On December 31, 2015, DHS published a proposed rule to change its regulations related to certain employment-based immigrant and non-immigrant visa programs. The proposed rule will codify the American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act (AC-21), enacted in 2000, and the American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act (ACWIA), enacted in 1998. The proposed changes will not take effect until after a pubic comment period and the final rule is published.
The rule would provide significant benefits, including:
- One year of employment authorization for certain approved I-140 beneficiaries, their spouses and unmarried children;
- No I-140 revocation after an I-140 has been approved for 180 days or more (unless revoked for fraud or misrepresentation);
- I-140 priority date retention even if the I-140 approval was revoked (unless revoked for fraud or misrepresentation);
- 60-day grace period after employment termination for H-1B, L-1, TN and E nonimmigrants (e.g., unemployment up to 60-day will not negatively impact one’s H-1B transfer petition);
- Automatic extension of EAD validity for up to 180 days for those who timely filed EAD renewal application; and
- Interim EAD if EAD application is pending for more than 90 days.