Employment-Based Visa Changes with USCIS
The current political climate on immigration can be felt throughout the news cycles as many news organizations discussed the fate of immigration in the United States for the next four to eight years. It is important to note that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) continues to provide the most up to date information on changes to both immigrant and nonimmigrant visas.
USCIS has published a final rule to modernize and improve several aspects of certain employment-based temporary and permanent visa programs. The regulations will also enable U.S. employers to hire and keep foreign workers who are beneficiaries of approved immigrant visa petitions and are waiting to become legal permanent residents. The rule goes into effect on January 17, 2017.
The amended regulations will allow USCIS to:
- Clarify and improve policy to enhance consistency in deciding all cases.
- Better enable U.S. employers to employ and keep high-skilled workers who are beneficiaries of approved immigrant petitions and providing flexibility and stability to these workers.
- Improve portability for certain foreign workers with approved immigrant petitions by maintaining the petition’s validity in certain circumstances despite withdrawal of petitions and/or termination of employment.
- Allow certain high-skilled worker in the U.S. to apply for a work permit for a limited period if they have an immigrant petition approved, the priority date is not current, and there are compelling circumstances to allow work authorization.
Additional information is available at the USCIS website, https://www.uscis.gov/news/news-releases/uscis-publishes-final-rule-certain-employment-based-immigrant-and-nonimmigrant-visa-programs. For additional information about these changes and interest in employment-based immigration policy, please contact one of our experienced attorneys and we would be happy to answer you questions.