On December 31st, 2015, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced a proposed rule aimed at modernizing and improving various employment-based immigrant and non-immigrant visas. USCIS is inviting public suggestions and comments in relation to the rule to improve the above-mentioned visa programs. USCIS has fixed the cut-off date for public comments on February 29, 2016. Please click the following link to know more about submitting comments and suggestion on the topic: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-12-31/html/2015-32666.htm#sthash.mIv2j2Tr.dpuf .
Some highlights of the proposed amendments are listed below:
- In order to improve job portability, the ground of automatic revocation of approvals for certain beneficiaries of approved I-140 is proposed to be limited.
- “Clarify when individuals may keep their priority date to use when applying for adjustment of status to a lawful permanent residence, including when USCIS has revoked the approval of their approved I 140 petitions because the employer withdrew the petition or because the employer’s business shut down.”
- Clarification of adjudication policies on H-1B such as extension of status, H-1B portability, and licensure requirements.
- Allowing highly skilled individuals who are E-3, H-1B, H-1B1, L-1 or O-1 visa holders and beneficiaries of an approved I-140 to apply for a year of unrestricted employment authorization provided that such individuals are unable to apply for adjustment of status due to visa unavailability and are able to demonstrate compelling circumstances justifying employment authorization.
- Creating a grace period of 60 days during an authorized validity period in order to allow certain highly skilled workers to seek new employment or extend their non-immigrant status when their employment ends.
- Improving the ability of US employers to retain foreign workers who are beneficiaries of approved I-140 petitions along with improving the worker’s ability to progress in their career by accepting promotions and changing employers among others.
For complete information, please visit http://www.uscis.gov/news/uscis-seeks-comments-proposed-rule-affecting-certain-employment-based-immigrant-and-nonimmigrant-visa-programs.