Can a US Work Visa Holder’s Spouse Work in the US?

(Below is a transcription of this video)

So we’ve got a question. Can a spouse of a work permit holder work in the United States?

Work Parametres for US Work Visa Holder’s Spouse

So, generally speaking, when an individual applies for a work visa to the U.S. they can bring their spouse and dependent children along with them.

Now, generally speaking, the spouse cannot work. The spouse can accompany the individual during the validity of the work visa, the children can go to school, but their spouse, generally, cannot work.

Work Visa Options for US Work Visa Holder’s Spouse

Now there are certain exceptions to that. For example, an L-1 visa or an E-2 visa, the spouse can apply for a work visa as a dependent, but in most cases that option is not available. However, there has been talk that the immigration rules will be changing potentially, hopefully, that will allow spouses to work as dependents.

So, for example, an H-1B visa, which is a specialty occupation work visa, very popular, as it stands now spouses are not allowed to work unless they apply for their own work visa that is separate. If the rules change, which we hope they will, spouses who currently get H-4 visas will be permitted to apply for work visas or be allowed to work, as well.

So this is really going to benefit the IT industry especially, but also other industries. Let’s hope this positive development comes to fruition so spouses of work permit holders can, in fact, work.

My name is Michael Niren, immigration lawyer and founder of Have a great day.

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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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