The United States will make a decision within three months on revoking work permits to spouses of H-1B visa holders, the Department of Homeland Security told a federal court on Friday, according to PTI. A Barack Obama-era rule allows spouses of H-1B visa holders waiting for green cards to work in the US on H-4 dependent visas.
Indians comprise around 70% of all H-1B workers in the US, many in the information technology sector. The Department of Homeland Security had first recommended scrapping work permits for the workers’ spouses in December 2017. The move is likely to affect a large number of Indian workers, who may be discouraged from working in the US if their spouses find it difficult to get employment.
The administration is “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 department said in a court filing. The new rule will be submitted to the White House within three months, it said.
The department urged the court to keep in abeyance its verdict on a lawsuit filed by Save Jobs USA, till the administration makes a decision. The department will submit its next status report on November 19. Save Jobs USA has alleged that the policy harms US workers.