Congresswomen Bring Legislation to Protect Working Authorization of H-1B Spouses

H-4 visa is given to the immediate family members  of H-1B visa holders and any cancellation will affect mostly Indian and Chinese women.


A legislation has been introduced in Congress by two women members of the House of Representatives to prohibit the Trump administration from revoking a rule, which has been providing work authorization to the spouses of H-1B visa holders since Obama presidency.

In accordance with Trump’s executive order in April 2017 for “Buy American and Hire American” the Department of Homeland Security said later in 2017 that the H4 EAD would be scrapped. Since then, the report of the plans to revoke the work permits of H-1B visa holders’ spouses has created furor among people.

Representatives Anna G. Eshoo and Zoe Lofgren introduced “H-4 Employment Protection Act” before Congress on Nov.16 to prevent current the government from scrapping the work permits of spouses of H-1B visa holders.

“Protecting work authorization for these H-4 visa holders is a matter of both economic fairness and family unity,” Rep. Eshoo said in a statement.

“Eliminating this benefit would create a painful choice for many immigrants to either split up their families or return to their home countries and use their talents to compete against American businesses,” she added.

Rep. Lofgren said while advocating for the working rights of H-4 visa holders, “These are American citizens-in-waiting, stuck in line for their number to come up.”

Underlining the negative aspects of administration’s plan on revoking the work permits of these people, Rep. Lofgren said, “The Trump Administration believes they should sit on their hands and do nothing, even though many are accomplished, qualified, and highly-skilled. Prohibiting H-1B dependent spouses from working is of no benefit to our country, and if allowed to move forward, many of these families that can contribute so much to our workforce will simply move to countries with a more sensible approach to immigration.”

Emphasizing over the need of “H-4 Employment Protection Act”, she said, “This much-needed bill will block the Trump Administration from needlessly harming our economy and the lives of skilled immigrant families.”

H-4 visa is given to the immediate family members (spouses and children under 21) of H-1B visa holders. H-1B visas are non-immigrant visas, which are the most sought-after visas among Indian professionals, as U.S.-based companies hire foreign nationals based on this visa.

The cancellation of the work permits for H-4 visa holders affects mostly Indian and Chinese women, who are also skilled workers and have secured work in various fields.

However, earlier this month, the Trump administration assured American lawmakers and corporate world that it will take public opinion before enforcing the proposal of revoking the work permits of H-4 visa holders.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *