New Policies and Objectives for High Skilled Businesses and Workers

The November 20, 2014 Executive Order is intended to impact US high skilled businesses and workers.  While limited on details, the President outlined the below objectives.  USCIS is expected issue several memos that will provide greater detail in achieving the objectives below.   As more details become available, Cipolla Law Group will provide more information.  To see if you will benefit from the below changes, schedule a consultation with one of the immigration lawyers at Cipolla Law Group.

The objectives include:

  • Finalize a rule to provide work authorization to the spouses of certain H-1B visa holders who are on the path to lawful permanent resident status – This should effect many Chinese and Indian foreign nationals with pending (in most cases approved I-140 petitions) in EB2 and EB3 Green Card cases that are in H1B status.
  • Provide clarity on adjustment portability to remove unnecessary restrictions on natural career progression and general job mobility to provide relief to workers facing lengthy adjustment delays.  This will also effect many Chinese and Indian immigrants in H1B status that are currently facing 5 to 10 year wait times for their green card applications to be approved.
  • Clarify the standard by which a national interest waiver may be granted to foreign inventors, researchers and founders of start-up enterprises to benefit the U.S economy.  This will be supportive for many high skilled workers, however it may not be very beneficiary to Chinese and Indian immigrants due to EB2 retrogression for China and India.  Nevertheless, clearer standards for NIW cases is generally welcomed.
  • Authorize parole (ie. Admission into the US without an immigration status such as E2 status, on a case-by-case basis, to eligible inventors, researchers and founders of start-up enterprises who may not yet qualify for a national interest waiver, but who:
    • Have been awarded substantial U.S. investor financing; or
    • Otherwise hold the promise of innovation and job creation through the development of new technologies or the pursuit of cutting-edge research.

The parole will likely benefit Chinese, Indian, Israeli, and other entrepreneurs from countries that do not have a treaty with the United States.  This is a welcome objective.

  • Expand the OPT STEM extension

Provide clear, consolidated guidance on the meaning of “specialized knowledge” to bring greater clarity and integrity to the L-1B program, improve consistency in adjudications, and enhance companies’ confidence in the program.  This is a very welcome objective and hopefully the new expected guidance due to the increased denial rate in the L-1B specialized knowledge category.   It is unfortunate that L-1A criteria does not receive more attention due to the increased denial rate from 2008 through the present.