New USCIS Rule to Benefit Certain High Skilled Nonimmigrants and Immigrants

On January 15, 2016, USCIS published a new rule affecting H-1B1 and E-3 nonimmigrants, as well as certain EB-1 immigrants.

The rule harmonizes the regulations with the implementing statute so that both state that H-1B1 and E-3 nonimmigrant workers are authorized to work for a specific employer incident to their status.  The rule clarifies that there is no further filing needed with USCIS to document the H-1B1 or E-3 nonimmigrant’s employment authorization in the United States.

The rule also permits E-3 and H-1B1 nonimmigrants to continue employment with a specific employer upon the employer’ filing of a timely extension of stay petition for the E-3 or H-1B1 nonimmigrant for 240 days beyond the initial time that the Department of Homeland Security granted while USCIS adjudicates the pending extension filing.  Additionally, the rule now specifically provides that E-3 and H1B1 nonimmigrants can change status or extend their stay in the United States.

Finally, the rule permits EB-1 outstanding professors and researchers to submit comparable evidence of eligibility instead of or in addition to the specific type of evidence set forth in the regulations, if the latter do not readily apply.