Spouses of H1B visa holders may not be allowed to work in United States

Posted on December 29, 2017

The Obama-era rule which allowed employment prospects for the spouses of H1B visas is going to experience a vast shift now in the Trump administration. According to the sources, the Trump administration in considering revoking this rule and halt employment for the spouse of H1B visa holders. “DHS is proposing to remove from its regulations certain H-4 spouses of H-1B non-immigrants as a class of aliens eligible for employment authorization,” said the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in the latest regulation. It is also stated that this initiative is a move in support of ‘Buy American and Hire American’ order of President Trump issued in earlier days of this year.  

H1B visa is a program that majorly attracts workers from China and India. Candidates with exceptional skills and eligibility factors to work in the United States move to the US on this visa. Since 2015, Obama administration introduced a rule wherein the spouses of H1-B visa holders who are waiting for their green cards can work in the nation on H-4 Dependent visa. As many as 75,000 H1-4 visa holders have received work authorization in a span of two years. The new rule will put this provision to a halt.

According to CNN, the prevention of work authorization for spouses of H1-B visa holders could change the minds of thousands of high-skilled immigrants residing in the United States. If their spouse is not able to easily find work and; which would impact their living in the United States, many would emigrate to their home country or any neighbouring Western country with a brighter scope. The Wall Street Journal reflects that several supporters of the program are dismaying such a proposal.

“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,” quotes Leon Fresco, an immigration attorney who worked for the Obama administration.

Along with the change in work authorization rule, DHS mentions plans of changing several other areas of the H1-B program. The definition of occupations that are eligible for the program will be changed. The authorities plan changes “to increase focus on truly obtaining the best and brightest foreign nationals”, confirms CNN.

 Since Indians account for 70 percent of total H1-B visa holders, this rule change will certainly affect thousands of Indian workers and their families currently settled in the United States.

On the contrary, where the United States is packing it up all for Indians & other nationalities, countries like Canada and Australia are opening wide arms of welcome. Targets to invite immigrants have been increased and measures are being so as to make immigration flexible and easy. Sources reveal that chances for Indians to settle in Canada or Australia in 2018 will be high. Evaluate your profile and check whether you qualify for these countries in the coming year.