18-Jun-2018

US delays decision on spouses of H-1B holders

Washington March 4: The Trump administration has delayed its decision on termination of work authorisation for spouses of the H-1B visa holders, in a big relief to a significantly large number of Indian workers and their families.
 
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in a court submission this week said that it would not take a decision on terminating the work authorisation of H4 visa users, spouses of H-1B visa holders, till June as it needs time to review its economic impact. 
 
Since 2015, the spouses of H-1B, or high-skilled, visa holders waiting for green cards have been eligible to work in the US on H-4 dependent visas, under a rule introduced by the previous Obama administration. The DHS was previously scheduled to take a call on it by February 28.
 
“Consistent with the Government’s prior representations, DHS was working to issue an NPRM (Notice of Proposed Rule Making) in February 2018.
 
“However, in January 2018, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the component of DHS responsible for oversight of the H-4 visa programme at issue in this litigation, reevaluated the rule and determined that significant revisions to the draft proposal were necessary, DHS said in its fresh court submission.
 
It said the revisions required a new economic analysis which required many weeks to perform.
 
“The changes to the rule and the revised economic analysis require revisions to the projected time-line for the NPRMs publication, and therefore cannot be issued in February, it said. “Under the revised time-line, DHS anticipates submitting to the Office of Management and Budget for review and clearance the proposed rule in time for publication in June 2018,” it said.
 
The extension of decision making process by four months comes as a temporary relief to the spouses of H-1B visas holders. - PTI