Immigration - Green Card - Visa -iStock_000021792603_LargeCongress has agreed to an omnibus appropriations bill, which contains a number of immigration-related provisions. Though the vote on the bill is set for Dec. 18, it is widely expected to pass. In it, Congress has agreed to extend the EB-5 Regional Center program without change until Sept. 30, 2016. The EB-5 Regional Center program permits foreign nationals to obtain a green card if they invest at least $1 million ($500,000 if invested in a targeted employment area) in a U.S. business that creates at least 10 jobs for U.S. workers.  Several bills have been introduced over the past year to reform the EB-5 program; however, House and Senate leaders were unable to agree on the changes to the program before it was to expire on Dec. 16. Look for changes to the program in upcoming months.
Continue Reading Congress extends immigrant investor and physician programs without change

Flags of the word with China -148474930U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced it will be extending U.S. employment authorization to certain H-4 spouses of foreign nationals in H-1B status. Family members of H-1B workers are permitted to enter the United States in H-4 status as dependents of the H-1B worker, but they are not authorized to work. This change permits spouses in H-4 status to apply for an unrestricted work card provided the principal H-1B employee:

  1.  Is the beneficiary of an approved Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker; or
  2. Has been granted H-1B status under the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act of 2000 (AC21), which permits H-1B employees seeking permanent residency to extend their H-1B status beyond the usual six-years.


Continue Reading Spouses of certain H-1B workers may obtain employment authorization