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Bill to protect work permits of H4 visa introduced in US Congress

Bill to protect work permits of H4 visa holders introduced in US Congress

A legislation seeking to prohibit the Trump administration from revoking the work authorization of spouses of H1-B visa holders, which comprise Indians, has been introduced in the US Congress by two lawmakers who said that eliminating this advantage would force many foreign workers to use their talents to compete against American businesses.

H-4 visas are issued to the spouses of H-1B foreign workers. The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa through which many Indian workers are employed in US companies. It allows the US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. It is the most sought-after visa among Indian IT professionals.

H-4 visas are published only to very close or immediate family members of the H-1B visa holders.

The move by lawmakers Anna G Eshoo and Zoe Lofgren to launched the H-4 Employment Protection Act come amidst determination by the Trump administration to revoke an Obama-era rule that extends work authorization to the spouses of H-1B visa holders.

Since the rule was applied, over 100,000 workers, mainly women, that too from India have received employment authorization, clarification of the US’ competitiveness and lessening the economic burden on thousands of H-1B workers and their families, the two lawmakers said after introducing the bill in the House.

The H-4 Employment Protection Act prohibits the Trump administration from revoking this important rule, which it is anticipated to do by the end of the year, they said.

“Protecting work authorization for these H-4 visa holders is an issue of both economic fairness and family unity,” Eshoo said.

“Eliminating this advantage would create a painful choice for many immigrants to either split up their families or return to their home countries and use their talents to compete against American businesses,” Eshoo said.

“These are American citizens-in-waiting, stuck in line for their number to come up,” Congressman Lofgren said.

“Prohibiting H-1B dependent spouses from working is of no advantage to our country, and if allowed to move forward, many of these families that can contribute so much to our workforce will simply move to countries with a more sensible approach to immigration. This much-required bill will block the Trump administration from needlessly harming our economy and the lives of skilled immigrant families,” Lofgren said.


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