in the future. For those clients who live full-time in the U.S. in L-1A status, we advised each on their need to either (1) depart the U.S. after the seventh year or (2) to review their eligibility for a U.S. green card.

 

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As you could imagine, no two immigration applications are ever exactly alike. Without the assistance of a knowledgeable immigration attorney, the nuances in each case could prove disastrous when preparing and/or submitting a petition. Thus, it is best to seek guidance from an attorney who can properly screen, prepare, and present your case. If you have immigration-related issues or questions, please schedule a consultation with one of our immigration attorneys today and cross the border with confidence!

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