H1B Spouses Can Now Work In America As Biden Reverses Trump’s Rule; Big Relief For H4 Visa Holders

H1B Spouses Can Now Work In America As Biden Reverses Trump's Rule; Big Relief For H4 Visa Holders
H1B Spouses Can Now Work In America As Biden Reverses Trump’s Rule; Big Relief For H4 Visa Holders

A Piece of good news for the H4 visa holders as US President Joe Biden has withdrawn a Trump-era rule rescinding work authorization for H4 visa holders, in just a week after his inauguration.


How Did This Happen?

H4 visa holders are the spouses of those possessing H-1B work visas, with the majority being highly-skilled Indian women.

Basically, H-4 visas are issued by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to immediate family members (spouse and children under 21 years of age) of the H-1B visa holders.

The majority of H4 visa holders are Indian IT professionals.

While an H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that further require theoretical or technical expertise.

The IT companies depend on H-1B visas to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.

H4 Visa As Authorisation Card

In the case of an H4 visa, it is normally issued to those who have already started the process of seeking employment-based lawful permanent resident status in the US.

According to the  Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), the proposed rule titled, “Removing H-4 Dependent Spouses from the Class of Aliens Eligible for Employment Authorisation,” was being withdrawn on Monday.

The Obama-era rule that gave employment authorization cards to the spouses of Indian professionals on H-1B visas, would mostly benefit women.

Trump Announced Rescinding The Rule

In 2017, the Trump administration announced that it would rescind that rule after coming to power.

Although, they were not able to complete the process in the four years of its rule.

Biden Promised The Withdrawal Of Trump’s Move

The Biden campaign had promised to withdraw the Trump administration’s move During their presidential election.

The members of Congress wrote to Biden in a letter on December 16, saying that, “We respectfully request that the Department of Homeland Security publish a Federal Register notice on day one of your administration that would extend the validity period of all expired H4 EADs (Employment Authorisation Document),”.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a rule allowing certain H4 dependent spouses of H-1B visa holders to legally seek employment in the US In 2015, the letter said.

According to them, this rule presented an important step towards rectifying gender disparities in our immigration system, as over 95% of H4 the visa holders who have secured work authorizations are women.

Afterworld, the USCIS had approved 1,26,853 applications for employment authorization for H-4 visa holders in December 2017.

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