Business Immigration Expert Panelist, USCIS Annual Ombudsman Liaison Teleconference of LACBA Immigration Section and AILA

Alice Yardum-Hunter presented agenda items in business immigration for consideration by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman's Office in Washington, D.C. Her questions dealt with O-1 extensions beyond one year for "new" events. There is inconsistent guidance between the Online instruction webpage to O-1s and a 2002 memo which is clear that new travel is not required for an extension beyond one year for new O-1 events resulting in extensions of up to three years. Also asked about was the circumstances under which students can without incident soon after qualify as extraordinary in their field. The government acknowledges such qualification is possible, depending on individual case merits. Questions also focused on the lengthy processing times for initial H-1Bs and H-1B extensions. It's a matter of resources, particularly with CAP GAP employment authorization relief being available for most everyone, though the Ombudsman would intervene in situations where employment may be in jeopardy due to government delay.