USCIS Proposes Amendments to High-Skilled Visa Regulations for Permanent and Temporary Workers

January 11, 2016 – The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is amending regulations related to certain employment-based high-skilled permanent (EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3) and temporary (H-1B) visa programs. The proposed amendments codify provisions of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act of 2000 (AC21), the American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998 (ACWIA), and related guidance documents. Many of these changes are aimed at improving the ability of U.S. employers seeking to sponsor or retain workers on visas, such as allowing extensions of immigration status. This proposal would also codify worker portability, or the ability of visa holders to seek promotions or change employers. USCIS seeks feedback from small businesses sponsoring the employment of these visa holders regarding potential increased turnover costs (or employee replacement costs) and paperwork costs of this rulemaking.

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