US Govt. Urges Court Not to Block Work Permit Privilege for H1-B Holders’ Spouses

The United States’ government has, through the Department of Homeland Security, insisted that certain classes of spouses of H-1B holders shouldn’t be denied the opportunity to work in a suit being decided by a federal district court.

In the suit instituted by Save Jobs USA on behalf of American technology workers, the Department of Homeland Security urged the Federal Court to discountenance the agreements of the plaintiff as they’ve not been able to exactly demonstrate how the grant of work permits to spouses of H-1B visa holders has irreparably injured the interests of the US workers.

The H-4 visa category, which comes with a work permit, is one that was initiated during the Obama regime and is typically issued out by the USCIS to immediate relatives of H-1B visa holders (such as spouses and children) who have kick-started the procedure for getting employment-based permanent resident status.

‘Save Jobs USA’ is urging the court of law to – through a preliminary injunction – put a stop to the issuance of the H-4 work permits, arguing that it constitutes great economic harm to its members who happen to be technology workers.

In its 11-paged response, the DHS maintains that the court application fails as Save Jobs USA has been unable to strongly prove its case as the economic injuries mentioned– which were supported by five-year-old affidavits – hasn’t sufficiently risen to the DC Circuit’s legal standard for irreparably injury.

The DHS further postulates that the claim by Save Jobs USA of the chance for a reduction in the employment opportunities open to American citizens that’s fueled by the H-4 work permit is at best a theoretical and abstract one, rather than a proven, certain, or actual claim. It finally urges the court to deny the motion of the preliminary injunction.

The H-4 Visa

The H-4 visa is issued to spouses of H-1B visa holders, the majority of whom are from India. According to data made available in December 2017, the USCIS posits that it has approved as much as 1,26,853 applications for work permits from H-4 visa holders.

93% of these work authorizations went to individuals that are natives of India, while 5% went to Chinese spouses, says a Congressional Research Service (CRS).

Whereas the US President Trump has since assumption of office announced his intention to rescind the Obama-era regulation, it is surprising that the DHS is going all-out to defend the retention of the privilege.

For now, all concerned parties are keeping their arms akimbo as they await the court’s verdict.

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  • May 21st, 2020
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