Plan to revoke H-4 visas, granted to spouses of H-1B holders, yet to take final shape; rule-making process not complete yet

Washington: The Trump administration's decision to rescind work authorisation for H-4 visa-holders has yet to get a final shape as the rule-making process is not complete, an official said.

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 US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) "continues reviewing" all employment-based visa programmes, including the H-4 EADs, or Employment Authorisation Card, an official told PTI.

 Plan to revoke H-4 visas, granted to spouses of H-1B holders, yet to take final shape; rule-making process not complete yet

File photo of US president Donald Trump. AP

"No decision about the Obama administration regulation granting work authorisation to certain H-4 spouses is final until the rule-making process is completed," the official said.

Recently, the Department of Homeland Security, in its annual spring agenda, had reiterated the proposal to remove from its regulations certain H-4 spouses of H-1B non-immigrants as a class of aliens eligible for employment authorisation.

Under the Obama administration, certain workers with H-4 visas were allowed to get employment authorisation. Soon after coming to power, the Trump administration informed a US court that it plans to rescind such a rule.

However, such a proposed rule has yet to be formally notified, and the Trump administration has delayed the notification a number of times in the past two years.

"The USCIS is committed to upholding our nation's immigration laws, helping ensure they are faithfully carried out and safeguarding the integrity of our immigration system designed to protect the wages and working conditions of US workers," USCIS spokesperson Jessica Collins said.

"The administration has been relentlessly pursuing merit-based policy and regulatory immigration reforms, including a thorough review of employment-based visa programmes so they benefit the American people to the greatest extent possible in fulfilment of the president's 'Buy American, hire American executive order'", she said.

"The USCIS will continue adjudicating all petitions, applications and requests fairly, efficiently, and effectively on a case-by-case basis to determine whether they meet all standards required under applicable law, policies, and regulations," said Collins.

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Updated Date: Jun 18, 2019 15:22:08 IST