Authorities in the United States have announced that they will offer automatic work authorisation permits from which spouses of H-1B visa holders will benefit.

Such a move comes after a class-action lawsuit filed by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), this summer, VisaGuide.World reports.

Through the H-1B visa program, internationals engaged in fields such as technology, architecture, law, etc., can temporarily work in the US if they meet specific conditions.

As for the H-4 visa, it is issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to an immediate family member of persons who hold an H-1B visa, and it is usually granted to persons who have already started to look for employment-based lawful permanent status in the US.

“This (H-4 visa holders) is a group that always met the regulatory test for an automatic extension of EADs (employment authorisation documents), but the agency previously prohibited them from that benefit and forced them to wait for reauthorisation. People were suffering. They were losing their high-paying jobs for absolutely no legitimate reason causing harm to them and US businesses,” Jon Wasden from AILA has emphasized.

According to AILA, the legal actions have successfully reversed the USCIS policy that banned H-4 spouses from benefiting from the extension of their employment authorization.

“Although this is a giant achievement, the parties’ agreement will further result in a massive change in position for the USCIS, which now recognises that L-2 spouses enjoy automatic work authorisation incident to status, meaning these spouses of executive and managers will no longer have to apply for employment authorisation before working in the United States,” AILA pointed out.

Up to this point, over 90,000 H-4 visa holders, many of them Indian-American women, have received such work authorisation.

H-1B visa is among programs that attract many internationals, especially those from India, to temporary work in the United States. However, recently it has been in the spotlight for its high denial rates.

However, recently, VisaGuide.World reported that the H-1B visa denial rate for some Indian companies marked a notable decrease during the first months of this year, compared to last year’s figures.

Based on a previous report published by the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP), the changes to restrictive immigration policies marked a positive impact regarding the decline in the H-1B visa denial rate, starting from the fourth quarter of FY 2020.

NFAP stressed that such judicial decisions brought into light the involvement of Trump’s administration in unlawful actions, including enacting unlawful policies that brought difficulties for employers.

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