Are you in the United States or planning a trip here primarily because of employment? If you are, some of this blog might be of vital importance to you!
Here at Morgan Law Counselors, we strive to keep you up to date on rules and legislation that have recently been changed, upgraded, modified or clarified.
As of Jan. 17, 2017, a new Final Rule to modernize some employment-based visa programs will be put into effect. Both non-immigrant and immigrant plans are involved. So, it’s smart to be aware of these newly developed improvements.
Significant Changes Are Coming!
It always helps understanding if you know the purposes behind new changes. These new developments have been designed “to better enable U.S. employers to hire and retain certain foreign workers who are beneficiaries of approved employment-based immigrant visa petitions and are waiting to become lawful permanent residents.”
Thus, it is obvious, this material could be very helpful to many of our clients who are visa holders and petitioners. Let’s take a brief look at some of the many changes:
Something Special for E-3, H-1B, L-1 or 0-1 Non-Immigrant Employees
Once in effect, the new Final Rule will make it possible for some high-skilled individuals in the US who have E-3, H-1B1, L-1 or 0-1 status, to apply for
employment authorization for a significant, limited period of time if they are in these circumstances:
1. They have an approved Form I-140 petition…
2. They do not have an immigrant visa already authorized for their priority date…
3. They can explain “compelling circumstances,” which will justify DHS giving them an “employment authorization document in its discretion.”
Please, understand that these employment authorizations would only be available in limited situations. Also, the authorization will be given only for one year at a time.
Clarification of the H-1B Procedures
The Final Rule will also clarify some points of the H-1B adjudication.
1. There will be an improved explanation of policies for providing H-1B Status beyond the current 6 year period of authorization…
2. Likewise the Final Rule will explain procedures to determine cap exemptions and policies for counting workers under the H-1B cap, H-1B employment portability…
3. You will additionally find more information about the “licensure requirements and protections for whistleblowers.”
More Procedural Updates
1. The Final Rule will give two grace periods of 10 days for people in the E-1, E-2, E-3, L-1, and TN non-immigrant classifications. This will give them time to “prepare to begin employment in the country and to depart the United States or take other actions to extend, change, or otherwise maintain lawful status.”
2. There will, as of Jan.17th, a grace period of up to 60 consecutive days for certain high-skilled non-immigrant workers when their employment ends before the end of their authorized validity period.
With more time given, it is hoped they will be able to pursue new employment and to extend their non-immigrant status.
3. As a matter of fact, the Final Rule extends or changes many employment visa related paperwork deadlines.
The new policy will automatically extend the Employment Authorization Documents (EADs or Form I-766s) for some individuals who apply on time for the renewal of their EADs. Do you see how this streamlines and modernizes the procedures?
If you are in another country, but planning and hoping to work in the US, a good starting point for understanding immigration rules and responsibilities is the Working in the United States page of the USCIS website.
In spite of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, we at Morgan Law Counselors want our clients to be well aware of adaptations and modifications in immigration law. We know it can be challenging to stay on top of the changes in rules, regulations, deadlines, fees and the necessary paperwork for immigration.
Remember, we are here to help.