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H-4 visa: IT industries against Trump administration’s new rule

US President Donald Trump. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The Donald Trump administration’s plan to withdraw work permits to those holding H-4 visas, who are spouses of H-1B visa holders, have met with strong opposition from influential lawmakers and representative of the American IT industry, according to a new report.

“Rescinding this rule and removing tens of thousands of people from the American workforce would be devastating to their families, and would hurt our economy,” Silicon Valley-based FWD.US, founded by leaders in the technology community, said in a report released on Tuesday, reported PTI.

Earlier this week, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services made public its decision to scrap the regulation implemented during Barack Obama’s presidency to grant work permits to H-4 visa holders. A majority of these H-4 visa holders are Indian professionals and more than 80 percent of them are women.

“This policy is important because it allows certain individuals to secure gainful employment without having to wait for their spouses to receive permanent residency, many of whom are experiencing a processing backlog of more than a decade,” FWD.US argued.

Scrapping the work permit issued to H-4 visa holders would mean spouses of H-1B high-skilled employees would not be able to work legally and contribute financially to their households and communities, FWD.US added.

“H-4 work authorisation has allowed an estimated 100,000 people to begin working and further integrate into their communities,” the report quoted a group of 15 top American lawmakers from California as saying.

A recent study by the Migration Policy Institute state that the United States of America has issued employment authorisation documents to more than 71,000 spouses of H-1B visa holders.

“As of June 2017, USCIS had granted 71,287 initial (versus renewal) employment authorisation documents to H-4 spouses,” the study said. Of those, a total of 94 percent were women, and the vast majority, 93 percent, were from India. About four percent belonged to China, the study said.