US to revoke H-4 visa in three months, much likely to affect Indians

Washington, USA: The Trump administration Saturday told a federal court that its decision to revoke work permits to H-4 visas holders, who are primarily spouses of H-1B foreign guest workers, is expected within the next three months.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in its latest court filing Saturday told the US District Court in District of Columbia that it was “making a solid and swift progress in proposing to remove from its regulations certain H-4 spouses of H-1B non immigrants as a class of aliens eligible for employment authorisation”.

The DHS said the new rule would be submitted to the Office of Management of Budget (OMB), White House, within three months.

The Trump administration has publicly said and also in its court filing that it wants to revoke work permits to H4 visa holders, a significant majority of whom are Indian-Americans and women.

This is for the third time that the Department of Homeland has informed the court about the delay in issue of Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). The DHS has filed three status reports — on February 28, May 22, and August 20. The next status report is due on November 19.

As of December 25, 2017, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services had approved 1,26,853 applications for employment authorisation for H-4 visa holders. These count all approvals since May 2015 when the rule was implemented. This number includes 90,946 initial approvals, 35,219 renewals, and 688 replacements for lost cards.

“Ninety-three per cent of approved applications for H-4 employment authorisation were issued to individuals born in India, and five per cent were issued to individuals born in China. Individuals born in all other countries combined make up the remaining two per cent of approved applications,” the Congressional Research Service said in its recent report, based on information obtained from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

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