Bill introduced for automatic right to work to H-1B spouses in US | World News - Hindustan Times
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Bill introduced for automatic right to work to H-1B spouses in US

Apr 08, 2022 05:57 AM IST

H4 visas are issued to dependent spouses and children accompanying H-1B, H-2A, H-2B, and H-3 visa holders to the US.

Two US Congresswomen on Thursday introduced a bill in the House of Representatives aimed at granting an automatic right to work for H-4 visa holders, who are the dependent spouses and children accompanying H-1B, H-2A, H-2B, and H-3 visa holders to the United States. Under the current rule, only certain categories of H-4 visa holders can apply for an employment authorization document.

The H-4 Work Authorization Act seeks to grant the spouses of H-1B visa holding immigrants an automatic right to work after receiving their H-4 visa.(Photo for Representation)
The H-4 Work Authorization Act seeks to grant the spouses of H-1B visa holding immigrants an automatic right to work after receiving their H-4 visa.(Photo for Representation)

Congresswomen Carolyn Bourdeaux and Maria Elvira Salazar introduced the H-4 Work Authorization Act which seeks to change the current law and grant the spouses of H-1B visa holding immigrants an automatic right to work after receiving their H-4 visa. It will remove the requirement for visa holders to apply for Form I-765, an Employment Authorisation Document (EAD).

The lawmakers said that numerous employers facing acute labour shortages and the new bill can fill labour gaps, deliver jobs, and help immigrant families thrive together.

“Right now, the spouses of highly-skilled immigrants have to fight through years of bureaucratic red tape before they are allowed to work in the United States,” Bourdeaux said in a statement

“This bill removes these needless barriers to ensure families can contribute and prosper together. If we are going to continue to be competitive and attract the greatest minds and talent around the world, we must ensure that the family members of high-value immigrants are able to build a life and career in the United States, just like everyone else,” she added.

Currently, H-4 visa holders must apply for work authorization and wait for approval before they can work. Given the backlogs at US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), applications for EAD can take anywhere from six to eight months, with some applications taking over one year to be approved.

The lawmakers said that the Bill could also help to reduce the backlog of EAD applications at USCIS by providing immediate work authorization to H-4 visa holders and reducing the number of work authorizations USCIS must process.

 

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