The US today announced that it will provide work permits to spouses of H-1B visa holders beginning May 26, a move that is expected to benefit thousands of talented and professional Indian spouses who come to America but are unable to work.
Under existing laws, spouses of? H-1B visa holders, many of whom are Indians, are not eligible to work.
“The inability of those spouses until now to apply for employment, to seek and obtain employment, has imposed in many cases significant hardships on the families of H-1B visa holders,” said Leon Rodriguez, director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
The change could apply to more than 179,000 people in the next year, and 55,000 in subsequent years, Rodriguez told reporters.
Indians receive the majority of H-1B visas, with most working in science, tech and engineering. According to the State Department 96,753 people received an H-4 in 2013, 76 percent of whom were from South Asia.
“This decision is going to directly affect many of our life members as they would now be able to join the professional workforce and chase the ‘American Dream’,” the Telugu Association of North America said in a statement.