A week after his inauguration, US President Joe Biden has withdrawn a Trump-era rule rescinding work authorization for H4 visa holders, who are spouses of those possessing H-1B work visas, with majority being highly-skilled Indian women.
An H-4 visa is issued by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to immediate family members (spouse and children under 21 years of age) of the H-1B visa holders, most of whom are Indian IT professionals.
The H4 visa is normally issued to those who have already started the process of seeking employment-based lawful permanent resident status in the US.
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) on Monday said the proposed rule titled, “Removing H-4 Dependent Spouses from the Class of Aliens Eligible for Employment Authorization,” was being withdrawn.
Spouses of Indian professionals on H-1B visas, mostly women, are the biggest beneficiary of the Obama-era rule that gave employment authorization cards.
Soon after coming to power, the Trump administration in 2017 announced that it would rescind that rule. However, the Republican Party-led Trump administration was not able to complete the process in the four year of its rule. During the presidential election, the Biden campaign had promised to withdraw the Trump administration’s move.
Soon after his electoral victory, a group of 60 members of the US House of Representatives in a letter urged Biden, a Democrat, to “unilaterally extend” the expiration work authorization documents for holders of H4 visas.
“We respectfully request that the Department of Homeland Security publish a Federal Register notice on day one of your administration that would extend the validity period of all expired H4 EADs (Employment Authorization Document),” the members of Congress wrote to Biden in a letter on December 16.