Additional Methodologies For Providing Administrative Relief and To Allow Flexibility for Business Immigration Visa Applicants. (Part V)

After years, President Obama has finally announced his plan for Administrative Relief. It is not an “Executive Decision”. It is not an immigration Bill (although it is hoped that it may lead to one). The program will go under the name “Immigration Accountability Executive Action”.

The following is a short description of some of the highlights of another part of the President’s plan.

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After years, President Obama has finally announced his plan for Administrative Relief. It is not
an “Executive Decision”. It is not an immigration Bill (although it is hoped that it may lead to
one). The program will go under the name “Immigration Accountability Executive Action”.

The following is a short description of some of the highlights of another part of the President’s
plan.

 Enlistees in the Military. Department of Homeland Secretary, Jeh Johnson, issued a
memorandum to USCIS directing the agency to issue new policies on the use of parole-in-
place or deferred action for certain spouses, children and parents of individuals seeking to
enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces. This is an expansion of the current parole-in-place policy
and will encompass family members of US citizens and lawful permanent residents seeking
to enlist in the US Armed Forces. The purpose is to support the military in its recruitment
efforts. USCIS is also being directed to consider deferred action to those undocumented
family members of the U.S. service members who would otherwise be eligible for parole-in-
place but were inspected and lawfully admitted to the US.

 Optional Practical Training. Secretary Johnson has directed ICE and USCIS to develop
regulations to expand the degree programs eligible for OPT under the rule that currently
allows certain STEM professionals to use OPT for up to 29 months. The time period of 29
months will also be extended, but a specific number of additional months was not mentioned
by Secretary Johnson in his memo to USCIS Director Rodriguez. ICE and USCIS are being
directed to require “stronger ties” to a degree-granting institution to better ensure the training
is furthering the student’s full course of study. ICE and USCIS are also directed to take steps
to ensure that OPT is consistent with US labor market protections to safeguard the interests
of US workers in related fields. No details on these last provisions are provided though it
sounds pretty open-ended and could make the OPT rules much more restrictive. There is also
talk about counting undergraduate STEM programs for purposes of STEM OPT extensions
even if the graduate degree is not in a STEM field.

 PERM The Department of Labor will be undertaking a review of the 10 year old PERM
program to modernize it and make it more responsive to changes in the national workforce. It
will be seeking input on the following:

 Options for identifying labor force occupational shortages and surpluses and methods for
aligning domestic worker recruitment requirements with demonstrated shortages and
surpluses;
 Methods and practices designed to modernize U.S. worker recruitment requirements;
 Processes to clarify employer obligations to insure PERM positions are fully open to U.S.
workers;
o Ranges of case processing timeframes and possibilities for premium
processing; and
o Application submission and review process and feasibility for
efficiently addressing nonmaterial errors Other changes may also be made
beyond these.

. H-4 Work Authorization this rule will be finalized. According to a
White House briefing from 11/20, the rule will be released by in December or
January.

. The long awaited L-1B memo on “specialized knowledge” will be
released. According to Secretary Johnson, the current program provides vague
guidance and inconsistent interpretation of the term “specialized
knowledge.” The new memo is intended to provide clear, consolidated guidance
on the meaning of the term in order to improve consistence in adjudications
and enhance a company’s confidence in the program.

More changes may be coming when an actual memorandum and regulations may be
issued. For more information, please feel free to contact the Nachman
Phulwani Zimovcak (NPZ) Law Group, P.C. at 201-670-0006 (x107). VISASERVE
TEAM’S U.S. immigration lawyers or attorneys can also be reached by e-mail
at info@visaserve.com
or by calling us TOLL FREE at 866-599-3625. In the
meantime, please be sure to check out our website at
http://www.visaserve.com for updates.

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