We are pleased to announce that after almost 9 years of hard work on the issue of skilled immigration backlogs, we finally have good news to report. The Obama administration has issued an administrative order with reforms to both skilled immigration and other areas where reform was long overdue.
Going forward, it will be easier to use a new provision called “Pre-Register” where employees who have approved labor and I-140 would be able to gain benefits of adjustment of status even when the dates are not current. This has been, by far, the most sought after and in-demand provision for us in the last nine (9) years. Skilled employees would be able to switch jobs, apply for EAD and advance parole and also not have to worry about the new job being the same or similar, as the new administrative order liberalizes the definition of what constitutes the same or similar job.
In addition to this, the administration is making it possible to port the green-card petition from one employer to another so that applicants do not have to start with labor certification again should their employment end after they are quite far along in the process.
Spouses who are on an H-4 visa would be able to apply for a work permit and receive EAD via the proposed H-4 EAD rule. Additionally, they will also qualify for an EAD through the pre-registration step with the primary applicant of the green-card process. This will make life easier for thousands of skilled family members who get left out of opportunities due to H1B quota restrictions.
We stood up for ourselves and started this organization nine (9) years ago with this goal. Other than additional visa numbers, every single one of our ask-list items has been included in the administrative reform. This has not been easy and it has not been automatic. Democracy operates slowly and certainly for those who stand up for themselves and speak out. This is the fruit of almost a decade of hard work of our organization and the members who’ve dedicated to this cause whole-heartedly, spent enormous amounts of money, and stormed the D.C. policy circles even when there was the smallest ray of hope. We had a silver lining of hope with H.R.3012, and now, today, we have a bright sunny future ahead of us.
One final note, before we start celebrating, we have to be savvy and bold about this issue. We have to speak positively about this with social media, press, policymakers, friends, colleagues, and everyone we discuss this with. Please do not get mired in the politically radioactive issue of undocumented immigrants who are also getting a well-deserved relief tonight. They are our brothers and sisters in this struggle and they deserve a break from congressional gridlock too. After all, when their family is hungry, they do not have the luxury of pontificating about the Hastert rule and Senate cloture motion requirements. They needed a break. So did we. And we got it.
With warm regards,