H-1B spouses cannot get their work authorisation automatically renewed: US Court
The spouses of H-1B visa holders are not entitled to get work permits automatically renewed. A US District Court has announced the rule which will affect over 85,000 Indians working in the US.
Judge Jacqueline S. Corley said in the US district court that the H-4 visaholders are not entitled to automatic renewal of their employment authorisation document (EADs).
She said, “The regulation’s text is clear: when an EAD renewal petition relies on the adjudication of another petition, the petitioner is not eligible for automatic renewal of the work authorization.
For H-4 visa holders, the EAD renewal petition requires adjudication of two applications before the petitioner is eligible for renewal of the EAD: the spouse’s H1-B renewal petition and the H-4 visa renewal. Thus, H-4 visa holders are not entitled to automatic renewal of their EAD.”
The lawsuit has been filed by a group of 45 H-1B spouses. The number of Indian women is significantly higher in this group.
The lawsuit states that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has withheld a 180-day automatic extension of work authorisation for unlawful expiry of their EADs.
The lawsuit also alleges that the delay in adjudication of renewal is created by the USCIS without offering any significant reason.
The official data suggests that the US houses over 84,360 Indians holding EAD until December 2017. The number makes up 93% of the total EADs issued.
H-4 visa extension and the work authorisation renewal cannot be done in less than 6 months before the expiry of visa status.
The delay by USCIS’s adjudication and no automatic response has led to the possibility of H-4 visa holders losing their jobs.