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Policy


Obama administration officials unveiled proposed rules today that would allow spouses of some H1-B visa holders to work in the U.S., along with other changes designed to encourage highly skilled immigrants to stay here.

Are you an H-4 dependent spouse of an H-1B worker with an approved Form I-140 (Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker) or have you been granted a visa extension because you’re seeking permanent residence in the U.S.? Congratulations! You may soon be able to get approval to fight rush hour traffic, check your work email obsessively and fight through grocery store aisles on the weekends like the rest of us.

Currently, spouses and other dependents of H-1B visa holders are barred from working in the U.S. The change has been sought for years because many H-1B visa holders have complained that their spouses have had to put their careers on hold while in the U.S. It has also created financial problems for some highly skilled immigrants residing in areas with a high cost of living, like Silicon Valley and New York City.

Department of Homeland Security officials estimate that about 97,000 spouses will apply for permission to work the first year after the change is approved. After that, about 30,000 spouses a year are expected to seek work permits.

The change is an “important step in the right direction,” said U.S. Commerce Department Secretary Penny Pritzker in a call with reporters Tuesday morning. The White House announced the policy change earlier this year.

Homeland Security officials are seeking comment on the proposal, which is expected to go into effect sometime later this year.




3 comments
Amruta
Amruta

DHS explains in the federal register that by allowing H4 visa holder to work, the impact of this rule would only have a negligible increase in domestic work force, which should not raise any eyebrows that jobs are reduced for locals. In addition to it, American economy will only benefit with more skilled people if given the opportunity to H4s with their willingness to work and prove themselves to the nation. That's a great news for Americans too. If H4 visa holders are granted work permit, this boon will definitely boost self confidence, hard work and dedication in them which are the required profits for any employer along with their international degree and work experience.

Noge
Noge

@smashingfeeds Not if you are an American. Because if you are you just got stabbed in the back to help a corporate tax dodging rich IT company displace not only an American IT worker, but an extra job too!

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