With an eye to improving the ability of U.S. employers to hire and retain highly skilled workers on employment-related visas, the Department of Homeland Security introduced new final rules that will go into effect on January 17th, 2017. According to Berd & Klauss, PLLC, NYC immigration lawyers offering boutique services to clients around the world, these new rules include several amendments with benefits for nonimmigrant employees and employers alike.
The new rules, entitled “Retention of EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 Immigrant Workers and Program Improvements Affecting High-Skilled Nonimmigrant Workers,” contain several provisions designed to provide greater flexibility and visa portability to visa holders such as:
- 60-day grace periods, during which nonimmigrant visa holders will be allowed to search out new employment opportunities if their current job ends before their eligibility period.
- New rules granting H-1B visa holders the ability to change employers or jobs, either with an H-1B portability petition or bridge petitions.
- New language clarifying several current DHS policies, including temporary H-1B approvals for some workers unable to obtain adequate licensing.
Several components of the new rules acknowledge the difficulties many highly skilled workers encounter with long waits and extensive backlogs. Once the new rules go into effect, some workers with I-140 applications who have been approved for more than 180 days but haven't yet obtained Lawful Permanent Resident status because of visa backlogs will no longer face automatic revocation. New I-140 applicants will also generally be given a priority date, which may be transferred to subsequently approved petitions.
The immigration lawyers at Berd & Klauss, PLLC pride themselves on offering detailed legal guidance based on a deep and constantly updated knowledge of the DHS rules, regulations, and law. To learn more about how this final rule affects you and to schedule a consultation with a skilled immigration lawyer, visit their website or call (212) 461-7152.