On May 6, 2014, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) announced that spouses of certain H-1B high-skilled worker worker visa holders will soon be eligible to legally work in the United States. H-1B visas are often used by American companies to bring highly skilled foreign workers to the U.S. The H-1B visa can be granted for no more than six-years but, unlike most other temporary visas, H-1B visa workers are permitted to enter the U.S. with “immigrant intent.” This means someone who enters the U.S. with an H-1B can become a permanent resident. American companies often petition for their H-1B workers to become permanent residents before their temporary status expires.
Under current immigration law, dependents of H-1B visa holders, who are otherwise known as H-4 visa holders, cannot obtain employment authorization. This can cause financial strain to the families of H-1B visa holders, who have no choice but to rely on the single income of the principal H-1B holder. The application of this rule can discourage talented foreign nationals with families from accepting employment in the U.S.
Under DHS’s proposed rule changes, dependent spouses of H-1B visaholders will be eligible to apply for employment authorization once the H-1B’s holder’s sponsor employer has submitted a petition for permanent residency, thus initiating the “green card” process. This new rule is scheduled to take effect after a 60 day public comment period.
The new rule, and others specifically affecting outstanding professors and researchers and certain Chilean, Singaporean, and Australian specialty occupation professionals, are part of an effort by the Obama Administration to “attract and retain highly skilled immigrants” and ensure “that the U.S. has the most skilled workforce in the world.”
If you are in the U.S. with an H-1B visaand would like to learn more about how your spouse can obtain a work permit, contact our immigration lawyers in Charlotte NC to schedule a consultation today! Call 704-900-2925 or email our immigration lawyers in Charlotte NC at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Immigration Lawyers in Charlotte practice exclusively in the area of U.S. Immigration and Nationality Law. We are providing affordable immigration advice and representation to individuals, families and companies locally and worldwide. As your Immigration Lawyer in Charlotte NC we strive to construct personalized legal strategies for our clients, and deliver quality advice and competitive services in a trustful, honest, and professional manner. Our Immigration Lawyers in Charlotte offers clients absolute confidentiality, a rigorous and innovative approach to your legal problems, while the firm’s light structure allows for undivided personal attention and affordable representation.