New Rule to Affect High-Skilled Nonimmigrant Workers

New Rule to Affect High-Skilled Nonimmigrant Workers

At a time when immigration laws are at the forefront of the political conversations in the United States, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has turned the discussion to regulations concerning nonimmigrants, by laying out the specifications of a law which will take effect on January 17, 2017. The “Retention of EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 Immigrant Workers and Program Improvements Affecting High-Skilled Nonimmigrant Workers” will apply to both H-1B visa holders and those who have submitted Adjustment of Status applications that have been pending for more than 180 days.

The Rule

The primary function of the new rule is to expand upon existing codes to provide more flexibility for skilled nonimmigrants looking to work in the United States. A Miami immigration lawyer can better explain the complexities of the new legislation, but here are a few highlights of what the changes will entail:

  • Nonimmigrants (E-3, H-1B, H-1B1, O-1, or L-1) with an approved I-140 will be eligible for a new one-year employment authorization, if they can show compelling circumstances. Such circumstances include serious illness, a major upheaval encountered by the employer, and other significant harm that was unforeseeable.
  • Grace periods are now provided for nonimmigrants with varying visa classifications. Specifically, individuals who have secured E-1, E-2, E-3, L-1, and TN status will be granted 10 days at the beginning and end of the validity period. Up to 60 days may be afforded after one’s employment ends, if the person holds an  E-1, E-2, E-3, H-1B, H-1B1, L-1, or TN visa.
  • Assuming one’s I-140 is not revoked due to fraud or willful misrepresentation, I-140 priority dates may be kept. Those who hold I-140 petitions which are valid for 180 days or more will not have the petition automatically repealed, should the employer withdraw.

If you have questions about this new rule or any other immigration laws or regulations a Miami immigration lawyer at Pimentel & Castillo is always available to provide answers. Call our office today to schedule a free consultation.

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