Further woe looks set to hit foreign workers looking to work, or already working in the United States. The beleaguered H-1B visa has been hit by a number of changes in the past few months since the Trump administration targeted the visa for supposedly being used to take jobs from the American workforce. Hot on the heels of the announcement this week that the fast track procedure for H-1B visa applicants was being suspended for at last six months the have not been reports that the Department of Justice has filed a motion to make yet another amendment.
The Department of Justice has asked a 60-day freeze on authorisation on H-4 visa-holders employment rights. The holders of this type of visa are typically spouses of H-1B visa holders. Back in 2015 holders of the H-4 visa were given permission to work whilst in the United States awaiting permanent residence permits.
A group called Save Job USA have fought the ruling ever since it was introduced but has largely not received much support – until now. They have now asked for the 60-day freeze to allow the incoming administration time to review the case and many believe that this spells the end of the right to work for the H-4 visa holders.
The visa holders’ lawyers argue that many of the spouses of H1-1B visa holders are in fact highly qualified themselves and have brought their own benefit to the USA often filling skills gaps themselves rather than taking jobs from everyday American people.
Clearly, the ruling will have a significant impact on many H-1B workers that have brought their families to the United States and need their spouses to work in order to survive. Already under pressure from new and proposed regulation changes to the H-1B visa category tech companies are rightly concerned that this new turn of events will impact many foreign workers abilities to travel and live in the United States. Fearing an acute skills shortage in all tech sectors campaigners are lobbying the government in a hope to make them aware of the rapidly deteriorating situation in the tech industry. Many workers from around the world are increasingly concerned about the move to stem immigration in the United States and the Indian tech industry, already being hit by the suspension of the H-1B fast track system, are fearing that this new announcement will further impact their future.
Tech workers, industry leaders, and supporters will be working hard to limit the impact of the visa changes and prevent jobs and profits going overseas to more accommodating countries.