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US plans to allow H-1B visa holder's spouse to work in America

April 08, 2014 13:34 IST

Image: A child attends a ceremony to reopen the Statue of Liberty and Liberty Island to the public in New York July 4, 2013.
Photographs: Eduardo Munoz/Reuters Lalit K Jha in Washington

Aimed at attracting the world's best and brightest, the US will soon come out with a series of policy initiatives and changes in the existing rules, including allowing the spouses of H-1B visas to work in America.

In a statement, the White House said that the Department of Homeland Security will soon publish several proposed rules that will make the US more attractive to talented foreign entrepreneurs and other high-skill immigrants who will contribute substantially to the US economy, create jobs, and enhance American innovative competitiveness.

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US plans to allow H-1B visa holder's spouse to work in America

Image: A woman stands in the rain at Times Square in New York, November 26, 2013.
Photographs: Carlo Allegri/Reuters

"These proposed regulations include rules authorising employment for spouses of certain high-skill workers on H-1B visas, as well as enhancing opportunities for outstanding professors and researchers," it said in a statement.

"These measures build on continuing DHS efforts to streamline, eliminate inefficiency, and increase the transparency of the existing immigration system, such as by the launch of Entrepreneur Pathways, an online resource centre that gives immigrant entrepreneurs an intuitive way to navigate opportunities to start and grow a business," it said.

From the statement, it appears that spouses of H-1B visas are unlikely to get a blanket approval to work in the US.

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US plans to allow H-1B visa holder's spouse to work in America

Image: A girl holds up a banner while people take part in a rally to demand that Congress fix the broken immigration system at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey.
Photographs: Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

Only certain category of spouses of H-1B visa holders -- mainly from the science and tech category -- are likely to get the nod.

The White House also said the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation are launching a new collaboration to empower entrepreneurial scientists and address the critical gap between fundamental research and the development of a commercial entity.

The H-1B work visas for highly skilled professionals have been most beneficial from information technology sector professionals from India.

As per the Congressional mandated cap, US Citizenship and Immigration Services can allocate a maximum of 65,000 H-1B visas for the fiscal year 2015 beginning October 1, 2014.

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