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3:25 am - Tuesday January 23, 2018

US may end rule that allows spouses of H-1B holders to work in the country

Washington,

The Trump administration has proposed a regulatory change under which spouses of highly skilled foreign workers will no longer be able to work legally in the US– a decision that would disproportionately effect Indian immigrants and women.

The Department of Homeland Security in a statement on Thursday said it intended to do away with the 2015 Obama-era rule, which allows spouses of certain H-1B visa holders to work in the US.

“DHS is proposing to remove from its regulations certain H-4 spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants as a class of aliens eligible for employment authorisation,” said the Department.

The Department did not specify why the rule is being reviewed. It simply said that it is reviewing the rule in light of president Trump’s “Buy American and Hire American” executive order.

The 2015 rule allows the spouses of H-1B visa holders who are seeking Green Card status to work in the country as well, under special H-4 visas.H1-B visas are granted to foreign workers with a graduate-level education or above, who come to the US to work in occupations such as engineering, technology and finance.

If the Trump administration does repeal the rule, it will disproportionately affect Indian immigrants, who made up nearly 80 per cent of all H-4 visas issued in 2015.
It will also disproportionately affect women, who make up 90 percent of all H-4 visa holders.

The administration also said it may revise the definition of which professions would be eligible for the visa programme. This is being done to “to increase focus on truly obtaining the best and brightest foreign nationals,” it said.

Posted in: World

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