This morning, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced proposed regulations that will allow H-4 dependent spouses of certain principal H-1B workers to request employment authorization. Current rules prevent thousands of immigrant spouses already living legally in the United States from working as they await permanent residency. Given the extreme backlogs confronting families from certain countries, most notably India, existing rules cause extreme hardship over many years and deprive the U.S. economy of the talents of these future Americans, many of whom are well-educated and highly-skilled. (See:

“Today’s administrative action brings welcome relief to spouses of those employment-based immigrants caught in the green card backlog,” said Pratik Dakwala, Co-Founder and Vice President of Immigration Voice. “So many of these spouses are themselves highly-skilled and have so much to contribute to America. Until now, they have been forced to spend many of their most productive years locked out of the workforce as they and their families await their green cards.”

“This is certainly a step in the right direction,” said Immigration Voice Vice President Dheeraj Kohli. “The real solution is to fix the decades-long backlogs that continue to trap hundreds of thousands of employment-based immigrants and their families in a state of limbo. We hope that the Administration will follow today’s action with concrete steps to reduce the green card backlogs, allowing all legal immigrants to contribute the full measure of their talents to the U.S. economy.”

Find out more about Immigration Voice and the green card backlog at

# # #

Immigration Voice is a national grass-roots organization of legal, high-skilled immigrants living in the United States. The group has almost 100,000 members across the country and represents the interests of the nearly one million skilled immigrants and their family members caught in existing green card backlogs.