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Trump administration to rescind H4 rule on spouses of H1B Visa holders

In a proposal which may affect tens of thousands of Indian women in the US, Trump administration has reconfirmed its intent to declare null and void H-4 visa rule on employment authorization to certain spouses of H1B Visa holders. The current H-1B Visa policy is being reviewed by the Trump Administration as they think its misused by companies to replace American workers.

H1B is a non-immigrant visa that allows the US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations and this visa is popular among Indian IT professionals.H-4 visas are issued to the spouses of H-1B visa holders, a significantly large number of whom are high-skilled professionals from India.

See also:A 22-year-old Indian-American IT professional runs for governor of California

“Removing H-4 Dependent Spouses from the Class of Aliens Eligible for Employment Authorisation,” said the Department of Homeland Security’s Unified Agenda in the federal register notification of its semi-annual regulatory agenda.

Indian women will be the most affected by this law, as the Obama-era law which provided them a job will be nullified by the Trump law.

Monday’s notification issued by the Department of Homeland Security proposed that certain H-4 spouses of H1B non-immigrants would be removed from ‘the class of aliens eligible for employment authorisation. Final rule extending eligibility for employment authorisation to certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B non-immigrants who are seeking employment-based lawful permanent resident (LPR) status was published in February 2015.

While the US Citizenship and Immigration Services(USCIS) maintained that no decision about H4 visas was final until then, the Federal Register Notification suggested the contrary. Federal Register Notification said that the notice of the proposed rulemaking would be published this month.

The USCIS will alarm the public on Notice of Proposed Rulemaking(NPRM) and after it is posted for public comments. After the consideration of the comments, USCIS will post the final rule.

USCIS spokesperson Michael bars told that they were considering a number of policy and regulatory changes to carry out the President’s Buy American, Hire American Executive Order including a thorough review of employment-based visa programmes. He emphasised on USCIS’ commitment towards the protection of wages and working conditions of the US workers. Bars said that USCIS was committed to reforming employment-based immigration programmes so they benefited the American people to the greatest extent possible.

While Indian-Americans who have been waiting for years to get their Green Card met Congressman Paul Tonko in Albany, New York to press for a reform of the Green Card backlog and not to rescind H-4 rule on employment authorisation.

Renuka Rajkumar, an activist, expressed the woes of scores of Indian women who due to the lag in the issue of Green Cards resorted to H4 visas to work. She herself had been a victim of the time lag, even after highly qualified, which lost her 1 year to get a job of her choice.



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