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USCIS’ New Guidelines for H-1B Visa Holders

USCIS' New Guidelines for H-1B Visa Holders

New guidelines were released by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on June 14th, 2023. This was for people with H-1B visas and green cards based on employment.

Also, it looks like they’re being more open to hiring high-skilled people than they were under the Trump administration. Let’s take a look at these new guidelines.

What are these new guidelines for H-1B Visas?

These new guidelines are about what it takes to qualify for an EAD in tough situations. They are based on what’s already in place, and they’re meant to help people who are in a tough spot, like if they’ve lost their job or nonimmigrant status. 

Basically, they’re a temporary fix for situations like this, and they want to ensure that everyone who applies is admissible in tough situations. The first EAD depends on a lot of compelling factors, but there are certain criteria you need to meet. For example, you need to:

  1. Be a beneficiary of an approved I-140 immigrant petition in any of the first to third employment preference categories. 
  2. Have no change of status pending applications. 
  3. Have a valid nonimmigrant status or an approved grace period when you file Form I-765.
  4. Provide your biometrics and those of your family.
  5. You and your family don’t have any criminal convictions or any more than one misdemeanor. 
  6. USCIS can give you the green light to work for good reasons.

The guidelines give examples of compelling circumstances under the current rules. These include serious illness and disability and disputes between employers and employees. Other things to consider include serious harm to the person applying for the job, a lot of disruption to the company, and being in the country for a long time.

These examples are not the whole story. Officers can make decisions based on what evidence they have. Employment authorization documents for compelling circumstances are only valid for a year and are not extended automatically.

Importance of the new guidelines

If you are in an unexpected situation, these new guidelines will help you out. They will also help you figure out if you qualify for immigration relief. The EAD regulation was implemented in 2017 but wasn’t used much during the Trump administration. 

It was necessary to come up with ways to justify EAD for things like temporary visa holders waiting for a backlog of visas or nonimmigrants with kids in school. It’s because these things can cause a lot of hardship. But you don’t need to be in an extreme or hardship situation to qualify for EAD.

You can even qualify for it if you have lost a skilled nonimmigrant. It’s probably not a good idea to apply for employment authorization on the grounds of compelling circumstances. A better option is to renew your status with a different employer, which is legal and will keep your green card process going. 

If you can’t renew your status because of an employment dispute or medical condition, you can apply for emergency circumstances EAD, which will protect you from getting kicked out of the US. The guidelines want to help people who are waiting for a green card, so they have listed things like long-term residency, a mortgage, and kids in school as acceptable. 

The EAD option is a bridge between H-1B Visas, but you may need to apply for foreign acquisition if it’s filed more than 60 days after you lost your job. But this option only works after getting the I-140 approved. EAD recipients need to find other ways to work in the US for a long time until they can get permanent residency. 

New employers of nonimmigrants need to file a labor certification, an I-140 petition, and a new visa priority date. Consular processing is available when the immigrant visa priority date is available. In addition to the labor certification and the I-140, a new employer might also submit an H-1B visa application for the foreign employee.

Let’s Help You 

Are you looking at taking advantage of these new guidelines? Or do you want your new employer to file a fresh petition? But, you don’t know how? Gehi & Associates can help you.

The team of experienced immigration attorneys at Gehi & Associates can provide you with the legal support you need. Connect with us NOW.

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