A new rule proposed by the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) allowing H-4 visa holders to work in the country came into force on 26 May 2015.
However, the extension of work authorization to H-4 visa holders would only apply if their spouses (H-1B visa holders) had applied for green-card, an authorization for permanent residence in the country.
This rule will encourage H-1B skilled workers to not to abandon their adjustment application with the department because their H-4 spouse is unable to work and also benefit the economy as in most of the cases they are eligible for doing highly skilled jobs.
The decision is expected to benefit over 179600 H-4 visa holders with particular salience to visa holders of Indian citizenship and employed in the IT sector.
India is receiving the largest proportion of H-1B visas from the U.S. every year having received 99705 H-1B visas of a total of 153223 issued globally, slightly over 65 per cent.
While the H-1B is a non-immigrant visa which allows the employers in the USA to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations, the H-4 visa issued to immediate family members (spouse and children under 21 years of age) of the H-1B visa holders.
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