H-4 visas are not the much sought after ones during the Trump administration. As America continues to battle unemployment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, speculation that the Trump administration may add more restrictions for foreign workers in the country is rising.
They have already tried fighting the work permit scheme for H4 visa holders and if they were to succeed, Indian women in the USA would be the most affected.
According to an immigration policy analyst at the Cato Institute’s Centre for Global Liberty and Prosperity, almost 90% of all H-4 visa holders are Indian women. This is not hard to believe given that Indians also make up a large percentage of H1-B visa holders.
Indian Share Of H-4 Visas
Indians dominate the H-4 visa category. In 2019, 106,162 H-4 visas were issued to Indians. In 2020, 87% of the H4 visas went to Indians. When it comes to H-4 EAD recipients, again, Indians dominate. Almost 92% of all applications received between 2015 and 2019 were from H-4 visa holders of Indian origin.
Most of these individuals have at least a college degree and are employed in highly paid positions. Many of these women work in the software sector. The median wage for H4 visa holders in 2019 was $111,632.
Working With The H-4 Visa
The H4 visa is a non-immigrant visa that the spouse and minor children of all H visa holders are eligible for. There is no cap on the number of H-4 visas that may be issued annually. It is used mostly by the dependents of H1-B visa holders and its validity is tied to the validity of the H1-B visa.
The H4 visa on its own does not allow immigrants to work in the USA but if the H1-B visa holder has been approved for a Green Card, the H-4 visa holder may apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
The EAD allows H4 visa holders to take up salaried positions or become entrepreneurs. Thus, H-4 visa holders are significant contributors to the American economy.
If work permits for H4 visa holders were to be stopped, it could contract the US economy by at least $7.5 billion per year. Families that found it difficult to meets ends on a single salary may be forced to leave the country and thus, the impact could be double. It would also put the jobs of American citizens employed by -4 entrepreneurs at risk.
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