Tech Groups Write to USCIS in Support of Work Permits for H-1B Spouses

The groups urge the Trump administration to maintain the H-4 spouses' work permits program because of its benefits to the American economy.


The Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), along with 10 other businesses and advocacy groups, has written to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in support of the H-4 visa. Besides USCIS Director Lee Francis Cissna, the letter was also sent to Kirstjen Nielsen, Secretary, Department of Homeland Security.

A large number of H-4 visa holders are Indian wives of H-1B visa holders, and are allowed to work in the United States. The ITI, which comprises members such as Apple Inc, Inc, Facebook Inc, Alphabet Inc’s Google, and Microsoft Corp, urged the Trump administration to maintain the program because of its benefits to the American economy. “Rescinding this program would harm America’s economic competitiveness and hinder efforts to recruit and retain the most qualified employees,” they said.

In the letter, the ITI wrote that the H-4 rule extends employment authorization eligibility for a limited number of H-4 dependent spouses. Individuals looking to obtain H-4 authorization already legally reside in the United States and are on the path to permanent residency. They are also eager to work in order to support their families, contribute to their communities by paying taxes, and utilize their skills to help the United States’ economy grow.

The letter was co-signed by BSA | The Software Alliance, Compete America, CompTIA, Council for Global Immigration,, Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), National Association of Manufacturers, Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), TechNet and U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

ITI advocated that the H-4 visa holders often have experience and education in vital occupations and are qualified academic researchers, medical technicians and professionals, small-business owners, and have a positive impact on the economy.

The letter was in response to the Homeland Security department’s announcement on Dec.15 that it is looking to end work authorization of the H-4 visa holders. The work authorization was permitted for H-4 visa holders in 2015 by former U.S. President Barack Obama. If the authorization is rescinded, more than 100,000 people will become ineligible to hold jobs.

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