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Good News - Potential Employment Authorization for Spouses of H-1B Workers


On April 7, 2014, the White House announced that “The Department of Homeland Security will soon publish several proposed rules that will make the United States more attractive to talented foreign entrepreneurs and other high-skill immigrants who will contribute substantially to the U.S. economy, create jobs, and enhance American innovative competitiveness.  These proposed regulations include rules authorizing employment for spouses of certain high-skill workers on H-1B visas, as well as enhancing opportunities for outstanding professors and researchers.”

This is big news for the spouses of H-1B employees who are in the United States.  Under current rules, spouses of H-1B workers are allowed to accompany their husband or wife but cannot work in the United States.  This lack of work authorization for spouses has long been a complaint of high-skilled H-1B employees, particularly as H-1B employment can last up to 6 years (and in certain cases, even longer).  Many talented workers are put off by the fact that their spouses will have to put their careers on hold during their time in the United States.  

In short, this is a welcome change that will indeed help America continue to attract the brightest and the best. 

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