The US government’s plan to ban spouses of H1B visa holders from working may put nearly 100,000 people out of a job, according to new research.
“Policy changes like the one being considered for America are often made in the absence of complete information that might help policy makers better understand the true breadth of likely consequences,” argues the researchers, according to a story by Bloomberg.
Professors Christopher J. L. Cunningham of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and Pooja B. Vijayakumar from the Kemmy Business School at the University of Limerick based their research on the experiences of 416 Indian expatriate workers from a 2014 study.
The resulting findings argue that banning spouses from working will isolate them socially, raise domestic tensions, and strain the family’s financial resources, as well as potentially impacting US employers.
“[A reinstated ban will] likely will be more critical and difficult for expatriate families than what was experienced in 2014, as many of these individuals who were temporarily benefited by the previous presidential administration’s immigration policies may have, in this time, bought a home or started their own businesses,” says the report.
Large tech companies, including Google and Amazon, are supporting the argument that such a ban will hurt visa holders and their spouses, especially women.
Additionally, the cost of failed expatriate assignments ranges from US$250,000 to US$1 million, in addition to indirect costs, reports Bloomberg.
While US work visas have been around since 1952, spouses of H1B visa holders were only permitted to work from 2015 when Barack Obama’s administration allowed it. The current administration thinks the visa program is leading to the loss of American jobs and has been devising strategies to tighten it.