White House Receives Proposed Regulation to End Work Permits for Immigrant SpousesTop Stories

February 23, 2019 11:21
White House Receives Proposed Regulation to End Work Permits for Immigrant Spouses

(Image source from: PressFrom)

The White House has officially received the proposed changes in the current regulations to end the work authorization for spouses of the holders of H-1B visas.

H-1B visa, the most sought-after Indian Information Technology (IT) professionals, allows the United States employees to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations. The technology companies depend on it to employee scores of employees each year from countries like China and India.

The officials said, the move that would impact more than 90,000 spouses of H-1B visa holders, was sent by the Department of Homeland Security to the White House Office of management for Budget on Wednesday.

It is now for the White House to take a final call on it before a formal regulation could be put out and the Department of Homeland Security can notify a federal court, where a lawsuit on this matter is awaiting a decision.

Now White House would carry through its review of the proposed regulation, take inputs from various agencies, before taking a concluding call. The total process could take from a few weeks to several months.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) which administers the country’s naturalization and immigration system said the proposed regulation was not final until the review and comment process was complete.

USCIS is "reviewing all employment-based visa programs, including H-4 EADs. No decision about the regulation concerning the employment eligibility of certain H-4 spouses is final until the rulemaking process is complete," USCIS spokesperson Jessica Collins

The Trump administration is moving ahead with its proposed regulation, despite strong resistance from a group of U.S. lawmakers including Indian American Senator Kamala Harris, and Silicon Valley companies who contend that this is not only anti-women but likewise puts a stop to talented spouses of H-1B visa holders from working in the U.S.

The Trump administration is taking another look at the H-1B visa policy that it thinks is being used fraudulently by companies to replace American workers.

The administration has said in public and also in its court filing that it wants to cancel work permits to H4 visa holders, a notably larger number of whom are women and Indian Americans.

The decision will have a crucial impact on Indian national women as they are the major beneficiary of the Obama-era rule.

According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), there were about 419,637 foreign nationals working in the U.S. on H-1B visas as on October 5, of whom, 309,986 were Indians. 

On employment-based visa reforms, Collins said, the administration has been "relentlessly pursuing" merit-based policy and regulatory immigration reforms, including a careful review of employment-based visa programs, to the welfare of American citizenry. 

-Sowmya Sangam

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white house  immigrant  h1b visa