Under new rules proposed by the Obama administration in 2013, some spouses of H-1B visa holders would be eligible to receive authorization with their H-4 visas. This step, designed to encourage highly specialized workers to pursue permanent residency in the United States, would be welcome news to many spouses who would like to apply for work authorization.
However, the American Immigration Lawyers’ Association noticed that the proposed rule change would only benefit a small portion of current H-4 visa holders. Berd & Klauss, PLLC, one of New York's most respected immigration attorneys, agrees that work authorization should be available to anyone whose spouse holds an H-1B visa. Furthermore, they believe that children of skilled immigrant workers should be granted work authorization as well.
The proposed rule changes, as they currently stand, would only allow those whose H-1B spouses who have completed some of the steps toward obtaining a green card to utilize their skills and contribute to the workforce. If, as the Department of Homeland Security says, the rule changes are intended to make the U.S. a more attractive destination for highly skilled workers, they should apply to all spouses, as is common practice throughout most of the Western world. By forcing potential guest workers to choose between the U.S. and another nation - which will grant more rights to their spouses - the narrowness of the rule actually negates its intended purpose.
No official decision has yet been reached, but the dedicated H-1B lawyers at Berd & Klauss, PLLC are monitoring the situation closely. For more information, or to attain an immigration lawyer, visit their website or call (212) 461-7152 with any questions.