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Can the Spouse of an H1B Visa holder work with H4 Visa?

The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations. H-4 visas are issued to the spouses of H-1B visa holders, a significantly large number of whom are high-skilled professionals from India (approx. 93%) .


In September, ‘Save Jobs USA’ which had filed the lawsuit urged the court to remove the abeyance and move forward with the case. The case is before a three-member bench, which includes Indian-American Sree Srinivasan.

As per the latest court order, the case is no longer held in abeyance and the new briefs must be submitted by ‘Save Jobs USA’ by January 16, 2019. The Trump administration has time till February 22, 2019 to file its response. In a related development, the court also granted permission to ‘Immigration Voice’ to intervene in the case. Immigration Voice is a non-profit organisation working to alleviate problems faced by legal high-skilled foreign workers in the United States.


Spouses of H-1B visa holders are not allowed to work with just an H4 Vias. There is, however, an option to obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) which allows them to work with an H-4 visa.

“For that outcome, the intervention in the lawsuit is the only thing that is keeping H4-EAD programme alive and it stands between 50,000+ families from losing their right to provide for their families," Immigration Voice said.


According to an official, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) continues to review all employment-based visa programmes, including H-4 EADs. “No decision about the Obama administration regulation granting work authorization to certain H-4 spouses is final until the rule-making process is completed," the official told PTI.


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