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Authorization for Work for US H-4 Visa Holders to be Removed under a New Rule

December 2017, 23
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The proposed new rule by US Administration, to remove H-4 visa holders, of work authorization is condemnable. In fact, they are creators and not stealers of American jobs. There is no proof that the H-4 EAD program discourages wages/employment opportunities to the workers of US.

The Homeland Security Department has made an announcement regarding putting forward a rule, which would finish work authorization, meant for H-4 visa holders, removing around 100,000 people, mostly Indian women, to work legally in the US.

This rule seeks to curtail a previous initiative that was introduced in 2015, which allowed H-4 visa holders, whose spouses waited getting the green card status, to get an EAD. In the past, H-4 visa holders, who were equally skilled like their H-1B spouses, stood ineligible to work, even though they were sufficiently qualified.

The proposed rule of Citizenship and Immigration Services meant for removal of H-4 Dependent Spouses, from the category of Aliens, who are Eligible for Employment Authorization declares that in February 2015, DHS had made public a rule, which extended the norms to be eligible, for employment authorization, to some H-4 spouses, of H-1B non-immigrants, who seek job-based legitimate PR status. DHS was now circulating a notice, of the proposed amendment to the 2015 rule, which seeks removal of some H-4 spouses, of H-1B non-immigrants, from its regulations, as a category of aliens, who are eligible to be authorized for employment.

When this rule enters the Federal Register, guessed to be in February 2018, a 30-day public-comment phase will be allowed before enactment of the proposal.

This would have a remarkable impact on H-1B families, who have a financial plan regarding mortgages, automobile loans, and academic fees, based on the earnings of both the spouses. There are many women who depend completely on their husbands and are not able to obtain a number of social-security eligible people to be effective in leading a life in the country. The work done by some of them does not compete with US jobs. They, in fact, create occupations for US workers but now face an uncertainty owing to the H-4 EAD program.

A point to note here is that L2 visa holders which are granted to dependent spouses of L1 workers, who reach the USA after an inter-company transfer stand eligible to work unrestricted in their chosen fields. Allowing authorization to work for holders of H-4 visa, had added further gifted workers, to the professionals, and had encouraged top skilled H1B workers, to stay in the country and submit an application to get permanent residency legally. The conversion process of an H-1B visa into a Green Card requires a big waiting period. Indian immigrants are likely to face a build-up spanning 82 years, to get it.

Indians are allotted 7 percent Green Cards which are issued in a year, and there is a need to remove the cap for the countries. The Administration has a time, until Jan. 2, 2018, to respond to a case filed by Save-Jobs USA, which argues that H-4 workers steal American jobs. 

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