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On Sept. 30, 2020, the U.S. Senate passed and the president signed H.R. 8337 to keep the U.S. government operational through Dec. 11, 2020. This action will maintain vital immigration programs such as the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center Program, E-Verify, Conrad 30 Waiver Program for J-1 medical doctors and non-minister religious workers programs.

The legislation also adds additional options for premium processing of certain types of petitions that are filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). USCIS is permitted to authorize premium processing for any category it deems appropriate. Congress is now requiring USCIS to increase the premium processing fees and to expand it more broadly to additional employment-based categories including EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3; applications to change or extend non-immigrant visa status; and applications for employment authorization (EADs). EB-5 is not included in the legislation. This legislation provides for a $2,500 premium processing fee for most applications filed before Aug. 1, 2020. The timelines for specific types of filings vary between 15 to 45 days under premium processing. USCIS is tasked with going through the regulatory process to come up with the fees and any additional timelines on a going-forward basis.

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Photo of Laura Foote Reiff‡ Laura Foote Reiff‡

Laura Foote Reiff Co-Chairs the Business Immigration & Compliance Practice and is the Co-Managing Shareholder of the Northern Virginia Office. She also Co-Chairs the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice’s International Employment, Immigration & Workforce Strategies group. Laura focuses her practice on business immigration

Laura Foote Reiff Co-Chairs the Business Immigration & Compliance Practice and is the Co-Managing Shareholder of the Northern Virginia Office. She also Co-Chairs the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice’s International Employment, Immigration & Workforce Strategies group. Laura focuses her practice on business immigration laws and regulations affecting U.S. and foreign companies, as well as related employment compliance and legislative issues.

Laura advises corporations on a variety of compliance-related issues, particularly related to Form I-9 eligibility employment verification matters. Laura has been involved in audits and internal investigations and has successfully minimized monetary exposure as well as civil and criminal liabilities on behalf of her clients. She develops immigration compliance strategies and programs for both small and large companies. Laura performs I-9, H-1B and H-2B compliance inspections during routine internal reviews, while performing due diligence (in the context of a merger, acquisition or sale) or while defending a company against a government investigation.

Laura represents many businesses in creating, managing and using “Regional Centers” that can create indirect jobs toward the 10 new U.S. jobs whose creation can give rise to EB-5 permanent residence for investment. She coordinates this work with attorneys practicing in securities law compliance, with economists identifying “targeted employment areas” and projecting indirect job creation, and with licensed securities brokers coordinating offerings. She also represents individual investors in obtaining conditional permanent residence and in removing conditions from permanent residence.

Laura’s practice also consists of managing business immigration matters and providing immigration counsel to address the visa and work authorization needs of U.S. and global personnel including professionals, managers and executives, treaty investors/ traders, essential workers, persons of extraordinary ability, corporate trainees, and students. She is an immigration policy advocacy expert and works on immigration reform policies.

Admitted in the District of Columbia and Maryland. Not admitted in Virginia. Practice limited to federal immigration practice.