Plan to end H-4 visa rule for spouses of H-1B holders delayed

Photograph of a U.S. Department of Homeland Security logo.

The Department of Homeland Security’s repeal of an Obama-era rule which allows spouses of H-1B visa holders to work in the U.S. on an H-4 visa in February, will now be extended to June, according to a court filing from the Department of Homeland Security.

According to a CNN report, the spouses of H-1B holders who are waiting for green cards are eligible to work in the U.S. on H-4 visas, a rule which was introduced by President Barack Obama’s administration in 2015.

However, the Department of Homeland Security stated in a court filing this week that in January the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services had determined that “significant revisions to the draft proposal were necessary that required a new economic analysis” which would take several more weeks to perform.

According to a CNN report, the update on the repeal is in response to a lawsuit filed in April 2015 by a group called Save Jobs USA who argued that the repeal threatens American jobs.

The delay will provide temporarily relief to a lot of H-4 visa holders who are currently working in the U.S.

The CNN report states that the number of overall H-4 visas has been steadily increasing in recent years, with the majority being issued to Indian Americans.

131,051 new H-4 visas were given out in 2016 whereas only 80,015 were given out in 2012.

Before the Obama-era rule, H-4 visa holders weren’t allowed to earn an income or have a Social Security Number.