Spouses of H-1B Visa Holders Allowed to Work in the United States


Aarushi Jain
Updated on Mar 30, 2023 01:06 PM IST

The possibility of H-1B holders' spouses working in the US has been cited by tech businesses as a key draw for highly educated foreign workers. Companies such as Amazon.com, Apple Inc., Google, and Microsoft Corp. asked the judge to sustain the regulation.

Spouses of H-1B Visa Holders Allowed to Work in the United States

A US District judge's decision allowing spouses of H-1B visa holders to work in the country comes as a huge relief for foreign employees in the US tech industry.

In the process, the US District Judge, Tanya Chutkan, rejected a case brought by Save Jobs USA, which asked the court to overturn an Obama-era rule that granted spouses of some H-1B visa holders employment authorisation cards.

Amazon, Apple, Google, and Microsoft were among the tech firms that had opposed the case. Almost one million work authorisations have already been granted by the US to spouses of H-1B employees, a major portion of whom are Indians.

Also Read: H-1B Visa Including Master's Cap Reached for 2024: USCIS

According to Judge Chutkan's decision, Save Jobs USA's main argument is that Congress has never given the Department of Homeland Security the power to let foreign people, such as those with H-4 visas, work while they are in the country.

She noted that this argument, however, is directly contradicted by the Immigration and Nationality Act's language, decades of executive branch practice, and both explicit and tacit legislative approval of that practice.

According to the judge's ruling, Congress has explicitly and deliberately given the US Government the authority to approve work as a legal prerequisite for an H-4 spouse's admission to the country.

Additionally, the federal government's historic and transparent duty for approving employment for comparable visa classes further demonstrates that Congress has approved the use of that authority by the federal government.

As per Judge Chutkan's order, the Department of Homeland Security and its predecessors have approved work not just for students but also for their spouses and dependents.

The court rejected the complaint brought by Save Jobs USA writing that the Department of Homeland Security has long granted work permits to wives of foreign government officials and spouses of workers or officers of international organisations.

Ajay Bhutoria, a well-known local figure and supporter of immigrant rights, has praised the court's decision to let H-1B spouses support their families via employment.

The H-1B visa programme is intended to make it possible for skilled foreign employees to go to the country and work for American businesses. But, H-1B spouses were not permitted to work until recently, which sometimes put a heavy financial strain on families as he stated.

Also Read: USA to Accept Job Applications from Tourist and Business Visa Holders

Bhutoria claims that thousands of families all around the country would be able to breathe a bit better as a result of the court's decision to allow spouses of H-1B visa holders to work. This choice will help guarantee that families who have been struggling to make ends meet may stay together and prosper by giving them the much-needed relief they need.

Also, enabling H-1B spouses to work promotes family harmony and stability in addition to economic justice. However, Bhutoria stated that this is just the beginning of a journey towards a more compassionate and equal immigration system but Save Jobs USA stated that it intended to challenge the judge's decision.

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Source: The Economic Times

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