Our lawyers in Los Angeles have just learned of a newly proposed rule change by the Department of Homeland Security. Part of the proposed new plan would allow for certain H-1B dependents (H-4 visa holders) to receive employment authorization in the United States.
Under the current regulations, spouses and dependent children of H-1B workers may live in the United States legally but not work. The new proposal would allow H-4 dependents of certain H-1B nonimmigrant workers to request work authorization, as long as the H-1B worker has already started the process of seeking lawful permanent resident status through the petitioning employer.
This is one of the first major steps that the Obama Administration is taking in trying to do as much as they can to improve the flawed immigration system while Congress continues to ignore the matter. This is only a proposal and this story will continue to develop in the coming weeks.