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No More Disappointments for H-4 Visa Immigrants in USA

H-4 Visa Work permit expected to be scrapped by the Trump Administration

Much has been said and written about the H1-B visa that allows aliens to enter the USA and take up jobs posted by American employers. There has been a prolonged debate going on about whether the H-1B fosters a healthy competitive environment by bringing in skilled workers into the US or whether it brings in sub-standard immigrants who steal jobs from locals and drive down the wage rate. But in all the discussion and debate around H-1B, one thing that is seldom addressed is the plight of the H-4 visa holder or more specifically the dependent spouse.

The Plight of the H-4 immigrant

The H-4 visa is the visa that is granted to the accompanying spouse of the H-1B immigrant who has received a work permit for the country. Under the terms and conditions of the visa, the H-4 visa holder, who is typically a woman immigrant, entering the country with her husband, is restricted from seeking any kind of employment while she is in the US.

As a result of this regulation many highly educated USA immigrants who are qualified to do the best quality jobs have to idly sit at home and depend upon their spouses for income. The USA immigrants who enter under the H-4 visa do not have any identity of their own and are not even given a social security number. They are completely dependent on their spouses for income, accommodation, and even day-to-day living expenses. This has led to many cases of depression among the H-4 immigrant spouses and has raised demands by many women and human rights groups, asking America to consider their position and allow them to enter the workforce.

[Read More: H1-B Visa changes trigger Canada Immigration!]

Employment Authorization for H-4 immigrant

The Obama administration in answer to these demands had allowed immigrants on H-4 visas as Dependents to take up employment in the USA, subject to certain conditions, a move that was welcomed by both the Tech industry as well as H-4 visa advocates. Under the new rule dependent, visa holders need to fill and submit the I-765 form in order to request employment authorization. On receipt of the employment authorization, the dependent immigrant would be eligible to seek employment within the United States of America. However, the following conditions are required to be fulfilled before one can apply for an I-765 form.

  1. The primary H-1B visa holder accompanying the H-4 spouse should have entered the US under an approved I-140
  2. The H-1B holder must have obtained the status under either section 106(a) or 106(b) of the American competitiveness act.

On successfully filing for and receiving an Employment Authorization Document, the USA immigrant spouse on an H-4 visa would be able to seek employment and work in the United States.

[Read More: India - US in Close talks on US immigration policy regarding H-1B visas]

Employment on H-4 Expected to be Revoked by the Trump Administration

In a move that is seen by many as rolling back Obama administration changes, the Trump administration is making plans to scrap the rule allowing immigrants under the H-4 visa to lawfully seek employment in America. According to independent reports, the DHS in America has announced its intention to review the rule. This move is being criticized by the Indian Industry as being restrictive and is in conjunction with other restrictive measures which are expected for the H-1B Visa Program in the near future, including narrowing the scope of the professions eligible for H-1B Visa. All these changes are expected to make the H-1B route more difficult for skilled workers.

To know more about the latest changes in H-1B and H-4 visa programs get in touch with Global Tree at Begum Pet, Hyderabad, the most trusted immigration consultant in India.

Global Tree Overseas Immigration Advisors and Consultants are certified Immigrant experts and equipped with a counseling team who can give expert advice on any kind of visa process and guide you to the one that suits you the best. Log onto our website now and find out the branch near you, as Global Tree has its presence across India in Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai, New Delhi, Chandigarh, Mumbai, and Pune, Vijayawada, Vizag, and Guntur.


Frequently Asked Questions

Canada: The Great White North is Number 1 on this list. With easy immigration processes, a welcoming society, great education and healthcare, cool weather, and the ever-growing job market, Canada is the undisputed leader in immigration potential.

Germany: The Deutschland is famous for precision, quality, and high expectations. Unsurprisingly, it makes the list but we’re still going to spell it out. Currently, home to over 170,000 Indians, Germany is a melting pot of different cultures mostly from other countries in the EU. A veritable hub for mechanical engineering, Germany has a low level of corruption, and a love for innovation and is home to over 25 Fortune 500 companies. With the demand for highly skilled professionals, Germany is a choice destination for young, smart immigrants from all over the world.

Provincial Nominee Program is one of the best routes for Canadian immigration. Every province (state) in Canada has its criteria for immigration. This criterion is custom-fitted to reflect the needs and growth opportunities arising in that respective province.

A Master’s Degree translates directly into a better CRS score. Your educational qualifications reflect the contribution you would make to the destination country’s economy which means that you would be more sought after. Speaking one of the country's primary languages (Eg: French for Canada) also greatly raises your chances for both visa success as well job opportunities.

If you fall under the NOC list in Canada or SOL in Australia (Occupations in demand list), it means that jobs are readily available for qualified candidates. On average, individuals earn 8 times as much salary in Canada as compared to India.


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