DHS Announces Final Rule Improving Certain Programs for Highly Skilled Workers

Last week, the Department of Homeland Security published a final rule that improves the programs for the H-1B1 (specialty occupations from Chile, Singapore), E-3 (specialty occupations from Australia) and CW-1 (CNMI-Only Transitional Worker) nonimmigrant classifications and the EB-1 (employment-based first preference) immigrant classification. The amended regulations remove unnecessary obstacles that place these workers at a disadvantage when compared to similarly situated workers in other visa classifications. Some of the highlights of the amended DHS regulations include:

  • H-1B1 and E-3 nonimmigrants are allowed to work for the sponsoring employer without having to separately apply for employment authorization.
  • DHS is authorizing continued employment with the same employer for up to 240 days for H-1B1 and E-3 nonimmigrants whose status has expired while their employer’s timely filed extension of stay request remains pending.
  • DHS is providing the same continued employment authorization for CW-1 nonimmigrants whose status has expired while their employer’s timely filed Form I-129CW remains pending.
  • Employers petitioning for EB-1 may now submit initial evidence comparable to the other forms of evidence already listed in 8 CFR 204.5(i)(3)(i).

For more information on these amendments and to read the final rule, please visit the DHS’ Enhancing Opportunities for H-1B1, DW-1, and E-3 Nonimmigrants and EB-1 Immigrants in the 1/15/16 Federal Register.

Rachel is an intern with the firm and is not a practicing attorney.

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The global economy has become increasingly transactional and transcontinental. Since 9/11, there have been many amendments to immigration laws in the United States that have largely affected both individuals and businesses. Cozen O'Connor's immigration law blog, ABC's of Immigration Law, focuses on the interests and the challenges faced by those individuals and business impacted by immigration laws.
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