New Delhi, Dec 16: The Trump administration is considering revoking an Obama-era rule that extends work authorisation to the spouses of H-1B visa holders, a move that could affect thousands of Indian workers and their families.
Since 2015, the spouses of H-1B, or high-skilled, visa holders waiting for green cards have been eligible to work in the US on H-4 dependent visas, under a rule introduced by the previous Obama administration.
In 2016, more than 41,000 of H-4 visa holders were issued work authorisation. This year till June more than 36,000 H-4 visa holders were issued work authorisation.
The H-1B programme attracts foreign specialised workers to come to the United States for employment, many of them from India and China.
"DHS is proposing to remove from its regulations certain H-4 spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants as a class of aliens eligible for employment authorisation," said the Department of Homeland Security in a latest regulation.
According to the notice, the changes is being made in light of US President Trump's 'Buy American and Hire American' order issued earlier this year.
According to CNN, while changing the rule wouldn't prevent spouses of H-1B holders from pursuing other avenues for work authorisation, it could deter a number of high-skilled immigrants from staying in the US if their spouses can't easily find work.