Bringing relief to scores of Indians in America, a US court announced that it will not be abolishing a rule from the Obama presidency which permits the spouse of an H1B visa holder to work.
The H1B visa allows for US companies to hire foreign workers in certain occupations. The spouse of an H1B holder receives an H4 visa.
During his term, then US president Barack Obama introduced a new rule which allowed for those with an H4 visa and waiting for their green card, to be able to legally work. It was in late 2017 that talks began regarding striking down the rule. However, now after much speculation, a three-judge bench of the US Courts of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Friday sent the case back to a lower court. The bench stated that in the meantime, the district court a chance to assess and analyse the case.
“Accordingly, we reverse the district court’s grant of summary judgment and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion,” reads the court order.
US president Donald Trump had threatened on multiple occasions to revoke the provision of the H4 visa. Earlier the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) of the US government said that it would incorporate a work ban on spouses of individuals with the H1B visa. However making H4 visa holders legally allowed to work, encouraged H1B holders to stay on the legal path to obtain permanent residency in the country, several people pointed out.
Since 2015, Indians, mostly women, have been the beneficiaries of the H4 visa program, accounting for over 93% of the one lakh visas issued. As per reports, Indians are among the biggest beneficiaries of the H1B visa with 76% of the total visas issued going to professionals from India last year.