Improvements Affecting High-Skilled Nonimmigrant Workers

Effective January 17, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) amended its regulations related to certain employment-based immigrant and nonimmigrant visa programs. Specifically, the final rule provides various benefits to participants in those programs, including the following: (1) improved processes and increased certainty for U.S. employers seeking to sponsor and retain immigrant and nonimmigrant workers; (2) greater stability and job flexibility for those workers; (3) and increased transparency and consistency in the application of DHS policy related to affected classifications. Many of these changes are primarily aimed at improving the ability of U.S. employers to hire and retain high-skilled workers who are beneficiaries of approved employment-based immigrant visa petitions and are waiting to become lawful permanent residents, while increasing the ability of those workers to seek promotions, accept lateral positions with current employers, change employers, or pursue other employment options.