US President Donald Trump has already put a big question mark on the future of H-1B visa applicants in the future, in his move to keep jobs for Americans in all sectors. The Trump administration has already introduced a legislation in the US House of Representatives to take the minimum wage for H-1B visas to $130,000. Now it seems like the spouses of H-1B visa holders are also in the crosshairs of the administration.
The spouses of H-1B visa holders are issued the H4 visa, which does not allow the spouses to work. But from 26 May 2015, there was a provision that was added – H4 visa EAD (employment authorisation document) – which would let dependent spouses of H-1B visa holders work in the US. Back when the changes were made in the H4 visa category, a group called Save Jobs USA had filed a lawsuit in a district court which was dismissed.
After Trump got elected, Save Jobs USA filed its initial brief in an appeals court. The department of justice (DoJ) has filed a brief in Washington DC appeals court, seeking a 60-day freeze for employment authorisation for H4 visa holders. If this is approved, it effectively means that H4 EAD visa holders can no longer seek employment, taking that status back to pre-2015 era.
According to a report in Immigration Voice, there have been several cases of H4 visa dependent spouses starting their own business thereby creating jobs for US citizens. The link has some case studies. Here’s one:
Anuj Dhamija, one of the intervenors on Immigration Voice said, “I have been legally working in the US since 2010 as a Project Manager for a reputed Fortune 100 company. Due to decades long wait to get our green card, I made a switch to the H4 EAD program as it was the only option for me to pursue my business ventures in the interim. On this program, I was able to keep my existing job and also start up my small High End Luxurious Home Remodeling Business. Per my business plan, I targeted to generate $775k revenue in Year 1, $1.6m in Year 2 and $1.9m in Year 3. Along the way, I expected to create 5-10 new American jobs in the construction industry. If this program ceased to exist, I will lose all my investment in the new business and also my job as there will be no other legal option for me to work in the USA. I will face significant financial hardships and won’t be able to provide for my growing family.”
According to co-founder and president of Immigration Voice, Aman Kapoor, the complaint filed by Save Jobs USA had already been rejected as it has no basis for being filed. “Any failure to provide the strongest possible defence of the District Court’s decision risks establishing a precedent prohibiting H-4 visa holders from working under the current statutory regime. Under these circumstances, Immigration Voice felt compelled to act to protect the existing and future work permits of our members,” said Kapoor.
A lot of people take up the H4 EAD visa as the wait for H-1B visa is quite long, what with there being a cap of 85,000 H-1B visas annually. With H4 EAD visa being taken away, a lot of those visa holders will have to let go of their businesses.
(This Story has been completely carried over from http://tech.firstpost.com and NewsToday.Buzz has not edited the content)