Complex changes, new rules and vast numbers make immigration a minefield. We dispel the myths to make sure your clients get it right.
Navigating the perplexing immigration and visa rules can be challenging at the best of times, after two years of closure and new rules in every region, today’s immigration lawyers face an uphill battle.
Immigration policies are written to suit the requirements of the country, and given today’s current socio-economic and political climate the rules in each region are constantly changing. It’s up to you, as the immigration lawyer, to stay up to date and guide your clients for the right visa path for their employees.
And with a fixed number of visas per country and a specific route to gaining a visa, getting it wrong can cost more than just dollars; without the right resources and skills in place, your clients will struggle to grow and drive revenue.
But there are trip hazards everywhere and a huge number of visas to process. That’s why we’ve dispelled the five most common myths around the visa process in the busiest regions (US, UK, and Canada):
O-1 Visa (US)
Myth: O-1 visa is for famous people and artists only
It can be self-petitioned.
A person can permanently move to the US with this visa
Fact: O-1 visa is a temporary visa for individuals with extraordinary skills in any field
It requires a sponsor
A person cannot move permanently to the US with O-1 because it grants temporary status only
The green card process must be followed to move permanently
Myth: A company must be in business in the US for at least one year before transferring an employee on L-1.
Fact: There is an exception to this rule. It is the new office regulationrule that allows a managerial, executive or specialised knowledge resource to apply for this visa to start operations at a new office.
Myth: H-1B visas are available throughout the year
The wage levels are very cheap
Once the H-1B is approved, a person can start working immediately
H-1B has a cap of 85,000 petitions every year under the Regular and Master’s degree quota. There is a pre-registration process that opens on March 1st and is available till March 18th. Selected petitions in the lottery can file their H-1B from the 1st of April, usually within a 90-day window.
H-1B workers are highly skilled workers and they must be paid a standard prevailing wage or greater salary. It varies from county to county and on the employee’s experience.
Once an H-1B is approved, the person is allowed to work from October 1st or a later date of that fiscal year.
Tier 1 Investor Visa: (UK)
Myth: You obtain British citizenship once you invest in this program and are granted this visa
Fact: This visa is a path to apply, but doesn’t guarantee citizenship every time. To obtain citizenship, a person must adhere to the rules and follow the application process.
Permanent Residence Status: (Canada)
Myth: Permanent residence visa expires once the card expires
Fact: The status of the person as a permanent resident doesn’t expire, but it must be renewed when the card is near expiry.
For successful applications, it is not just about knowing the details of each type of visa, it’s also about keeping up to date with the ongoing changes in each region. We wrote an Immigration 2022: policies and predictions whitepaper which details all the major changes occurring in the US, UK and Canada this year to help you stay informed.
According to SpendEdge’s recent Immigration Services Sourcing and Intelligence Report, the immigration services market will register an incremental spend of about $ 15.55bn during 2022-26 and grow at a CAGR of 5.67% during the same period.
And, as more organizations realize the benefits of freeing up their in-house attorneys, or higher fee-earning lawyers to focus on more complicated and profitable areas, the popularity of outsourcing business immigration services will continue to increase, giving those companies a competitive advantage with more available resources and a skilled global workforce.
About the Author
Exigent is a legal and technology services provider breaking industry boundaries and raising the bar for data-driven decision-making. With a powerful combination of technology, legal expertise and business acumen, Exigent creates expert solutions that drive better legal and business outcomes for law firms and corporations. Whether it is leveraging AI for contract management and due diligence or providing expert witnesses and medical legal support or serving as an outsourcing partner, Exigent delivers scale, expertise and insights that generate bigger returns for our clients