ARTICLE
18 April 2024

USCIS Schedule A Update: Faster Green Card Sponsorship For 'Sciences Or Arts' High Achievers?

OD
Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart

Contributor

Ogletree Deakins is a labor and employment law firm representing management in all types of employment-related legal matters. Ogletree Deakins has more than 850 attorneys located in 53 offices across the United States and in Europe, Canada, and Mexico. The firm represents a range of clients, from small businesses to Fortune 50 companies.
In connection with the current administration's push to retain STEM talent, on April 10, 2024, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that it has updated its definition for "Schedule A, Group II" occupations.
United States Immigration
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In connection with the current administration's push to retain STEM talent, on April 10, 2024, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that it has updated its definition for “Schedule A, Group II” occupations. This clarification expands the applicability of the Schedule A, Group II designation and may greatly increase the utility of this category for employers seeking to sponsor their high achieving employees for permanent residency.

Quick Hits

  • USCIS recently announced that it has updated its definition for “Schedule A, Group II” occupations.
  • USCIS has now clarified that Schedule A, Group II “Sciences or Arts” occupations include occupations in any field of knowledge and/or skill for which colleges and universities commonly offer courses leading to a degree.
  • This clarification aligns USCIS's policy with DOL regulations.

In connection with the current administration's push to retain STEM talent, USCIS has updated its definition for “Schedule A, Group II” occupations. Schedule A occupations are occupational categories that the DOL has determined to be suffering a shortage of able, willing, and qualified U.S. workers, and therefore is not subject to a labor market test requirement in permanent residency sponsorship applications.

The updated Schedule A, Group II designation incorporates the definition set forth by the Department of Labor (DOL). Specifically, USCIS has officially adopted the DOL's definition of “sciences or arts” to cover any field for which U.S. colleges and universities commonly offer specialized courses leading to a degree.

Practically, this change potentially expands the Schedule A, Group II designation to cover any employee working in a field for which colleges and universities commonly offer a Bachelor's or higher degree, who is able to “demonstrate exceptional ability,” has been working in a position that requires exceptional ability for at least one year and will continue to do so.

The Schedule A designation waives the labor market test requirement for employment-based permanent residency sponsorships in the EB-2 or EB-3 categories, which leads to a faster and more streamlined application process. This new development opens up more options for high achieving employees seeking permanent residency in the United States.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

ARTICLE
18 April 2024

USCIS Schedule A Update: Faster Green Card Sponsorship For 'Sciences Or Arts' High Achievers?

United States Immigration

Contributor

Ogletree Deakins is a labor and employment law firm representing management in all types of employment-related legal matters. Ogletree Deakins has more than 850 attorneys located in 53 offices across the United States and in Europe, Canada, and Mexico. The firm represents a range of clients, from small businesses to Fortune 50 companies.
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