New US Visa Laws Announced For Expats From Australia, Chile And Singapore

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New Visa regulations announced for expats of Australia, Chile and Singapore 

Straight out of Washington, The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has amended its regulations to the H-1B1 and E-3 nonimmigrant classifications. Aimed to remove the unnecessary hurdles that put these workers at a disadvantage, what do these changes mean for expats currently holding these visas, or looking to apply for one of these classifications in the future?

Douglas Lightman, Principal and founding lawyer of Lightman Law Firm in New York says the recent changes have caused a lot of confusion with expats. “The update allows these employees to continue to work for the same employer if they are extending their visa, and their extension petition with the USCIS is pending beyond the expiration of their underlying status”, Lightman said.

Basically, it authorizes continued employment within your job for up to 240 days after your visa has expired, but during which time your application for an extension is pending. Unlike what the updates regulations may lead you to believe, E-3 visa applicants will still require their employer to complete an LCA (Labor Condition Application) form. “A lot of people have interpreted this to mean that a Labor Condition Application (LCA) will no longer be needed for an E-3. This is not what this means” explains Lightman

The H-1B1 is a visa only for those from Chile and Singapore, “not to be confused with the H-1B”, said Lightman. While the E-3 is for Australian citizens to live and work within the USA in specialty occupation, the changes to both nonimmigrant classifications are the same according to Lightman.

The changes will come into effect on February 19.

For more information on these regulation updates click here.


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