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Trump Government may reiterated its intention to undo spouse H-1B Visa policy

Trump Government may reiterated its intention to undo spouse H-1B Visa policy
Written by Abhishek Lohia

The Trump government has reiterated its intention to undo the existing policy enabling spouses of H-1B workers to obtain work permits in its new spring regulatory agenda. Over a lakh, Indian spouses hold the permit, referred to as employment authorisation in United States documents (EADs). According to the timeframe given in the agenda, a new draft regulation to cancel the existing policy is expected in June. Periodically, the US government issues its policy program, outlining the action points for the coming months. The draft will be announced in a federal register, and a 30-to 60-day window will be open for all public comments. The entire process up to the issuance of the final rules could take several weeks or months. There is every probability of a legal challenge, which could delay the new regulation. Emily Neumann, an immigration attorney and partner at Reddy & Neumann, law firm, has said,“As of now, you can proceed to file for EADs,”.

The (USCIS) United States Citizenship and Immigration Services released the latest statistics on Friday of H-4 visa-holders who have been allotted EADs. Since commencement in May 2015 till December 2017, Indian spouses held nearly 94 percent or 1.18 lakh EADs of the total EADs issued. This includes EADs replaced (on being lost) and also renewals. The aggregate of initial EADs is 90,946, of which Indians hold total 93 percent. For the current fiscal 2018, for October 1 to December 31, 2017, has been available. During this period, 6,800 EADs were allotted, of which 6,130 (or 90 percent) were allotted to spouses from India.

The Obama government had introduced a rule known as H-4 EAD rule in May 2015, to help deal with a massive green card backlog for H-1B visa-holders, especially from two countries India and China. It enabled spouses to work, while the H-1B visa-holder waited for a green card. Before this rule, spouses of H-1B workers could stay in the US on an H-4 visa but were not allowed to get a work permit and take up employment. H-1B visas are basically granted for three years and can be renewed it for another three years. After that, workers can apply for the permanent legal situation. It is only at that point that their spouses can apply for an EAD.

About the author

Abhishek Lohia

Abhishek Lohia was a Sports and Political Writer working for Newsfolo and is no longer associated with the organization.

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