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Biden Encouraged to Extend Work Authorizations for Spouses of H-1B Visa Holders

Written By The Shapiro Law Group on February 23, 2021

Legislators are encouraging President Biden to extend the validity of work permits granted to H4 visa holders. Many of these individuals have spouses in the United States under an H-1B visa. Should these changes occur, it will make it easier for spouses of H-1B visa holders to process requests and to secure legal, long-term employment.

2.5 Million Cases in the Pipeline

Necessity is the driver of change, and with nearly 2.5 million cases backlogged at various stages of review within the United States Customs and Immigration Service, there is a clear and present need for change. The Trump Administration’s efforts to limit immigration into the United States have created the largest backlog of cases in the past twenty years. In December 2020, 60 members of the United States Congress sent a letter to then president-elect Biden encouraging him to make swift and decisive immigration reforms upon taking office. Specifically, lawmakers are urging President Biden to take swift and decisive action to streamline the application and approval process for the spouses of H-1B visa holders. Many of these reforms were started under President Obama and effectively halted under President Trump. 

This is not only good for the families of visa holders, but it is also good for the economy as a whole. Many spouses of H-1B holders are also highly-skilled professionals and these changes would allow them to secure legal, gainful employment within their field of expertise. The move will significantly impact female applicants, as they make up more than 90% of individuals granted H-4EAD status.

Companies Gear Up for Hiring

As the COVID-19 pandemic begins to wane and the light at the proverbial end of the tunnel comes into view, many industries are gearing up to expand. Healthcare, IT, technology, and many other sectors are poised for rapid growth that will likely be fueled by immigrants currently in the United States, or waiting for their visa requests to be approved. 

Spousal visa lawyers can help individuals prepare their documents and submit them for review. The sooner these documents are submitted, the sooner they will be processed. If the first few weeks of President Biden’s administration foreshadow things to come, it won’t be long before USCIS takes action to rapidly clear the backlog and make it possible for spousal immigrants to get to work