Spouses of H-1B visa holders to get work permits in US

Thousands Indians will benefit as it will allow highly skilled to get job in the US along with their spouses

GN Bureau | February 25, 2015


#H-1B visa   #india   #techie   #US   #work   #citizens   #homeland   #immigration   #green card  

This is good news for thousands of families as the US has announced that it would provide work permits to spouses of H-1B visa-holders. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting applications for work visas from H-1B spouses on May 26.

Under existing laws, spouses of H-1B visa-holders, many of whom are Indians, are not eligible to work.  Once USCIS approves the Form I-765 and the H4 dependent spouse receives an Employment Authorisation Card, he or she may begin working in the United States.

USCIS director Leon Rodriguez said “allowing the spouses of these visa holders to legally work in the United States makes perfect sense.” The move would incentivize highly skilled workers and their families to stay in the country long enough to acquire green cards.

The Department of Homeland Security was extending the eligibility for employment authorisation (EAD) to certain H4 dependent spouses of H-1B non-immigrants who are seeking employment-based Permanent Residency.

Eligible individuals include certain H4 dependent spouses of H-1B non-immigrants (principal H-1B worker) who are the beneficiaries of an approved Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, or satisfy at least one or more of the three conditions.

The conditions include that the principal H-1B worker must have an approved I-140 or be currently on an extended H-1B status beyond the six-year limitation based upon an I-140 petition application pending for at least 365 days (one calendar year).

It is likely that the number of individuals eligible to apply for employment could be as high as 1,79,600 in the first year and 55,000 in subsequent years. The move has been welcomed by Indian-Americans.

South-Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) in a statement applauded the U.S. government's move to extend work authorisation, effective May 26, 2015, to some H4 dependent spouses of H-1B visa-holders who are seeking employment-based lawful permanent resident (LPR) status.

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