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Visa rule change will allow H-1B spouses to work legally

On Behalf of | Mar 2, 2015 | Employment Immigration |

California residents who are interested in issues surrounding immigration may wish to know about a recent change in visa rules. This change, some say, will provide positive benefits for the U.S. economy.

On Feb. 24, President Obama’s administration issued a change to U.S. visa rules that would allow the spouses of skilled professionals to legally work in the country. A skilled employee can currently enter the U.S. and work under an H-1B visa. This type of visa requires the employer to show that there are no qualified candidates for the position in this country. Every year, about 85,000 employees are allowed into the country under this visa. However, those employees’ spouses are allowed in under a different visa, the H-4 visa.

Prior to the change, the H-4 visa did not allow an immigrant to receive a social security number or to legally work in the U.S. Additionally, there is no path to permanent residency for an H-4 visa holder. The H-1B visa holder is granted a path to citizenship. Now, these spouses who enter under the H-4 visa will be allowed to apply for employment.

Reports indicate that families that would have been forced to return to their home country due to a lack of two income streams may be able to continue living in the U.S. The director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services says that this change will encourage more immigrants to come to the country, which will serve to boost the economy.

Understanding the U.S. immigration system and the options available can be difficult without the assistance of an immigration attorney. The attorney may be able to explore these visa options and submit the appropriate applications in order to allow entry into the U.S.

Source: ABC News, “Highly Skilled Immigrant Spouses Can Soon Work in US,” Martha Mendoza and Amy Taxin, Feb. 25, 2015.


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