The Department of Homeland Security this week proposed regulations that would enable H-4-dependent spouses of some principal H-1B US visa workers to request authorization for employment. The current rules are preventing thousands of immigrant spouses already legally living in the United States from being able to work while they wait to gain permanent residency.
With the major backlogs that families from some countries ‒ particularly India ‒ are confronted with, the current rules have resulted in major hardship over many years and have deprived the economy of the United States of the talents of these future citizens, many of whom are highly skilled and well educated.
“Today’s administrative action brings welcome relief to spouses of those employment-based immigrants caught in the green card backlog,” notes the vice-president and co-founder of Immigration Voice, Pratik Dakwala. “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.”
Dakwala’s fellow vice-president, Dheeraj Kohli, has also hailed the administrative move as being a step in the right direction, but notes that the only real solution is to find a way to fix the backlogs that go back several decades and continue to see hundreds of thousands of immigrants and their families trapped in a state of limbo.