Trump administration proposes 60-day freeze on visas for dependent spouses

The H-4 visa-holders are primarily dependent spouses of H-1B visa-holders.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: March 8, 2017 2:46 pm
The H-4 visa-holders are primarily dependent spouses of H-1B visa-holders.  (Source: AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

With jobs and immigration coming under sharp focus after US President Donald Trump assumed office in January, there is now uncertainty surrounding the future of H-4 applicants as the US department of justice sought a 60-day freeze over issuance of new visas, The Time of India reported on Wednesday. The H-4 visa-holders are primarily dependent spouses of H-1B visa-holders, whose future itself is under a cloud of doubt with US lawmakers seeking to reform the system.

In February 2015, thousands of Indian spouses became eligible to work in the United States after a hard-fought battle. The homeland security allowed spouses who are eligible to hold employment to seek work under the H-4 visa scheme, while the H-1B visa-holder waits for his/her green card. This was however challenged by a group called Save Jobs USA in a district court, but it was overruled. Soon after Trump took charge, the group filed another brief in the appeals court against the H-4 visa. It now appears to have found support from the department of justice as it filed a document titled “consent motion to hold proceedings in abeyance for 60 days”.

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