In a relief to Indian nationals working in the US, the proposed ban on H-4 EAD (employment authorisation document) has been delayed. US Department of Homeland said that a rule banning work permits of H-4 visa holders could be published in the spring 2020, at the earliest. The H-4 visa is issued to dependent family members — spouse and children — of the H1-B visa holders. In 2015, Obama administration allowed H-4 visa holders to work in the US. The biggest beneficiaries of the H-4 visa programme is primarily the Indians, the spouses of H1-B visa holders.

In 2017, Donald Trump administration first announced its plan to ban H-4 visa holders of the right to work. As estimated 100,000 foreign nationals, mostly Indians would be affected by the work ban. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) "continues reviewing" all employment-based visa programmes, including the H-4 EADs or employment authorisation card, an official told PTI. Trump administration has delayed the proposed work ban on H-4 visa holders a number of times in the past two years.

Donald Trump has tightened the immigration rules in the US since he became US President in 2017. The most affected by Trump's "Buy American, Hire American" programme are Indian IT professionals working in the US. US government has recently changed H1-B visa filing rule which said that priority would be given to foreign workers with advanced degrees from American universities from this year.

The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. Indian nationals have received between 67 and 72 per cent of the total H-1B visas issued by the US in last five years, said the External Affairs Ministry.

According to the data, 125,528 Indian nationals were issued H1-B visas in 2018 while 129,097 Indian nationals were issued H1-B visas in 2017.

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