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US Court Permits Spouses of H-1B Visa Holders to Work in the USA

November 2019, 12
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US Court Permits Spouses of H-1B Visa Holders to Work in the USA
It was a huge relief, though a temporary one, to Indians residing in the United States, a court in the nation has, for now, rejected to strike down an Obama-era rule that permits H-1B visa holders’ spouses to work in the USA.

In the year 2015, the then US president Barack Obama had announced a rule that enabled work permits for specific categories of H-4 visa holders, mainly spouses of those holding H-1B work visas who are waiting for their US Green Card, to work in the USA.

The current US presidential administration, however, wants to dismiss the rule, backed by several workers in the USA.

Saves Jobs USA, an association that includes American workers who demand that they have been laid off due to the Obama administration policy to grant work permits to holders of H-4 visa, had brought the matter to court.

Court Judgment on H-4 Visa Holders Work-permit

However, a 3-judge bench of the US Courts of Appeals for the Columbia District Circuit on 8 Nov sent the case back to a lower court. The court recorded that it is "best to remand" to allow the district court to thoroughly evaluate and determine the advantages in the first instance.

Accordingly, we shift the district court's summary judgment grant and remand for additional proceedings compatible with this opinion, the federal court stated in its order on the lawsuit which is filed by Saves Jobs USA.

By making holders of H-4 visa suitable for lawful employment, the Homeland Security Department (DHS), which manages immigration, sought to ameliorate specific disincentives that presently lead H-1B non immigrants to reject efforts to live in the US while seeking (lawful PR) status, thereby, minimizing interruptions to US firms employing such workers, the court stated.

It also recorded that the US government has demonstrated that H-1B non immigrants and their families often suffer long delays in the process of receiving US permanent residence, & H-4 visa holders’ failure to work during these obstacles leads to "personal and economic difficulties" that worsen over time, raising the disincentives for H-1B non-immigrants to seek lawful PR status and thus raising the challenges that US employers have in holding highly educated and extremely skilled non-immigrant workers.

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