Legislation introduced in US Congress to protect work authorization of H1B visa worker spouses

H-4 visas are issued to the spouses of H-1B foreign workers.

A legislation seeking to prohibit the Trump administration from revoking the work authorization 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 Indians 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 authorization 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 authorization, 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.

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