May 26 is an important day for spouses of H-1B visa holders throughout the South and throughout the country. On May 26, many spouses of these highly skilled workers will be allowed to seek work of their own.
This news may come as a surprise to some because many people may not have realized that spouses of H-1B visa holders — many of whom left careers behind in their home country — have not been allowed to look for work. Instead, their only options while living in the U.S. have been to go to school, volunteer or stay at home.
Under the new rule, which came about under the president’s executive order on immigration, these individuals can seek work if their spouse is approved to seek a green card. While this leaves out some partners, it opens up doors that had been previous shut tight.
This change is very meaningful for spouses of H-1B workers who came to the U.S. thinking they, too, could find new work. Learning that they couldn’t was devastating to some. Now, there is hope for the future, and many spouses are updating their resumes and networking in preparation.
This change in the law is clearly positive for the spouses of H-1B holders. However, few immigration matters are ever straightforward. For this reason, it can be helpful to work with an experienced immigration lawyer who understands employment immigration. Doing so can help ensure that the process is handled correctly.
Source: The Seattle Times, “Tech workers’ spouses ready, eager to work under new immigration rules,” Lynn Thompson, April 8, 2015