Changes to Employment-Based & Investor Immigration Visas in 2017

On January 17th, 2017, while everyone was focusing on the impending transition of Presidents, Cabinets, and Administrations, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) implemented changes to how many employment-based and some investor-based visas are handled. This is not to state that these agencies were trying to make alterations that would go unnoticed. Simply, most people are completely unaware of the changes due to other pressing matters and news stories that went to the front page.

Some of the most notable visas mentioned in the changes are:

  • EB1, EB2, and EB3
  • E1 treaty trader
  • E2 treaty investor
  • E3 visa (specific to Australians in specialized jobs)
  • H1B
  • H1B1 (specific to Singaporean and Chilean nationals)
  • L1A Intra-company transfer
  • L1B Intra-company transfer

The changes, more or less, made common practices when processing foreign worker visas and petitions into actual regulations. It is anticipated to make it easier for employers to find, hire, and keep specialized workers from other nations. How this will hold up with the ongoing and temporarily halted “travel ban” immigration order is yet to be seen.

DHS and USCIS regulation alterations are also aimed at making it simpler for people who already hold an employment-based visa to explore other avenues in the workplace. By increasing both valid filing date windows and grace periods when unemployed, the changes let foreign workers look for similar employment in other companies once hired by another. In simple definitions, foreign workers should not feel entirely bound to one position or employer out of fear of losing visa status. This openness of foreign employment should encourage the development of new businesses and careers across multiple industries.

If you need help filling out a visa application or petitioning for any other sort of immigration-related approval, Sintsirmas & Mueller Co. L.P.A. can be your legal guides. With five decades of combined legal experience focused on immigration law, our Cleveland immigration attorneys have become pillars of our communities when it comes to helping others seek the American Dream through employment in this country. Call 888.491.8770 to set up an initial consultation, or email us and we will get back to you at our first chance. Thank you.