The President has proposed issuing employment authorization to H-4 spouses who are caught in the visa backlog. Read more below.
In his State of the Union Address on January 25, 2012, President Obama made some bold pronouncements about changes to the U.S. immigration laws. One particular idea is generating a lot of interest: his proposal to issue employment authorization to the spouses of H-1B workers who are affected by the visa backlog. President Obama proposed this measure in an effort to stop the flight from the U.S. of highly educated and skilled workers during the long wait for visas in the EB-2 and EB-3 categories. Currently, some workers are subject to a visa wait ranging from six to ten years (and longer).
For now, the proposal includes only spouses of H-1B workers in their 7th or subsequent year(s) of H-1B status who are waiting to apply for adjustment based on an approved Labor Certification and/or I-140 Immigrant Petition. NOTE: This is just a proposed measure. A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) is expected to issue in March 2012 to define further the parameters of H-4 employment authorization. Rest assured, the attorneys at Rose Immigration Law Firm, PLC will keep employers and employees fully informed of progress in this area, so be sure to check back in March!