White House: US immigration 'will authorize employment for H-1B spouses'

The White House has announced a proposal to allow some spouses of foreign workers in the US with H-1B temporary work visas to work in the US. The announcement is designed as part of President Obama's plan to make life easier for highly skilled workers and entrepreneurs in the US.

In his State of the Union address on January 28th 2014, the President said 'Let's do more to help the entrepreneurs and small business owners who create most new jobs in America'.

Although the President did not mention anything about H-1B spouses in the address, the proposal to allow some H-1B spouses to work has been included in a recently released list of White House proposals designed to help entrepreneurs.

Attracting the World's Brightest and Best

On 7th April 2014, the White House issued a Fact Sheet containing the President's policy proposals. A section headed Attracting the World's Best and Brightest contains several ideas that should 'make the United States more attractive to talented foreign entrepreneurs and other high-skill workers on H-1B visas'.

Only some brief details were provided:

  • Authorising employment for 'spouses of certain high-skill workers on H-1B visas
  • Enhancing opportunities for outstanding professors and researchers
  • Continuing to 'streamline, eliminate inefficiency and increase the transparency of the existing immigration system'

Entrepreneur Pathways

One additional proposal is the launch of 'Entrepreneur Pathways', an online tool to help foreign-born entrepreneurs to 'navigate opportunities' for entrepreneurial activity in the US.

Further details should be released by the Department of Homeland Security shortly.

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