Happy Holidays! . . . and Related Travel Issues
Regarding holiday travel issues, and as mentioned in our November newsletter, many foreign workers have made plans to visit friends and family abroad during the year-end holidays. Workers who plan to obtain a new visa stamp while outside of the U.S. should plan in advance for this process to the extent that is possible. U.S. consulates abroad observe both U.S. holidays as well as local holidays. Further, many of their staff also take vacations at this time. These circumstances can extend processing times by a factor of 2-3 weeks or even longer. Persons who plan to obtain a new visa stamp abroad over the holidays should allow additional time in their travel plans to accommodate unforeseen delays. It is also recommended that they coordinate with their work supervisor to have a back-up plan in place so that the U.S. work can continue without meaningful interruption in the event the foreign worker’s return from abroad is delayed. Information regarding visa application procedures at specific U.S. consulates abroad can be found at: http://usembassy.state.gov
For the past 3 years, Jonathan Montag and Robert Nadalin have worked well together in building Montag & Nadalin LLP and in greatly expanding our client base. With growth, comes choices in how best to manage that growth, including business decisions about case load management, hiring new staff, fee schedules, etc. Currently, both partners handle all aspects of immigration and nationality law, although Jonathan’s primary focus has been on court related work while Robert has continued to focus primarily on business related immigration. Both have handled the firm’s family based immigration practice.
For 2008, Jonathan has decided to intensify his focus on court related work while Robert will be expanding his focus on the growing volume of employment related immigration work. As these plans require a different investment of resources, different staffing needs, and a change in our management model, we have decided to dissolve our firm effective December 31, 2007. From January 1, 2008 we will make a fresh start as the Law Offices of Jonathan Montag and the Law Offices of Robert Nadalin. The split is amicable in all respects. Over the course of the last few months, we have maintained our commitment to a seamless transition for our own benefit and, more importantly, the benefit of our clients, by putting in place all of the necessary transition elements.
From January 1, 2008, we will each have the same phone numbers as before. Jonathan has always been accessible through his direct line at (619) 234-8875 and Robert has been and will continue to be accessible through his direct line at (619) 234-8875. Our e-mail addresses at montagnadalin.com will continue to work for at least the next year, but we will also move to using the following new addresses: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com .
Regarding the physical facilities and mail, we will both continue to be located in the Chamber Building in downtown San Diego. Jonathan will remain in Suite 1809 and Robert will be expanding to Suite 1300. Jonathan will run his own shop. Robert will have a receptionist, will hire an assistant in the New Year, and will begin using a new software tool, Immigration Tracker, which is a web-based system that comes with report generation capabilities and web access features for human resources contacts. We look forward to continuing to provide the same excellent service our clients deserve and expect and believe that these changes will help us to continue to provide the best possible service to our clients.
USCIS has released a new version of the Form I-9, which is used by employers to confirm the lawful status of employees. Employers must use the new version of the form from December 26, 2007 for all new I-9 documents prepared after that date. The old version of this form cannot be used for new Forms I-9, however, documents completed on the old form prior to December 26 do not need to be redone. Among the more significant changes is an update of the list of documents that can be accepted to confirm employment authorization and identity for Lists A, B and C on the form.
The new Form I-9 can be found here.
From January 1, 2008, the application fee to obtain a visa stamp at a U.S. consulate abroad will increase from $100 to $131. Applicants who pay the $100 fee prior to January 1, 2008 but who attend a visa interview on or before January 31, 2008 will not be required to pay any additional amount. Applicants who attend an interview after that date will be required to pay the $31 difference.