On January 15, 2016, USCIS published a final rule amending the 240 day rule found under 8 CFR §274a.12(b)(20) to now include H-1B1 (Chile, Singapore), E-3 (Australia), and CW-1 (Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands). This final rule became effective on February 16, 2016.
Under the amended rule, H-1B1, E-3, and CW-1 nonimmigrants are now authorized to continue working for 240 days after their status expires, provided that their employer filed a timely extension of stay with USCIS. This means as long as the employer has filed an extension before the nonimmigrant status expires, the nonimmigrant is permitted to continue working for 240 days while the extension is pending.
H-1B1, E-3, and CW-1 nonimmigrants were previously excluded from the 240 day rule. Prior to this amendment, the rule only applied to A-3, E-1, E-2, G-5, H-1B, H-2A, H-2B, H-3, I, J-1, L-1, O-1, O-2, P-1, P-2, P-3, R-1, and TN nonimmigrants.
This amended rule will ease the burden on E-3, H-1B1, and CW-1 employers, giving them more time to file extension petitions without worrying about a gap in employment authorization.
For further information, please see AILA’s practice pointer regarding this change, available here.