Grasmick's U.S. Business Immigration News for Canadians-1998 Archives, Jan.-June
(June 26, 1998)
(June 25, 1998)
This morning I was surprised by a front page newspaper article Terrorism fear bolsters case for checkpoints. The article revealed unexpected opposition to efforts to kill off proposed section 110 border checkpoints. (See Fierce New Border Controls below for background.) Advocates of these checkpoints use a novel argument.
Today's Buffalo News reports:
(June 22, 1998)Here is my recent e-mail to a potential TN Management Consultant reader:
(June 22, 1998)
The new good news: The State Dept. is now approving residency applications for certain health professionals. These applications have been held in abeyance pursuant to a new immigration law.
The bad news: Others are still held. Look at the table to see where you or your employee stand:
See prior News articles for more information about new health profession rules.
»Analysis« (June 22, 1998)
Here is more information about TN/Green Card Dual Intent.
Renewing a TN while applying for a Green Card is tricky, but doable. American Immigration Lawyer's Association labor expert Steve Clark reports his strategy in the AILA Monthly Mailing Labor Practice Advisory:
Maintaining legal TN status while pursuing a Green Card is not a do it yourself project. Furthermore, this strategy is not for everyone. Make sure you are represented by immigration counsel at every step.
(June 22, 1998)
Here is another reason to exchange your Green Card for dual citizenship: U.S. citizens do not have to carry proof of citizenship. In contrast, INS feels that permanent residents must always carry their green cards.
Recent events in Southern Florida (where there are now 1+ million Canadians) show the significance of this difference. The Miami Herald recently reported that
INS naturalization delays have increased dramatically. If you are eligible ask us to start your application now. Review the citizenship page for other advantages and eligibility requirements.
(June 22, 1998)
An astute reader found a new resource: United States Department of Labor Office of Administrative Law Judges Law Library Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT). That site contains the full text of all of the job descriptions from the huge Dictionary.
The Website isn't new. It has been on our Links page for some time. What is new is a search engine that works! Previously, it was tough---if not impossible---to find the description you were looking for. The DOT is voluminous. Without a search engine the data might as well have been in an INS file drawer.
That site facilitates many goals. For example, compare your potential TN profession with a DOT job description to see the fit. See if your prospective employee can get a border work permit on the spot.
(June 22, 1998)
Opposition increases to Section 110 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRAIRA).
Section 110 requires the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), no later than September 30, 1998, to develop and implement an automated system of entry and exit controls for every non-U.S. citizen coming into and leaving the United States. If implemented, Section 110 will cause interminable traffic congestion and back-ups at the borders. This in turn will have a serious and negative impact on trade, tourism, and the U.S. economy. Section 110 will be a burden to U.S. citizens and visitors alike.
The Puget Sound Business Journal puts this into perspective:
Senator Spencer Abraham (R-MI) and Representative John LaFalce (D-NY) have introduced "The Border Improvement and Immigration Act of 1997" (S.1360/H.R.2955).
The purpose: remedy the serious and negative consequences of Section 110.
The Abraham/LaFalce bill would:
Congressional support for the bill is growing. Many Members of Congress have cosponsored the legislation.
Many influential organizations support the bill. Here is a partial list: American Trucking Associations, Association of American Railroads, Bellingham City Council, Border Trade Alliance (AZ), Can/Am Border Trade Alliance, Chrysler Corporation, County Executives of America, Detroit Regional Chamber, Ford Motor Company, National Governors Association, Pacific Northwest Economic Region, Republican Governors Association, and Travel Industry Association of America.
AILA is working with these and other groups to oppose Section 110 and support the Abraham/LaFalce bill. This information is courtesy of that organization.
(June 22, 1998)
According to Red Street Consulting's principals Rick Klau and Erik Heels:
Sites were reviewed multiple times in the review process. The reviews considered substantive content, page layout, navigation elements, and interactive elements.
The announcement of our listing was made at the American Bar Association's annual TechShow conference in Chicago, IL. The announcement coincided with publication of a new book by Red Street Consulting's principals Rick Klau and Erik Heels, Law on the Internet: The Best Legal Web Sites and More.
(June 22, 1998)I appreciate this message from a thoughtful reader, about Social Security Card eligibility:
(June 22, 1998)
"Why should we go through the hassle of hiring a Canadian for the job?"
This is a question many employers ask when receiving a job application from Canada. It is also a question answered at the FAQ. To their own detriment employers do not always have this answer. To the applicant's detriment some employers will not even consider a Canadian's resume.
I estimate that thousands of good employee-employer matches could have been made had this information been available.
To disseminate this information I made an easy to print webpage containing the answer to this question. This is in response to requests from many of you who report that printing the entire FAQ is unwieldy. (Employers are often too busy to read the entire FAQ anyway.)
Look for the blue table on the FAQ, or follow the link now:
If this page is useful I will make other short pages. Likely candidates:
What do you think? Which sections of this Website would be particularly useful to print and pass along?
»Analysis« (June 22, 1998)
What is the difference between a programmer and a programmer/analyst?
This difference is critical. System analysts---including programmer/analysts--- qualify for the quick border TN. Programmers do not.
Programmers are often limited to the cumbersome and unreliable H-1. Some programmers will not even qualify for the H-1. (See the Computer Professionals page for details. Also see the Dictionary of Occupational Titles for Systems Analyst descriptions.)
Forum Employment Topic administrator John Chettleburgh gives the answer:
(March 20, 1998)
INS has just changed the NAFTA regulations. I attach the full text of these regulations for our readers.
Here are some highlights:
(March 20, 1998)
A reader in our Forum asked me to list the most common mistakes. Here they are:
»Analysis« (March 20, 1998)
There are millions of non-U.S. citizen retirees in the U.S. According to American Demographics Magazine in Florida alone, there are 1.5 to 2 million Canadian visitors per year. 15 to 25% of these visitors are 65 or older. Many older Canadians come to Florida for their health and tend to be widely dispersed throughout the state. Some retirees split their time between the U.S. and their home country. Others remain in the U.S. full-time.
In spite of this high volume of U.S. retirement, there is no visa available for "retirees"! A separate visa category for retirees did exist, but it was closed down in the mid-1970s due to increases in U.S. immigration.
This surprises many clients, who certainly do not intend to create any burden upon the U.S. economy. In fact, Canadians in Florida alone spend and contribute $2 billion per year.
How then, can you legally retire in the U.S.?
Most Canadian citizen retirees probably travel to the U.S. as temporary visitors. (B-1 or B-2 status). There are two types of tourist visas: visitors for business and visitors for pleasure. Visitors for business are B-1 visitors. Visitors for pleasure are B-2 visitors.
Although INS will allow you into the United States for only a relatively short period of time, there is no prohibition against leaving the country and entering again. Indeed, millions of Canadians of retirement age (the so called snow birds) make lengthy annual trips to the United States.
The Immigration Service normally allows Canadians six months when they enter on temporary visitor status. Under the Free Trade Agreement Canadians can now get a document showing temporary visitor for business status for a period of one year. This status is the easiest to obtain of all the temporary permits.
Also look at the work visas. These visas allow an individual to live and work in the U.S. for an extended period of time. Moreover, the individual can work for a U.S. employer and receive a salary from a U.S. source. This is a distinct advantage over the B-1 visa for many retirees.
The various temporary work visas are designated by letters of the alphabet. The most common categories are: H (Professional), L (Intra-company Transferee), E (Treaty Investor or Treaty Trader) and, TN (Free Trade Professional). The E Treaty Investor quite popular for Canadian businesspersons.
The advantage of H, L, E or TN visas is that no labor certification is required. Also, there are no visa quota visa waiting periods, as there are for permanent residency. Thus, with the proper documentation, the visa is relatively quick to obtain.
The disadvantage of applying for these temporary work visas is that the individual must return to their country after the visa expires. Another disadvantage for some people is that while the visas allow you to work, you must continue working or the visas are invalid. A solution for retirees is to either continue working part-time, or to apply for permanent residence (green cards).
Another route to work permission in the U.S. is through a permanent residency petition based on labor certification. Permanent residency has some distinct advantages over temporary visas for certain individuals. If you are interested in obtaining permanent residence through labor certification, you will have to have a U.S. employer sponsor you. Permanent residency through labor certification takes more time and paperwork than do temporary permits.
Permanent residency allows you to change employers after entering the United States. At the time of entering the U.S., the individual must intend to work full time for the sponsoring employer. Later he or she may choose to give up the job. However, it is inadvisable to leave the job very soon after receiving the green card because the INS will hold that you never intended to work.
There are many advantages to obtaining Permanent Residency, particularly for retirees. For example, with permanent residency an individual can pass on immigration benefits to certain relatives, including children. See our Complete List for all the ways you can sponsor relatives. A permanent resident can apply for citizenship after a waiting period. (Contrary to popular belief, one can hold "dual citizenship" in the U.S. and in Canada.) See the Citizens page at http://www.grasmick.com/citizen.htm
In addition to permanent residence through labor certification, one can qualify for permanent residency through a relative sponsor. Again, see the Complete List for all the possibilities.
You may also have a permanent residency or U.S. citizenship claim traceable to a more unusual source. For example, some people who believe their prior green cards "expired", may find that their green cards are still valid. Also, we estimate that thousands of Canadians are already citizens of the United States and do not know it. Placing your situation through the Visa Selector may identify an option.
Hidden Claims to U.S. Citizenship
A common scenario is a person with a U.S. citizen parent who did not realize citizenship passed automatically from the parent. A person can even have U.S. citizenship passed to him or her through a U.S. citizen grandparent! According to U.S. law, you can be a citizen of the U.S. and of another country or other countries. Also note that you or your ancestors may have retained US citizenship even if you were naturalized in another country. (Compare your situation to the table on the Citizens page.)
The State Dept. has published a standard: the Department presumes a person intends to retain U.S. citizenship when that person obtains naturalization in or declares allegiance to another country. This new policy is retroactive. This means that it applies to people who may think they already lost their citizenship---even if the U.S. Consulate already made a negative finding! According to a Canadian news article, over 250,000 Canadians could benefit from the new policy. A State Dept. spokesperson says that the Dept. is prepared to consider reopening these cases.
This new policy benefits retirees. This is because older rules concerning transmission of citizenship were quite liberal in many respects. The older rules concern people (and their parents) who were born at earlier dates---people of retirement age.
Pitfalls for Retirees
All immigrants to the U.S. must show that they have means of support and will not become public charges. This may be more difficult for retirees who may not have a solid job offer to attach to the permanent residency applications. In these cases evidence of assets large enough to provide a living for several years should be emphasized.
A common issue for Canadians is preservation of Canadian social and health insurance benefits. Spend time on the Employment and Financial topic of our Forum for information on these topics.
Finally, a most important consideration in retiring in the United States are income tax considerations. You should take into account both the Canadian income tax and the U.S. income tax ramifications of your move. Another important tax consideration are estate taxes. You should consult with a competent tax advisor with experience in Cross Border taxation, before your move to the U.S.
We were saddened by the loss of Dave Stanton, who passed away this month in his San Diego home.
Dave maintained a Webpage on this site and was a valuable contributor to the Canada-U.S. Business Immigration Handbook. He was one of the national experts in labor certifications---honored as "Mentor of the Year" by the American Immigration Lawyers Association.
He was also a close friend---a friendship that began when we served together in Peace Corps Paraguay 1972-1975.
(March 20, 1998)
Please check a new Website: The North American Trade Dependent Alliance According to the directors, NATDA has no formal membership. "The site really belongs to all of us who have been impacted by either NAFTA or the dependent visa situation." The site has links to helpful hints and information, including a chat page under development.
(March 20, 1998)
Even if you are a manager or executive, you can still be a TN professional. The INS recently approved one of our executive management clients under the TN Engineer category.
The President of our client company uses the techniques and principles of engineering while discharging his day-to-day duties. Indeed, he was hired as President of the company because of his technical knowledge.
This case was particularly challenging. We needed to show that in spite of being the company President, he was also in essence the company's Chief Engineer. His duties tracked the Dictionary of Occupational Title's description for engineer regardless of the fact that he was the company President. A mistake would have been fatal. NAFTA has no category for "TN President" and our client did not qualify for L-1 status.