Magazine article HRMagazine

Some H-1B Holders' Spouses Authorized to Work

Magazine article HRMagazine

Some H-1B Holders' Spouses Authorized to Work

Article excerpt

Beginning May 26, about 180,000 spouses of highly skilled foreign workers will be allowed to file for U.S. work authorization, thanks to a reform announced in February by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Currently, all H-4 visa holders are prohibited from earning an income-but the new policy will change that for select H-4 visa holders, including the spouses of H-1B workers who have been approved to seek employment-based permanent resident status or whose H-1B status has been extended beyond the sixyear limit.

The reform is the first of several geared toward highly skilled immigrants that President Barack Obama promised in his November 2014 executive actions on immigration. It was one of the least controversial proposals, said Andrew Wilson, a partner in the immigration law firm Serotte Reich Wilson. "I would have liked to see employment authorization for all H-4s, but this will be helpful to many individuals," he said. "I've already received many calls and e-mails from excited H-1B holders. …

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