One of alleged proposed changes in immigration reform is allowing spouses of H1B holders to work.

Spouses of H-1B Visa Holders May Soon Be Allowed to Work in the U.S.

The U.S. is planning changes to the immigration rules that will make the country more attractive to talented foreign entrepreneurs and other high-skilled immigrants, the White House said in a statement Monday.

Among the suggested changes will be automatically giving work visas to the partners of anyone who gets an H-1B visa to work in the U.S.

source: WSJ India blog post

Is there any official statement regarding that?

3 Answers 3


I do not think there has been any official word on this. If there were, I would expect this page to be updated for Agenda Stage of Rulemaking. It still says Proposed Rule Stage.

The progression of a proposal in the regulation pipeline follows this order:

  • Pre-rule stage
  • Proposed Rule Stage
  • Comments on Proposed Rules
  • Final Rule Stage

Update: As of today, 24th Feb 2015, the US government allows H-4 dependent spouses of certain principal H-1B workers to request employment authorization - Source


There is an announcement that they will propose a rule. It's not a rule or even officially proposed rule yet.


Attracting the World’s Best and Brightest: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will soon publish several proposed rules that will make the United States more attractive to talented foreign entrepreneurs and other high-skill immigrants who will contribute substantially to the U.S. economy, create jobs, and enhance American innovative competitiveness. These proposed regulations include rules authorizing employment for spouses of certain high-skill workers on H-1B visas, ...

And it sounds like not all spouses of H1b will be able to get it, only spouses of "certain" H1b people.


This has now been officially announced as a rule proposal (i.e.: after being published in the Federal Register, the rules will go through the "draft" stage and become active). The final rules are expected to be published before the elections this November.

You can read the announcement on the USCIS web site.

Summary of the draft rules:

H4 companions of H1b holders who are in the process of getting a green card (I140 approved or AC21 extension granted) will be able to get EAD.

Eligible individuals would include H-4 dependent spouses of principal H-1B workers who:

  • Are the beneficiaries of an approved Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker; or
  • Have been granted an extension of their authorized period of stay in the United States under the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act of 2000 (AC21) as amended by the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act. AC21 permits H-1B workers seeking lawful permanent residence to work and remain in the United States beyond the six-year limit.

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