U.S. Govt Delays H4 Visa Termination

The DHS said it would evaluate the economic impact of terminating work authorization for H4 visa holders.


The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said in a Feb. 28 court filing that it was reviewing the economic impact of terminating work authorization for H4 visa holders and has pushed back terminating the permit till June. However, they said that their intentions to proceed with publication of an Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) concerning the H-4 visa rule at issue in this case remain unchanged.

Earlier, the DHS had said it would publish revoking the H-4 work permits in February. The matter has been ongoing since September 2017. An organization, Save Jobs USA, has also filed a lawsuit against DHS, claiming that the H-4 work authorization negatively affected American workers by taking away their jobs.

H-4 visa holders are spouses of H1-B visa holders and received work authorization in 2015 during the Barack Obama era. Mostly, Indian and Chinese women benefit from this. In fiscal year 2016, only 41,526 people were on H4 visas while the entire foreign workers population stood at 1.268 million, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

According to research by Save H-4 EADs, 59 per cent of them have postgraduate or professional degree and above, 96 per cent have a bachelor’s degree and above, 43 per cent purchased a home after receiving work authorization, 35 per cent of them bought a home over $500,000, 49 per cent have annual individual income of over $75,000, 18 per cent have over $100,000 annual income, 60 per cent pay taxes of more $5,000, and five per cent have started their own businesses, creating employment for American workers.

“We are very hopeful. We want to believe that DHS is re-looking at this because of our efforts,” Jansi Kumar, co-founder of the group Save H-4 EADs, told India-West. Another organization, H-4 Visa, A Curse, told India-West that their members are relieved since they were given more time with the DHS’s new filing.

“DHS was working to issue an NPRM in February 2018. However in January 2018, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the component of DHS responsible for oversight of the H-4 visa program at issue in this litigation, re-evaluated the rule and determined that significant revisions to the draft proposal were necessary,” the organization said in its court filing.

“Those revisions required a new economic analysis, which required an additional several weeks to perform. The changes to the rule and the revised economic analysis require revisions to the projected timeline for the NPRM’s publication, and therefore cannot be issued in February.”

“Under the revised timeline, DHS anticipates submitting to the Office of Management and Budget for review and clearance the proposed rule in time for publication in June 2018. DHS’s intentions to proceed with publication of an NPRM concerning the H-4 visa rule at issue in this case remain unchanged,” stated the agency in the filing with the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

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