Published: Sat, December 16, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Grace Becker

Trump will stop spouses of H-1B visa holders from working

Trump will stop spouses of H-1B visa holders from working

The H-4 visa, or the visa that named the spouses of H-1B visa holders as a "class of aliens eligible for employment authorization", may be in jeopardy, according to a Department of Homeland Security notice.

According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, 26,858 employment authorization documents were approved for H-4 visa holders in fiscal year 2015, 41,526 in fiscal year 2016, and 36,366 from October 1, 2016 to June 29, 2017.

A new Trump administration effort could prevent the spouses of highly skilled foreign workers from working legally in the USA, according to a new statement from the Department of Homeland Security cited by CNN.

Since the time Trump announced his "Buy American, Hire American" executive order, the immigration attorneys were warning about an impending reversal of the H-4 work permit. The formal process to rescind the rule will still need to be initiated at a later date.

Created in 1990, the H-1B program allows US companies to sponsor nonimmigrant visas to temporarily employ foreign workers with bachelor's degrees in specialty fields like engineering, computer programming and science.

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The Trump administration issued new rules for H1-B visa holders Thursday, specifically repealing an Obama-era rule that allowed the spouses of H1-B visa holders to work in the United States.

In addition to making changes in the H-4 EAD program, the DHS is also mulling of making some significant amendments to the H-1B visa program, which was one of the key agendas of Trump's Executive Order.

While changing the rule wouldn't prevent spouses of H-1B holders from pursuing other avenues for work authorization, it could deter a number of high-skilled immigrants from staying in the US if their spouses can't easily find work. That would be a standard potentially far above what is now understood under the law.

The Trump administration's plans to overhaul the H-1B program has caused particular alarm in India, which accounts for 70% of all H-1B workers.

It is believed that the DHS will revisit the job categories eligible for obtaining H-1B visa in what it says is a move that will increase the focus on getting the best and brightest foreign workforce to work in the US. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of stlucianewsonline.com, its sponsors or advertisers.

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