On February 16, 2016, a new rule became effective to authorize continued employment for up to 240 days for H-1B1 (Chile, Singapore), E-3 (Australia) and CW-1 (Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands) nonimmigrants whose status has expired, provided that the employer timely filed an extension of stay with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. This change will minimize workforce disruptions for U.S. employers and ease hardships to H-1B1, E-3, and CW-1 nonimmigrants who were previously excluded from the 240-day rule.
L-1A is an intra-company transfer of manager or executive between a foreign company and a US company. The person who pursues an L-1A visa must be serving in a position with managerial capacity pursuant to Immigration and Naturalization Act (the “Act”).
One of the key elements in Labor Certification application is the job requirements in terms of education and work experience. According to relevant regulations, the requirements for a job opportunity “cannot exceed the Specific Vocational Preparation (“SVP”) level assigned to the occupation as shown in the O*NET job zones.
Regulation 20 CFR 656.3 provides the meaning of SVP values for occupation requirements. SVP is the amount of lapsed time required by a typical worker to learn the techniques, acquire the information, and develop the facility needed for average performance in a specific job-worker situation. Lapsed time is not the same as work time. For example, 30 days is approximately 1 month of lapsed time and not six 5-day work weeks, and 3 months refers to 3 calendar months and not 90 work days.
The various SVP levels of specific vocational preparation are provided below. Read More
For many decades, USCIS policy interpreted the INA to mean that if the approval of an immigrant visa petition, refugee/asylee relative petition, or application for immigration benefits requires the existence of a family relationship between the alien and another individual, the death of the individual, while the case is pending, generally meant that the alien was no longer eligible for the benefit. By regulation, 8 CFR 205.1(a)(3)(iii), USCIS had discretion to allow the approval of an immediate relative and family-based petition to remain in effect, even if the petitioner died after USCIS approved the petition. INA 204(l) gives USCIS much broader discretion to permit an alien’s case to be approved, even if the petitioner or principal beneficiary has died. Below provides guidance for exercising that discretion. Read More
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in October 2015 proposed to amend its F-1 nonimmigrant student visa regulations on optional practical training (OPT) for certain students with degrees in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) from U.S. institutions of higher education. Specifically, the proposal would allow such F-1 STEM students who have elected to pursue 12 months of OPT in the United States to extend the OPT period by 24 months (STEM OPT extension). This 24-month extension would effectively replace the 17-month STEM OPT extension currently available to certain STEM students. The rule also improves and increases oversight over STEM OPT extensions by, among other things, requiring the implementation of formal mentoring and training plans by employers, adding wage and other protections for STEM OPT students and U.S. workers, and allowing extensions only to students with degrees from accredited schools.