The Department of Homeland Security has announced three new proposed rules that would benefit U.S. companies sponsoring foreign national employees for work visas. First, the government proposes to allow work authorization for spouses of H-1B workers. The catch is that not any spouse may apply, only the H-4 spouses of employees for whom the employer has already pursued permanent residence. Specifically, the employer must have already obtained an approved I-140 immigrant petition or an approved labor certification if the H-1B employee has worked in H-1B status for more than six years already.
Second, the government proposes to equalize the initial period of stay allowed for E-3, H-1B1 and CW-1 workers as to H-1B workers. To break this down, E-3 is a category similar to the H-1B visa but for Australians only. H-1B1 is also similar to H-1B, but for Chileans and Singaporeans only. CW-1 is for people from the Northern Mariana Islands. Currently, they are admitted for just 180 days, while H-1B workers can be initially admitted for up to three years.
Finally, the government proposes to add to new regulations for EB-1 (the first employment based category for permanent residence). The proposed regulation would specifically permit EB-1 outstanding researchers and professors to submit “comparable evidence” to establish their eligibility for EB-1 classification. Currently the government restricts the types of evidence that may be considered to that which is specifically listed in the regulation.
For more information, visit: http://www.dhs.gov/news/2014/05/06/dhs-announces-proposals-attract-and-retain-highly-skilled-immigrants