• Extension of Work Authorization Now Available to H-1B1s and E-3s with Timely-Filed Application to Extend a Stay
  • April 20, 2016
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • Starting today, Chilean and Singaporean H-1B1 and Australian E-3 nonimmigrants who are being sponsored for an extension of their stay will benefit from extended work authorization benefits.

    The extension of work authorization is available through a new regulation that was published on January 15, 2016 and is now in effect.

    The new rule gives eligible H-1B1s and E-3s an additional 240 days of work authorization beyond the expiration date of their Form I-94 arrival record, provided that a timely USCIS petition to extend status has been filed by the employer that sponsored the most recent period of stay. The work authorization extension is also available to those in the CW-1 category for foreign workers in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. This extension has long been available to qualifying H-1Bs and L-1s, among others.  

    Separately, the new rule expands the types of initial evidence that may be submitted in support of a Form I-140 petition for an EB-1 outstanding professor or researcher. Current agency regulations enumerate specific types of evidence that may be considered when determining whether a professor or researcher has established that he or she is recognized internationally as outstanding in his or her academic field. The new rule now permits adjudicators to consider comparable alternative evidence when the enumerated criteria do not readily apply to the professor or researcher’s field of expertise, thus providing the same evidentiary flexibility given to those requesting classification under the EB-1 extraordinary ability subcategory.

    What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals

    The expansion of the 240-day extension of employment authorization to H-1B1, E-3 and CW-1 nonimmigrants will help employers and foreign nationals avoid gaps in employment while extensions of stay are pending, a benefit that has long been provided to H-1B and L-1 workers.  

    The revision of the evidentiary requirements for EB-1 outstanding professors or researchers will help reduce the burden on petitioning employers and foreign beneficiaries by explicitly permitting the consideration of alternative forms of evidence to demonstrate that the beneficiary has attained international recognition.