Washington: The move to revoke work authorisation to certain categories of H-4 visa holders is in final stages, the Trump administration has told a court in the United States. 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 Donald Trump administration is planning to end the Obama-era rule for H-4 visas, which allows spouses of H1-B visa holders to work legally in the US. The move is likely to have a devastating impact on more than 70,000 H-4 visa holders, most of who are Indians having work permits.
The proposed rule (to revoke H-4 visas) is currently in final clearance, the US' Department of Homeland Security has informed a federal court in a status update.
The Donald Trump administration told the court yesterday that once the proposal is cleared through the Department of Homeland Security, 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 Department of Homeland Security intends to proceed with publication of this new rule concerning the H-4 visa rule, the visa authority 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.
According to a recent Congressional report, a staggering 93 per cent of the total H-4 visa holders in the US having work authorisation are from India. The final notification to revoke the work authorisation is expected to be issued in June.
Last week, a bipartisan group of 130 US 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 US employers recruit and retain highly-qualified employees, putting US policy on par with other countries, such as Canada and Australia, competing to attract talented foreign nationals, the lawmakers had said.