USCIS One Step Closer to Limiting H1-B

March 28th, 2019 Colin Behring

USCIS proposal to stop providing work permits for H-4 spouses is one step closer to implementation. Last Wednesday, USCIS submitted its final proposal to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). After OMB completes its review, OMB will either (1) send it back to USCIS for revision, or (2) submit it for publication with the Federal Register. Once published, the new rule generally would take effect 30 days later.

Since 1997, H4 visa dependent spouses were not eligible to work. However, in 2015, USCIS passed the Employment Authorization for Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses rule. This rule enabled H4 visa dependent spouses to work if the H1-B visa holder has an approved I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker. Proponents championed the new rule because it relieved the financial pressure on immigrant families living on a single income. Challengers claimed that the Department of Homeland Security had no authority to grant working rights to H4 visa holders, and that granting spouses the right to work would unfairly compete with US workers. Opponents filed a lawsuit and its appeal is pending in federal court.

In 2017, the Trump administration considered to amend the rule revoking the right for H4 spouses the ability to work.
Now the final rule is one step closer to implementation. Revocation of the right to work would have an impact on more than 100,000 families working in the United States under the H1-B program.

H1-B Petitioners Facing Increased Number of RFEs and Denials

According to the reports from the Wall Street Journal, USCIS has increased the number of requests for evidence (RFEs). In fact, 60% of the companies that applied for H1-B visas for their workers received RFEs last quarter 2018. Further, the approval rate dropped to 75% (last year the approval rate was 83%). See more at

Behring Offers Flexible Solutions for a Path to a Green Card Through EB-5

The reality is that immigrant workers are faced with more and more challenges to obtain and maintain the H1-B visa. And many must grapple with huge backlogs in the EB-2 program. As a result, H1-B workers are choosing the EB-5 program as the best alternative to obtain a US green card for their families. At Behring, we provide several investment options depending on your investment profile. Learn more about how you can reap real returns on your investment while enjoying the benefit of investing in prime Bay Area real estate development.

1 Or for those H1B visa spouses with visa status lasting longer than 6 years under the American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act.