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New H-4 Visa Rules Provide Opportunity to Attract, Engage, and Retain H-1B High Potentials

New H-4 Visa Rules Provide Opportunity to Attract, Engage, and Retain H-1B High Potentials

New rules are expected to be finalized soon (find details here) that allow some H-4 Visa holders to work while in the United States. These spouses of the highly sought after H-1B visa holders—largely representing hard to get STEM experts—were often left out of spousal support in the past.

Consider this, roughly 179,000 spouses may be able to join the U.S. workforce soon. As the U.S. looks to attract foreign entrepreneurs, it’s important that you reexamine your support to this high-profile group. Don’t wait for the Employment Authorization Document to go into effect, start showing your support now.

3 Tips to Show You’re Invested in the Happiness of H-1B Employees and their Families

1. Don’t assume. Just because they’re not currently working, doesn’t mean that they’re not interested in a career. The H-1B spouse had no option to work before. Reach out to the H-1B spouses and let them know about the new visa rules. Whether they may be eligible to seek and secure an EAD, or need to find their own H-1B sponsor, let them know how you can help.

2. Don’t wait for the EAD approval. Start offering Job Search Assistance to spouses now. The approval process takes 90 days and if the spouse starts preparing early, they’ll be ready to go when approval arrives.

3. Offer Career Coaching services. Career coaches understand the nuances that come with searching for a job in a foreign country. They have knowledge of employers who are open to working with Visa holders. Reach out to the spouses to inform them that Job Search services exist. Companies like IMPACT Group are experts at training individuals toward a successful job search in a new country.

Special Tip for our Relocation Management Company Partners: Spousal Support is likely in our clients’ policy already. Look through past files and rediscover those you can help.

If keeping H-1B High Potentials on your team is critical, open the door to their spouses’ career potential. Contact Ed Marshall, the expert in spousal job search support today.


Contribution by Lynn Wagner, CRP, GMS.

Lynn is a Client Relationship Executive with more than 10 years of experience in the employee relocation industry. Lynn possesses extensive knowledge in global assignment management and employee, spouse/partner, and family transition support. Connect with Lynn today on LinkedIn.

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