Trying Our Best To Save H-1B Visa Rule, Says Sushma Swaraj

The Trump administration is planning to end the Obama-era rule under which spouses of H1-B visa holders get work permit or H-4 visa

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Trying Our Best To Save H-1B Visa Rule, Says Sushma Swaraj

Over one lakh H-4 visa holders benefited from the Obama-era rules


New Delhi:  The government is making efforts to persuade the Trump administration from moving ahead with its plan to scrap a rule that allows spouses of H-1B visa holders to work in the US, foreign minister Sushma Swaraj told reporters in New Delhi today.

The Trump administration is planning to end the Obama-era rule under which spouses of H1-B visa holders get work permit or H-4 visa, a move that could affect over 70,000 such visa holders. A large number of H-4 visa holders are high-skilled professionals from India.

When asked about the US plan, Ms Swaraj said it was true that US President Donald Trump was reviewing the H-4 visa programme and there were reports of its possible revocation.

"This is not just for H-4, I am also talking of H1-B visa as well. We are making a three-pronged effort to save these visas. We are talking to the White House, we are talking to the state administration, and we are also talking to Congressmen and senators," Ms Swaraj said at the press conference to mark the fourth anniversary of the National Democratic Alliance government.

India's efforts have found results as 130 members of US parliament, both Congressmen and senators, have written to Trump asking him not to revoke H-4 visas, arguing that the American economy will be jolted by it, Ms Swaraj said.
 
sushma swaraj

Sushma Swaraj and VK Singh at a press conference in New Delhi on Monday

"We are trying our best to save H1-B visas, H4 visas. But America is a sovereign country. Ultimately they have to decide. How successful we will be, will be decided in the future. But I assure the country from this platform that we would not spare any effort," she said.

The H-4 visa holders got work permits under a special order issued by the previous Obama administration. Indian-Americans were a major beneficiary of this provision. Over one lakh H-4 visa holders have benefited from this rule.

The 2015 rule allowed work permits for spouses who otherwise could not be employed while H-1B visa holders seek permanent resident status -- a process that can take a decade or longer.


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