Major technology companies in the United States, such as Google and Facebook, are pressuring lawmakers in the country to fix what they see as glaring holes in some of the country's immigration practices. Specifically, they say that the way the United States handles the part of its visa program which is most responsible for giving foreign born technology professionals the right to travel to the U.S. to work - the H1-B visa program - is broken. They would like to see a liberation and expansion of the program. Despite this push, one of the aspects of the H1-B reform that recently come to light has little to do with the tech professionals themselves, but instead focuses on their spouses.
One of the most pressing concerns for those who have obtained an H1-B visa, or who are looking to obtain one, concerns the immigration statues of their spouses. Specifically, the most common status granted to the spouses of H1-B visa recipients is the H4 status, which allows the spouse to enter the United States, but not to work. Considering there were 55,000 married H1-B recipients coming to the U.S. in 2013 from India alone, the vast numbers involved show that the situation could complicate the overall push make the H1-B process more user friendly. In fact, in 2013, only half of the 55,000 eligible spouses traveled to U.S. Doubtlessly the inability to work is a significant factor when deciding whether or not the visa recipient's spouse will travel to the U.S. as well.
Recently the government announced that it would soon release updates to the policies guiding the H1-B program, changes which are expected to allow the spouses of some H1-B visa recipients to work. The change is meant to make the U.S. a more attractive market for their talents. But until the new rules are announced, it will be difficult to predict the long term effects of the change, or exactly which categories of H1-B recipients are likely to he helped.
As can be seen, the U.S. immigration system is incredibly complex. Those looking to enter the country on the H1-B visa, with or without a spouse, are advised to seek the help of qualified legal counsel in order to make sure that every part of the process is done efficiently and correctly. The Austin immigration attorneys at Lyttle Law Firm have the experience necessary to help you will all of your immigration needs. Give us a call today at 512-215-5225.