February 25, 2015
H1-B Visa Holders' Spouses Will Get Work Permits In The U.S. From May 26

America will soon start allowing spouses of H-1B Visa holders to legally work in the country. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will accept requests for work permits to spouses of H-1B visa holders beginning May 26.

A decision that was being contemplated for an entire year has been taken by the United States government. The crucial permission is bound to benefit thousands of talented and professional spouses who come to America but are unable to work due to political restrictions.

Under existing laws, spouses of -H1B visa holders are not eligible to work. However, the scenario will soon change for the better for the qualified partners as the USCIS will officially begin accepting applications for work visas from H-1B spouses from May 26.

Spouses of H-1B visa holders who desire to work professionally in the United States, will needed their 'Form I-765' approved. Once USCIS approves the application, the country will offer an Employment Authorization Card, using which, the H-4 dependent spouse may begin working in the United States.

There's little doubt that the biggest beneficiary of the amendment will be Indians who have migrated to U.S. on H-1B Visa for furthering their professional and financial prospects. USCIS estimates the number of individuals eligible to apply for employment authorization under this rule could be as high as 179,600 in the first year and 55,000 annually in subsequent years.

While the Indian- American community has welcomed the move, South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) issued a statement applauding the U.S. Government for allowing qualified workforce, which was hereto dormant, to contribute. It's no secret that hundreds of H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B visa holders are seeking employment-based Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status and this step inches them closer to their goal.

The USCIS said the Department of Homeland Security is extending the eligibility for Employment Authorization (EAD) to only a certain number of H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B non-immigrants who are seeking employment based LPR.

H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B non-immigrants (principal H1-B worker), who are the beneficiaries of an approved 'Form I-140', Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker are eligible for the work permit. To weed out people who have only been in the United States for a short while, the conditions include that the principal H1B worker has an approved 'I-140' or is currently on an extended H-1B status beyond the 6-year limitation based upon an I-140 petition application pending for at least one year.

[Image Credit | Visa Reporter]