13 May 2018 | Lubna Kably | Times of India
MUMBAI: The Trump administration has reiterated its intention to undo the existing policy enabling spouses of H-1B workers to obtain work permits in its recent “spring regulatory agenda”. Over a lakh Indian spouses hold the permit, referred to as employment authorisation documents (EADs).
According to the timeline given in the agenda, a new draft regulation to rescind the existing policy is expected in June. Periodically, the US government issues its policy agenda, outlining the action points for the coming months.
The draft will be notified in a federal register and a 30-to 60-day window will be open for public comments. The entire process up to issuance of the final rules could take several months. There is every possibility of a legal challenge, which could further delay the new regulation. “As of now, you can continue to file for EADs,” said Emily Neumann, an immigration attorney and partner at Reddy & Neumann, a law firm.
TOI has been closely tracking developments on this front as it impacts a little over a lakh Indian spouses who hold EADs.
David Nachman, managing attorney, NPZ Law Group, added: “Typically, when the government makes a move of this nature, they provide a way to handle ‘pipeline’ cases. There is also guidance about ‘phase-out’. For instance, if an employee has an EAD valid for several months, it’s possible they could continue with their jobs. The draft rules will throw more light on these open-ended issues.”
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released the latest statistics on Friday of H-4 visa-holders who have been allotted EADs. Since inception in May 2015 till December 2017, Indian spouses held 1.18 lakh EADs, or nearly 94 per cent of the total EADs issued.
H-1B visas are awarded for three years and can be renewed for another three years. After that, workers can apply for permanent legal status. It is only at that point that their spouses can apply for an EAD.
Original Link | June to heighten job worries for H-1B spouses
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