No work ban for spouses of H-1B visa holders for the time being

Bringing temporary relief to many Indians, the 2015 rule that permits spouses and relatives of H-1B visa holders in the US to work, will not be reversed for now.


Bringing much relief to Indians in the US, a US court has decided not to reverse the 2015 rule that allows spouses and relatives of H-1B visa holders to work in the US.

The rule that was brought into effect during the time of

Barack Obama allowed spouses of certain categories of H-4 visa holders (dependent family members, spouse and children, of the H1-B visa holders), to work in the US. These are people who could otherwise not be employed while H-1B visa holders waited for permanent residency.

This rule was advantageous to a lot of people, especially women, and was challenged by several US employees. However, a three-judge bench of the US Courts of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit recently decided not to reverse the rule for the time being.

The argument is that H-1B non-immigrants and their families are forced to wait for long periods of time to get permanent residency. During such long waiting periods, if the H-4 visa holders are unable to find jobs, the family as a whole faces a lot of economic challenges. This only makes it difficult for the US to retain the pool of educated and skilled non-immigrant talent.

The rule will now encourage more H-1B visa holders to stay back in the US.

The H-1B programme permits US companies to recruit employees from abroad for positions where a very high level of skills and specialised knowledge is required.

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