Visa Crunch

H-4 visa beneficiaries get a ray of hope as the US court tries to finalize H1 norms

The H-4 visa is provided by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to near relatives (spouse and children under the age of 21) of H-1B visa applicants, most of whom are Indian IT specialists. 

A U.S. court has requested a joint report on March 4, on prospects for authorization of H-4 work visa’s, as a result of the Biden management. This decision to rescind Trump’s move is to revoke particular employment licenses for certain categories of foreign specialists holding H-1B visas. Relatives of Indian professionals on H-1B visas, especially women, are the main beneficiaries of the Obama administration that got employment authorization cards. 

Judge Tanya S Chutkan, in the U.S. District Court of Columbia, said the report, to be submitted on March 4, would comply with the proposed order. The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to hire foreign workers for specialized jobs that require thinking and technology skills. Technology companies rely on it to employ tens of thousands of workers each year from countries such as India and China. In 2017, Trump’s administration announced it would repeal the Obama administration that provided for employment licenses for couples and foreign workers. Last month, US President Joe Biden rescinded Trump’s administration’s decision to revoke the H-4 visa work permit. 

The proposed law entitled – “Removing spouses depending on H-4 in the Category of Eligible Foreigners Employment Authorization ” was repealed.  

Judge Chutkan said: “As a result of recent Executive and Administrative actions, the parties will meet and submit a joint status report on 3/5/21/20” In 2015, the Department of Homeland Security issued a law allowing certain H4 partners of H-1B visa holders to stay in the country for those who are officially seeking employment in the US.  

The law has introduced an important step in redressing gender inequality in the immigration system, as approximately 95 percent of H4 visa holders who have obtained work permits are women.  

According to a 2018 report by the Congressional Research Service (CRS), 93 percent of approved applications for H-4 employment authorization are granted to people born in India, while 5 percent are granted to people born in China. 

As of December 2017, USCIS has approved 1,26,853 applications for authorization to employ H-4 visa holders. 

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