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Information Regarding Recent Executive Order

2014-11-21, BY WeGreened

President Obama has released an executive order/executive action relating to immigration reform. At this time, no changes have been made for employment-based green card applications.  For our clients, we will need to wait until the policies/regulations become effective before we can take any action. 

 Those with I-140 Approval and Priority Date Not Current

At this time we do not have specific details about this provision, but the idea is that those foreign nationals with approved I-140 petitions who are waiting for the priority date to become current could “obtain the benefits of a pending adjustment.” This change will be made via regulation.

What this means – These actions need to be taken via the regulatory process, which is often time-consuming.  There is no expected date for these changes to take place and there is no action that can be taken by individuals who will ultimately benefit from the regulations at this time.

This means that priority dates will not be affected in the near future by these changes.  If your priority date is not current, you will still be subject to the Visa Bulletin priority dates.  Once these changes are implemented, it is unclear what the form of the benefits will be, but we will certainly need to wait until the regulation is passed and becomes effective before we can take advantage of the process.  This may take many months and it is not possible to predict when these regulations will become effective at this time.

For clients with current priority dates, your situation has not changed

AC-21 Job Portability

The announcement also calls for expanding and clarifying the language of AC-21s “same or similar job” language to make it easier to distinguish what would classify as a same or similar job.  The announcement recognizes that the current guidance is unclear as to whether a job falls within the same or similar classification and calls for guidance to be released to more easily ensure that a job change is allowable.

Work Authorization for H-4 Spouses

If an H-1B holder has an approved I-140 or has been granted extension of his or her H-1B status beyond 6 years under AC-21, then the H-4 spouse may be eligible to receive work authorization under this proposed regulation.  Since this is a regulation, we cannot predict when this will exactly come into effect, but December/January seems to be the target date.

Please note that this regulation will not offer employment authorization for all H-4 visa holders.

  Expanded Guidance for National Interest Waivers

The executive announcement calls for policy guidance to be issued to better allow for National Interest Waivers to be available to entrepreneurs, researchers, inventors, and founders.  This will not need to be done via regulation, but the expected date of policy guidance to be released is unknownAt this time, there is no change for NIW petitions.

F-1 OPT & STEM

The executive announcement calls for the maximum amount of time for certain OPT and STEM graduates to be extended. This change is also to be done via regulation.  Please speak with your F-1 institution to see how the proposed changes may affect your status.

 

Q: I already filed my case. Will this affect my case or status?
A: As you can see above, there are multiple changes. At this time, it is not expected that these changes will negatively affect any of our clients’ filed cases. If there are changes that would benefit you, we will assist as soon as the framework is in place to do so. 

Q: I am still preparing for my case, is there anything changed?
A: Since it will take a while for the USCIS to release the guidelines for the changes, we suggest that you continue to prepare your cases as usual.


Please note that the information outlined above is based on the information currently available, which is subject to change going forward. We will post more information as it is available. 

At this time, please do NOT take any actions in preparation for the proposed changes listed above other than speaking with your international office about your OPT status. The details for the proposed changes have not been finalized or put into action yet, and at this time it is not prudent to begin preparing any documentation in advance of the proposed changes.

 

 


The key to our success is the way in which we present supporting evidence and provide the highest quality petition letters. With over 12,000 I-140 EB-1 ( EB-1A Alien of Extraordinary Ability; EB-1B Outstanding Researcher or Professor) and EB-2 NIW (National Interest Waiver) approvals, our firm has acquired substantial information about USCIS decisions, which gives us significant advantage over firms that only handle a small number of cases.

Based on hundreds of approvals every month and our close track of USCIS internal memoranda, AAO decisions, and judicial review decisions, we have unique insight into the USCIS adjudication trends. Not only do we apply this insight into our approaches to our clients' cases, but we also carefully review all RFEs (Requests for Evidence), NOIDs (Notices of Intent to Deny), approvals, and denials issued on our cases so that we can further increase our understanding of USCIS strategies and decision-making processes. With the insight, we are able to advise our clients on the best ways to proceed with their petitions.

While other petitioners and attorneys may still use templates to draft recommendation letters or petition letters, our clients' recommendation letters and petition letters are tailored to their individual credentials to best persuade a USCIS officer that our clients meet the requirements of the category they are applying under and therefore their petitions deserve to be approved. To provide the best EB-1 and EB-2 NIW services, our law firm only selects attorneys who have received their professional Juris Doctor degrees from the top law schools in the U.S. and who have garnered rigorous analytical skills through years of experience.


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