EIG Dispatch | August 22, 2017

Op-Ed from the Desk of Robert Taylor

DC Insights: NIV Visa Services in Russia Suspended / NAFTA Renegotiations / Rising H-1B Salaries / Senator Flake Op-Ed

Feature Story: Continue to be Great

DC Insights: What We Learned in the Past 7 Days

U.S. Temporarily Suspending NIV Visa Services in Russia.  Beginning August 23, 2017, all nonimmigrant visa (NIV) services throughout Russia will be suspended after Russia ordered a reduction in U.S. consulate and embassy personnel. Visa services will resume on September 1, 2017, solely at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow and at a significantly reduced capacity.  All NIV appointments have been canceled, and NIV interviews at the U.S. Consulates in St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, and Vladivostok are suspended until further notice. For applicants whose appointments have been cancelled, please see here.

NAFTA Renegotiations: Movement of Professionals a Top Priority for Canada. The opening round of NAFTA renegotiations wrapped up last week between the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Before negotiations began, the Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister said in a speech that expanding the movement of professionals was among Canada’s six core objectives for the talks. The speech specifically called for the review and expansion of NAFTA’s Chapter 16, which covers Temporary Entry for Business Persons. Negotiations are ongoing, with the next round of meetings scheduled for September 1 to September 5 in Mexico.

Report finds H-1B Salaries on the Rise. The Pew Research Center recently published an analysis of new USCIS data, finding that H-1B salaries have risen in the past decade. In 2016, the average H-1B visa salary was $80,000, compared to $69,000 in 2006. Along with an increase in the average H-1B salary, the USCIS data showed a sharp increase in the demand for H-1B visas. In 2009, the number of H-1B visas filed by employers on behalf of foreign workers was 246,126 as compared to 399,349 in 2016. This data was released as part of the administration’s review of current immigration policy.

Republican Senator Pens Op-Ed Piece on Proposed Immigration Reform. On Friday, the New York Times published a pro-immigration op-ed by Arizona’s Junior Senator Jeff Flake. In the op-ed, the Senator referenced the 2013 bi-partisan “gang of eight” immigration bill that failed to pass Congress during the Obama administration. Although some in Washington are discussing reviving the 2013 bill, it does not have wide support and the current administration has indicated it would not support the bill.

From the Desk of… 

This week we have the first in a new series of articles from our firm’s leaders. Today, we feature thoughts from EIG’s Managing Attorney for NIV and Global, Robert Taylor.

Continue to Be Great

Have you ever thought to yourself, “What does that mean?”, when you hear a common or familiar phrase? In an age of instant messaging, words are often used haphazardly, misapplied or just flat out wrong. Honestly, I’m guilty of it more often than I would like to admit.

The word “Great”, which has received a lot of attention over the last 2 years, has a number of meanings. It can refer to something being large, preeminent over others, or remarkable. The challenge for each of us is to decide what type of “Great” we want to be.

If you only care about being “Great” and you don’t care which kind of “Great” you achieve, it’s not hard. “Large” is easy, especially for an individual with access to social media. But large doesn’t mean important, nor is it something that we should necessarily pursue. The largest isn’t the best. Quite the opposite, the largest is generally the slowest, least able to adapt, and while notorious, generally left behind in our fast pace society. What about “preeminent over others”? While you might be given a title, it doesn’t make you the kind of “Great” that earns respect, admiration or allegiance.

As a “Managing Attorney” at EIG, I have the great honor and responsibility of leading two fantastic teams of attorneys and paralegals.  My title doesn’t make me “Great”. On my own, I’m not “Great”. However, when I seek to be remarkable and encourage my colleagues to be remarkable, we are “Great”. It’s each of us desiring to be remarkable each day that makes EIG “Great” and affords us the opportunity to work with some of the best companies in the world.

“Great” starts with each of us, but it’s not about being individually “Great”. For a group of people to be “Great”, we must be able to see beyond ourselves. If I seek to be remarkable in how I speak and treat my wife and kids, my family can be “Great”. If I seek to be remarkable in how I treat my fellow commuters on my way to work, Northern Virginia traffic can be “Great”. If I seek to be remarkable in communicating with clients, listening to their challenges, and thoughtfully advising them through complex immigration matters, immigration can be “Great”.

When we want to be “Great” as an individual or group of individuals, we generally become large or preeminent over others.  When we want to be remarkable as an individual or group of individuals, we generally become “Great” in whatever we are trying to accomplish. Be remarkable and “Great” things will come.