President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, which were announced recently and are scheduled to take effect soon, are intended to “make it easier and faster for high-skilled immigrants, graduates and entrepreneurs to stay and contribute to our economy, as so many business leaders have proposed.”
According to Will Krasnow, partner at Constangy, Brooks & Smith, the President’s proposals means that a larger pool of undocumented individuals – some 5 million –will be eligible to receive work authorization.
Other proposals should improve the United States’ legal immigration system, according to Krasnow. He noted the following as improvements to the system:
• Appropriate agencies will look at ways to modernize the visa system, including efforts to ensure that all available visa numbers are captured. These agencies will also consider whether spouses and children of employees should be counted as individual applicants, or whether one visa could cover the entire family.
• Liberalize the rules for national interest waivers to allow employees to bypass the recruitment of U.S. workers via the PERM (permanent labor certification) process.
• The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is expected to clarify its interpretation of ‘specialized knowledge’ when it comes to L-1B visas.
• Employees with approved I-140 petitions who are unable to apply for permanent residency because of the unavailability of a visa number will be allowed the benefits of adjustment of status – that is, employment and travel authorization, and the ability to transfer to a new position or employer in the same occupational classification as the one covered by the I-140 petition or a similar one.
• STEM-based (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) optional practical training will be expanded.
• Spouses of H-1B workers who are in the latter stages of the permanent resident process will be allowed to apply for employment authorization. The proposed rule, which was announced before the Executive Actions on Immigration, is to be finalized by January 2015.
Article courtesy of TIRE REVIEW.