Menu
DHS to allow H-1B spouses to work in US

DHS to allow H-1B spouses to work in US

The agency will begin taking employment applications from H-4 visa holders in late May

Spouses of U.S. immigrants holding high-skill H-1B visas will be able to work in the country later this year, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced.

The DHS decision will benefit holders of H-4 visas, which allow spouses of H-1B and other employment visa holders to legally live in the U.S. Until now, H-4 visa holders could not work in the U.S. until they received a green card, granting them permanent residency.

In some cases, the backlog for green card processing is over 10 years. DHS will begin taking applications for U.S. work eligibility from H-4 visa holders in late May.

FWD.us, the high-skill immigration advocacy group cofounded by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, praised the DHS decision. The move will allow "tens of thousands" of H-1B worker spouses to find employment in the U.S. and contribute to the economy, said Kate Hansen, FWD.us communications director. Many H-1B visa holders work in the U.S. tech industry.

The DHS announcement is a "step toward fixing our broken immigration system," Hansen said during a press briefing.

DHS will allow 179,600 applications for Employment Authorization Documents [EADs] in the first year of the program, with 55,000 in the following years. H-4 visa holders will be able to reapply for EADs as long as they are allowed to stay in the U.S. or until they get their green cards, FWD.us said.

A change in the H-4 visa program was part of a series of executive actions on immigration that President Barack Obama announced in November.

Three current or former H-4 visa holders praised the DHS decision during the FWD.us press briefing. Neha Mahajan, a TV journalist who came to the U.S. with her family in 2008, said she's been frustrated because she cannot work in the country.

"This rule has come as a big, big relief to me," she said.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's email address is grant_gross@idg.com.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags governmentregulationbusiness issuesFacebookpersonnelmark zuckerbergU.S. Department of Homeland SecurityNeha MahajanKate HansenFWD.us

Featured

Slideshows

Looking back at the top 15 M&A deals in NZ during 2017

Looking back at the top 15 M&A deals in NZ during 2017

In 2017, merger and acquisitions fever reached new heights in New Zealand, with a host of big name deals dominating the headlines. Reseller News recaps the most important transactions of the Kiwi channel during the past 12 months.

Looking back at the top 15 M&A deals in NZ during 2017
Kiwi channel closes 2017 with After Hours

Kiwi channel closes 2017 with After Hours

The channel in New Zealand came together to celebrate the close of 2017, as the final After Hours played out in front of a bumper Auckland crowd.

Kiwi channel closes 2017 with After Hours
Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

HP honoured leading partners across the channel at the Partner Awards 2017 in New Zealand, recognising excellence across the entire print and personal systems portfolio.

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ
Show Comments