World

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

PTI Washington | Updated on November 17, 2018 Published on November 17, 2018

Over 100,000 workers, mainly women, that too from India have received employment authorisation   -  Getty Images/iStockphoto

Trump administration plans to revoke rule allowing spouses of H1B visa holders to work in the US

A legislation seeking to prohibit the Trump administration from revoking the work authorisation of spouses of H1-B visa holders, which include Indians, has been introduced in the US Congress by two lawmakers who said that eliminating this benefit 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 issued 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 introduce the H-4 Employment Protection Act, comes amidst determination by the Trump administration to revoke an Obama-era rule that extends work authorisation to the spouses of H-1B visa holders.

Since the rule was implemented, over 100,000 workers, mainly women, that too from India have received employment authorisation, improving 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 expected to do by the end of the year, they said.

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

“Eliminating this benefit 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 benefit 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 needed bill will block the Trump administration from needlessly harming our economy and the lives of skilled immigrant families,” Lofgren said.

Published on November 17, 2018

A letter from the Editor


Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor