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Dear Sophie: What’s ahead for US immigration in 2021?

Sophie Alcorn Contributor Share on Twitter Sophie Alcorn is the founder of Alcorn Immigration Law in Silicon Valley and 2019 Global Law Experts Awards’ “Law Firm of the Year in California for Entrepreneur Immigration Services.” She connects people with the businesses and opportunities that expand their lives. More posts by this contributor Dear Sophie: How […]
Sophie Alcorn Contributor Sophie Alcorn is the founder of Alcorn Immigration Law in Silicon Valley and 2019 Global Law Experts Awards’ “Law Firm of the Year in California for Entrepreneur Immigration Services.” She connects people with the businesses and opportunities that expand their lives. More posts by this contributor

Here’s another edition of “Dear Sophie,” the advice column that answers immigration-related questions about working at technology companies.

“Your questions are vital to the spread of knowledge that allows people all over the world to rise above borders and pursue their dreams,” says Sophie Alcorn, a Silicon Valley immigration attorney. “Whether you’re in people ops, a founder or seeking a job in Silicon Valley, I would love to answer your questions in my next column.”

Extra Crunch members receive access to weekly “Dear Sophie” columns; use promo code ALCORN to purchase a one- or two-year subscription for 50% off.


Dear Sophie:

I’m in people ops and our team is trying to plan ahead for immigration in the new year and beyond.

What’s ahead for U.S. visas and green cards?

—Ready in Redwood City

Dear Ready:

Ha! I love it. Well, although I don’t have a crystal ball (yet), there’s a lot of opportunity, predictability and security that we can anticipate for immigration ahead.

Our U.S. immigration policy will experience a tremendous growth spurt in the coming months as Trump completes his regulatory agenda, litigation culminates and Biden takes office on January 20. The changes I’m tracking will incentivize U.S. companies to hire and retain top global talent and will make it easier for them to do so. There are also going to be increased opportunities for families and founders, strengthening the U.S. and Silicon Valley tech startup communities.

We can anticipate that the first 100 days of President-elect Biden’s term will focus on undoing many Trump-era immigration changes. Some of this will happen by executive order (although probably not tweets!) and some of it will be required to follow the procedures set forth in law through the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). The APA governs the process by which federal agencies develop and issue regulations.

Following procedures to rescind or amend rules already put into place — even on an expedited basis — takes time to allow for adequate review and public comments. We can anticipate that due process will unfold to effectuate these changes.

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