US: Spouses of H1-B visa holders to be granted automatic work permits

The move will benefit tens of thousands of Indian-American women



Reuters file
Reuters file

By Web Desk

Published: Fri 12 Nov 2021, 9:42 AM

Last updated: Fri 12 Nov 2021, 10:15 AM

The Biden administration has agreed to provide automatic work authorisation permits to spouses of immigrant workers in the US.

The move will benefit tens of thousands of Indian-American women. The settlement was reached by the Department of Homeland Security in a class-action lawsuit filed by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) on behalf of immigrant spouses this summer.

A US court also directed the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to allow up to 180 days of automatic extension on work authorisation permits for spouses of H1-B and L-1 visa holders.

This means spouses with expired H-4 visas don't have to worry if their applications are not processed in a timely manner.

The goal of the lawsuit was to remove hurdles in policies that posed many challenges for spouses and caused them to lose their jobs.

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The Obama administration had earlier given work authorisation to certain categories of spouses of H-1B visa holders.

So far, more than 90,000 H-4 visa holders, a significant majority of whom are Indian-American women, have received work authorisation, according to The Indian Express.


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