Relief for Foreign Workers: US Court Allows H-1B Visa Holders’ Spouses’ to Work

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In a significant relief to foreign workers, especially Indians in the US tech sector, a US district judge has ruled that spouses of H-1B visa holders can work in the United States.

The decision came after US District Judge Tanya Chutkan dismissed a lawsuit filed by Save Jobs USA seeking to dismiss the Obama-era regulation that allowed employment authorization cards to certain categories of H-1B visa holders’ spouses.

Tech Giants Opposed Lawsuit

Tech giants such as Amazon, Apple, Google, and Microsoft opposed the lawsuit. The US has so far issued nearly 1,00,000 work authorisations to spouses of H-1B workers, a significant number of whom are Indians.

The H-1B visa programme permits skilled foreign workers to work for American companies, but until recently, H-1B spouses were not allowed to work, putting a considerable financial burden on families.

Also Read: US Introduce Legislation to Overhaul H-1B and L-1 Visa Programs

Community Leaders Applaud the Decision

Ajay Bhutoria, a prominent community leader and advocate for immigrant rights, hailed the court’s decision, saying that thousands of families across the country would breathe a little easier.

“Allowing H-1B spouses to work is not just a matter of economic fairness but is also a matter of family unity and stability,” he said.

H-1B Visa Holders Don’t Have to Leave Within 60 Days

Meanwhile, USCIS Director Ur M Jaddou has clarified that it is wrong to assume that laid-off H-1B visa holders have to leave the country within 60 days.

USCIS has several options to stay, and laid-off workers may not be aware of their choices, Jaddou said in response to a letter from the Foundation for India and Indian Diaspora Studies seeking an increase to the grace period for laid-off H-1B visa holders.

The Foundation recognized the contributions of talented foreign-born workers, including those in STEM fields, and highlighted the impacts of recent technology sector layoffs.

Must Read: US Eases Rules for Laid-Off H-1B Visa Holders to Find New Jobs

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