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H-1B visa program enhanced to help spouses of visa holders

A couple of months ago, we wrote a post on this blog about the H-1B visa, and how the people who obtain these visas are of high-skill. Their spouses are usually very skilled as well, but the rules limited the visa options of the spouses of H-1B recipients. As a result, the spouses could get an H-4 visa. This allowed them in the country -- but it did not clear them for employment in the country. Thus, some skilled immigrants were being blocked from working, which seems like a silly policy.

Thankfully, there has been some movement on this issue in the months that has passed, and it appears that very soon -- on May 26 -- the spouses of H-1B visa holders will have improved options for obtaining visas.

With this expansion of the H-1B visa program, the spouses of such visa holders will be able to find work here in the United States. However, it is important to note that this expansion of the program does not apply to all H-1B visa holders. It extends only to those who are seeking permanent legal residency in the U.S. and the H-1B visa holder must already have an employer's petition.

Still, this expansion is a major step for the immigration system in this country, and ti could behoove many tech startups and high-skill areas of work. It will also be very helpful to the many legally enter this country on employment visas and just want their spouses to have similar abilities to work as they do.

Source: GeekWire, "Immigration attorney: H-1B visa changes will benefit – and may create – tech startups," Frank Catalano, Feb. 26, 2015

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