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US 'Department of Homeland Security' proposes new immigration rules

May 2014, 07
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US Department of Homeland Security
The Department of Homeland Security, under Obama’s administration, has proposed two new changes to immigration policy intending to attract and let the highly skilled immigrants stay back. The proposed changes will eliminate impediments for certain temporary workers to stay in US and will also offer work visas for the workers’ spouses.

US H-1B visas with temporary employment permit are granted to foreign workers who are highly experienced in the fields of engineering, science, etc. At present, foreign workers on US H-1B visas are eligible to stay on this visa for duration of 3 years that can be extended to six years. However, in certain exceptional circumstances, it can be extended up to 10 years. Thus, there are certain impediments that are causing difficulties for H-1B foreign workers to stay in US after the expiry of their visas.

The newly proposed changes intend to clear some of these obstacles, particularly for the highly skilled workers such as researchers and professors from Australia, Singapore, Chile and the Islands of Northern Mariana, who are given preference for work authorizations and extension of the visas when compared to workers from the other nations.

At present, the Department of Homeland Security does not authorize the dependent spouses of US H-1B visa workers to legally work in US. However, as per the new rules, work visas will be granted to the individuals, who are spouses of H-1B visa holders and whose H-1B holding spouses have sought for permanent residence through their employers.

The general public is allowed to comment on the newly proposed rules before their final implementation. The process to review the comments and implement the rules will normally take about 60 days. Mayorkas, DHS Deputy Secretary, said that they aim to review the comments more efficiently and issue the rule as quickly as possible, taking into account its significance in the growth of the American economy.

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