US Relaxes Immigration Rules to Support Specialists and Their Families


Back in May, two new rules were proposed to relax US immigration rules in order to provide more support to highly skilled immigrants and specialists, along with their families.

Immigration Rules to Support Specialists and Their Families

The proposed rules will hopefully include a provision that will allow the spouses of skilled immigrants to work, and should make things easier for workers in specialist fields such as technology, science and engineering, according to officials.

US Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker said of the new rules: “These individuals are American families in-waiting. Many tire of waiting for green cards and leave the country to work for our competition. The fact is we have to do more to retain and attract world-class talent to the United States and these regulations put us on a path to do that.”

Proposed Regulation Changes

Overall, there are two regulation changes that have been proposed to come into play; the first of which would mean that spouses of those working in specialist fields and possessing H-1B visas would also be able to work in the US while their spouses await the response from ongoing green card applications.

Currently, visa holder spouses are unable to work, so this would be a positive change and would lift some of the financial strain immigrants have to go through while awaiting green cards.

According to Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, such a change could have a positive impact on up to 97,000 immigrant workers during the first year of implementation, and up to 30,000 a year following on from that.

The second new regulation to be proposed would allow employers access to a wider range of ways to document immigrant professors and researchers who are outstanding in their chosen fields of work.

Rejuvenating the US Immigration System

Pritzker is a supporter of President Obama’s drive to rejuvenate the US immigration system, allowing the country to “staple a green card to the degree of graduate students, instead of forcing potential innovators and job creators to leave after being trained at US universities.”

However, not everyone’s a fan of these proposed changes. Senator Jeff Sessions, a known opponent of immigration reform, claimed the administration is acting in a way that could make things harder on American workers by overflowing the labour market, lowering the amount of jobs available and reducing wages.

The Republican-led House of Representatives were quick to shun a sweeping immigration bill passed by the US senate last year, as it was viewed as a potential threat to the US economy.

Are You Interested in Immigrating to the U.S?

If theses proposed U.S. immigration changes affect you, or you are in need of immigration services, contact the team at VisaPlace today in order to book an initial consultation and find out more about how our services could benefit you.

Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

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