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DHS/USCIS RIN: 1615-AC00 Publication ID: Fall 2013 
Title: Enhancing Opportunities for H-1B1, CW-1, and E-3 Nonimmigrants and EB-1 Immigrants 
Abstract: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposes to amend its regulations affecting high-skilled workers within the nonimmigrant classifications for specialty occupation professionals from Chile and Singapore (H-1B1) and from Australia (E-3), and the immigration classification for employment-based first preference (EB-1) outstanding professors and researchers. Additionally, it proposes to amend regulations regarding continued employment authorization for nonimmigrant workers in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)-Only Transitional Worker (CW-1) classification. DHS proposes changes that would harmonize the regulations for E-3, H-1B1, and CW-1 nonimmigrant classifications with existing regulations for other similarly situated nonimmigrant classifications. DHS is proposing these changes to the regulations to benefit these high-skilled workers and CW-1 transitional workers by removing unnecessary hurdles that place such workers at a disadvantage when compared to similarly situated workers in other visa classifications. 
Agency: Department of Homeland Security(DHS)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Proposed Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: 8 CFR 204; 8 CFR 214; 8 CFR 248; 8 CFR 274a (To search for a specific CFR, visit the Code of Federal Regulations.
Legal Authority: 8 USC 1101; 8 USC 1103; 8 USC 1151; 8 USC 1153; 8 USC 1154; 8 USC 1182; 8 USC 1184; 8 USC 1186a; 8 USC 1255; 8 USC 1641; ... 
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need: DHS proposes changes to harmonize the regulations for E-3, H-1B1, and CW-1 nonimmigrant classifications with the existing regulations for other, similarly situated nonimmigrant classifications. These changes to the regulations would benefit these highly skilled workers and CW-1 transitional workers by removing unnecessary hurdles that place such workers at a disadvantage when compared to similarly situated workers in other visa classifications.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits: The portion of the proposed rule addressing E-3 and H-1B1, and CW-1 nonimmigrant classifications would extend the period of authorized employment while requests for an extension of stay for these employment-based nonimmigrant visa classifications are being reviewed. The regulations at 8 CFR 274a.12(b)(20) generally provide aliens in specific nonimmigrant classifications with authorization to continue employment with the same employer for a 240-day period beyond the period specified on the Arrival-Departure Record, Form I-94, as long as a timely application for an extension of stay is filed on an alien's behalf. This provision applies only to the classifications specified in the regulation which does not currently include the E-3, H-1B1, and CW-1 nonimmigrant classifications. By harmonizing the regulations for E-3, H-1B1, and CW-1 nonimmigrants with the other listed nonimmigrant classifications, this proposed rule would provide equity for these nonimmigrants relative to other nonimmigrant classifications. The proposed rule also would help employers of E-3, H-1B1, and CW-1 nonimmigrants avoid potential interruptions of employment for E-3, H-1B1, and CW-1 employees during the period that requests for an extension of these employment-based nonimmigrant visa classifications are being reviewed. These disruptions could result in lost wages for an employee and lost productivity for an employer. DHS does not have data on the number of employers or E-3, H-1B1, and CW-1 nonimmigrants experiencing disruption in employment by not receiving an approval of the extension before the expiration date specified on the Arrival-Departure Record or the duration (length of time) of any disruption. The portion of the proposed rule addressing the evidentiary requirements for the EB-1 outstanding professor and researcher employment-based immigrant classification would allow for the submission of comparable evidence (achievements not listed in the criteria such as important patents or prestigious, peer-reviewed funding grants) for that listed in 8 CFR 204.5(i)(3)(i)(A) through (F) to establish that the EB-1 professor or researcher is recognized internationally as outstanding in his or her academic field. Similar to the benefits of harmonizing E-3, H-1B1, and CW-1 provisions, the harmonization of the evidentiary requirements for EB-1 outstanding professors and researchers with other comparable employment-based immigrant classifications would provide equity for EB-1 outstanding professors and researchers relative to those other employment-based visa categories. The proposed rule may also facilitate petitioners' recruitment of the EB-1 outstanding professors and researchers by expanding the range of evidence that may be adduced to support their petitions.

Timetable:
Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  04/00/2014   
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: None 
Small Entities Affected: Businesses, Organizations  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
Kevin J. Cummings
Chief, Business and Foreign Workers Division
Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Office of Policy and Strategy, 20 Massachusetts Avenue, NW.,
Washington, DC 20529-2140
Phone:202 272-1470
Fax:202 272-1480
Email: kevin.j.cummings@uscis.dhs.gov

 
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