New Immigration Policy Will Increase Access to Talent, Strengthen U.S. Semiconductor Industry

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015, 11:30pm

by Semiconductor Industry Association

In a meaningful, incremental step forward in the effort to reform America’s high-skilled immigration system, the Obama Administration today announced a new regulation that will allow spouses of certain high-skilled immigrants working in the U.S. to apply for work authorization of their own. This common sense initiative will increase companies’ access to the world’s top talent and help spur growth in the U.S. semiconductor industry and our economy, but additional high-skilled immigration reform is urgently needed.


The new rule, which takes effect on May 26, 2015, applies to certain people with H-4 dependent visas whose spouses are working under an H-1B visa and seeking green card status to stay and work permanently in the United States. These spouses will now be allowed to work while their family undertakes the process of applying for permanent residence.

High-skilled foreign professionals, including many employed by U.S. semiconductor companies, often are forced to wait decades for green cards because of massive backlogs. Providing work authorization for spouses of H-1B visa holders will help attract talented workers from around the world, while also enabling U.S. companies to retain the skilled workers that help boost innovation, create jobs and spur economic growth.

While SIA commends this regulation, we also recognize the urgent need for more extensive reforms to America’s high-skilled immigration system. The best and most practical path forward for further reform is through congressional action. We urge policymakers to find common ground on immigration and enact meaningful high-skilled reform in short order.