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Legislation to protect work authorisation of spouses of H1-B visa holders introduced in US Congress

The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa through which many Indians workers are employed in US companies.

Edited by: India TV News Desk, New Delhi [ Updated: November 17, 2018 17:16 IST ]
Image Source : AP

Work authorisation of H1B spouses 

Lawmakers in the US Congress have introduced a legislation seeking to prohibit the Trump administration from revoking the work authorisation of spouses of H1-B visa holders, including Indians. Eliminating this benefit would force many foreign workers to use their talents to compete against American businesses, the lawmakers said.

H-4 visas are issued to the spouses of H-1B foreign workers, while 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 and 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 to introduce the H-4 Employment Protection Act comes amid determination by the Trump administration to revoke an Obama-era rule that extends work authorisation to the spouses of H-1B visa holders.

More than 100,000 workers, mainly women from India have received employment authorisation ever since the rule was implemented.

This further improved the US' competitiveness and lessened the economic burden on thousands of H-1B workers and their families, the two lawmakers said after introducing the bill in the House.

Under the H-4 Employment Protection Act, the Trump administration is prohibited from revoking this important rule, which it is expected to do by the end of the year, they said.

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