Agenda: Tuesday, July 21st 

Fundamentals

Professional Visas: Overview of the H-1B and Alternatives 10:00 am–11:00 am ET

Professional Visas: Overview of the H-1B and Alternatives

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Overview

The H-1B visa has been called the workhorse of the nonimmigrant work visas. It is the most common work visa, and the most versatile. However, it also comes with many restrictions and traps for new practitioners. Panelists in this fundamentals session will provide an overview of the H-1B visa category, as well as other, similar work visa categories.
Agenda and Speakers

  • H-1B: The Workhorse
  • H-1B1: What Singapore and Chile Have in Common
  • E-3: Australians on Their Own
  • Drafting the Job Description and Minimum Requirements
  • Determining the Prevailing Wage and Drafting the Labor Condition Application
  • The Special Category: TN for Mexicans and Canadians

Monika V. Szabo (DL), Toronto, Canada
Tiffany Chang Wu, Irvine, CA
Ian David Wagreich, Chicago, IL

Employment-Based Immigration Preference Categories 11:30 am–12:30 pm ET

Employment-Based Immigration Preference Categories

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Overview

Panelists will provide a basic overview of the immigrant visa preference categories, numerical limitations, the Visa Bulletin, and other key concepts relating to the employment-based (EB) immigration process.
Agenda and Speakers

  • EB-1: Multinational Executives and Managers, Extraordinary Ability Aliens, and Outstanding Researchers/Professors
  • EB-2: National Interest Waivers, Aliens of Exceptional Ability, Professionals Holding Advanced Degrees
  • EB-3: Professionals, Skilled, Unskilled, and Other Workers
  • EB-4: Special Immigrants
  • EB-5: Investors

Michelle A. Ross (DL), AILA Connecticut Chapter Chair, Wilton, CT
Meena Rafie, Washington, DC
Michelle L. Salter, Seattle, WA

Labor Certification 101 1:15 pm–2:15 pm ET

Labor Certification 101

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Overview

The employment-based permanent residence process generally requires the U.S. employer to first obtain a certification from DOL that it has been unable to find willing, qualified, and available U.S. workers for the position to be offered to the sponsored foreign national. Panelists on Part I of this two-part session will discuss the basic concepts and steps associated with DOL’s PERM process for preparing and filing applications for labor certification.
Agenda and Speakers

  • The Steps and Timeframes of the Labor Certification Application Process
  • The Job Description and Identification of “Actual Minimum Requirements”
  • Prevailing Wage: What It Is, How and When to Obtain It
  • ETA Form 9089: Employer Registration, Attorney Registration, and Preparing and Filing the Form
  • Roles of the Various Stakeholders: Immigration Lawyer, Company Contact, Foreign National’s Manager, and Foreign National

Andrew L. Wizner (DL), Hartford, CT
Hadeel Abouhasira, Richmond, VA
Robin O’Donoghue, Cambridge, MA
Tifani M. Parrilli, Portland, OR

Labor Certification 102 2:45 pm–3:45 pm ET

Labor Certification 102

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Overview

Recruitment is a key component of the labor certification process and must be conducted with scrupulous attention to the regulations and FAQs. Panelists on Part II of this two-part session will offer guidance on DOL-mandated recruitment and post-recruitment documentation to help practitioners successfully navigate the PERM recruitment process.
Agenda and Speakers

  • Recruitment Timeline and Deadlines, Required Content for Recruitment Steps
  • Mandatory Recruitment: Newspaper of General Circulation, State Job Order, and Notice of Filing
  • Supplemental Recruitment: Websites, Career Centers, Employee Referral Programs (ERPs), Local Papers, and Other Alternatives
  • Reviewing Resumes and Documenting the Employer’s Effective Analysis of Applicants’ Qualifications
  • Maintaining Evidence of Recruitment, Recruitment Report, the Audit File, and Document Retention

Fausta M. Albi (DL), San Diego, CA
Courtney Rineer, Orlando, FL
Emily Wilson, Oakland, CA

Form I-9 Audits and Enforcement Actions 4:15 pm–5:15 pm ET

Form I-9 Audits and Enforcement Actions

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Overview

Employer compliance and enforcement issues have grown dramatically under the current administration, with a four– to five-fold increase in audits and site visits alone. Staying informed on the latest information regarding these issues are more important than ever. This panel of experts will review the latest developments in I-9 audits and enforcement actions, discuss best practices for dealing with them, and identify strategies to mitigate fines and penalties.
Agenda and Speakers

  • Anatomy of an I-9 Audit
  • Anatomy of an I-9 Raid: How to Protect the Employer
  • Conflicts of Interest
  • Overview of DOJ’s Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) and Its Jurisdiction
  • Best Practices for Employers in the I-9 Context: Complying with DOJ’s Immigration Discrimination and Document Abuse Issues

Kimberley B. Robidoux (DL), San Diego, CA
Kevin R. Lashus, Austin, TX
Maria del Carmen Ramos, Tampa, FL
Eileen M.G. Scofield, Atlanta, GA

Asylum 101 5:45 pm–6:45 pm ET

Asylum 101

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Overview

Asylum cases are not for the faint of heart. What are the fundamental elements of asylum? What harm rises to the level of persecution? How do you demonstrate the government’s inability to protect your client? Panelists on this fundamentals session will help you answer these and other questions related to asylum practice.
Agenda and Speakers

  • Persecution: What Harm Is Severe Enough?
  • The Five Protected Grounds: What Are They, and How Do They Show Your Client’s Persecution Was Based on One of Those Grounds?
  • Government Inability or Unwillingness to Protect: How to Demonstrate That Your Client’s Government Can’t Assist Them
  • Use of Country Conditions Evidence and Expert Witnesses
  • The Importance of Being Informed About the Latest Legal Developments in the Ever-Shifting World of Asylum Eligibility

Renee C. Redman (DL), New Haven, CT
Valeria Gomez, Hartford, CT
Kathryn R. Weber, Chicago, IL
Matthew Weisner, San Francisco, CA

Business Track

“Ch-Ch-Changes”: Regulatory, Policy, and Adjudications 10:00 am–11:00 am ET

“Ch-Ch-Changes”: Regulatory, Policy, and Adjudications

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Overview

The current administration has us all “Under Pressure.” Panelists on this all-levels session will discuss recent regulatory and policy changes. They also will provide strategies for advising clients in this time of rapidly changing regulations and policies. “Let’s Dance” (and be “Heroes” for our clients)!
Agenda and Speakers

  • Current Regulations and Agency Memoranda
  • Adjudication Trends at USCIS, CBP, and Consulates
  • Trends in RFEs

Elizabeth Chatham (DL), Phoenix, AZ
Michael R. Jarecki, AILA Board of Governors, Chicago, IL
William Anthony Diaz, London, UK
Matthew D. Stump, Oklahoma City, OK

Battling the Invisible Wall: Current Border Practices in North America—Preclearance, Global Entry, E-Safe, and More 11:30 am–12:30 pm ET

Battling the Invisible Wall: Current Border Practices in North America—Preclearance, Global Entry, E-Safe, and More

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Overview

This intermediate to advanced session is designed for attendees who work with Canadians and Mexicans to meet the business needs of employers. Panelists will provide updates on U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP’s) current practices, including an update on the e-SAFE waiver process. In addition, they will address current trends in inadmissibility challenges being faced for those using legacy NAFTA regulations, and provide an update on the USMCA.
Agenda and Speakers

  • Implementation of e-SAFE
  • Transition of Subsequent L Applications and the Intermittent Exception
  • USCIS Pilot Program Extension
  • Trade NAFTA Occupation Interpretations: CBP vs. DOS
  • Use of the Southern Border for Canadians* Update on USMCA Implementation
  • Land Border Closures and “Essential” Work

Alexis S. Axelrad (DL), AILA Board of Governors/CBP Liaison Committee Chair, New York, NY
Leslie A. Holman, AILA Past President, Burlington, VT
Ramon E. Curiel, AILA Latin America Chapter Chair/CBP Liaison Committee Vice Chair, San Antonio, TX
Helena Tetzeli, Miami, FL

Impact of COVID-19 on Immigration and the Employment Lifecycle 1:15 pm–2:15 pm ET

Impact of COVID-19 on Immigration and the Employment Lifecycle

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Overview

COVID-19 has exacted deleterious effects on virtually every facet of the American economy (save, possibly, for the alcoholic beverage industry). The U.S. immigration system, including employers who help sustain our economy by hiring immigrants, has been hit particularly hard, suffering not only from the blows inflicted by COVID-19, but also from attacks by the current administration, which seeks to exploit the pandemic to further its anti-immigration agenda. Speakers in this session will address the impact of COVID-19 on immigration through the employment lifecycle generally, and discuss in detail the novel issues employers of immigrants now face: delayed start dates for individuals on OPT, changes in work conditions, issues caused by remote employment, furloughs and terminations, etc. Speakers also will review the latest information on consular and USCIS appointments, administrative policy changes, and executive orders.
Agenda and Speakers

  • Cap subject H-1B issues: OPT Unemployment, Delayed Start Dates, Consular Processing Issues, Rescinded Job Offers
  • Changes in Work Conditions: Impact on NIV and IV Applications
  • Furloughs, Terminations, Grace Periods, and Unemployment Insurance
  • Employment Verification Issues
  • Latest Updates: Executive Orders, Policy Changes, Agency Operations

Amy L. Peck (DL), Omaha, NE
Lori T. Chesser, Des Moines, IA
David Grunblatt, New York, NY

Strategies for Managing and Winning RFEs and NOIDs 2:45 pm–3:45 pm ET

Strategies for Managing and Winning RFEs and NOIDs

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Overview

Panelists on this intermediate session will focus upon current RFE and Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) trends in the nonimmigrant and immigrant visa context. They also will provide guidance on how to address many of the most common and/or difficult requests made by USCIS. Emphasis will be placed on how to work with clients to develop winning strategies.
Agenda and Speakers

  • Anatomy of an RFE: How to Read What It Says and Understand What It Means
  • Legal Sources, Recent Case Law, and Techniques in Drafting a Successful RFE Response
  • Encouraging Your Client to Think Outside the Box in Providing New Evidence
  • Strategies for Responding to the “Over the Top” RFE, Including Misapplication of Law and Misstatement of Material Facts
  • Challenges to the RFE and Resubmission of Evidence: When Is This a Good Tactic?
  • When the RFE Wins: Is the Best Approach to Withdraw and Resubmit?

Diane M. Butler (DL), AILA Board of Governors/Membership Committee Chair, Seattle, WA
Eleanor Pelta, AILA Past President, Washington, DC
Elaine M. Kumpula, 2020 Annual Conference Business Chair, Minneapolis, MN

H-1B Cap Season Redux: Looking Back and Moving Forward 4:15 pm–5:15 pm ET

H-1B Cap Season Redux: Looking Back and Moving Forward

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Overview

The quota on H-1B visas is a reality that every employer must face each year, with each cap season coming with its own trials and tribulations. Panelists will discuss what (if anything) was learned from this year’s cap season, identify other options that may be open to employers hoping to employ professional foreign workers, and address late-breaking H-1B issues.
Agenda and Speakers

  • H-1B Pre-Registration, Lessons from FY 20
  • Exemptions from the Cap: Is an H-1B Still Possible?
  • Other NIV Options, or Straight to Permanent Residence
  • Cap-Gap Issues: Work, Travel, and Other Complications
  • To Premium Process or Not to Premium Process: Strategies, Risks, and Other Annoyances to Consider

Amy Erlbacher-Anderson (DL), Omaha, NE
Kevin W. Miner, AILA Board of Governors, Atlanta, GA
Vincent W. Lau, AILA DOL Liaison Committee Vice Chair, Cambridge, MA
Vic Goel, Reston, VA

Updates on PERM, FAQs, and BALCA Decisions 5:45 pm–6:45 pm ET

Updates on PERM, FAQs, and BALCA Decisions

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Overview

This panel is designed for all levels to provide an overview of recent and anticipated changes coming from DOL that might impact the labor certification program and process. Come hear our experts speak on the latest developments affecting your practice.
Agenda and Speakers

  • Updates to PERM-Related Systems
  • Trends Gleaned from Recent DOL Audits, Denials, and Liaison
  • Review of Recent PERM-Related FAQs
  • Trends in Recent BALCA Decisions

Bob White (DL), Schaumburg, IL
Magaly R. Cheng, Cambridge, MA
Catherine L. Haight, Marina Del Rey, CA
Linda Rose, Nashville, TN

Other Trainings & Events

Yoga and Mindfulness Meditation 8:30 AM–9:30 AM ET

Q&A: Fundamentals Bootcamp 11:30 AM–12:30 PM ET

Demo: LawPay 2:20 PM–2:35 PM ET

Q&A: Advanced Family Track 2:45 PM–3:45 PM ET

Q&A: DACA Updates 4:15 PM–5:15 PM ET

Law Student Networking Event 5:30 PM–7:00 PM ET

Q&A: Public Charge 5:45 PM–6:45 PM ET

AILA’s Immigration Trivia Night 8:00 PM–10:00 PM ET

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