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Spouses Of Those With H-1b Visas Can Work In The United States

Updated: Sep 25, 2023

There are many different types of visa programs, all of which have different requirements and restrictions for visa holders. One of the biggest benefits of obtaining a work visa is the ability to travel with immediate family members, but there are often sacrifices required.

The H-1B visa program is a way for skilled and educated professionals to accept a job opportunity in the United States. They can also support their minor children and spouse by sponsoring subordinate visas that allow their direct family members to travel and live with them. Historically, securing an H-1B visa might mean challenges for a family, as the spouse who has not been granted a visa might have to sacrifice their career ambitions, at least temporarily. Thankfully, a recent federal court ruling has established that the spouses of those with H-1B visas can also work lawfully in the U.S.

What The Courts Determined

Subordinate visa holders often had limited opportunities for lawful employment while living in the country with their spouses. In many cases, they might have to wait until the family stays in the country for long enough to adjust their status and secure green cards to begin developing their careers again.

This was a problem for the spouses of those with H-1B visas. This practice also deprived the domestic economy of skilled labor, as those with advanced educations often tend to marry others who have professional aspirations and education. Refusing to allow the spouses of those with H-1B visas to work in the United States deprives employers of talent and the domestic economy of the opportunity to profit from the education, experience and labor of those already living in the country. The courts ruled that the spouses of H-1B visa holders can legally seek employment while living in the United States.

Changing Immigration Rules Are Hard To Track

Small mistakes can have lifelong consequences for an immigrant and possibly their family members as well. Therefore, those seeking H-1B visas and other employment-based visas need to understand and carefully comply with the rules that govern those visa programs.

Whereas the employment of a spouse may have previously triggered negative repercussions, immigrants can potentially now improve their household circumstances by having a spouse seek a job. Seeking legal guidance and learning about the changes made to different immigration policies may benefit those currently living in the United States and looking for immigration opportunities for their families.

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