|July 2, 2014|
Previously published on June 24, 2014
Many companies sponsoring foreign nationals for 9(g) Pre-Arranged Employment Visas must send a corporate representative to appear in person during the visa hearing (i.e., interview) at the Bureau of Immigration. Though this is not a new requirement, the Bureau has announced that it is now strictly enforcing the in-person requirement for both new and renewal 9(g) visa applications.
Authorized corporate representatives include executive officers listed in the company’s Articles of Incorporation or its latest General Information Sheet and other officers who are authorized by the company through a Special Power of Attorney (SPA).
The Top 1,000 companies, as ranked by gross revenues derived from financial statements submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Bureau of Internal Revenue, continue to be exempt from the visa hearing requirement. An in-person visit during the visa hearing continues to be required for the foreign national who is applying for the 9(g) visa.
In the past, many of the Bureau’s officers did not require a company representative to attend the hearings and allowed legal counsel to represent the company. Legal counsel, liaison officers and travel agents are no longer authorized to represent and appear on behalf of the sponsoring company, even if holding a valid SPA.
What This Means for Employers
Companies not on the Top 1,000 list will need to delegate a company representative to attend 9(g) visa hearings. This representative must have knowledge of both the company's internal functions and each specific applicant’s case.
There are no changes for companies on the Top 1,000 list, as they are exempt from the visa hearing requirement.