Spouses of H-1B Visa Holders May Soon Be Forced out of WorkImmigration

September 18, 2019 14:15
Spouses of H-1B Visa Holders May Soon Be Forced out of Work

(Image source from: Reddit)

The proposal by the Trump administration to terminate the rights of H-4 visa holders, spouses of H-1B visa holders, may not be implemented until next year.

The United States Department of Justice (DoJ) on Monday told court that it has set a time frame of Spring 2020 (between March and June next year) to bring in rules to revoke the H-4 Employment Authorization Document (EAD).

The DoJ told the District of Columbia Circuit that previously indicated, DHS’ (Department of Homeland Security’s) intention to proceed with publication of the H-4 EAD proposed rule remains unchanged. The proposed rule is currently undergoing the inter-agency process.

Former president Barack Obama during his tenure issued the eligibility for employment authorization to H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B visa holders, first proposed in 2011. Under this rule, the spouses of H-1B workers were allowed to employment, where their high demand skills would be required.  

                        (Image source from: Asia News Network)

Donald Trump, who believes more in Buy American and Hire American policy, removed the rights of H4 visa holders declaring them as a class of immigrants taking advantages of employment opportunities that could otherwise be beneficial for Americans.

According to a study by the South Asian American Policy & Research Institute, the ability of U.S. companies to attract and retain skilled workers would be impacted if the country revokes the H-4 EAD visa.

The move will have a major impact on Indian women, as they comprise up to 90 percent of the 1.2 lakh H4 visas issued since 2015. The Trump government believes the move would give American workers a better chance at obtaining jobs that the population of H-4 workers currently hold.

The Chief Executive Officer of EB5 BRICS, Vivek Tandon, warned that deferring the proposed ban to next year only offers minor relief. He said spouses of H-1B holders still don’t have any clarity on EAD status moreover employers in the U.S. are likely to avoid hiring H-4 visa holders until a final decision is taken.

Rajiv S Khanna, managing attorney at law firm Immigration.com said the rhetoric against immigrants would not end till there is a change in the perception that foreign workers are taking away local jobs.

Republicans are perceived as being friends of business, though this administration is neither a friend of businesses nor endeavors that require education such as research, high technology, colleges, universities and hospitals. They think their voter base is the farmer, not the Silicon Valley.

On the other hand, Democrats are more focused on protecting the U.S. workforce but are also friends of learned pursuits. Therefore, the relationship of both parties with educated foreign workforce is schizophrenic and is unlikely to have an impact on this regulation.

The move would have a major affect on tech industries like Google, Facebook and Apple, as they rely on H-1B immigrants to a great extent.

By Sowmya Sangam

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immigration  H1B visa