D&S Immigration Update: DHS Releases Final Rule Regarding Retention of Immigrant Workers and Program Improvements Affecting High-Skilled Nonimmigrant Workers

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released published final rule today, November 18, 2016, which aims to improve the ability of U.S. employers to hire and retain high-skilled workers who are beneficiaries of approved I-140 employment-based immigrant visa petitions and are waiting to become lawful permanent residents, while increasing the ability of those workers to seek promotions, accept lateral positions with current employers, change employers, or pursue other employment options.

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"I-140 EAD Rule" Submitted to OMB For Final Review

This week the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) submitted The Proposed Rule for Retention of EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 Immigrant Workers and Program Improvements Affecting Highly-Skilled H-1B Nonimmigrant Workers, (frequently referred to as the "I-140-EAD Rule") to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for final review prior to publication.

The Proposed Rule was published at the end of 2015 and the public comment period lasted for the first 2 months of 2016. Since that time DHS been reviewing the public comments that were submitted in response to the proposed rule.  The OMB review process is expected to take 30-60 days and, upon completion, a final rule will be published and would be expected to take effect after 60 days from publication. At present DHS has not indicated whether any significant changes have been made to the rule in response to public comments to the Proposed Rule.

D&S will continue to monitor developments and provide updates as they become available.