Reforms to the Employment Visa System as per President Obama’s Immigration Executive Action

Among the proposed changes to the current immigration system, is the one to help U.S. high skilled businesses in being able to hire foreign workers and retain them permanently.

Key administrative reforms include:

I. Simplify Immigrant Visa allocation by working with the Department of State in order to ensure all visas are issued to eligible individuals.

II. Simplify the current Visa Bulletin system in order to determine when immigrant visas are available in a fiscal year.

III. Reduce waiting times for immigrant visas to become available and improve on visa processing.

IV. Expand the degree programs available for OPT (Optional Practical Training).

V. Enhance opportunities for foreign inventors, researchers and founders of start-up enterprises wishing to conduct research and development to create jobs in the United States by granting them National Interest Waivers and as a result, green cards, or through investment.

VI. Efficient adjudications of L-1B petitions by providing further guidance on the definition of “specialized knowledge.”

VII. Finalize the rule to provide employment authorization documents (EAD) to dependents of H-1B’s, i.e. H-4s who are in route of obtaining lawful permanent resident status.

VIII. Flexibility on ‘portability’ when pending for employment-based permanent resident status.

IX. Modernize the PERM program in order to obtain a Labor Certification.

Sources

1. http://www.immigrationpolicy.org/special-reports/guide-immigration-accountability-executive- action?utm_source=AILA+Mailing&utm_campaign=c2b3d967aa-AILA8_11_26_14&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_3c0e619096-c2b3d967aa-290883813

2. http://www.uscis.gov/immigrationaction

3. “The President’s Immigration Accountability Executive Actions Announced November 20-21, 2014,” AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 14112446 (Posted 11/24/14).

4. “AILA’s Take on President Obama’s ‘Immigration Accountability Executive Action’ Plan,” AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 14112448 (Posted 11/24/14).

5. Johnsen, Jeh C., Memorandum on “Policies Supporting U.S. High-Skilled Businesses and Workers,” AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 14112009 (Posted 11/20/14).