President Biden Withdraws Proposal to Rescind H-4 Work Authorization

Spouses of certain H-1B visa holders can continue to legally work in the U.S.

Roy Maurer By Roy Maurer January 27, 2021

​The White House sent notice Jan. 25 that it is withdrawing the Trump administration's proposed rule to rescind work authorization for the spouses of H-1B workers with approved employment-based green cards.

We've rounded up articles and resources from SHRM Online and other outlets on the news.

Relief Granted

The proposed rollback of work authorization for more than 100,000 H-4 visa holders—mostly Indian women who had moved to the United States along with their spouses for work—was withdrawn after a regulatory review by the new Biden administration.

(The Economic Times)

On the Chopping Block

The proposal to rescind employment authorization for H-4 visa holders was part of the Trump administration's regulatory agenda since 2017. Critics of the rule said IT outsourcing companies—predominant users of the H-1B—supplant U.S. workers and drive down wages.

(SHRM Online)

Allowed to Work

The work permit for H-4 visa holders was created in 2015. The Obama administration argued that it would help attract and retain skilled foreign workers to the U.S., pointing to the economic pressure that H-1B workers who are waiting for a green card—which can take over 10 years for an Indian national to receive—will feel to leave the country if their spouses can't legally work.

(SHRM Online)

Changing Direction

President Biden campaigned on reversing what President Trump has done with employment-based immigration since 2017, including turning back the president's executive actions that restricted travel, limited green cards and guest worker programs, and eliminated the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

(SHRM Online)



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