New regulations on work visa programs to soon come into force

Occasionally, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announces a final rule changing or adding immigration regulations. Sometimes, such new rules target one specific issue. Other times, they cover a wide range of different issues and changes. Recently, a final rule of the latter variety was published by USCIS.

The rule makes a wide range of change to regulations regarding work visa programs. The changes involve both nonimmigrant and immigrant visa programs. Some examples of the work visa programs that this new final rule touches on are those involving: H-1B visas, E visas, L visas, O visas and TN visas.

The changes are aimed at clarifying and improving regulatory processes and practices regarding work visa programs. The changes touch on all kinds of issues, including: employment authorization, job portability, employment flexibility, adjustment of status, cap exemptions and grace periods.

The final rule and the changes it contains are set to come into force on Jan. 17, 2017.

The fact that widespread changes are sometimes made to immigration regulations is not the only thing this new rule shows. It also underscores that there are a diverse range of work visa programs here in the U.S. and that there are many different legal issues related to such programs.

So, the types of legal issues that could come up for a person from a foreign country in connection to efforts to get authorization to live and work in the U.S. can vary quite a bit. Immigration lawyers can help such individuals with identifying and navigating the issues specific to their case, including any issues regarding recently changed or added regulations.

Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigrant Services, “USCIS Publishes Final Rule For Certain Employment-Based Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Visa Programs,” Nov. 18, 2016