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Spouses of H-1B visa holders might have to wait as US delays notification of new work permit rules

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.

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: June 18, 2019  | 09:28 IST
Spouses of H-1B visa holders might have to wait as US delays notification of new work permit rules
The Trump administration's decision to rescind work authorisation for H-4 visa holders is yet to get a final shape as the rule making process in this regard is not complete, an official said.

The Trump administration's decision to rescind work authorisation for H-4 visa holders is yet to get a final shape as the rule making process in this regard is not complete, an official said. 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 US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) "continues reviewing" all employment-based visa programmes, including the H-4 EADs or employment authorisation card, an official told PTI. "No decision about the Obama administration regulation granting work authorisation to certain H-4 spouses is final until the rule making process is completed," the official said.

Also Read:Bad news for H-1B visa holders: Trump administration advances process to scrap work permit for spouses

Recently, the Department of Homeland Security in its annual spring agenda had reiterated the proposal to remove from its regulations certain H-4 spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants as a class of aliens eligible for employment authorisation. Under the Obama administration, certain H-4 workers were allowed to get employment authorisation.

Soon after coming to power, the Trump administration informed a US court that it plans to rescind such a rule. However, such a proposed rule is yet to be formally notified and the Trump administration has delayed the notification a number of times in the past two years.

Also Read: Trump's H1-B crackdown: Visa approvals drop 10% in 2018, reveal US authorities

"The USCIS is committed to upholding our nation's immigration laws, helping ensure they are faithfully carried out, and safeguarding the integrity of our immigration system designed to protect the wages and working conditions of US workers," USCIS spokeswoman Jessica Collins said.

"The administration has been relentlessly pursuing merit-based policy and regulatory immigration reforms, including a thorough review of employment-based visa programmes so they benefit the American people to the greatest extent possible in fulfilment of the the president's (Donald Trump) 'Buy American, Hire American Executive Order'," she said.

"The USCIS will continue adjudicating all petitions, applications and requests fairly, efficiently, and effectively on a case-by-case basis to determine if they meet all standards required under applicable law, policies, and regulations," Collins told.

Also Read: Uncertainty haunts spouses of H1B visa holders: US court to hear lawsuit against H-4 visa authorisation

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