No visa relief for spouses of techies in US

The Trump administration is currently reviewing the H1B visa policy that it thinks is being misused by companies to replace American workers.

The Trump administration has reconfirmed its intent to rescind the H4 visa rule on employment authorisation to certain spouses of H1B visa holders, a proposal that could hit tens of thousands of Indian women in the US.

The Trump administration is currently reviewing the H1B visa policy that it thinks is being misused by companies to replace American workers.

The H1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations. The work visa is popular among Indian IT professionals.

H4 visas are issued to spouses of H1B visa holders, a significantly large number of whom are high-skilled professionals from India.

"Removing H4 dependent spouses from the class of aliens eligible for employment authorisation," said the Department of Homeland Security's Unified Agenda in the federal register notification of its semi-annual regulatory agenda.

The move will have a major impact on Indian women as they are the major beneficiaries of the Obama-era rule.

As per the notification published on Monday, the Department of Homeland Security is proposing to remove from its regulations certain H4 spouses of H1B non-immigrants as a class of aliens eligible for employment authorisation.

In February 2015, it had published a final rule extending eligibility for employment authorisation to certain H4 dependent spouses of H1B non-immigrants who are seeking employment-based lawful permanent resident (LPR) status.

The federal register notification said the notice of the proposed rule-making will be published this month.

However, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) insisted that "no decision about H4 visas is final until" the rule-making process is completed.

The USCIS will alert the public when the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) is posted for public comment.

An NPRM is posted for public comment and after comments have been considered, the USCIS will post the final rule, a USCIS official said.

"The agency is considering a number of policy and regulatory changes to carry out the President's Buy American, Hire American Executive Order, including a thorough review of employment-based visa programmes," said USCIS spokesperson Michael Bars.

"The USCIS is focused on safeguarding the integrity of our immigration system and ensuring its faithful execution so that the wages and working conditions of US workers are protected," he said.

"The USCIS is committed to reforming employment-based immigration programmes so they benefit American people to the greatest extent possible," Bars said.

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No visa relief for spouses of techies in US

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