This means that Indians who hold 90% of the H-4 visas will be impacted the most, with no change in the Trump administration's plans to scrap it.

No big changes in H-1B visa nothing new on H-4 US deputy chief of mission
news Visa Policy Wednesday, June 06, 2018 - 20:01

Against the backdrop of the Trump administration’s plan to overhaul the immigration system, the US on Wednesday said that there have been “no big changes” in the H-1B visa programme and “nothing new” on the H-4 visa policy. 

On a day when the US Mission in Delhi observed ‘Student Visa Day’, to mark higher education ties between India and the United States, US deputy chief of mission (DCM) MaryKay L Carlson said it was the sovereign decision of a country to grant employment visa and work permits. 

It was reported in April that the Trump administration was planning to disallow spouses of H-1B visa holders to work legally in the US.

This move will affect over 70,000 H-4 visa holders with work permits, with Indians constituting the largest proportion at 90%, according to a study by Migration Policy Institute. The H-4 visa is issued to spouses of H-1B visa holders. 

The holders of this visa were given a work permit under a special order issued by the Obama administration, largely benefitting Indians working in the US. 

Prior to that, spouses couldn’t be employed in the US while H-1B visa holders sought permanent resident status, which could take over a decade. PTI had reported that more than 100,000 H-4 visa holders have been beneficiaries of this rule to date.

US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Francis Cissna said in a letter to Senator Chuck Grassley that a formal communication may be made later this summer.

In the letter, Cissna writes that such a move is being contemplated in order to comply with an executive order requirement to propose new rules and guidance. This is to replace the previous ones with a view to protect the interests of American citizens.

Last month, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had said that the government would try and convince the Trump administration against scrapping the H-4 visa. 


ReadIndia to be worst hit as US mulls ending work permits for H-1B visa holders’ spouses

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