The long-threatened proposal to rescind the H-4 spousal work authorization has finally been sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review.
The details of the proposal are confidential and not available for review. OMB has up to 90 days to review the proposal. Once OMB finishes its review, the proposed rule will be published in the Federal Register. There will then be a public comment period of 30-60 days.
If you are a foreign national that will be affected by this change, or an employer of H-1B workers, your comments will be very important in preventing this rule being finalized. It is critical that the government hears personal stories of the devastating impact this will have on US residents and on companies hoping to attract and retain talent.
Until any new rule is finalized, current eligible H-4 holders can continue to apply for new and renewed employment authorization. Given that the proposed rule is a priority for the Department of Homeland Security, and may be enacted very soon after clearing the regulatory steps mentioned above, we recommend that H-4 holders apply for new or renewed EADs as soon as possible, before the program is eliminated.
For more information, and to check your eligibility for H-4 work authorization, please contact Elaine Martin.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released a fact sheet related to the automatic extension of certain employment authorization documents (EADs) described in the recent regulation on high-skilled workers. The fact sheet clarifies, “Employees with a timely filed EAD application that is still pending may qualify for the 180-day automatic extension, even if that application was filed prior to the effective date of this rule (Jan. 17, 2017).”
See the earlier post explaining the new rules in details here.
If you have any questions about this matter, please contact Elaine Martin, immigration lawyer.
USCIS has published a final rule to modernize and improve several aspects of certain employment-based nonimmigrant and immigrant visa programs. The proposed rules were discussed in an earlier blog post.
USCIS has also amended regulations to better enable U.S. employers to hire and retain certain foreign workers who are beneficiaries of approved employment-based immigrant visa (green card) petitions and are waiting to become lawful permanent residents. This rule goes into effect on Jan. 17, 2017.
DHS states that the amended regulations should:
Specifically, the regulations provide for the following.
Employment Authorization Documents (EADs)
Permanent Residence Applicants
There is a lot of information in the new rules, so please contact Elaine Martin if you have any questions about how these affect you or your employees.
USCIS Press Release
On December 31, 2015, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published long-awaited proposed regulations regarding work authorization for various categories of immigrant foreign nationals. The regulations are open for comment until February 29, 2016. The full 181 pages are available here.
In the news release, USCIS describes the regulations as aiming to "...modernize and improve certain aspects of employment-based nonimmigrant and immigrant visa programs. USCIS is also proposing regulatory amendments to better enable U.S. employers to hire and retain certain foreign workers who are beneficiaries of approved employment-based immigrant visa petitions and are waiting to become lawful permanent residents (LPRs)." Many of the regulations codify existing USCIS policy.
A brief summary of the new regulations is below. A more detailed analysis will follow in the next few days as we review the regulations.
Permanent Residence Applicants
Employment Authorization Documents (EAD)
For more details about the proposed changes, please check back with this blog soon, or contact us directly.
Elaine Martin has been practising US and global immigration law since 1997. She is an immigrant herself (from Ireland), so has a special understanding of the legal and emotional challenges involved in relocating to a new country.