H-4 visa holders will probably be able to keep working in the United States until spring 2020, a US Department of Justice memo published on Monday hints.
While hearing a challenge to the work authorization granted to H-1B spouses in 2015 under former President Barack Obama, the Homeland Security told lawyers in the case that the earliest possible publication date for the rule is spring 2020, but that this time-frame is “aspirational,” according to the memo.
While the H-1B program allows skilled workers to come to the US and work for a certain company. It has been popular especially among Indians, the H-4 visa is issued by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to immediate family members of the H-1B visa holders, which includes only the spouse and children under 21 years of age.
Before 2015, this category of visa holders were not allowed to work, but the rules changed during the Obama era, which administration introduced the H-4 EAD program. The H-4 EAD is only allowed if the spouse or parent is on an H-1B visa, and not for other types of visas such as H-1B1, H-2A, H-2B, or H-3 visa.
Unlike H-1B, the H-4 status is not restricted to a specific employer and the employer does not need to obtain approval from the Department of Labor.
However, the Trump administration has taken some moves recently under the America First Policy, as the warned removal of work authorization for H-4 visa holders, tightening of H-1B visa rules and making it easier for USCIS adjudicators to deny H-1B visa petitions. It has also suggested the scrapping of H-1B visa, accusing companies of bringing to US workers to fill jobs that could be filled by Americans.
In September last year, the US administration told to a federal court that it would come with a decision on the revocation of work permits to H-4 visa holders within three months, what did not happen.
According to VisaGuide.World statistics, Indians are the main beneficiaries of H-4 Work authorizations with over 93% of all H-4 approved work authorizations from India.
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