Here’s the leaked memo about President Obama’s Executive Action on legal Immigration Reform for High Skilled workers who are waiting for ages to get green card.
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Details of the Legal Immigration
The President’s actions will also streamline legal immigration to boost our economy and promote naturalization by:
- Providing portable work authorization for high-skilled workers awaiting LPR status and their spouses. Under the current system, employees with approved LPR applications often wait many years for their visa to become available. DHS will make regulatory changes to allow these workers to move or change jobs more easily. DHS is finalizing new rules to give certain H-1B spouses employment authorization as long as the H-1B spouse has an approved LPR application.
- Enhancing options for foreign entrepreneurs. DHS will expand immigration options for foreign entrepreneurs who meet certain criteria for creating jobs, attracting investment, and generating revenue in the U.S., to ensure that our system encourages them to grow our economy. The criteria will include income thresholds so that these individuals are not eligible for certain public benefits like welfare or tax credits under the Affordable Care Act.
- Strengthening and extending on-the-job training for STEM graduates of U.S universities. In order to strengthen educational experiences of foreign students studying science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) at U.S. universities, DHS will propose changes to expand and extend the use of the existing Optional Practical Training (OPT) program and require stronger ties between OPT students and their colleges and universities following graduation.
- Streamlining the process for foreign workers and their employers, while protecting American workers. DHS will clarify its guidance on temporary L-1 visas for foreign workers who transfer from a company’s foreign office to its U.S. office. DOL will take regulatory action to modernize the labor market test that is required of employers that sponsor foreign workers for immigrant visas while ensuring that American workers are protected.
- Reducing family separation for those waiting to obtain LPR status. Due to barriers in our system, U.S. citizens and LPRs are often separated for years from their immediate relatives, while they wait to obtain their LPR status. To reduce the time these individuals are separated, DHS will expand an existing program that allows certain individuals to apply for a provisional waiver for certain violations before departing the United States to attend visa interviews.
- Ensuring that individuals with lawful status can travel to their countries of origin. DHS will clarify its guidance to provide greater assurance to individuals with a pending LPR application or certain temporary status permission to travel abroad with advance permission (“parole”).
- Issuing a Presidential Memorandum on visa modernization. There are many ways in which our legal immigration system can be modernized to reduce government costs, eliminate redundant systems, reduce burdens on employers and families, and eliminate fraud. The President is issuing a Memorandum directing an interagency group to recommend areas for improvement.
- Creating a White House Task Force on New Americans. The President is creating a White House Task Force on New Americans to create a federal strategy on immigrant integration.
- Promoting Citizenship Public Awareness: DHS will launch a comprehensive citizenship awareness media campaign in the 10 states that are home to 75 percent of the overall LPR population. USCIS will also expand options for paying naturalization fees and explore additional measures to expand accessibility, including studying potential partial fee waiver for qualified individuals.
- Ensuring U.S. Citizens Can Serve: To further our military’s needs and support recruitment efforts, DHS will expand an existing policy to provide relief to spouses and children of U.S. citizens seeking to enlist in the military, consistent with a request made by the Department of Defense.
Update 1: (Nov 20, 2014. 10:08 PM)
- New option called – “Pre-Register”
- Employees who have approved labor and I-140 would be able to apply for EAD ( instead of waiting for Priority Date)
- Employees can switch jobs, apply for EAD and advance parole with approved I-140
- Change jobs and jobs don’t have to similar or same.
- Port green-card petition from one employer to another without starting over the process with new employer
- Spouses who are on H-4 visa would be able to apply for work permit and receive EAD via the proposed H-4 EAD rule.
- Additionally, they will also qualify for an EAD through the pre-registration step with primary applicant of green-card process.
Left Out Changes
- No Changes to H1B Cap
- No Visa recapture for Green Card
- Not counting of family members
Update 2: ( Nov 20, 2014 – 11:06 AM)
- EAD for H4 Visa final rule to be published shortly ( Source DHS Memo – Page 1, Para 2)
- USCIS Plan to implement Executive Actions summary is listed below ( source )
So, H4 for EAD will be implemented shortly. Other related actions can take several months ( maybe till end of next year). You may ask why?
Refer to to Rule Making Process that EAD for H4 went through. To implement the above proposals, USCIS will have to follow the same process.
Update 3 : Nov 22, 2014 ( 10.00 AM)
EAD for H4 Spouses could be implemented in December 2014. Confirmed.
To learn more visit this EAD for H4 page.