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Swaraj Promises to Persuade Trump Admin Against Plans to End Work Permits For H-1B Spouses

The Trump administration is planning to end the Obama-era rule under which spouses of H1-B visa holders are given work permit or H-4 visa, a move that could affect more than 70,000 such visa holders.

Maha Siddiqui | CNN-News18

Updated:May 28, 2018, 8:24 PM IST
Swaraj Promises to Persuade Trump Admin Against Plans to End Work Permits For H-1B Spouses
Sushma Swaraj with V K Singh at a media address. (File Image: PTI)

New Delhi: As the Trump administration plans to scrap a rule allowing spouses of H1-B visa holders to work in the US with H-4 visas, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday assured Indians settled abroad that the government would make all efforts to persuade the US against the move and has taken up the matter with the White House and also US Congressmen.

In 2015, after the Obama administration gave a go ahead, H-4 visa holders or spouses of H1-B non-immigrants were allowed to apply for employment authorisation.

The Trump administration is now all set to reverse the order that could affect about 70,000 such visa holders.

The argument — much like the one made to tighten the H1-B visa rules — is that it hurts American job seekers.

However, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services states on its website: (H-4 rule), effective on May 26, 2015, seeks to support the goals of attracting and retaining highly skilled foreign workers.

Sushma Swaraj said at the annual press conference, “The spouses’ visa work permit was done during our tenure. When PM Modi had met Barak Obama in 2015 then he had pointed out that if he allowed the spouses of our professionals to work then even they could contribute to American growth with their capability.”

She added that, however, it was true that work permit for spouses was now under scrutiny and news of its possible revocation has also come in.

Swaraj further claimed that it was “due to the effort of the government” that 130 American lawmakers had written to President Donald Trump that its revocation would hurt the American economy.

She added, “This is not just for H-4, I am also talking of H1-B visa as well. We are making a three-pronged effort to save these visas. We are talking to the White House, we are talking to state administration, and we are also talking to Congressmen and Senators.”

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