On May 12, 2014, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
published two notices of proposed rulemaking in the Federal
Register. The public is able to comment on the proposed rules
during the 60-day comment period. The proposed changes include a
provision to allow spouses of certain H-1B employees to
work, add formal recognition of the E-3 and H-1B1 visa
classifications, and add a "general" category of
documentation of evidence for outstanding professors or researchers
Employment Authorization for Spouses of Certain H-1B
The proposal would amend current regulations to grant spouses of
H-1B workers (H-4 visa holders) the right to apply for an
Employment Authorization Document (which affords a blanket
authorization to work in the US) as long as the spouse holding H-1B
visa status is the beneficiary of an approved I-140 Immigrant Visa
Petition or has filed for an extension of H-1B visa status on the
basis of an approved I-140 petition, pursuant to sections 106(a)
and/or (b) of the American Competitiveness in the 21st Century
Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act
Recognizing E-3 and H-1B1 Temporary Work Visa Classifications
in the Regulations
Another proposed rule change seeks to amend the regulations to
clarify certain conditions of employment and benefits that pertain
to persons holding E-3 and H-1B1 temporary work visa status. E-3
visas are available to Australian citizens who will work in
temporary professional-level positions in the US, and H-1B1 visas
are available to Chilean and Singaporean citizens who will work in
temporary professional-level positions in the US.
The proposal would amend the regulations to clarify that people
holding these visa classifications may work in the US upon entry
into the US with these specific visa types, and also that once the
visa holders have entered the US to work, their employers may file
extension petitions for them, and benefit from the 240 day rule
that applies to other temporary work visa classifications. The
"240 day rule" authorizes continued employment
authorization for up to 240 days beyond the current work
authorization expiration date, so long as the sponsoring employer
timely files an extension of stay petition on behalf of an employee
holding a temporary work visa status.
Applicants for Outstanding Professor or Researcher Immigrant
("Green Card") Petitions
The final proposed change relates to the "Extraordinary
Ability" immigrant visa petition. The proposal seeks to
harmonize the Outstanding Researcher or Professor regulations with
the Extraordinary Ability regulations by adding a
"catch-all" category to the list of allowed criteria.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
On June 15, we reported that the State Department computer system used for verifying the personal data of visa applicants and for printing visa stamps was crippled by a "glitch" causing worldwide delays.
The State Department continues to report that "technical problems" with overseas systems preventing the Bureau of Consular Affairs from issuing visas, passports and other travel documents, since last week.
On June 12, 2015 the U.S. State Department announced that a computer glitch has hit the Consular Consolidated Database (CCD) affecting the printing of U.S. visas at all consulates and U.S. embassies worldwide.
On June 15, 2015, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) announced that it is experiencing technical problems with its visa system, which have resulted in delays in printing visas and may require rescheduling some visa interviews.
Charles Oppenheim, Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division, U.S. Department of State, shares his analysis of current trends and future projections for the various immigrant preference categories with AILA.