Immigration Reform News 2015: H4 Visa Holders, H1B Dependent Spouses to Obtain Permission to Work, Seek Employment



The Department of Homeland Security has announced that it will grant employment authorization to certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B visa holders or foreign workers in the U.S.

According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director León Rodríguez, the new policy will take effect on May 26, 2015 for spouses of H-1B visa holders who are seeking employment-based lawful permanent resident, or LPR, status.

The new policy amended existing regulations to allow the H-4 dependent spouses to work in the U.S. and is an important part of President Obama’s immigration executive actions which he announced last November.

“Allowing the spouses of these visa holders to legally work in the United States makes perfect sense,” said Rodríguez said. “It helps U.S. businesses keep their highly skilled workers by increasing the chances these workers will choose to stay in this country during the transition from temporary workers to permanent residents. It also provides more economic stability and better quality of life for the affected families.”

Rodriguez said eligible for the employment authorization are those who are principal beneficiaries of the Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker program or those who have been granted H-1B status under the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act of 2000 as amended by the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act.


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