The United States government will automatically extend work authorisation for the spouses of H-1B and L-1 visa holders, The Economic Times reported on Thursday.

H-1B visas allow US companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. The immediate family members of such workers are given H4 visas. More than 90% of H4 visa candidates are Indian women, according to The Economic Times.

L-1 visas, on the other hand, are for those on intra-company transfers. Their spouses are issued L-2 visas.

In March, 15 litigants, including 13 Indian nationals, had challenged an immigration policy that did not allow the spouses of H-1B and L-1 visa holders to work in the US till they had a permit, The Economic Times reported.

Even those who held permits were not able to renew their employment status because of the backlog created by the coronavirus crisis.

On Wednesday, the US District Court for the Western District of Washington provided relief to the spouses of H-1B and L-1 visa holders. It ordered the US Citizenship and Immigration Services to allow auto-extension of their work authorisation for up to six months, The Economic Times reported.

The spouses of L-1 visa holders will not have to apply for the extension, but partners of H1-B visa holders…

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