H-1B Visa Spouses: What you need to know about the proposed changes
Spouses of United States visa holders granted permission to work are now one step closer to having that ability revoked. Here are the most important things you need to know:
- According to a new report, the Office of Management and Budget will receive the proposed regulation for review this coming Wednesday.
- If put into effect, the rule change would strip employment authorization from H-1B visa spouses.
- The H-1B visa program, which attracts foreign specialized workers to the U.S., has been targeted frequently by the Trump administration in an effort to curb legal immigration.
- Critics of the program argue that companies abuse it to hire cheap, foreign labour instead of Americans.
- Meanwhile, supporters of the H-1B visa argue that it provides struggling sectors with much-needed skilled workers.
According to the USCIS, there have been nearly 91,000 approved applications for H-4 work authorization since 2015. Even with the number of applications dropping in recent years, demand for H-1B visas vastly outweighs supply.
As things stand, the Office of Management and Budget must first review the proposed changes. After that, the proposal will go through a 30-to-90 day public comment. A final rule will be made after comments are reviewed.
“No decision about the regulation concerning the employment eligibility of certain H-4 spouses is final until the rule-making process is complete,” said USCIS spokesperson Jessica Collins.
The H-1B visa and immigration, in general, continues to be a heated topic in the USA. However, the country remains one of the most popular study destinations for international students. Over 1 million foreign students attend classes in the United States; a country which boasts some of the best schools in the world. Even with tuition costs high and permanent residency prospects questionable, going to school in the U.S. is still seen as desirable by many.
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