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Posted at: Jun 18, 2019, 2:01 PM; last updated: Jun 18, 2019, 2:49 PM (IST)

Plan to rescind H-4 visas not yet finalised as rule-making process is on

Plan to rescind H-4 visas not yet finalised as rule-making process is on
The proposed rule is yet to be formally notified and the Trump administration has delayed the notification a number of times in the past two years.

Washington, June 18

The Trump administration’s decision to rescind work authorisation for H-4 visa holders, a large number of whom are the spouses of high-skilled Indian IT professionals, is yet to get a final shape as the rule-making process is incomplete, an official has said.

Under the previous Obama administration, certain H-4 workers were allowed to get employment authorisation. However, US President Donald Trump, soon after coming to power, said he planned to rescind such a rule.

The proposed rule is yet to be formally notified and the Trump administration has delayed the notification a number of times in the past two years.

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) “continues reviewing” all employment-based visa programmes, including the H-4 EADs or employment authorisation card, an official told PTI.

H-4 visas are issued to the spouses of H-1B visa holders, a significantly large number of whom are high-skilled professionals from India.

“No decision about the Obama administration regulation granting work authorisation to certain H-4 spouses is final until the rule-making process is completed,” the official said.

Recently, the Department of Homeland Security in its annual spring agenda reiterated the proposal to remove from its regulations certain H-4 spouses of H-1B non-immigrants as a class of aliens eligible for employment authorisation.

“The USCIS is committed to upholding our nation’s immigration laws, helping ensure they are faithfully carried out, and safeguarding the integrity of our immigration system designed to protect the wages and working conditions of US workers,” USCIS spokeswoman Jessica Collins said.

“The administration has been relentlessly pursuing merit-based policy and regulatory immigration reforms, including a thorough review of employment-based visa programmes so they benefit the American people to the greatest extent possible in fulfilment of the president’s ‘Buy American, Hire American Executive Order’,” she said.

The USCIS will continue adjudicating all petitions, applications and requests fairly, efficiently, and effectively on a case-by-case basis to determine if they meet all standards required under the applicable law, policies and regulations, Collins added. PTI

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