USCIS Introduces Temporary Work Permit for Non-Immigrants Facing Urgent Situations

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This is New York’s New Proposal for Immigrants

People with Non-Immigrant Status Can Apply for Temporary Work Permit

This is New York’s new proposal for immigrants 2:50

(CNN Spanish) – People with non-immigrant status in the United States who are facing urgent situations will now have the opportunity to apply for a temporary work permit, as stated in a new policy introduced by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

However, this new regulation is applicable only to temporary nonimmigrant workers whose initial and renewal applications for employment authorization documents (EADs) have been significantly delayed due to ongoing delays in immigrant visas. These individuals must also be able to demonstrate that they are facing dire circumstances.

Extending TPS for Four Countries

  • The United States extends TPS for four countries, including El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua

While some nonimmigrants, who are aliens intending to stay in the US temporarily, are automatically granted employment authorization based on their immigration status or circumstances, others are required to submit a separate application to the USCIS.

But what exactly qualifies as a compelling circumstance according to the USCIS? The agency defines it as a situation beyond the applicant’s control that negatively impacts their ability to continue working for their employer. Examples of such circumstances include severe illness or disability, employer disputes or retaliation, significant harm to the applicant, or major disruptions to the employer.

The USCIS states that this measure aims to assist certain individuals on their path to obtaining lawful permanent resident status and prevent them from being forced to leave the country abruptly.

However, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) does not provide a strict definition of what constitutes an exigent circumstance, as doing so could limit the flexibility of the DHS to recognize the various circumstances that may be considered.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Be the primary beneficiary of an approved Form I-140 (Petition for Alien Immigrant Worker).
  • Hold valid E-3, H-1B, H-1B1, O-1, or L-1 nonimmigrant status, including during a grace period, when filing Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization).
  • The applicant has not filed an application for adjustment of status.
  • The applicant must be able to justify the existence of compelling circumstances.

“A compelling circumstances EAD may assist certain individuals who already have an approved I-140 and are facing compelling circumstances, but are not yet eligible to file an application for adjustment of status or apply for an immigrant visa due to unavailability of a visa based on their priority date, country of origin, and preference category,” states the USCIS.

According to the USCIS policy, the agency can grant initial employment authorization for exigent circumstances for up to one year, with the possibility of renewal in one-year increments. This new rule has taken immediate effect and applies to applications submitted on or after Wednesday.

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