As a result of the expanding COVID-19 virus, Hodkinson Law Group is taking extra measures to ensure the safety of all staff while we simultaneously strive to provide a high level of service to our clients. 

In an effort to maintain this balance we have altered our schedules to allow staff to work remotely.  Our response times may be slower than normal, as we may be working with limited staff and resources. Your understanding is greatly appreciated.

Thank you!

H-1B Alert

H-1B "cap season" is upon us. Remember the April 1, 2015 "deadline" for the filing of H-1B for Fiscal Year 2016 which starts on October 1, 2015.

Given pent-up demand, we expect the cap to be reached on the first day of April. USCIS will as usual accept petitions during the first five (5) business days; i.e., through April 7, 2015. Once the H-1B cap has been reached, employers will be unable to file new cap-subject H-1B petitions for a full year, until 1st April 2016. We strongly encourage you to identify any employees who may require H-1B sponsorship and contact us as soon as possible to begin preparing your H-1B petitions for a timely 1st April filing.

DHS Considers 'Known Employer' Program to Aid Business Travel

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is considering a "Known Employer" pilot program to streamline adjudication of certain types of employment-based immigration benefit requests filed by eligible U.S. employers.

DHS expects to launch the pilot by late 2015 to test the program, which is designed to make adjudications more efficient and less costly, and reduce paperwork and delays for both the department and U.S. employers who seek to employ foreign workers.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will jointly implement the pilot program. A goal is to expedite or otherwise facilitate legitimate cross-border business travel along the northern border ports of entry. "Doing so is a binational commitment under the North American Free Trade Agreement as well as the U.S.-Canada Beyond the Border initiative," DHS explained.

In particular, the U.S. and Canadian governments intend to "explore the feasibility of incorporating a trusted employer concept in the processing of business travelers between Canada and the United States."

Additional information about the Known Employer program will be provided in the coming months. For background and updates, click here. DHS seeks input on the Beyond the Border initiative, which can be emailed to beyondtheborder@hq.dhs.govor mailed to Beyond the Border Coordinator, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Mailstop 0455, Washington, DC 20016.

HHS Updates Poverty Guidelines

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has updated the poverty guidelines effective January 22, 2015. Among other things, the poverty guidelines are used in determining minimum income requirements for Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, and Form I-912, Fee Waiver Request.

The latest guidelines were published in the Federal Register. Click here to read.

State Dept. Anticipates Visa Number Movement in Some Employment-Based Categories

The Department of State's Visa Bulletin for February 2015 notes that movement is possible in some employment-based categories in the coming months.

In the employment-based "Worldwide" third preference category, the Visa Office expects rapid forward movement "for at least another month or two." The bulletin notes that rapid movement in recent months is expected to generate a significant amount of demand for numbers. "Once such demand materializes at the anticipated rate, it will have a direct impact on this cut-off date," which stands in February at January 1, 2014.

Similarly, the Visa Office expects rapid forward movement in the employment-based third preference category for China. "Such movement is likely to result in a dramatic increase in demand which could require 'corrective' action within the next six months," the bulletin notes. India may move by up to two weeks. On the other hand, Mexico and the Philippines will remain at the Worldwide date, although increased demand in the latter could require "corrective" action at some point later in the fiscal year, the bulletin states.

The bulletin notes that the determination of the monthly cut-off dates is subject to monthly fluctuations in applicant demand and a number of other variables, so trends and estimates are not guaranteed.

The Visa Bulletin for February 2015 is available here.

State Dept. Revises Reciprocity Schedules for Several Countries

In recent months, the Department of State has revised visa reciprocity schedules for Armenia, Brazil, Albania, and China, among others.

For temporary visitors (nonimmigrants) to the United States, reciprocity tables show applicable visa issuance fees by country and by visa classification type, and the maximum period of visa validity and number of applications, or entries, that may be authorized.

The latest updates are available here. Reciprocity tables by country are available here. Additional updates are available here.

State Dept.'s NVC Is Now Handling All Domestic Visa Inquiries

The Department of State's Visa Office has established one point of contact for all domestic inquiries regarding nonimmigrant and immigrant visa cases. The National Visa Center (NVC) has begun handling all domestic email and telephone inquiries from the public on nonimmigrant and immigrant visa cases as of January 12, 2015.

The notice is available here.

Government Agency Links

Follow these links to access current processing times of the USCIS Service Centers and the Department of Labor, or the Department of State's latest Visa Bulletin with the most recent cut-off dates for visa numbers:

Attorneys at Hodkinson Law Group

Kehrela Hodkinson

Principal/Immigration Lawyer - California State Bar, 1980

Since 1994, Mrs. Hodkinson has exclusively practiced U.S. immigration law in London. She represents a broad range of corporate and individual clients in connection with temporary (non-immigrant) visas and both employment and family-based permanent (immigrant) visa petitions.

She also provides advice relating to complex issues of waivers on grounds of inadmissibility, maintenance, and abandonment of permanent resident status, and renunciation (expatriation) of U.S. citizenship.

Publications

Kehrela Hodkinson's
Publications

Kehrela Hodkinson quoted in Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, regarding potential issues of inadmissibility resulting from arrest of professional golfer, Thobjorn Olesen.

August 6th, 2019

Discussion Leader on Panel entitled Consular Processing: What Things go Wrong”, American Immigration Lawyers Association, Orlando, FL

June 1st, 2019

Renunciation of US Citizenship – Why Would a Client “Give It All Up”.

April 15th, 2019

Invited to serve on the Editorial Board of the AILA Law Journal which will cover current and pragmatic topics related to the rapidly changing immigration law landscape and will be produced biannually, commencing 2019.

December 1st, 2018

Discussion Leader for an American Lawyers Association teleconference on the topic of visa processing in London.

December 1st, 2018

Kehrela Hodkinson, US immigration lawyer and founder of Hodkinson Law Group, told The Independent any presidential order over birthright citizenship would face “many constitutional challenges”, including requests for an injunction against implementation, much like what happened with Mr Trump’s initial travel ban on a number of Muslim-majority countries.

October 30th, 2018

Interviewed by The Independent, a UK newspaper, regarding the immigrant visa category by which Melania Trump’s parents obtained their permanent resident status.

February 22nd, 2018

A chapter The Waivers Book, 2nd Edition, published by American Immigration Lawyers Association

December 1st, 2016
Memberships and affiliations

Kehrela Hodkinson's
Memberships and affiliations

ABIL (Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers)

Founding member of ABIL, which is comprised of 19 of the top U.S. business immigration law firms, has over 140 attorneys devoted to business immigration in 21 major U.S. cities, plus Cologne, Hong Kong, London, Monterrey, Mumbai, Shanghai, Tokyo, Toronto, and Vancouver. Founding member and first Chair of Rome District Chapter of American Immigration Lawyers Association.


Multiple leadership roles in the American Immigration Lawyers Association

  • 2011-2012 B-1 in lieu of H-1 Task Force
  • 2011-2012 Department of State Liaison Committee
  • 2011-2012 Military Assistance Program Task Force
  • 2011-2012 Rome District Chapter Pro Bono Committee Chair
  • 2010-2011 Department of State Liaison Committee
  • 2010-2011 Distance Learning Committee
  • 2010-2011 Rome District Chapter Pro Bono Committee Chair
  • 2009-2010 Midyear Conference Committee
  • 2009-2010 Department of State Liaison Committee
  • 2008-2009 Chair Rome District Chapter
  • 2007-2008 Interim Chair Rome District Chapter

American Bar Association


International Bar Association


American Women Lawyers in London


Society of English and American Lawyers


Nominated by peers to the International Who’s Who of Business Immigration Lawyers

Sharon L. Noble

Of Counsel

Sharon Noble has exclusively practiced U.S. immigration law since 1996, concentrating on business-related immigration matters with an emphasis on both non-immigrant visa petitions for corporate employees, individual investors and entrepreneurs as well as employment based immigrant petitions, extraordinary ability petitions and outstanding researcher petitions. Ms. Noble worked with Ms. Hodkinson in London for seven years before returning to the United States in 2003. She is now Of Counsel to Hodkinson Law Group, working remotely from California. Prior to 1996, Ms. Noble practiced corporate real estate and health care law in Los Angeles. With Ms. Noble’s prior corporate experience, she possesses a strong business background and exceptional writing skills, both of which have proven invaluable to her immigration practice.

Publications

Sharon L. Noble's
Publications

A chapter The Waivers Book, 2nd Edition, published by American Immigration Lawyers Association

December 1st, 2016

Tasha N. Cripe

Of Counsel

Tasha Cripe continues to assist our clients in the preparation and filing of non-immigrant and immigrant visa petitions and applications of waivers of grounds of inadmissibility. She is a member of the Illinois State Bar and is actively involved in The American Immigration Lawyers Association Military Assistance Program.

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Hodkinson Law Group
3 More London Riverside
London
United Kingdom