H-1B Visas: US court refuses to end Obama’s rule for ‘spouses’

Washington: A US court today has refused to strike down the Obama-era’s ‘work permit for spouses’ of H1B visa holders in America.

The move comes today giving temporary relief to thousands of Indians living in America, TOI reports.

However, since Donald Trump came to power, he intended to end this Barack Obama’s 2015 rule that allowed work permits for certain categories of H-4 visa holders, primarily spouses of those having H-1B work visas waiting for their Green Card, to work in the US.

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 noting that it is “best to remand” to give the district court an opportunity to thoroughly assess and finally determine the merits in the first instance.

“Accordingly, we reverse the district court’s grant of summary judgment and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion,” the federal court said in its order on the lawsuit filed by Saves Jobs USA.

This comprises of American workers who have claimed they have been laid off due to this policy to legally provide work permits to H-4 visa holders.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which oversees immigration stating this sought to “ameliorate certain disincentives that currently lead H-1B non-immigrants to abandon efforts to remain in the US while seeking (lawful permanent resident) status, thereby, minimising disruptions to US businesses employing such workers.”

The court noted that the government has explained that H-1B non-immigrants and their families often face long delays in the process of obtaining permanent residence, and H-4 visa holders’ inability to work during these delays leads to “personal and economic hardships” that worsen over time, “increasing the disincentives for H-1B non-immigrants to pursue lawful permanent resident status and thus increasing the difficulties that US employers have in retaining highly educated and highly skilled non-immigrant workers”.