Nearshore Americas

Spouses of H-1B Visa-Holders to Lose Job Opportunities by Jan 2019

The United States will frame new regulations by January 2019, banning the spouses of H-1B visa-holders from working in the country.

The proposed ban is likely to affect more than 100,000 Indian workers in the country.

The move follows after the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) told a US court in September that it would bring changes to the H-4 employment authorization document (EAD), an Obama-era regulation that allowed the spouses of H-1B visa holders to work in the United States.

The visa program has remained a political hot potato ever since President Donald Trump launched his presidential campaign in early 2015.

Over the past couple of years, there have been many raids on companies employing the visa-holders, with the administration continuing to dissuade employers from hiring immigrant workers.

Meanwhile, two US senators, namely Kamala Harris from California and Kirsten Gillibrand from New York, have written a letter to Kirstjen Nielsen, the Secretary of Homeland Security, urging her not to go ahead with the plan, according to The Free Press Journal.

The Trump administration has long been of the belief that that the H-1B visa program is replacing American workers.

Blocking their spouses from working in the United States will ultimately persuade the visa holders to move back to their countries instead of seeking permanent residency, say analysts.

But the visa-holders are high-skilled technology workers, and the United States cannot afford to lose them as it has already run short of technology talent.

Moreover, denying a woman her right to work leads to social upheaval, the senators have warned.

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“Preventing women from engaging in employment can lead to isolation, depression, anxiety, feelings of guilt, and a loss of self-worth,” the Senators wrote.

“Revoking a wife’s ability to work leaves her and her children entirely dependent on her spouse. Increased isolation — coupled with complete financial dependence — can make leaving an abusive relationship dangerous and, in some cases, impossible.”

Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.


  • “The visa program has remained a political hot potato ever since President Donald Trump launched his presidential campaign in early 2015.“

    Wrong! It was a hot potato long before Trump launched his campaign. Before Trump the people who opposed the visa were ignored. Turns out there were enough of them to elect a president. Both American citizens and the nation did better before the H-1B than after. 100 percent of American jobs should go to citizens. Those companies that can not find citizens to work for them should do without. They are weak companies that the nation would be better off without.

  • Its about time, we stopped h4 EAD visa, Americans are losing Jobs to Indians and it unfair, in our country, Americans should not lose jobs to Foreigners.