The unemployment rate in the US is at an eight year low and the competition for skilled talent is very high. There’s no doubt that shortages in the required skills available in the labor pool are the biggest HR challenge today. The effects of this scenario leave the most impact on the tech industry in the US, which depends heavily on the use of immigrants to achieve its business goals. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is cognizant of this factor when proposing any changes to immigration laws and when amending employment-based immigrant and nonimmigrant visa programs.
The proposed changes are expected to benefit both employers in the US and foreign national workers who wish to work for them. Employers enjoy more flexibility in employing and retaining high-skilled workers. The changes pertain to the immigrant visa categories and the processing of US Legal Permanent Residence Status.
Examples of compelling circumstances provided by DHS include: serious illness and disabilities, employer retaliation, other substantial harm to the applicant and significant disruption to the employer.
The new proposed rule by DHS allows certain individuals to continue employment without first obtaining a renewal of an EAD. These individuals would automatically get their employment authorization extended for 180 days if and when:
For an individual who qualifies under the above-mentioned criteria, the expired EAD in combination with a Notice of Action (I-797C, commonly referred to as a receipt notice) would be considered an unexpired EAD for purposes of complying with Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) requirements.
This proposed rule is now open for public comment for 60 days, after which the DHS may move forward with implementation of the final rule.
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