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    Trump Spring Agenda proposes changes in H-1B, H4 EAD and OPT programs

    Synopsis

    The Department of Homeland Security proposes to revise the definition of specialty occupation to focus more on getting the best and the brightest foreign nationals via the H-1B programme, and revise the definition of employment and employer-employee relationship to better protect US workers and wages, it said.

    Reuters
    Donald Trump (File Pic)
    PUNE: The United States will consider more changes in the H-1B non-immigrant visa programme and restrict work authorisation for spouses of H-1B visa holders.

    This is according to the 2020 Spring Agenda released by the US administration under President Donald Trump. The Unified Agenda is a biannual regulatory one, providing a roadmap of planned federal rulemaking across various agencies.

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposes to revise the definition of specialty occupation to focus more on getting the best and the brightest foreign nationals via the H-1B programme, and revise the definition of employment and employer-employee relationship to better protect US workers and wages, it said.

    Further, it proposes additional requirements to ensure that employers pay appropriate wages to H-1B visa holders.

    This proposal, which had been mentioned in earlier Unified Agendas as well, is currently at a proposed rulemaking stage and is likely to come up for discussion by year end.

    Another existing item, doing away with employment rights for spouses of H-1B workers, is likely to come up for discussion in September. This is expected to hit spouses of Indian nationals who would otherwise have been eligible to get jobs in the country.

    In the Fall Agenda published last year, this was originally slated to be resolved by March this year.

    The previous Barack Obama administration had introduced the H-4 Employment Authorisation Document (H4 EAD) in February 2015, which allowed spouses of H-1B visa holders to legally work in the United States.

    The DHS first proposed doing away with this authorization in September 2017. However, at a court hearing in May, the DHS appealed in favour of retaining the work permit.

    The Unified Agenda also mentions that it would ‘amend existing regulations and revise the practical training options available to non-immigrant students on F and M visas’, without elaborating on kind of changes would be made.

    At presents, all students can work in the US for 12 months after graduation, with students of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) getting an additional 24 months. This, too, has a deadline for end of the year.

    10 Comments on this Story

    Nakkiran Mudaliar28 days ago
    Where does a USA top University Post Grad stands if he/she doesn't get selected in
    H1B lottery ?
    And is presently working on H4 EAD ?
    kams33 days ago
    Biden in 2021 will reverse everything. Hang tight.
    Send your dollars to India for Modi to reach 5 Trillion in 2025
    Shri 33 days ago
    Very fantastic. Better go to Mexico and Canada. Do sex with Videsi ladies. Enjoy, Desis
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