Proposal to end work permits of H-4 Visa holders in final stage: US

RSTV Bureau
Representational Image

Representational Image

The move to repeal H-4 visas, which allows work permit to the spouses of H-1B visa holders is in the final stage of clearance, the Trump administration has told a US court. The decision will have a severe impact rendering thousands of H-4 visa holders jobless. H-4 visas are issued to the spouses of H-1B visa holders, a significantly large number of whom are high-skilled professionals from India.

The proposed rule is currently in final clearance, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) told a federal court in a status update. The Trump administration is planning to end the Obama-era rule allowing spouses of H1-B visa holders to work legally in the US, a move that could have a devastating impact on more than 70,000 H-4 visa holders who have work permits.

The Trump administration on Thursday told the court that once the proposal is cleared through the DHS, it will be sent to the Office of Management and Budget for review under Executive Order for regulatory and planning review.

As previously represented to the Court, the DHS intends to proceed with publication of this new rule concerning the H-4 visa rule, the DHS said in its court filing. The final notification to rescind the work permit of H-4 visa holders is likely to be issued in June.

The Obama regime had, in 2015, started giving work permits to certain categories of H-4 visa holders, who were mostly spouses of H-1B visa holders. Last week, a bipartisan group of 130 US lawmakers led by influential Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal urged the Trump administration to continue granting work authorisation to certain dependent spouses of non-immigrant workers holding H-1B visas.

Providing work authorisation for accompanying spouses helps US employers recruit and retain highly-qualified employees, putting US policy on par with other countries, such as Canada and Australia, competing to attract talented foreign nationals, the lawmakers had said.

The Trump administration is currently reviewing the H-1B visa policy as it thinks that the visa is being misused by companies to replace American workers.

(With agency inputs)