Philadelphia Immigration Lawyers Report on Significant Change for Spouses of H-1B Visa Holders

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security recently announced an important policy change affecting the immigration status of spouses of foreign tech workers who hold H-1B work visas.  The H-1B visa program allows skilled professionals in the fields of science, medicine and law to work legally in the United States.  Many H-1B visa holders have faced significant hardships when their spouses are unable to apply for employment in this country. Beginning on May 26, 2015, these spouses will be eligible to apply for their own work permits due to changes in U.S. immigration rules.

This year, over 180,000 individuals could benefit by this change in immigration policy.  Prior to this change, specially skilled foreign technical workers who were working in the United States under H-1B visas could apply for H4 visas for their spouse and children (under the age of 21) to remain in the country while the H-1B visa holder was employed in the United States. The new immigration rules will allow spouses to obtain their own work permits while the H-1B visa holder’s application for a green card is being processed.

With this change in immigration policy, it should be easier for spouses to remain in the country by obtaining their own work permits.  The United States hopes to attract more highly qualified and talented foreign workers by making their spouses eligible for their own work permits.  Silicon Valley tech companies which rely on skilled foreign tech workers, including Facebook and Yahoo, have applauded these immigration changes.

These changes in immigration rules only apply to spouses of those H1-B visa holders who have begun the process of seeking permanent legal residency and have received the government’s approval of their employer’s petition to start the process.

Philadelphia Immigration Lawyers at Surin & Griffin, P.C. Work with H1-B and H-4 Visa Holders throughout the Delaware Valley

If you or a family member is the holder of a H4 visa and would like to apply for an Employment Authorization Card under this new immigration policy, the experienced Philadelphia immigration lawyers at Surin & Griffin, P.C. can assist you in this process.  Our dedicated Philadelphia citizenship lawyers represent individuals in all types of immigration law matters including visa applications, deportation proceedings and green card issues  With offices conveniently located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia immigration lawyers at Surin & Griffin, P.C. proudly serve clients throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania.  Call us today to schedule a confidential consultation at (215) 925-4435 or submit an online inquiry form.