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Dear Sophie: What does the new online classes rule mean for F-1 students?

Sophie Alcorn

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Sophie Alcorn is the founder of Alcorn Immigration Law in Silicon Valley and 2019 Global Law Experts Awards’ “Law Firm of the Year in California for Entrepreneur Immigration Services.” She connects people with the businesses and opportunities that expand their lives.

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Here’s another copy of “Dear Sophie, ” the advice column that explanations immigration-related questions about is currently working on technology companies.

“Your questions are vital to the spread of lore that allows people all over the world to rise above strips and are able to carry on their dreams, ” says Sophie Alcorn, a Silicon Valley migration lawyer. “Whether you’re in parties ops, a founder or aiming a hassle in Silicon Valley, I would love to answer your questions in my next column.”

“Dear Sophie” articles are accessible for Extra Crunch customers; use promo code ALCORN to purchase a one- or two-year subscription for 50% off.

Dear Sophie:

One of our founders is located at the U.S. on an F-1 STEM OPT. Our company is patronizing her for an H-1B visa, and we recently received an RFE.

What does yesterday’s F-1 visa international student migration proclamation means for her? Is the H-1B going to be denied? Do we need a backup? What should we do?

–Concerned in Cupertino

Dear Concerned 😛 TAGEND

To find out if an F-1 student is affected by the Trump administration’s international student disallow, watch my latest YouTube Live. For more on the H-1B visa ban, satisfy read last week’s Dear Sophie column.

International students have been allowed to take online classifies during the spring and summer due to the COVID-1 9 crisis, but that will end this twilight. The brand-new prescribe will pressure countless international students at class that are only offering remote online first-class to find an “immigration plan B” or differ the U.S. before the precipitate term to avoid being deported.

At numerous top universities, international students make up more than 20% of the student torso. Harmonizing to NAFSA, international students contributed $41 billion to the U.S. economy and subscribed or composed 458,000 positions during the course of its 2018 -2 019 school year. Apparently, the current administration is continuing to “throw out the babe with the bathwater” when it comes to immigration.

Universities are clambering as they struggle with this newfound fallacious fix. Do they stay online only to keep their students safe and power their international students to leave their homes in its own country? Or do they reopen to save their students from eviction, but settled their communities’ health at risk?

For students, it makes ascertaining another institution, clambering to figure out a course to vary the Commonwealth( when some home countries will not even allow them to return ), or figuring out an “immigration plan B.” Yesterday’s video explores F-1 visa alternatives.

Fortunately, since your co-founder is on OPT, I don’t make the latest F-1 restrictions will affect her based on my initial predict of the tiny bit of info that ran out of U.S. Migration and Customs Enforcement( ICE) yesterday and the slightly broader SEVIS broadcast message guidance for institutions.( “For the descend 2020 semester, continuing F and M students who are already in the United Nation may remain in Active status in SEVIS if they conclude ordinary progress in a program of study, or are engaged in approved practical civilize, either as part of a program of study or to be completed of a programme designed of study.”)

On the RFE front, I don’t know if it’s any convenience, but you’re surely not alone: The percentage of H-1B petitioners that receive a Request for Evidence( RFE) has virtually doubled since 2016. Nearly 21% of petitioners received an RFE in fiscal year 2016 compared to more than 40% in 2019. During the first two districts of this fiscal year, 41% of all H-1B petitions received an RFE. Check out my podcast because we’ll be dealing RFEs, Applications for Initial Indicate( RFIEs) and Notices of Intent to Deny( NOIDs) soon.

Just to be totally clear in answer to your first question: No, coming an RFE does not mean your H-1B application is more likely to be denied. In fact, an RFE offers a final opportunity to strengthen your application for endorsement. Because the stakes are so high-pitched, I recommend consulting with an experienced immigration lawyer when crafting a response to an RFE.

Make sure U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Business( USCIS) receives your response to the RFE by the deadline etched on the RFE. Last week, USCIS spread its deadlines: The deadline for RFEs published between March 1 and Sept. 11 is automatically extended by 60 calendar periods after the due date due to the COVID-1 9 crisis and the budget shortfall facing the agency. If your response is not received by the deadline, USCIS will disclaim your company’s H-1B petition.

You ever want to make sure you understand exactly what added proof USCIS is seeking from you. Check your original lotion parcel to make sure that the requested document or indication was not included. Sometimes, USCIS mistakenly neglects message already submitted. If that’s the event, resubmit the requested document in your response package. If you can’t accommodate a requested document, explain why and furnish alternative attest if possible. Otherwise, provide such documents or evidence as requested.

Among the top reasons why USCIS questions an RFE are for failing to show that the position modifies as a specialty occupation or that a valid employer-employee relationship exists. If the RFE you received is for either of these reasons, here’s a immediate remembrance of what USCIS is seeking for each requirement.

To qualify for an H-1B visa, your petition must have demonstrated to USCIS that the position sought by the international professional is a specialty occupation. You should have provided evidence that the job expects the understanding and application of highly specialized knowledge and that it often requires at least a bachelor’s degree — or equivalent ordeal — in a particular specialty. In recent years, USCIS has narrowed its interpretation of what certifies as a specialty occupation. For speciman, it no longer considers computer programming to be a specialty occupation. USCIS has also challenged importances that don’t require a bachelor’s degree and arrangements with titles such as computer systems analyst, monetary psychoanalyst, market research analyst and human resources manager.

Making the speciman that an employer-employee relationship exists is knotty when it involves a founder working for the company she facilitated create. An supervisor must show that it will control the work of the H-1B beneficiary. For benefactors, that intends someone at the company — either the board of directors or a co-founder — would have to supervise the H-1B beneficiary and have the authority to fire the individual. There are lots of ways to set this up properly.

Once all the evidence and documents required to respond to the RFE are ready, they should all be submitted together in a single response container with the original reproduce of the RFE as the first page. Save a imitate of the response parcel for your records and send the response to the correct location using tracking and evidence of transmission options.

Given that U.S. embassies and consulates abroad have stopped issuing visas and green cards under the executive proclamations issued on April 22 and June 22 and due to the ongoing COVID-1 9-related cros controls, your co-founder should remain in the U.S. for the foreseeable future.

For long-term immigration security for your co-founder, your startup should consider sponsoring her for one of the following green cards if she modifies 😛 TAGEND

EB-1A green card for individuals with exceptional ability. EB-2 NIW( National Interest Waiver) green card, which is ideal for startup founders. EB-2 green card for individuals with an advanced degree or exceptional ability, which requires a time-consuming PERM labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor. EB-5 investor green card, for which your busines could cater your co-founder with the investment funds for this option.

Apparently the Trump administration is not yet done with its efforts to further restrict legal immigration. They are taking a look at whether beings currently under the U.S. on H-1B visas, as well as EB-2 green cards and EB-3 green cards limit opportunities for U.S. proletarians. Further restrictions or even expanded moratoriums may be put into place. Of course, I’ll cover it all here if and when it happens.

Let me know if you have more specific questions about an RFE. Good luck!

–Sophie

Have a question? Ask it here . We reserve the right to edit your submission for clarity and/ or opening. The information provided in “Dear Sophie” is general information and not legal advice. For more information on the limitations of “Dear Sophie, ” please view our full rejection here. You can contact Sophie instantly at Alcorn Immigration Law.

Sophie’s podcast, Immigration Law for Tech Startups, is available on all major podcast platforms. If you’d like to be a guest, she’s abiding lotions !

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