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Dependent Spouses of Highly Skilled Immigrant Workers to Get Work Permits

- Tetra Images—Getty Images/Brand X
Tetra Images—Getty Images/Brand X

The immigration reform will take effect at the end of May

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced a major immigration reform on Tuesday, allowing spouses of individuals on the H-1B visa (known as H-4 dependent spouses) to apply for work permits.

The new rules were announced by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services director Leon Rodriguez and will take effect on May 26 this year, according to a government release.

“Allowing the spouses of these visa holders to legally work in the United States makes perfect sense,” Rodriguez said, adding that the move would incentivize highly skilled workers and their families to stay in the country long enough to acquire green cards.

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The reforms, announced as part of President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration, were met with relief in countries like India, which sends a large number of workers into the U.S. tech industry while their spouses are unable to legally work.

“I miss my job, I miss my financial independence,” said software engineer Swapnil Gupta, who moved to the U.S. in 2011 with her husband, according to Reuters.

“I’m looking forward to getting back to what I love doing,” she added, calling the new regulations a “great relief.”

Read next: Why Congress Is Feuding With Obama Over the Homeland Security Budget

A woman and her child from Central America are apprehended just after crossing the Rio Grande, Hidalgo, Texas, June 24, 2014. Kirsten Luce
Women and children from Central America are apprehended just after crossing the Rio Grande, Hidalgo, Texas, June 24, 2014. Kirsten Luce
Border Patrol Agents respond to a call near a section of the border fence in Hidalgo, Texas on Feb. 13, 2013. Kirsten Luce
Border Patrol vehicles respond to a call on the banks of the Rio Grande in Hidalgo, Texas on June 24, 2014. Kirsten Luce
The old border fence where scouts watch for border patrol activity and aid drug or migrant traffickers in Tijuana, Mexico, Feb. 14, 2013. Kirsten Luce
A border patrol vehicle on the remote terrain along the border in Southern California, east of San Diego, Feb. 15, 2013. Kirsten Luce
Border Patrol agents patrol the floodplain along the banks of the Rio Grande, south of Mission, Texas on Feb. 13, 2013. Kirsten Luce
Border Patrol agents patrol the thick brush along the banks of the Rio Grande south of Mission, Texas on Feb. 13, 2013. Kirsten Luce
Women and children from Central America are apprehended just after crossing the Rio Grande into Hidalgo, Texas on June 24, 2014. Kirsten Luce
Women and children from Central America are apprehended just after crossing the Rio Grande into Hidalgo, Texas on June 24, 2014. Kirsten Luce
The belongings of women and children apprehended after crossing the Rio Grande into Texas, collected and bagged by Border Patrol, Hidalgo, Texas, June 24, 2014. Kirsten Luce
Migrants run from a gap in the border fence to a waiting car in the early morning in Penitas, Texas, Feb. 14, 2013. Kirsten Luce
An aerial of jeep trails in the United States (bottom), in an area that was once a popular crossing point into the United States from Tijuana, Mexico (top), Feb. 15, 2013. Kirsten Luce
The westernmost edge of the border extends into the Pacific Ocean separating Tijuana, Mexico and California. Kirsten Luce

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