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Are you ready for these changes? A new president today. New DHS regulations as of Jan. 17. And a new I-9 form on Jan. 22.
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Immigration Bulletin
 

Giselle Carson, Esq. - Shareholder - Business Immigration Attorney
904-398-0900 - www.marksgray.com

A New Administration, New I-9, & New Rules Affecting High-Skilled Foreign Workers & Employers

Today, as Donald Trump becomes the 45th President of the United States, it is unclear whether he will have an easier time advancing his immigration agenda than President Obama.

Like President Obama, he starts his term with his party holding majority in both chambers of Congress. If the White House and the Republican-led Congress can find common ground, we might see advancement and implementation of some of Trump’s immigration agenda items that require Congressional approval.

These items include:
  • increasing appropriations to build a border wall,
  • refocusing legal immigration on high-skilled immigrants,
  • reducing legal immigration to “historic levels,”
  • and making the E-Verify program mandatory nationwide.
Additionally, we expect a significant increase in I-9 audits under his administration. Employers need to ensure they are ready to properly implement the new Form I-9 starting January 22, 2017.

At the same time, we are benefiting from new regulations that were put into motion about a year ago, but just implemented. They provide some welcomed relief in the business immigration space.
 

The New DHS Regulations


The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) rule “Retention of EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 Immigrant Workers and Program Improvements Affecting High-Skilled Nonimmigrant Workers” officially took effect on January 17, 2017.  The rule amends regulations related to certain employment-based immigrant and nonimmigrant visa programs.

The final rule does not provide all the improvement we had hoped. However, there are many new benefits, such as new grace periods, priority date retention in certain situations, and the continued validity of a withdrawn I-140 in certain circumstances.

The goal of these changes is to improve the ability of US employers to hire and retain high-skilled workers who are beneficiaries of approved employment-based immigrant visa petitions and are waiting to become lawful permanent residents.

Additionally, the new rule is aimed at improving the ability of those workers to pursue new career opportunities, such as seeking promotions, accepting lateral positions with current employers, changing employers, or pursuing other employment options. It is also intended to provide relief to high-skilled workers caught in backlogs, mainly from India and China.

Many of these regulations and policies were already being used in practice but are now codified in the law. However, some changes are brand new and therefore untested. We will be monitoring how these changes are put into practice to better understand how they can potentially benefit or harm the cases of our clients.
 

FAQs about the New Rule Affecting High-Skilled Workers & Employers


At the link below, you will find general FAQs about the new rule.

We will follow up with more articles and FAQs specific to the H-1B, H-1B cap exemptions, priority date retention, job portability, compelling circumstances EADs, and the automatic extensions of EADs.
DOWNLOAD FAQS ▼
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