On January 20, 2021, White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain issued a memorandum regarding review of pending regulatory actions which directs, in part, that 1) all rules pending at the Federal Register that have not been published must be immediately withdrawn and 2) agencies must “consider” postponing the effective dates for regulations that have been published, but not yet taken effect, for 60 days from the date of this memorandum.
As a result, the modified version of the "Strengthening the H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa Classification Program Final Rule," which would have reintroduced the requirement to provide evidence regarding the employer-employee relationship in H-1B petitions, sent to the Federal Register on January 15, but not yet published, will be withdrawn,
In addition, any final rule that has already published, but not yet taken effect may upon further agency action be postponed for until March 21, 2021, including the H-1B Wage Selection Final Rule, which would have changed the H-1B lottery selection process to favor those receiving the highest wages.
Preview of Biden's immigration bill.
On his first day in office, President Biden announced his plans to send a bold immigration bill to Congress in the coming weeks. The expansive provisions show that the Biden administration is ready to embrace immigrants as part of the fabric of American society.
Three key components are:
1. Expanding existing immigration channels.
The bill will also make significant changes to the legal immigration system. It will recapture millions of previously unused visas to reduce green card backlogs, eliminate per-country caps on visas, and provide rapid paths to a green card for children and spouses of permanent residents. It will also prevent children of H-1B visa holders from “aging out” and being forced to leave the United States.
2. An eight-year pathway to citizenship for all 11 million undocumented immigrants.
The bill would provide a five-year path to permanent residence for all undocumented immigrants present in the United States on January 1, 2021, followed by a three-year wait for naturalization. Certain individuals with long-standing ties to the United States and previous vetting by the government would be expedited, including over 1 million people with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Temporary Protected Status—in addition to agricultural workers.
3. Eliminating the three- and ten-year bars and expanding legal immigration.
Many immigrants who could have a chance to legalize their status may not be able to do so. This is because of penalties that prohibit green card applicants from returning to the U.S. for three or 10 years if they depart after being in the country unauthorized. The new bill will reverse these bars which prevent or delay many eligible family members from becoming lawful permanent residents—even if they are already in the United States.