Immigration Voice is delighted with the announcement of the final publication of the rule by the Department of Homeland Security to allow spouses of certain H1-B visa holders to obtain work authorization. According to the regulatory change announced today, the spouses of skilled immigrants with an approved immigrant petition, or, H-4 visa holder spouses of workers on H-1B visa for over 6 years in the U.S., will be eligible to apply for work authorization.

It is widely known that spouses of skilled immigrants generally have advanced STEM degrees, many from the best US Universities. This regulatory change will allow them to work or start their own businesses, contributing to the US economy. This will alleviate the severe quality of life issues faced by the spouses and their families. This simple technical fix is expected to provide relief to more than 180,000 families in the first year of its implementation. Immigration Voice applauds President Obama for making this fix.

“Today’s announcement brings a ray of hope to the thousands of tax-paying law-abiding skilled immigrant spouses as they will finally be able to work and start their own businesses in America. The President’s leadership will allow skilled immigrant spouses to contribute the full measure of their talents to the U.S. economy,” said Pratik Dakwala, Co-Founder and Director of Immigration Voice. “Great numbers of these spouses are engineers, doctors, innovators, research scientists, and professors. Until now, immigrant spouses were not allowed to work, sometimes for over a decade while they and their families await adjudication of green card petitions. However, this fix will enable immigrant spouses to live up to their full potential.”

“As announced by President Obama on November 20, 2014, Immigration Voice very much hopes that this fix is the first in the series of more regulatory changes that will be implemented soon. And while Administrative fixes are most welcome, we implore Congress to live up to its promise to address our nation’s priority issues, and fix the broken immigration system,” said Dheeraj Kohli, Vice President of Immigration Voice.

Group President and Co-founder Aman Kapoor said that “We are grateful to President Obama and his administration for Executive Action on Immigration to address the severe quality of life issues faced by hundreds and thousands of families, including allowing spousal work authorization for certain H-1B visa holders.”

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