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Visa holders and their spouses

There are no assurances that one can receive a work visa or green card by complying with regulations. In 2015, under the past presidential administration, there was an allowance for spousal visas when that individual’s spouse was taking the necessary steps to become a lawful permanent resident.

The ruling so far has allowed for 91,000 approved applications for H-4 spousal visas. In the meantime, there are already thousands of other individuals hoping to obtain their green card as well. We can assume that many of them will have spouses who wish to obtain an H-4 spousal visa as well.

While ordinarily renewable, proposed changes of the law may impact such renewability in the future. According to a recent news source, the Trump administration is considering the removal of employment authorizations for the spouses of H-1B visa recipients. However, we will not know this for sure until the completion of the rule-making process.

The impact on families of immigrants

For families to remain in the U.S., they will need to locate opportunities to support themselves financially. Financial independence is often not possible if both spouses are unable to work.

Many individuals are seeking an H-4 spousal visa who are married to H-1B visa holders. The H-1B visa is for individuals who wish to work in the U.S. while at the same time hoping to obtain lawful permanent residency status (a green card). The process for obtaining an H-1B visa is complex. But obtaining a green card still may not be enough if the spouse is unable also to obtain their own work visa.

We will need to see what happens next as immigration law is often in flux. In the meantime, immigration attorneys will do what they can to help families acquire the right to work in our country. This includes helping them understand their legal options.

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