A bill sponsored by two US representatives would automatically grant H-4 visa holders the right to work in the country. This would help thousands of foreign spouses, including Indians, as well as address the labor shortage that is affecting American businesses.
Dependent spouses and children traveling to the United States with holders of H-1B, H-2A, H-2B, and H-3 visas are granted H-4 visas. Many people with H-4 visas are highly skilled individuals in their own right who have previously held jobs of their own or supported their families via labor.
A non-immigrant visa called the H-1B allows US businesses to hire foreign nationals for specialized jobs that need theoretical or technical competence. It is essential to the hiring of tens of thousands of workers each year from nations like China and India by technology companies.
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People working temporary agricultural occupations are granted H-2A visas; those working temporary non-agricultural jobs are granted H-2B visas; and those working temporary special education exchange visitors are granted H-3 visas.
The H-4 Work Authorisation Act, which was introduced on Thursday by Congresswomen Carolyn Bourdeaux and Maria Elvira Salazar, aims to modify the law so that spouses of H-1B visa holders have an automatic right to work once they receive their H-4 visa.
According to them, this would do away with the need for visa holders to submit Form I-765 for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
The proposed measure, according to the two congressmen, is intended to assist immigrant families to succeed collectively and alleviate the labor shortage in the nation that is impacting American businesses.
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Even if they are already in the country and their spouse is already here, H-4 visa holders currently have to apply for work authorization and wait for it to be completed before they can begin working.
cases for work authorization can take anywhere from six to eight months to be processed due to backlogs at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), with some cases lasting over a year.
The National Immigration Forum and nonprofit advocacy group UnidosUs support the legislation, which aims to fill the labor shortage in America by enabling those with visas to start working and supporting their families right away.
By giving H-4 visa holders instant work authorization and lowering the number of work authorizations USCIS must process, it might also contribute to reducing the backlog of work authorization applications at USCIS, according to a media release.