“WITHDRAWN”.A single word on a thick bureaucratic file on the seventh day of the Biden administration delivered a huge win for spouses of workers on H1B visas in the US who spent the last four years worried sick that their work authorizations would be killed off.
The latest development brings to an end years of effort by the Donald Trump administration to rescind an Obama-era regulation that allowed a certain subset of spouses of H1B visa holders to work in the US.
Up until the summer of 2015, H4 visa holders could not legally hold paid employment in the United States. Almost as soon as Obama changed the game, the lawsuits followed and then the Trump presidency took the attack on the H4 work permit to a whole new level.
On text messages, chatgroups and online threads, the outpouring of relief played out online on Tuesday evening. “Great news! Hopefully H4EAD delays will beending soon which is leading to a long wait for dependent spouses,” tweeted Rashi Bhatnagar.
Sharmistha Mohapatra posted, “Big win for H4 EAD holders today. Former Pres Trump’s EO to rescind H4 EAD is now withdrawn by POTUS. Let’s hope excruciating long wait times often resulting in job loss is taken away too!” From the time the skewering of the H4 work permit (called the EAD)began in Fall 2017,the proposed rule has been published seven times for ongoing review, keeping the H4 community on cliff-edge.
The Trump Government justified the move saying itis “economically significant” and aligns with the “Buy American and Hire American” executive order, which was mostly code for keeping foreign workers out of the US and flinging red meat to the Trump base.
Now, the back link to that Trump executive order ends up as a 404 (page not found) error and re-routes to the Biden White House.
“Removing H-4 Dependent Spouses from theClass ofAliens Eligible for Employment Authorization” was a Trumpian agenda pursued by White House immigration hawks with intense zeal and inter-agency collaboration.