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Major provisions in the new bill

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  • Major provisions in the new bill

    Considering this forum, following are the important points to be considered.

    Per Country Limits:
    Will allow unused employment-based immigrant visas in a calendar quarter to be allocated in subsequent quarters without regard to per-country limits. Allows an individual who has an I-140 filed on his or her behalf and who would be subject to per-country limits to extend his or her nonimmigrant status until the adjustment of status application is decided.

    Portability of H-1B Status:
    H-1B nonimmigrants may change jobs upon the filing of a new petition by the new employer as long as the individual is in lawful status at the time of filing and has not engaged in any unauthorized employment since his or her last lawful admission.

    Portability of I-140s and Labor Certs:
    Allows individuals who have filed for adjustment of status (AOS) and whose cases have been pending for 180 days or more to change jobs or employers without affecting the validity of the I-140 or underlying labor certification, as long as the new job is in “the same or a similar occupational classification” to the job in the original petition and labor cert.

    (both of the above points are really important, especially even if your employer has filed for the GC. You may leave/change job after 180 days of filing AOS)

    Sixth-Year Extension for H-1Bs Awaiting Green Cards:
    Provides that H-1B nonimmigrants for whom an I-140 has been filed and whose labor cert or I-140 was filed at least 365 days prior, may obtain extensions of their H-1B status beyond the six-year maximum, in one-year increments, until their adjustment of status or immigrant visa application is decided.

    Recapture of Unused Employment-based Immigrant Visas:
    Provides that any employment-based immigrant visas that were available but unused in FY1999 and FY2000 are to be “banked” for use in future fiscal years if the demand for employment-based visas exceeds the overall cap for that year. (This shall take place in addition to any “spill up” of unused visas to the family preferences that would otherwise occur.)

    I think the great lobbying efforts by ISN have really paid off as all the four major items on the agenda have been included. This is a great victory.