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New DHS Rule Would Allow Some H-1B Spouses to Work

Two new rules proposed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on 6 May would, if adopted, allow some spouses of H-1B visa holders to work, and make it easier for some highly skilled immigrants to remain in the United States. In keeping with "the Administration’s continuing commitment to attract and retain highly skilled immigrants," says a DHS statement, one of the rule changes would allow H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B visa holders who are in process of applying for permanent residency to obtain work authorization. The other would "enhance opportunities for certain groups of highly-skilled workers"—H-1B1 nonimmigrants from Singapore and Chile, and E-3 nonimmigrants from Australia—"by removing obstacles to their remaining in the United States."

The proposed rule has been published in the Federal Register, a necessary step to changing federal regulations. "DHS encourages the public to comment on the proposed rules through All public comments will be considered before the final rules are published and go into effect," the statement adds.

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