Klasko Immigration Law Partners, LLP is pleased to present our February 2015 newsletter, covering immigration topics that are of interest to our clients.
1. Save the Date: 2015 Annual Spring Seminar is April 22!
Mark your calendars for Klasko Immigration Law Partners’ 11th annual Spring Seminar, “Immigration 2015: Hope Springs Eternal,” on Wednesday, April 22, 2015 from 9:30 am – 2:00 pm at The Union League of Philadelphia.
Sessions will include:
- How to Deal with H-1B Cap: Exceptions and Alternatives to H-1B
- I-9, E-Verify and Ensuring Compliance
- Challenging F-1 Issues
- Challenging Business Cases: L-1B, Functional Managers, and Specialty
- Who Can Pay, and for What?
- What Can You Ask About Immigration Status in Interviews?
- Nonresident Medical Residents and other GME Challenges
- Abandonment and Loss of Permanent Residence
- EB-1A, EB-1B, NIW and O: Case Studies in Assessing Options
- And much more!
We invite professionals involved in employment-based immigration to attend! There is no cost for this program. Look for your e-invitation with registration details in mid-March.
2. Employment Authorization for Certain H-4 Spouses
On February 24, 2015, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services announced that eligibility for employment authorization will be extended to certain H-4 dependent spouses beginning on May 26, 2015. The grant of H-4 employment eligibility was an integral part of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, which aimed to improve and modernize the immigration program. USCIS Director Leon Rodriguez spoke to the effect of this change, “It helps U.S. businesses keep their highly skilled workers by increasing the chances these workers will choose to stay in this country during the transition from temporary workers to permanent residents.” This will hopefully alleviate some of the stress and burden that occurs while an H-1B beneficiary must wait several years to complete the lawful permanent resident process due to extended backlogs.
To be eligible for this benefit, the H-4 spouse must be married to an H-1B nonimmigrant who is seeking lawful permanent residence through an employment-based process. More specifically, H-4 dependent spouses are eligible if they are the spouse of an H-1B nonimmigrant who: (1) is the principal beneficiary of an approved I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker; or (2) has been granted H-1B status under sections 106(a) and (b) of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act of 2000, as amended by the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act (commonly referred to as “AC-21”), which allows H-1B nonimmigrants to remain in the United States beyond the six-year maximum for H-1B status. It is important to note that the H-1B status based on AC-21 sections 106(a) and (b) must have been granted to the H-1B beneficiary prior to the H-4 dependent applying for employment authorization.
USCIS will not accept applications for this benefit until May 26, 2015. To apply for employment authorization, the H-4 dependent spouse must file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, with the supporting evidence that establishes eligibility and the required filing fee of $380. A revised Form I-765 will be released by USCIS prior May 26, 2015. The applicant will then receive an Employment Authorization card (Form I-766) that establishes his or her ability to work in the United States. The dependent spouse will be able to concurrently file an I-539 Application to extend his/her status, and the I-765 Application.