Biden to push for immigration reforms in 2023
Also, lawmakers ask for extension of grace period to 120 days, extension of visa interview waivers, and more
Christmas and New Year is upon us and while things are tough for some of us out there, we hope you find time with your family to relax, rejuvenate, and reflect upon 2022, and start 2023 with renewed vigor and hope. There will be no newsletter next Saturday so this one is packed with information and we will see you next on the 7th!
What we have in store for you this week:
- Lawmakers push to extend grace period to 120 days
- USCIS memo for laid off workers and compelling circumstances EAD
- Increased Awareness of Immigration's Vital Role in the USA
- US Department of State Extends Visa Interview Waivers
Lawmakers push to extend grace period to 120 days
Rep. Anna Eshoo and Rep. Zoe Lofgren are calling on federal immigration authorities to extend the grace period for H-1B visa holders. In a letter to the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, they asked that the grace period be extended to at least 120 days for H-1B visas and other employment-based visas. The request to extend the grace period comes after a significant wave of tech layoffs in recent months, resulting in more than 140,000 tech workers losing their jobs this year.
USCIS memo for laid off workers and the compelling circumstances EAD
USCIS recently released a memo that summarizes the options available to the laid-off workers. Buried in it is the Compelling Circumstances EAD.
It is possible for eligible individuals to obtain work authorization (EAD) through a process called "compelling circumstances" for individuals on H-1B visas who have been laid off. The purpose of compelling circumstances EADs is to allow individuals to remain in the United States without accruing unlawful presence, and in most cases, individuals who apply for these EADs are eventually approved for work authorization. In order to be eligible for a compelling circumstances EAD, an individual must be in H-1B, L-1, or E-3 status and have a family member with an approved I-140 petition. Individuals may be able to use this process if they have experienced economic loss, such as the loss of assets or the inability to continue their children's education, as a result of the pandemic. To be eligible you must have an approved I-140 with a priority date that is NOT current.
This video by Reddy and Neumann does an excellent job of discussing this topic in more detail.
Increased Awareness of Immigration's Vital Role in the USA
Despite the EAGLE act getting pulled off the house floor last week, there is growing recognition in the administration, congress, and the media that immigration reforms are needed to fight against population decline and to fight inflation due to tightening labor market conditions. Yet to be seen whether this will result in immediate action but we are hopeful.
The Biden administration is reportedly planning to push for immigration reform in the coming year in an effort to lower inflation and address labor shortages. This could involve providing legal status for "Dreamers" (individuals who were brought to the United States illegally as children) and increasing the overall labor supply. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo has stated that immigration reform is necessary in light of the current job market, and that the lack of immigrants is contributing to labor shortages and driving inflation.
We need immigration just to tread water.
America's population grew 0.4% this year, new Census Bureau figures show, continuing historically slow growth that has added pressure to a tight labor market via @WSJ
— Greg Siskind (@gsiskind)
Dec 22, 2022
US Department of State Extends Visa Interview Waivers
The US Department of State has announced that it will extend the authority of consular officers to waive in-person interviews for certain nonimmigrant visa categories, including H-2, F and M, J, H-1B, H-3, L, O, P, Q, and derivatives of these categories, through December 31, 2023. This extension is intended to facilitate nonimmigrant travel to the US and further reduce visa wait times, and will allow consular officers to continue to waive in-person interviews on a case-by-case basis for certain first-time and/or renewing applicants.
We have a couple of great events lined up in the first half of January. Sign up below to listen in live and ask questions.
In Episode 8 of The Zeno Life, Alix Cayce from Legalpad provided us with case studies of O-1 and EB-1A applicants from the tech sector.
We released the Document Vault this week to help you store, manage, and organize all your immigration related documents Read more about it below:
That's a wrap for this week. What did we do well? What didn't we? Write to us at [email protected] to give us feedback.
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