The New Year will bring greater work authorization flexibility for foreign workers and their employers. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Department of Homeland Security published Retention of EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 Immigrant Workers and Program Improvements Affecting High-Skilled Nonimmigrant Workers, a final rule that modernizes the U.S. immigration system to help employers hire and retain global talent. The rule is slated to take effect Jan. 17, 2017.
Here are some highlights of the new rule:
- Career advancement: Sponsored employees can move further along in their careers by accepting promotions, changing roles within the same employer and pursuing employment opportunities with other organizations.
- Work authorization extensions: Select high-skilled visa holders (E-3, H-1B, H-1B1, L-1 or O-1) may file for temporary employment authorization documents (EAD) if they are the main beneficiary of an approved I-140 petition, they have not received an approved green card petition and they have a compelling circumstance to cause issuance of the EAD card.
- 10-day grace periods: E-1, E-2, E-3, L-1 and TN visa holders may obtain 10 additional days of lawful status while they make arrangements for securing another work authorization, departing the United States or extending their current status.
- 60-day grace periods: Individuals who haven’t secured new employment, and thus can’t file for an extension of status, now have 60 additional days to find a sponsoring employer.
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