In what would be a significant change to regulations, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is proposing that spouses of employees in H-1B status be permitted to work in certain circumstances.
The proposal is not a blanket grant of work authorization to all spouses in H-4 status. It is limited to those whose spouse is in H-1B status and is in the process of seeking permanent residence through employment. According to the DHS, the H-1B nonimmigrant must be either the beneficiary of an approved Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker (Form I-140) or must have been granted an extension of his or her authorized period of admission beyond the six-year H-1B maximum.
According to DHS, the change should lessen the economic burden on those in H-1B status and their dependent spouses in H-4 status during the transition from nonimmigrant to permanent resident and should also help retain high-skilled foreign workers.
To find out more about the proposed regulation change and whether you could benefit, contact an attorney at Minsky, McCormick & Hallagan, P.C.