Last week the Department of Homeland Security proposed to amend regulations affecting certain employment-based immigrant and nonimmigrant classifications in what has been named, “Retention of EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 Immigrant Workers and Program Improvements Affecting Highly-Skilled H-1B Alien Workers” (RIN:1615-AC05) While the details of this proposed rule have yet to be disclosed, the stated purpose is to amend current regulations to provide stability and job flexibility for the beneficiaries of approved employment-based immigrant visa petitions (I-140) while they wait to become lawful permanent residents.
These amendments would support U.S. employers by better enabling them to hire and retain highly-skilled foreign workers. DHS proposes to accomplish this, in part, by implementing certain provisions of ACWIA and AC21, as amended by the 21st Century DOJ Appropriations Act. The proposed amendments would increase the incentive of highly-skilled and other foreign workers who have begun the immigration process to remain in and contribute to the U.S. economy as they complete the process to adjust status to or otherwise acquire lawful permanent resident status, thereby minimizing disruptions to petitioning U.S. employers.
Attracting and retaining highly-skilled persons is important when considering their contributions to the U.S. economy, including advances in entrepreneurial and research and development endeavors, which are highly correlated with overall economic growth and job creation.
After the proposed rule has been vetted by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, it will be published to the Federal Register for a period of 30 days for public comment. At that time, we will be able to provide more details about the regulation changes.