Automated Work Permit For Spouses Of H-1B Visa Holders

Story Highlights
  • Biden administration agrees to provide automatic work authorization permits to spouses of H-1B visa holders.
  • Settlement reached by the Department of Homeland Security.
  • Litigation achieved reversal of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) policy.

Washington: The Biden administration has agreed to issue automatic work authorization licences to spouses of H-1B visa holders in yet another immigration-friendly decision, which would benefit thousands of Indian-American women.

The Department of Homeland Security struck a settlement in this respect after the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) launched a class-action lawsuit on behalf of immigrant spouses last summer.

The lawsuit was successful in having the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regulation that prevented H-4 spouses from receiving automatic extensions of their employment authorization while their stand-alone EAD petitions were pending reversed.

AILA said, “Although this is a giant achievement, the parties’ agreement will further result in a massive change in position for the USCIS, which now recognises that L-2 spouses enjoy automatic work authorisation incident to status, meaning these spouses of executive and managers will no longer have to apply for employment authorisation prior to working in the United States.”

Certain types of spouses of H-1B visa holders were granted work authorization by the Obama administration. Over 90,000 H-4 visa holders have gotten work permission so far, the vast majority of whom are Indian-American women.

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