Giselle Carson on WJXT’s The Chat – Part 1


On April 3, Giselle appeared on WJXT’s The Chat to share her journey from being an immigrant (twice!) to becoming an immigration attorney and to talk about the process of helping employers with our complex immigration system and individuals to immigrate to the United States.

The first part of the interview focused on Giselle’s personal journey and the importance of the April 3rd H-1B deadline this year.

Continue reading

Trump’s Changes to Visa Issuance and Admissions



Although the travel ban order has been halted by the courts, the new administration has signaled “increased scrutiny” on visa issuance to the US consulates. Its effects are being reflected in the processing of visas at US consulates.

Data released by the government shows that the United States issued about 40 percent fewer temporary visas in March of 2017 to citizens of the seven Muslim-majority nations affected by the bans – Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen – than it did on average in March of 2016.

Consulates are erring on the side of not approving a visa if there is missing information or discrepancies in the filing or if the applicant is not well prepared for the interview.  Because of the uncertainty, there also appears to be fewer applicants for US visas at these consulates.

The executive order also eliminated the ability of some individuals to apply for their visas at a US consulate without an in-person interview.

Previously, some individuals – due to their age or the fact that they were repeat applicants for the same visa – could mail in their passports to the US consulate or use a “drop-box” system when applying for a visa. This time-saving interview waiver program (IWP) has been suspended. This suspension is increasing the workload at the consulates and the wait times for visa appointments.

On a positive note, the data also shows that the total of US non-immigrant visas issued worldwide was up by about 5 percent in March compared to the 2016 monthly average.

But visa issuance is not a guarantee of US admission. At the US ports of entry on arrival, our clients are telling us that they are being subject to more questioning.  Particularly, those travelers entering as a business visitor (B-1/B-2) or under the Visa Waiver Program (ESTA) on a frequent basis.

To facilitate your travel, plan to be thorough, prepared, and proactive in this process.

Plan Ahead: Visa Delays Expected


Summer is always a busy season for travelers. If you’re traveling on a visa, you may already know to expect more delays and give yourself plenty of time.

This year, though, is likely to be even worse than normal due to the recent executive orders. Already, we are seeing more background checks, more delays in getting through the airport, and more complaints about consulates.

With this in mind, here a few tips to make the process go as smoothly as possible when traveling on a visa. Continue reading

Immigration Success Story: E-3 Visa Renewal for a Professional from Australia


The Marks Gray Immigration Team regularly helps clients with E-3 Visa initial Petitions and Renewals for Specialty Occupation Professionals from Australia. This month, we are highlighting a success story of an assistant coach for an NFL team.

Since 2013, the candidate has been an assistant coach with this team in E-3 status, and his employer was supportive of the renewal of his status. Continue reading

FAQs about High-Skilled Immigrant Workers and Job Portability

Starting a new job is exciting but also stressful.  For a foreign national, it is even more stressful, because it can have significant consequences for their immigration status.

Under immigration law, portability is the ability to port or change employers while preserving your previously filed and pending I-485 adjustment of status application.

These changes prompt a number of critical questions. Here are answers to common concerns about job portability. Continue reading

SHRM Article: Trump’s Impact on Staffing Strategies

Giselle Carson was recently interviewed by the Society for Human Resources Management about President Trump’s immigration plans and their impact on staffing strategies.

You can read the article, with several quotes from Giselle, here: “President Trump’s Immigration Plans Jolt Staffing Strategies“.

Dream Big, Go for It!


Superbly trained and conditioned female athletes pursued their dreams of becoming champions at the SEC Gymnastic Championship in Jacksonville on Saturday, March 18th.

Marks Gray had the privilege of supporting and participating in this inspiring event. Giselle Carson, Marks Gray business immigration attorney and marathoner, moderated a panel including Shannon Miller (7 Olympic Gold Medals, 9 World Championship Medals), Lauren Beers (2014 NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Champion, Alabama Crimson Tide gymnastics team) and Mary Anne Jacobs (CEO of Girl Scouts of Gateway Council). Continue reading

Business Immigration and I-9/ E-Verify Changes under the Trump Administration at the SHRM Jacksonville Annual Conference


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Giselle and Margaret - SHRM Annual Conference Picture

Giselle presented at the SHRM Jax Annual Conference about “Managing your Foreign Talent in 2017 and Beyond under the Trump Administration”.  The message of her presentation was: Prepare for the challenges ahead, but also seize the opportunities that come with changes.  Continue reading