DHS will also look into recapturing Green Cards.
By The American Bazaar Staff
WASHINGTON, DC: The Department of Homeland Security hopes to publish a final rule in December of this year or January, 2015 regarding work authorization for the spouses of H-1B workers being sponsored for green cards, according to the California based law firm, The Chugh Firm.
It is not known as to how many individuals on H4 visas will benefit from the final rule, as the breadth and scope of the ruling would have to be in before an analysis could be made, according to a statement by Navneet Chugh, the founder of the firm, which is a member of the Southern California chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).
Chugh also anticipates in December or January guidance on the definition of specialized knowledge, for L-1 visas.
On STEM students, the firm says the Obama administration is expected to publish proposed rules in the spring that would: (a) increase the number of years that STEM graduates can remain in the US under post-completion optional practical training (OPT) – this would be for F-1 students earning degrees at US universities in STEM fields, and (b) allow individuals whose first college degree is in STEM but second degree (like MBAs with undergraduate engineering degrees) to also qualify for STEM OPT.
It might be considered to propose that dual intent be recognized for F-1 students, but this has not been decided. It is likely the proposed rule will require that the post-completion relationship will be strengthened between F-1 students and their universities. In addition, it is possible that the STEM field list might be expanded – such expansion can be done by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) under its current regulation, says Chugh.
Regarding rule changes on expanding visas for entrepreneurs, Chugh says there will be policy guidance issued that will allow “researchers, inventors, and founders” to qualify for National Interest Waivers under the Employment-Based Second Preference category.
“It is not clear how much that will help existing companies who are creating new jobs with research and development efforts. In addition, a regulation will be promulgated identifying criteria that entrepreneurs might satisfy to either be paroled into the US or be granted parole-in-place (if they are already here). Note that individuals in the US under parole may not adjust status in the US to green card through Employment -Based preferences, but could adjust status through family immigration,” says Chugh.
Importantly, for workers waiting for permanent residency, a ‘Presidential Memorandum on visa modernization’ will be undertaken with a timeline of 120 or 180 days to further consider recapture of Green Cards and various other issues, including small but meaningful changes to a variety of immigration rules and procedures at the Departments of State, Commerce, Education, Agriculture and Homeland Security, along with SBA, says Chugh.