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.