Recently, 16 plaintiffs filed a lawsuit against the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in the Western District Court of Washington to challenge the existing US immigration policy regarding work authorization for spouses of the L-1 Visa and the H-1B Visa holders. In 2015, the Barack Obama administration authorized the spouses of H-1B Visa holders to be gainfully employed in the US.
This lawsuit has been filed to claim that denying work authorization to the spouses of L-1 and H-1B Visa holders puts the strain on one person in the family and also robs the US market of highly educated and skilled workers while there is still a labor shortage.
What Is the Current Immigration Policy?
Spouses of L-1 and H-1B Visa holders are issued with an L-2 and H4 Visas respectively. Due to the current immigration policy, L-2 Visa holders have to wait for at least 10 to 15 months before a decision is made on their Employment Authorization Document (EAD) by the USCIS. This delay causes significant monetary loss to immigrant families as the family has to depend on the earnings of just one person. Also, due to USCIS delays, H4 Visa holders have to wait a long time for an extension of their visa, rendering them unable to be employed during this period.