Big Trouble For H1B Visa Holders: Spouses May Not Be Allowed To Work Under H4 Visa!

Spouses of H1B visa holders may not be allowed to work anymore under the H4 visa.


Problems For H1B Visa Holders Spouses

Among other things, ex-President Obama had taken a very beneficial step for all immigrants in 2016: He had allowed spouses of H1B visa holders to work in the US, under H4 visa.

However, under President Trump, this rule can be changed. Spouses of H1B visa holders may not be allowed to work anymore.

Is this step being taken under Trump’s ‘Buy American and Hire American’ policy?

Sorry Spouses, You Can’t Work In US: President Trump

Under ex-President Obama’s rule, US Govt. had allowed H4 visa holders to work in the US – be it any job or start a business. H4 is the dependent visa, normally issued to those who arrive in the US as a dependent on those who have any form of work visa, mainly H1B.

But under President Trump, this rule will be changed.

Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which regulates visa and work authorizations in the US, has proposed a new law, which if passed, will ban H4 work authorizations.

Department of Homeland Security said,

“DHS is proposing to remove from its regulations certain H4 spouses of H1B nonimmigrants as a class of aliens eligible for employment authorisation,”

This will severely affect H4 visa holders and H1B visa holders, who have started a new business or a new job based on the earlier work permit. In 2016, 41,000 H4 visa holders were provided with work authorization, while this year 36,000 have already received the approval.

If this law is passed, then several H1B visa holders may be forced to return back to India.

Leon Fresco, an immigration attorney who worked for the Obama administration said,

“This announcement places into jeopardy thousands of hardworking, contributing individuals who have started their own businesses—and often have US citizen children—who will needlessly be forced to revert to a status of inactivity,”

Brighter Side: H1B Visa Holders May Be Allowed To Work More

On a brighter side, US Citizenship and Immigration Services has said that soon, H1B visa holders will be allowed to work for more than one employer.

Till now, H1B visa holders have been mandated to work for only one employer, who have sponsored the H1B visa.

US Citizenship and Immigration Services tweeted last week:

“In general, H-1B workers may work for more than one employer but must have approved I-129 for each.”

Hence, the new employer will be required to file a I-129 petition, which needs to be approved before the H1B visa holder can work for other employers.

We will keep you updated as receive more information on this matter.

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