New Immigration Rule Enhances Opportunities for H1b1, CW-1,  E-3 Nonimmigrants and EB-1 Immigrants

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) revised its rules that affect highly skilled workers, the immigrant classification for outstanding professors and researchers, and nonimmigrant workers in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) Only Transitional Worker (CW-1) classification. These changes will benefit these visa categories because they remove unnecessary hurdles that place holders of these visas at a disadvantage compared to similarly situated workers in other visa classifications.

The new rule amends the regulations to include H1b1 and principal E-3 classifications in the list of classes of foreign nationals authorized for employment incident to status with a specific employer, and to clarify that H1b1 and principle E3 nonimmigrants are allowed to work without having to separately apply to DHS for employment authorization and will be allowed to file for a change of status. The rules also amend the regulations to allow H1b1 and principle E3 nonimmigrants the authorization to continue to work with the same employer for up to 240 days if the employer has timely filed for an extension of the nonimmigrant’s stay. The same will apply to CW1 nonimmigrants if a petitioner has timely filed Form I-129CW requesting an extension of stay. These changes will harmonize the regulations of these visa categories with other similarly situated nonimmigrant classifications. The EB1 immigrant category for outstanding professors and researchers will now allow petitioners to submit evidence comparable to the other forms of evidence already listed in the regulation. The final rule will be effective February 16, 2016.

The final rule will not add any additional costs on employers, workers, or any governmental entity. Amending the regulation will allow American companies to attract foreign highly skilled nonimmigrant and immigrant workers. This will in turn aid American companied to remain competitive in the international market.

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