Friday, November 21, 2014

PRESIDENT OBAMA TAKES EXECUTIVE ACTION

Last night President Obama announced the Immigration Accountability Executive Actions (IAEA), which is a series of wide-ranging changes to immigration policy.  Most of the major changes are centered on the undocumented community.  However, some changes will impact the business community.  At this point, only summary policies have been released by the administration.  Over the next few days and weeks, more details will emerge.  None of the changes are expected to take effect until after the New Year

MU Law will be holding a client teleconference on Tuesday December 2, 2014 at 2PM ET / 11AM PT for all clients and friends of the firm.  If you or anyone in your organization would like to dial-in to the teleconference, please contact Annalisa Smith (Annalisa@muimmigration.com) to register.

Here are the key components of the IAEA, with a focus on the policies that will impact clients and friends of MU Law:

1. Allowing earlier filing of the I-485, Adjustment of Status: Green card applicants will no longer have to wait until their priority date is current in order to file their I-485, Adjustment of Status. This is especially helpful for India and China EB-2 applicants and all EB-3 applicants in the US.

a. By allowing green card applicants to file their I-485, Adjustment of Status much earlier in the green card process than under the current process, applicant’s spouses will be able to obtain work authorization (EAD cards) many years earlier than under the current policy. 
b.  Once an I-485 is pending for 180 days, applicants are able to leave their green card employer-sponsor provided that they have found a “same or similar” position.  The President has also announced that the USCIS will be providing guidance on the definition of “same or similar”.  The forthcoming guidance is expected to be more liberal than the current interpretation.

2.  H-4 Work Authorization.  This long-proposed rule will allow spouses of H-1B workers to obtain work authorization.  Earlier this summer, the USCIS floated a proposal that limited the EAD to H-4 spouses whose H-1B workers have been in the green card process for at least one year.  A final regulation is expected in December or January.

3. PERM.  The Department of Labor is expected to “modernize” the PERM process, including a potential “harmless error” provision.

4. Entrepreneurs.  The administration will be “clarifying” rules regarding using the national interest waiver and parole processes for entrepreneurs.  It is expected that these rules will be liberalized to encourage investment and entrepreneurs.

5. L-1B Guidance.  The L-1B visa system is riddled with inconsistent decision-making.  The USCIS will be offering guidance to help on this issue.

6. OPT.  Optional Practical Training will be expanded.

7. Deferred Action expansion.  This provision is the focus of much of the media attention.  Some undocumented and illegal people in the US will be able to gain temporary three year work authorization and no longer be under the threat of deportation/removal. 

a. Deferred Action for Parents (DAP): Parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (of any age) who have been continuously present since January 1, 2010, and who pass background checks and pay back taxes; and

b.  DACA Expansion: The age cap on DACA will be removed and the date when continuous presence must have started will be changed from June 15, 2007 to January 1, 2010. 

13 comments:

  1. Will this action benefit International RNs from India who have been waiting since 2007 to become their priority date to become current.

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  2. H1b with expiring visa (more than 5 yrs in usa and had a family here) have no benefit from not being deportd?

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    1. @Dexter - I do not understand your question. Feel free to email me. -Chris

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. What does it mean for PERM harmless error provision?

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  5. @Borg- The rule has not been released so we do not know at this time. My expectation is that the PERM rule will change slightly. Right now all errors made to a PERM form, including typographical errors, are valid reasons for the DOL to deny the PERM. A "harmless error" provision would force the DOL to consider whether the error was major or minor. If the error was minor the DOL could still approve the PERM.

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  6. I am a foreign PT from India but have done my masters in the USA. will there be any impact of this reform on my green card process. My priority date is Jan 2011.

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  7. @ PT2006 - Yes - most certainly. You may be able to file your Adjustment of Status much earlier than otherwise. Have you filed your I-140 yet?

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  8. Yes my I140 is ready . Do you think India EB 2 category will be current soon?

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  9. @PT 2006 - Unfortunately I do not think that the India EB2 will be current soon.

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