Two US congresswomen on Thursday introduced a bill in the House of Representatives intended to automatically grant H-4 visa holders the right to work in the US.
The two lawmakers introduced the legislation, saying it aims to address the country’s labor shortages that affect American businesses and help immigrant families thrive together.
H-4 visas are issued to dependent spouses and children accompanying H-1B, H-2A, H-2B, and H-3 visa holders to the United States.
Many H-4 visa holders are highly skilled people themselves and have previously had careers of their own or worked to support their families.
The H-4 Work Authorization Act, introduced by Congresswomen Carolyn Bourdeaux and Maria Elvira Salazar, aims to amend the current law and grant the spouses of H-1B visa holders an automatic right to work upon receipt of their H-4 work permits. visa.
This would remove the requirement for visa holders to apply for a Form I-765, an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), they said.
“Right now, the spouses of highly educated immigrants have to struggle through years of red tape before they are allowed to work in the United States,” Bourdeaux said.
“This bill removes these unnecessary barriers to ensure that families can contribute and thrive together. If we want to remain competitive and attract the greatest minds and talents around the world, we need to ensure that the family members of high-quality immigrants in be able to build a life and career in the United States just like everyone else,” she said.
Ms. Salazar said these policies will help the United States maximize its entrepreneurial spirit and remain at the forefront of job creation, innovation, research and development and economic growth by meeting the critical needs of the labor market.
Currently, the H-4 visa holders must apply for a work permit and wait for it to be processed before they can work even though they are already in the United States and their spouse works here.
Due to backlogs with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), work permit applications can take six to eight months, with some applications taking more than a year to be approved.
The bill, approved by the National Immigration Forum and UnidosUs, hopes to fill the U.S. labor gap and enable these visa holders to quickly work and provide for their families.
It could also help reduce the backlog of work permit applications with USCIS by providing immediate work permits to H-4 visa holders and reduce the number of work permits that USCIS must process, a press release said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by DailyExpertNews staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)