Articles Posted in H-4

A few weeks ago we blogged about a new regulation allowing H-4 visa holders (dependents of H-1B visa holders) to work in the United States. However, a case has just been filed in Washington D.C. federal court challenging this regulation. The lawsuit, Save Jobs USA v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security, was filed last Thursday by Save Jobs USA, a group representing former California computer workers, claiming that the regulation violates the Immigration and Nationality Act and asking the court to vacate the H-4 rule allowing spouses to work in the United States.

courthouse-1330873-mSave Jobs USA backs up its claims by stating there is no statute that authorizes H-4 visa holders to work in the United States and that in promulgating this rule, the Department of Homeland Security has exceeded its authority. The effect of this, as much of the complaint is focused on, is the increase in foreign competition, which in turn burdens U.S. citizens by increase the difficulty of finding a job. Specifically it states the new rule will increase the foreign workforce by 179,000 in the first year and 55,000 following years. Save Jobs USA goes on to list three instances of Save Jobs USA members who have been replaced by H-1B visa holders.

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woman-1134419-m (1)Currently dependent spouses on H-4 visas cannot lawfully seek employment in the United States, but that will be changing soon! The USCIS has officially announced that certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B visa holders may seek employment in the United States starting May 26, 2015.

Those eligible are H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B holders who are the principal beneficiary on an approved I-140 or the H-4 dependent spouses who have been granted H-1B status under section 106(a) and (b) of the American Competiveness in the Twenty-fist Century Act of 2000 (amended by the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorizations Act).

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President Obama’s “Immigration Accountability Executive Action” proposes several changes to the immigration system many of which could affect employment-based visas. The proposed changes could be good news for employees and employers by decreasing wait times for certain classifications, allowing spouses of H-1B visa holders to work and in some cases increasing the amount of time a employee can remain on his visa.

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The employment-based changes will affect green cards, H-4, L-1B, OPT and PERM classifications.

Ex
ecutive Action re Pre-Registration for Adjustment Cases
Main proposals:

  • Decrease wait time to file adjustment of status
  • Pre-register for green card and receive green card benefits while waiting for approval
  • Allow the temporary non-immigrant visa holder to change jobs while before green card is approved

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