An application of citizenship renewal to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg)

Rescinding Of Work Permit For H-1B Visa Spouses In Final Stages, U.S. Says

The move to repeal work authorisation to certain categories of H-4 visa holders is in final stages, the U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration told a U.S. court.

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 Trump administration is planning to end the Barack Obama-era rule allowing spouses of H1-B visa holders to work legally in the U.S., a move that could have a devastating impact on more than 70,000 H-4 visa holders who have work permits.

The proposed rule is currently in final clearance, the Department of Homeland Security told a federal court in a status update.

Also read: Trump Administration Plans To End Work Permits For H-1B Visa Spouses

The Trump administration yesterday 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 previous Obama administration under an executive order in 2015 had started giving work authorisation permits to certain categories of H-4 visa holders, who were mostly spouses of H-1B visa holders.

Also read: Indian-American Owned Tech Company Fined For H-1B Visa Violations

According to a recent Congressional report, a staggering 93 percent of the total H-4 visa holders in the U.S. having work authorisation are from India.

The final notification to rescind the work authorisation is expected to be issued in June.

Last week, a bipartisan group of 130 U.S. 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 U.S. employers recruit and retain highly-qualified employees, putting U.S. policy on par with other countries, such as Canada and Australia, competing to attract talented foreign nationals, the lawmakers had said.