Maria Fernanda Gandarez

Maria Fernanda Gandarez

Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.

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Latest Publications


Changes to Insurance Requirements for J-1 Visa Exchange Programs

In October of 2014, the U.S. Department of State revised Subpart A of the exchange visitor regulations. Changes to the reporting and English language proficiency requirements for exchange programs went into effect on January...more

5/21/2015 - Health Insurance J-1 Visas Popular US Department of State

The Employment Law Authority - March/April 2015 #2

In This Issue: - Supreme Court Revives Pregnant UPS Worker's Suit - Spouses of H-1B Visa Holders Applying for Residency Eligible for Work Permits - Turning Metrics Into Money: An Interview With Solange Charas,...more

4/23/2015 - Age Discrimination Discrimination H-1B Pregnancy Discrimination SCOTUS Spouses Title VII UPS Visas Whistleblowers Young v United Parcel Service

EEOC has defined “ability to interact with others” as a major life activity, making social anxiety disorder a disability under the...

An employee who was fired after asking to be reassigned to a role with less direct personal interaction as an accommodation for her social anxiety disorder has been allowed by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to take her...more

4/21/2015 - ADA Adverse Employment Action DSM EEOC Interactive Process Reasonable Accommodation Social Anxiety Disorder

The Employment Law Authority - March/April 2015

In this Issue: - Immigration - State Round-Up - Best Practices - Retaliation - Employment Discrimination - Excerpt from Immigration; Spouses of H-1B visa holders will be eligible for work...more

4/7/2015 - ADEA Best Management Practices Confidentiality Agreements Discrimination H-1B H-4 Spouses Hiring & Firing KBR (formerly Kellogg Brown & Root) Offensive Language PDA Retaliation SCOTUS SEC Substantial Burden USCIS Whistleblowers Young v United Parcel Service

State Department to Resume J-1 Visa Program Sponsor Site Visits

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has informed the sponsors of J-1 intern and trainee programs that it will perform site visits to many J-1 Intern and Trainee host organizations in 2015. Some employers have reported that...more

3/12/2015 - J-1 Visas Popular Site Visit Program US Department of State

Spouses of H-1B Visa Holders Who Apply for Residency Can Apply for Work Permits Starting May 26

On February 24, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it will start accepting applications for work authorization from certain spouses of H-1B visa holders beginning May 26, 2015. This regulatory...more

2/26/2015 - DHS Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) H-1B H-4 Spouses Spouses USCIS

The Immigration State of the Union: Obama Declares “We’ve Got a System to Fix”

On January 20, 2015, President Obama addressed the nation in the annual State of the Union address. Among the many topics that the president touched upon in his speech was immigration. After more sweeping immigration reform...more

1/23/2015 - Barack Obama DAPA Deportation Green Cards Highly-Skilled Workers Visa Human Resources Professionals Immigration Immigration Reform Popular STEM

Bipartisan I-Squared Act Introduced to Reform Business Immigration System

On January 13, 2015, Senators Hatch (R-Utah), Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Rubio (R-Fla.), Coons (D-Del.), Flake (R-Ariz.), and Blumenthal (D-Conn.) introduced the Immigration Innovation (“I-Squared”) Act of 2015, a major immigration...more

1/23/2015 - Green Cards Highly-Skilled Workers Visa Immigration Procedures Pending Legislation STEM Visas

Immigration Spotlight

The United States and China have both reciprocally increased the validity of short-term business and tourist visas to 10 years and the validity of student and exchange visas to 5 years for each other’s citizens. The...more

1/15/2015 - Bilateral Agreements China Reciprocity Rules Visas

Does the President Have the Power to Defer Deportation of Undocumented Immigrants?

President Obama has announced that before the end of the year he intends to issue executive orders to address the dysfunctional immigration system if Congress does not act on immigration reform legislation. There is...more

11/18/2014 - Barack Obama DACA Deportation Executive Orders Immigration Reform Legislative Agendas

I-94 Errors: How to Address Missing or Incorrect I-94 Cards

Since July of 2014, it has been reported that certain visa petition approval notices (Form I-797s) have been issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) without I-94 cards attached. In addition, U.S. Customs...more

10/8/2014 - Customs and Border Protection I-94 Cards Immigrants USCIS Visas

U.S. Diversity Visa Opens October 1, 2014, May Help Workers Obtain Residency More Quickly

The U.S. Department of State has announced that it will open the Diversity Visa lottery registration for FY 2016 on Wednesday, October 1, 2014. The program allows nationals of states with historically low rates of immigration...more

10/1/2014 - Green Cards Immigrants Residency Status US Department of State Visas

Cap-Subject H-1Bs Will Be Effective October 1

On October 1, 2014, FY 2015 H-1B cap-subject visa petitions will be valid. Individuals in possession of valid H-1B petitions must take appropriate action to demonstrate work authorization for the petitioning employer. For...more

9/16/2014 - H-1B Immigrants Visa Caps Visas

J-1 Meet and Greets — A Precursor to Site Visits?

In recent weeks, the U.S. Department of State’s (DOS) Office of Private Sector Exchange (OPSE), which designates, monitors, and partners with U.S. organizations to administer the Exchange Visitor Program, has been notifying...more

5/30/2014 - Hiring & Firing Internships J-1 Visas Training US Department of State

DOS To Begin Conducting Site Visits For J-1 Hosts And Participants

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has advised designated sponsors within the intern and trainee categories that, beginning in March, representatives from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) will conduct site...more

3/28/2014 - Immigrants J-1 Visas US Department of State Visas

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