DHS Seeks to End Work Eligibility for Spouses of H-1B Holders

DHS Seeks to End Work Eligibility for Spouses of H-1B Holders

DHS Seeks to End Work Eligibility for Spouses of H-1B Holders

The plan concerns the spouses of those foreign nationals who hold H-1B visas, which go to individuals with jobs that require a "theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge".

The H-4 visa is granted to the spouses of long-term H-1B holders.

An estimated 629,000 visitors - a little more than 1 percent of all travelers - remained in the United States at the end of a year ago after overstaying their visas as students, workers or tourists, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

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When the Obama administration created the H-4 program, it said the regulation would "support the goals of attracting and retaining highly skilled foreign workers". Before this rule was introduced, the spouses of H-1B workers were fully dependent on them during this time, unable to work outside.

One such woman, Meghna Damani, told Quartz she left her advertising job in Mumbai to marry her husband and move to the US. H1-B visas are granted to foreign workers with a graduate-level education or above, who come to the U.S. to work in speciality occupations like finance or engineering. "I wanted to just die. To no longer feel like a burden". The H-4 visa is issued to spouses of H-1B holders. Over 41,000 H-4 work authorizations were approved in 2016.

Current immigration law in the U.S. allows for a total of 85,000 new H-1B visas to be made available each government fiscal year, including 65,000 new H-1B visas for overseas workers.

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The Trump administration has been cracking down on immigrant workers since it took over earlier this year.

Announcing his executive order in April, Mr Trump declared: "With this action, we are sending a powerful signal to the world: We're going to defend our workers, protect our jobs, and finally put America first".

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Furthermore, the Department of Homeland Security also signalled a review of the occupations that are now eligible for the H1-B visa in order to "increase focus on truly obtaining the best and brightest foreign nationals".

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