Title 8 published on 2015-01-01
The following are
ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 8 CFR Part 274 after this date.
2015-10-19; vol. 80 # 201 - Monday, October 19, 2015
80 FR 63376 - Improving and Expanding Training Opportunities for F-1 Nonimmigrant Students With STEM Degrees and Cap-Gap Relief for All Eligible F-1 Students
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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
Notice of proposed rulemaking.
Comments must be received by DHS on or before November 18, 2015. Comments on the information collection provisions proposed in this rule must be received by DHS and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on or before November 18, 2015.
8 CFR Parts 214 and 274a
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposes to amend its F-1 nonimmigrant student visa regulations on optional practical training (OPT) for certain students with degrees in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) from U.S. institutions of higher education. Specifically, the proposal would allow such F-1 STEM students who have elected to pursue 12 months of OPT in the United States to extend the OPT period by 24 months (STEM OPT extension). This 24-month extension would effectively replace the 17-month STEM OPT extension currently available to certain STEM students. The rule also improves and increases oversight over STEM OPT extensions by, among other things, requiring the implementation of formal mentoring and training plans by employers, adding wage and other protections for STEM OPT students and U.S. workers, and allowing extensions only to students with degrees from accredited schools. As with the current 17-month STEM OPT extension, the proposed rule would authorize STEM OPT extensions only for students employed by employers enrolled in U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services' (USCIS') E-Verify employment eligibility verification program. The proposal also includes the “Cap-Gap” relief first introduced in 2008 for any F-1 student with a timely filed H-1B petition and request for change of status. This Cap-Gap relief allows such students to automatically extend the duration of F-1 status and any current employment authorization until October 1 of the fiscal year for which such H-1B visa is being requested. In addition to improving the integrity and value of the STEM OPT program, this proposed rule also responds to a court decision that vacated a 2008 DHS regulation on procedural grounds. The proposed rule includes changes to the policies announced in the 2008 rule to further enhance the academic benefit provided by STEM OPT extensions and increase oversight, which will better ensure that students gain valuable practical STEM experience that supplements knowledge gained through their academic studies, while preventing adverse effects to U.S. workers. By earning a functional understanding of how to apply their academic knowledge in a work setting, students will be better positioned to begin careers in their fields of study. These on-the-job educational experiences would be obtained only with those employers that commit to developing students' knowledge and skills through practical application. The proposed changes would also help ensure that the nation's colleges and universities remain globally competitive in attracting international STEM students to study and lawfully remain in the United States.
2015-02-25; vol. 80 # 37 - Wednesday, February 25, 2015
80 FR 10284 - Employment Authorization for Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses
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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
This final rule is effective May 26, 2015.
8 CFR Parts 214 and 274a
This final rule amends Department of Homeland Security (“DHS” or “Department”) regulations by extending eligibility for employment authorization to certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants who are seeking employment-based lawful permanent resident (“LPR”) status. Such H-1B nonimmigrants must be the principal beneficiaries of an approved Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker (Form I-140), or have been granted H-1B status in the United States under the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act of 2000, as amended by the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act. DHS anticipates that this regulatory change will reduce personal and economic burdens faced by H-1B nonimmigrants and eligible H-4 dependent spouses during the transition from nonimmigrant to LPR status. The final rule will also support the goals of attracting and retaining highly skilled foreign workers and minimizing the disruption to U.S. businesses resulting from H-1B nonimmigrants who choose not to pursue LPR status in the United States. By providing the possibility of employment authorization to certain H-4 dependent spouses, the rule will ameliorate certain disincentives for talented H-1B nonimmigrants to permanently remain in the United States and continue contributing to the U.S. economy as LPRs. This is an important goal considering the contributions such individuals make to entrepreneurship and research and development, which are highly correlated with overall economic growth and job creation. The rule also will bring U.S. immigration policies concerning this class of highly skilled workers more in line with those of other countries that are also competing to attract and retain similar highly skilled workers.