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Immigration News Updates

By Humera Subhani Email By Humera Subhani
June 2014
Immigration News Updates

Proposed Rule for H-4 Employment Authorization

On May 12, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a proposed regulatory change in the Federal Register that would make certain H-4 dependent spouses eligible to apply for employment authorization. This proposal is now subject to a 60-day public comment period, after which the DHS will review and consider any comments submitted. Please note that H-4s continue to be ineligible for employment unless this DHS proposal is finalized.

There would be two groups eligible to apply for employment authorization, should the rule go into effect as proposed:

• H-4 spouses of H1B workers who are the beneficiaries of approved I-140 immigrant petitions.

• H-4 spouses of principals whose H1B status was extended beyond the six-year limit under the H1B provisions of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act (AC21). The requirements for extension of H1B status under AC21 are that (a) the foreign national must be the beneficiary of a PERM labor certification (LC) made 365 days prior (or have filed the I-140 petition 365 days earlier in those cases that do not need the LC filing); or (b) the LC and I-140 must be approved, with no visa number (based upon the priority date) available.

H4 children are not covered under this rule, so the regulation would allow work permission only for spouses.

When the rule is finalized, the H-4 spouse would need to apply for an employment authorization document (EAD). The individual would not become authorized to work until the EAD application is approved.

H1B FY 2015 Data Entry Completed

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on May 2 that data entry of all FY15 H-1B cap petitions has been completed. USCIS will now begin returning all H-1B cap petitions that were not selected in the lottery.

U.S. businesses use the H-1B program to employ foreign workers in occupations that require highly specialized knowledge in fields such as science, engineering, and computer programming.

New I-94 Webpage Offers I-94 Record Access

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) launched a new webpage on May 1 that offers nonimmigrant U.S. visitors access to their I-94 arrival/departure record and their arrival/departure history.

The new CBP webpage allows nonimmigrant travelers to access arrival/departure records going back five years from the request date. This electronic travel-history function means that travelers may no longer need to file Freedom of Information Act requests to receive their arrival/departure history, greatly speeding their process. Travelers will have electronic access to the date and port of entry of their arrivals and departures.

When travelers visit the I-94 webpage they can retrieve their I-94 arrival/departure record number and five-year travel history by entering the required name, date of birth, and passport information. The website can be found at https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/request.html

CBP began the online version of Form I-94 in April 2013. The positive public response to that streamlining prompted the agency to offer travel histories online as well.


VISA PREFERENCE NUMBERS FOR June 2014

 

FAMILY

India

Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st

22Mar07

22Mar07

2A

01May12

01May12

2B

01Apr07

01Apr07

3rd

01Oct03

01Oct03

4th

15Dec01

15Dec01

 

EMPLOYMENT

India

Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st

Current

Current

2nd

15Nov04

Current

3rd

15Oct03

01Apr11

Other

15Oct03

01Apr11

4th

Current

Current

5th

Current

Current1B

 



 


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