DHS Proposed Rule on Enhancing Opportunities for High-Skilled Specialty Occupation Professionals

DHS Proposed Rule on Enhancing Opportunities for High-Skilled Specialty Occupation Professionals

DHS has proposed a rule to include nonimmigrant high-skilled specialty occupation professionals from Chile and Singapore (H-1B1) and from Australia (E-3) in the list of classes of aliens authorized for employment incident to status with a specific employer, to clarify that H-1B1 and principal E-3 nonimmigrants are allowed to work without having to separately apply to DHS for employment authorization.

DHS also is proposing to provide authorization for continued employment with the same employer if the employer has timely-filed for an extension of the nonimmigrant’s stay. DHS also proposes this same continued work authorization for Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)-Only Transitional Worker (CW-1) nonimmigrants if a Petition for a CNMI-Only Nonimmigrant Transitional Worker, Form I–129CW, is timely filed to apply for an extension of stay.

In addition, DHS is proposing to update the regulations describing the filing procedures for extensions of stay and change of status requests to include the principal E- 3 and H-1B1 nonimmigrant classifications. These changes would harmonize the regulations for E-3, H-1B1, and CW-1 nonimmigrant classifications with the existing regulations for other, similarly situated nonimmigrant classifications.

Finally, DHS is proposing to expand the current list of evidentiary criteria for employment-based first preference (EB-1) outstanding professors and researchers to allow the submission of evidence comparable to the other forms of evidence already listed in the regulations. This proposal would harmonize the regulations for EB-1 outstanding professors and researchers with other employment-based immigrant categories that already allow for submission of comparable evidence.

DHS is proposing these changes to the regulations to benefit these highly skilled workers and CW-1 transitional workers by removing unnecessary hurdles that place such workers at a disadvantage when compared to similarly situated workers in other visa classifications.