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What Trump Wants to Do with H-4 Visa 

H-4 visa holders and dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants may apply for employment authorization provided they meet specific criteria.    Once employment authorization is granted, H-4 visa holders can work legally in the United States.  This conveniently allows H-1B visa holder’s family a double-income opportunity.

Last fall, however, the Trump administration announced that it was planning to revoke H-4 holders’ work eligibility.   If implemented, as much as 75% of those affected will be Indian nationals; they being the largest demographic holding H-1B visa.

Without the slightest understanding of the economic implications of such action, President Trump and his die-hard group of supporters believe this move will help create more job opportunities for Americans.  In total, Trump plans to eliminate more than 100,000 H-4 visa holders’ work permits.

When Will Trump Announce His Decision?

According to the New York Times, President Trump is expected to announce his decision sometime in June this year.

On another front, a group of information technology workers – who claim to have lost their jobs to imported workers – has already filed suit to overturn the spousal work authorization program. The Department of Homeland Security – the federal agency which oversees this program – said it was completing an economic analysis and is likely to render its decision in June.

Chasing The American Dream

In 2015 the Obama administration began allowing spouses of H-1B holders awaiting green cards to work with H-4 visas.  This policy benefited many H-1B families financially and has helped them purchase homes and fulfill their American Dream.

Popularity of  H-1B

For the sixth consecutive year, USCIS was so swamped with H-1B petitions that it stopped accepting them in less than a week.   Immigration officials announced the annual cap for H-1B petitions reached their annual cap within five days.   This once again means that a computer lottery will have to be used to select the targeted 85,000 recipients out of the 190,098 applications (which has decreased from the 199,000 applications over last year).

Please note that H-1B visa holders hired by U.S. universities and research organizations are not included in the 85,00000 annual cap for H-1B recipients.

H-4 Holders Influence H-1B Workers’Workers’ Decisions

At the beginning of this year, the Information Technology Industry Council – which represents worldwide brands including Apple, IBM, and Microsoft – discussed the possibility that revoking H-1B workers’ spousal work permits could force them to leave the U.S.  The end result could ultimately make American companies less competitive and at tremendous disadvantage to their foreign counterparts.


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