H1B Visas: Do You Want the Good News or the Bad News?


By: Kelly Eisenlohr-Moul
I’ll lead with the bad news: while Congress stalls on immigration reform, the United States Customs and Immigration Services received 172,500 H1B petitions between April 1 and April 5, 2014!
This means that, over a five-day period, USCIS received twice as many petitions as slots available.  H1B hopefuls and their employers must now wait until 2015 to apply/reapply in this category.
Perhaps in response to this over-subscription, the White House announced on April 7 that the Department of Homeland Security would “soon” publish several proposed rules designed to make the United States more attractive to foreign entrepreneurs and highly-skilled immigrants.
While the White House did not elaborate on all of the proposed changes, it did state that one of the rules would authorize employment for spouses of certain highly-skilled workers, such as those in the H1B category.
This is a huge positive development for H1B recipients, as well as their spouses.  Currently, H1B spouses may accompany their husband or wife to the United States, but are prohibited from working unless they qualify for a visa independently.