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rangadu

Work Authorization for spouses of H1B visa holders

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I saw this news on NDTV and Outlook today about
"H-1B visa holder's spouse may be allowed to work in US"

 

It seems to quote a recent White House statement that spouses of certain H1 visa holders will be allowed to work and DHS will announce rules for this purpose soon.

 

Upon googling for any official communication on this item, all I could find was a Jan 2012 statement from DHS specifying that this is a rule being proposed. I can't find anything recent or anything more concrete.

 

Does anyone else have better information on this? Any sources, ideally official, otherwise US based news outlets?

Thanks

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I saw this news on NDTV and Outlook today about

"H-1B visa holder's spouse may be allowed to work in US"

 

It seems to quote a recent White House statement that spouses of certain H1 visa holders will be allowed to work and DHS will announce rules for this purpose soon.

 

Upon googling for any official communication on this item, all I could find was a Jan 2012 statement from DHS specifying that this is a rule being proposed. I can't find anything recent or anything more concrete.

 

Does anyone else have better information on this? Any sources, ideally official, otherwise US based news outlets?

Thanks

It is a proposal like any other proposal that is pending for a long time. I am not optimistic (my personal opinion).

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I saw this news on NDTV and Outlook today about

"H-1B visa holder's spouse may be allowed to work in US"

 

It seems to quote a recent White House statement that spouses of certain H1 visa holders will be allowed to work and DHS will announce rules for this purpose soon.

 

Upon googling for any official communication on this item, all I could find was a Jan 2012 statement from DHS specifying that this is a rule being proposed. I can't find anything recent or anything more concrete.

 

Does anyone else have better information on this? Any sources, ideally official, otherwise US based news outlets?

Thanks

That's an old statement, they just repeat it again.

Moreover, for H4 EAD H1 employee has to be on H1 for at-least 6 yrs.

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I saw this news on NDTV and Outlook today about

"H-1B visa holder's spouse may be allowed to work in US"

 

It seems to quote a recent White House statement that spouses of certain H1 visa holders will be allowed to work and DHS will announce rules for this purpose soon.

 

Upon googling for any official communication on this item, all I could find was a Jan 2012 statement from DHS specifying that this is a rule being proposed. I can't find anything recent or anything more concrete.

 

Does anyone else have better information on this? Any sources, ideally official, otherwise US based news outlets?

Thanks

These proposals show up once in a while. None has ever come even close to becoming law.

And with the H1 quota filling in a week, I don't think it is seen as pressing, since people still apply for H1s in masses, regardless if the spouse is allowed to work or not. So, Congress is not likely to see an urgent need to act on this.

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These proposals show up once in a while. None has ever come even close to becoming law.

And with the H1 quota filling in a week, I don't think it is seen as pressing, since people still apply for H1s in masses, regardless if the spouse is allowed to work or not. So, Congress is not likely to see an urgent need to act on this.

I like your argument. It makes sense. But, also consider the fact that this proposed rule is for H4 dependents where H1s have been extended beyond 6 years. When a company hires someone on H1B, they invest on the immigration costs, but when they invest further to extend the status beyond 6 years, it shows that the employer really really need the H1B employee. They simply can't afford to loose him now. That makes it important for the country to not loose these guys.

Also, after 6 years of US experience, the H1B employee has a lot of opportunities outside US, which may not have been the case earlier. So, the restriction on work authorization for H4 visa, may very well become the deciding factor for the H1-B, H4 family to leave to another country. And, whn they move, they take away all the knowledge and experience, they gained during their stay in the US.

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I like your argument. It makes sense. But, also consider the fact that this proposed rule is for H4 dependents where H1s have been extended beyond 6 years. When a company hires someone on H1B, they invest on the immigration costs, but when they invest further to extend the status beyond 6 years, it shows that the employer really really need the H1B employee. They simply can't afford to loose him now. That makes it important for the country to not loose these guys.

Also, after 6 years of US experience, the H1B employee has a lot of opportunities outside US, which may not have been the case earlier. So, the restriction on work authorization for H4 visa, may very well become the deciding factor for the H1-B, H4 family to leave to another country. And, whn they move, they take away all the knowledge and experience, they gained during their stay in the US.

It doesn't really show that the employer "really really" needs the employee. A large percentage of these people work in consulting companies, where the actual work can change rather quickly.

And I haven't seen all that many people who abandon the GC process. And again, the "knowledge and experience" isn't all that big with people working in consulting companies. People working in FTE environments for a long time sure have amassed a significant amount of product knowledge, but consultants? If the end client really appreciates their product knowledge, the end client would have made them an offer for FTE already. In fact, what a lot of companies do with Americans nowadays is "contract to hire", i.e., new people work as contractors first, and after a while, 6 months or so, when they are good, they get hired fulltime.

 

Another reason why I don't think this is going to fly: With the H1 quota filled, there are lots of hig-skilled people that can't get jobs. Then opening the ability for people on H4 to get any job delivers the wrong message: we don't want high-skilled jobs, but are ok with low-skilled jobs...

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Well I have seen many people working as consultants at client location gaining very good knowledge on the products. And I have seen many people saying that their clients asking them when can they start working on your EAD??

 

That clearly says that they don't want H1's they want GC holders and no matter how talented these consultants are.

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It doesn't really show that the employer "really really" needs the employee. A large percentage of these people work in consulting companies, where the actual work can change rather quickly.

And I haven't seen all that many people who abandon the GC process. And again, the "knowledge and experience" isn't all that big with people working in consulting companies. People working in FTE environments for a long time sure have amassed a significant amount of product knowledge, but consultants? If the end client really appreciates their product knowledge, the end client would have made them an offer for FTE already. In fact, what a lot of companies do with Americans nowadays is "contract to hire", i.e., new people work as contractors first, and after a while, 6 months or so, when they are good, they get hired fulltime.

 

Another reason why I don't think this is going to fly: With the H1 quota filled, there are lots of hig-skilled people that can't get jobs. Then opening the ability for people on H4 to get any job delivers the wrong message: we don't want high-skilled jobs, but are ok with low-skilled jobs...

Gosh! Why do you make so much sense!!! I hope congressmen do not hear your arguments :-)

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Gosh! Why do you make so much sense!!! I hope congressmen do not hear your arguments :-)

I actually think it is overdue that people on H4 get work permits, but I just don't think it's going to happen anytime soon...

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Well I have seen many people working as consultants at client location gaining very good knowledge on the products. And I have seen many people saying that their clients asking them when can they start working on your EAD??

 

That clearly says that they don't want H1's they want GC holders and no matter how talented these consultants are.

Well, then they don't desperately need the particular people.

If a company is not even willing to spend the relatively little money (in the big picture of things) for an H1, they don't "really really" need the people. And given that the costs for an H1 (or GC) can be deducted from the company taxes as business expenses, it really isn't much money for a decent company. There's probably all the other excuses, like "company policy", "we've never done that", yada yada yada. If a company really wants a person, they make it happen. If it's just a "nice to have" thing, then maybe not.

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This is just the first step and is welcome, because it allows some H1 B holder spouse to work where previously it had none.

 

Question is not whether these people are consulting or are really needed for US, question is, their company considers them worth and these companies are in good legal standing in US be it a US company or a consulting company, they are contributing to the economy.

 

As far as knowledge is concerned, there is really no accurate measure of how much valuable an employee can be to US economy or culture, but if the company that applies for a GC for an employee is in good legal status in US and if the employee has maintained his / her H1 B status for over a period of 6 years, then it is likely that the effort put in by US government to get these candidates in to US will be rewarded by keeping these employees in US rather than not.

 

Any step forward is a good step, especially when it is in a country like USA where thousands of immigrants come from many countries each year, hoping to become permanent residents. This is a step in the door, which opens up hope for future amendments to allow more categories of H1B spouses to be able to work. It is impractical to welcome all or none, the IT world is binary but the real world is not. 

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I actually think it is overdue that people on H4 get work permits, but I just don't think it's going to happen anytime soon...

 

 

Why do you think it is overdue that they get work permits? If they wanted one, they could apply for H1B. The reason they do not do so is that they are lower skilled workers of which the US has many unemployed. 

 

 

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Well, then they don't desperately need the particular people.

If a company is not even willing to spend the relatively little money (in the big picture of things) for an H1, they don't "really really" need the people. And given that the costs for an H1 (or GC) can be deducted from the company taxes as business expenses, it really isn't much money for a decent company. There's probably all the other excuses, like "company policy", "we've never done that", yada yada yada. If a company really wants a person, they make it happen. If it's just a "nice to have" thing, then maybe not.

Then why they want to hire only after getting their GC's??

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Then why they want to hire only after getting their GC's??

Because they don't have to spend money for an H1 or the GC.

As I said, they don't really need them. If they really needed them, the company would spend the money for an H1. It's peanuts for a company.

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Why do you think it is overdue that they get work permits? If they wanted one, they could apply for H1B. The reason they do not do so is that they are lower skilled workers of which the US has many unemployed. 

We have that for L1 already, spouses can work on L2.

Obviously, the issue is that most spouses probably don't qualify for an H1. The number of people working on L2 is probably small, so the impact on the US labor market is small. The impact would be much bigger with H4s, and yes, that's why I don't think it's going to happen. With the H1 quota filling within days, it would mean "high-skilled labor no, unskilled labor yes." Not what the US should strive for.

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Well, then they don't desperately need the particular people.

If a company is not even willing to spend the relatively little money (in the big picture of things) for an H1, they don't "really really" need the people. And given that the costs for an H1 (or GC) can be deducted from the company taxes as business expenses, it really isn't much money for a decent company. There's probably all the other excuses, like "company policy", "we've never done that", yada yada yada. If a company really wants a person, they make it happen. If it's just a "nice to have" thing, then maybe not.

 

Thanks for clarifying on the 'proposal stage' and that this may never become the law as a response to my original post.

 

As for the usual rant on 'not so skilled or needed consultants' versus the 'skilled and really really needed' FTEs, for the life of me I cannot understand the condescending attitude some people have towards consultants. Sometimes it is good to live in the real world and not swear by theoretical explanations on why any one worth their salt should not be a consultant.

 

To think that the main reason for a company to avoid hiring a H1B is cost of immigration processing, while the same company employing the same resources as consultants makes absolutely no sense. Consultants are usually paid more than the employee salaries+perks, and an additional premium, for the vendor so cost is never a factor, long term planning to some extent is. Looks like you are stereotyping consultants, we all know what the stereotype is, and trying to come up with explanations on why everyone should fit the stereotype one way or the other, without regard to how 'real' companies operate or w.r.t the different levels of skill sets and circumstances of consultants.

 

I have interviewed candidates for both consulting and FTE positions, and I personally found no difference in the level of skills between the two cohorts on average. I have an inkling of why a manager decides to hire or fire a person, but have absolutely no clue about why and how 'companies' come up with rules on immigrations and hiring, some of which makes sense to me and some don't. If anyone claims that these large MNCs formulate HR rules that make perfectly logical sense to all stakeholders, then they are kidding themselves.

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Maybe the companies have been burned by filing for H1B only to have the person "transfer" to another company even before appearing for work.  Some H1B visa holders posting here are among the most unethical and disloyal people I have ever encountered. "Once burned, twice shy."

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Because they don't have to spend money for an H1 or the GC.

As I said, they don't really need them. If they really needed them, the company would spend the money for an H1. It's peanuts for a company.

So they won't hire them even after they get their GC. They are simply lying.

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Initially, I worked as consultant and gained enough knowledge on the product and also enough knowledge to find another job. I don't think all the consultants are same. Moreover consultant get paid more.

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Thanks for clarifying on the 'proposal stage' and that this may never become the law as a response to my original post.

 

As for the usual rant on 'not so skilled or needed consultants' versus the 'skilled and really really needed' FTEs, for the life of me I cannot understand the condescending attitude some people have towards consultants. Sometimes it is good to live in the real world and not swear by theoretical explanations on why any one worth their salt should not be a consultant.

And sometimes it is good to not make assumptions about other people...

 

I worked for a US consulting company while on H1. Consulting isn't bad per se.

What IS bad is the fraud done by (mostly desi) consulting companies, from faking resumes, to not paying people on bench to asking for money for an H1.

If my employer had done any such thing, I would have left in a heartbeat.

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I only found this one article saying that DHS has already made the proposal - http://www.************.com/***************.

 

Is that even true? White house announcement says they "plan to...".

 

Furthermore, once DHS makes the proposal, who approves it? White House (executive order from the president)?

 

It probably doesnt matter, as chances for these things are always so slim.

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