President Obama Issues Executive Order On Immigration
On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced an Executive Order on Immigration Reform, which will impact U.S. businesses, as well as certain individuals currently present in the U.S. in undocumented status. The two employment-based provisions which would provide the most benefits for U.S. employers are the following: (1) Work Authorization for H-4 Dependent Spouses – The President’s Executive Order would grant work authorization to spouses of certain persons holding H-1B non-immigrant status; and (2) Visa System Modernization – The President has directed immigration agencies to revise the current government system for green cards to make best use of the number of immigrant visas available. By revising this system, the significant backlogs and waiting periods for green cards for certain categories can potentially be reduced. The provisions above will become effective upon government issuance of the necessary guidance and regulations, which are expected early this year.