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Proposal would eliminate work permits for H-1B spouses

A change in employment rules for the spouses of H-1B visa holders in Florida and throughout the country may be coming. If the regulation is passed, spouses will no longer be eligible for employment. The Department of Homeland Security has completed its work on the potential policy change, and on Feb. 20, the proposal was received at the Office of Management and Budget.

After the office reviews the proposal, it will either be returned to the DHS or published in the Federal Register. It will then have an open period for public comment. This is usually 60 days but can be anywhere from 30 to 90 days.

Many of the workers who get H-1B visas are from India and China. The visa is for employees who have specialized skills. If these spouses are unable to work, this could discourage some H-1B candidates from coming to the United States since they would have to survive on a single income. In turn, this would hinder the country's ability to retain specialized talent. However, a lawsuit by a group called Save Jobs USA to block the ability of spouses to work is pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The tech workers who form the group say they lost their jobs to H-1B visa holders.

U.S. immigration law is complex, and completing necessary paperwork requires accuracy in order to avoid delaying or jeopardizing an application for a visa or naturalization. Laws are also changing rapidly. An attorney could assist an immigrant who needs help with issues related to green cards, deportation, asylum. The procedures for employers and immigrants often change, but an attorney may be able to help people and companies stay on top of those developments.

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