Trump's new visa rule to hit 64000 Indian spouses

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The Donald Trump administration is considering a proposal to stop issuing work permits to the spouses of H1-B visa holders to work in the USA legally, a top federal agency source informed its lawmakers, PTI reported.

In a move that would impact almost a 100,000 spouses of Indian workers, mostly women, the Trump administration plans to revoke + a policy which enables them to obtain an employment authorisation document (EAD).

Of the H-4 spouses with work permits, 94 percent of them are women. The visa issued to spouses of H-1B visa holders is H-4.

"The second regulation will propose to revise the definition of specialty occupation, so as to increase focus on obtaining the best and the brightest foreign nationals via the H-1B programme and to revise the definition of employment and employer-employee relationship to better protect United States workers and wages", Cissna said. The 2015 directive had a significant impact on Indian-Americans, who ended up becoming a major beneficiary. More than 100,000 H-4 visa holders have been beneficiary of this rule.

Before the directive from the Obama government, getting a permanent residency for unemployed spouses married to H-1B visa holders was a tedious process, taking almost a decade in a majority of instances.

The situation was corrected two years ago, when the Obama administration passed a ruling that gave H-4 visa holders the provision to seek employment while they waited for their green card to be approved.

Cissna's reply issued in early April reiterates the intention of the Trump administration to "introduce regulatory changes to remove H-4-dependent spouses from the class of aliens eligible for employment authorisations".

As with other revisions to regulations, the public will have an opportunity to provide feedback, Cissna said.

Under Obama's law, it allowed the H-4 visa holder to work on these temporary visas while they wait for the H-1B holders to become permanent residents.

Cissna also stated that the Department of Homeland Security will soon propose new rules to ensure that employers pay "appropriate wages to H1-B visa holders". According to Khanna, the changes proposed as regards to H-1B norms are far-reaching. "This definition, even as it stands, aids in denying visas to several meritorious H-1B aspirants". For instance, the criteria to allocate computer programmers' visas were made stricter, paperwork required for H-1B approval has been increased, and the premium processing for the category has been temporarily suspended.

In addition, Department of Homeland Security will propose additional requirements created to ensure employers pay appropriate wages to H-1B visa holders, it said.

Also, the worldwide entrepreneurs will no longer be allowed to again revoke their visas and apply for parole and take care of their start-ups for certain period. Due to the court order which invalidated the IER delay rule, the International Entrepreneur Final Rule is now in effect.

The USCIS is also expanding its administrative site visit programme to include L-1B petitions. "These requirements were meant to help prevent United States workers from being displaced by foreign workers", the USCIS said.

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