Law Office of Leila Freijy PLLC
Immigration & Compliance Law 
Will H-4 Spouses be Permitted to Work Soon?



On April 7, 2014, the White House's Office of the Press Secretary released a fact sheet titled, "Strengthening Entrepreneurship At Home and Abroad."


The following section is of particular interest:


"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, as well as enhancing opportunities for outstanding professors and researchers. These measures build on continuing DHS efforts to streamline, eliminate inefficiency, and increase the transparency of the existing immigration system, such as by the launch of Entrepreneur Pathways, an online resource center that gives immigrant entrepreneurs an intuitive way to navigate opportunities to start and grow a business in the United States."


I caution that this is still in its very early stages as it speaks to "proposed regulations" that are to be published "soon;" however, I will keep you updated as more information is released.


While the Senate passed a very positive Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) bill last year, it quickly died in the House.  The announcement yesterday could be the White House's plan to bypass the Congress on this issue, as it did when the "Dream Act" was not passed into law in 2012.  Subsequent to the failure of the passage of the Dream Act, the Department of Homeland Security instituted "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)."


While DACA does not provide a path to Citizenship for individuals brought to the U.S. illegally as children (as the Dream Act would have), it does provide them with a way to seek employment authorization until the U.S. decides what to do with them. 


Similarly, while the proposed rule to grant certain H-4 spouses employment authorization is not a substitute for comprehensive immigration reform, it will provide a temporary fix for one immigration issue.


As many H-4 spouses are highly educated and skilled in their own right, the ability to hire individuals in H-4 status will help bridge the gap between the supply and demand for H-1B visas every year.

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If you have any questions or concerns about the information provided in this email, please don't hesitate to contact me.




Leila Freijy
Law Office of Leila Freijy PLLC
Leila Freijy, Esq.
2701 Troy Center Dr.
Suite 410
Troy, MI 48084
248.287.4115 (fax)

(Of Counsel to Ellis Porter - Immigration Attorneys)