U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services plans to extend eligibility to certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrations for work permits as part of President Obama’s executive amnesty.
Tuesday, USCIS Director León Rodríguez announced that beginning May 26 such spouses, could apply for and be eligible for work permits.
“Allowing the spouses of these visa holders to legally work in the United States makes perfect sense,” Rodríguez said in a statement. “It helps U.S. businesses keep their highly skilled workers by increasing the chances these workers will choose to stay in this country during the transition from temporary workers to permanent residents.”
“It also provides more economic stability and better quality of life for the affected families,” he added.
The move comes as Congress considers a DHS funding bill that would defund Obama’s executive amnesty.
“Finalizing the H-4 employment eligibility was an important element of the immigration executive actions President Obama announced in November 2014,” USCIS explained in a release. “Extending eligibility for employment authorization to certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants is one of several initiatives underway to modernize, improve and clarify visa programs to grow the U.S. economy and create jobs.”
USCIS is estimating that the number of immigrants who might be eligible for work permits under this program would be about 179,600 in the first year and 55,000 each following year.