US to Allow H-1B Spouses to Work from May 26

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Washington – The US Government has unveiled proposed rules today that would allow spouses of some H1-B visa holders to work in the U.S., along with other changes designed to encourage highly skilled immigrants to stay here.

Currently, spouses and other dependents of H-1B visa holders are barred from working in the U.S. The change has been sought for years because many H-1B visa holders have complained that their spouses have had to put their careers on hold while in the U.S. It has also created financial problems for some highly skilled immigrants residing in areas with a high cost of living, like Silicon Valley and New York City.

The change could apply to more than 179,000 people in the next year, and 55,000 in subsequent years, Rodriguez told reporters.

The change is an “important step in the right direction,” said U.S. Commerce Department Secretary Penny Pritzker in a call with reporters Tuesday morning. The White House announced the policy change earlier this year.