DHS to propose allowing work authorization for spouses of certain H-1B workers, and more

News Release from Jewell & Associates, PC

The Department of Homeland Security has announced that it will publish a proposed rule that would:

  1. Allow work authorization for H-4 spouses of certain H-1B workers in the permanent residence (green card) process based on employment. For the H-4 spouse to qualify for work authorization, the H-1B worker would have to (a) be the beneficiary of an approved Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, or (b) have been granted an extension of H-1B status beyond the usual six-year limit, under the provisions of AC21 (the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act of 2000, as amended).
  2. Clarify that Australian E-3 workers and Singaporean and Chilean H-1B1 workers do not need EAD cards to work for the sponsoring employer; also, allow Australian E-3s,  Singaporean and Chilean H-1B1s, and Northern Marianas CW-1s to continue working for up to 240 days during the pendency of an E-3, H-1B 1, or CW-1 extension application filed with USCIS. The rule would add E-3 and H-1B1 nonimmigrant workers to the list of classes of aliens authorized for employment “incident to status” with a specific employer, meaning that the E-3 or H-1B status itself carries work authorization, without the necessity of a separate Employment Authorization Document (EAD card).  The rule would also bring E-3, H-1B1, and CW-1 nonimmigrant workers into line with H-1Bs and other work classifications in allowing up to 240 days of continued work authorization beyond the expiration date noted on their Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, while an extension request is pending.
  3. Expand the list of evidentiary criteria for EB-1 outstanding professors and researchers to include “other comparable evidence.” This would add “other comparable evidence” to the list of types of evidence supporting an EB-1 immigrant petition for an “outstanding professor or researcher,” i.e., an EB-1B petition.  EB-1A petitions, for persons of “extraordinary ability,” already permit the use of “other comparable evidence.”

Further information can be found in the White House press release.

By Phyllis Jewell and Christopher Beckerson. © Jewell & Associates, PC 2014