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President Trump to end the H-4 technical spouse visa program

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on Thursday, Dec. 14 plans to discontinue awarding spouses of technical workers visas that allow them to work alongside their spouse's who come here.

H1-B visas have long been awarded to those immigrants who were able to demonstrate that they possessed highly technical skills needed to make the U.S. more technologically competitive. It was during 2015 that former President Obama instituted the policy of awarding H-4 visas to dependents of H-1B visa holders. They were intended to allow them to also work in the U.S. when accompanying their husbands or wives.

As for the reasoning given for the plans to do away with the H-4 program, DHS cited President Donald Trump's policy of encouraging the purchase of American-made products. They cited his intentions of increasing fulfillment of jobs by Americans instead of foreigners as well.

The President signed an executive order known as "Buy American, Hire American" in April. DHS contends it's finally getting around to implementing his order, although it's unclear when it will fully go into effect.

Once passed, the spouses of those who are awarded H-1B visas will continue to be allowed to pursue other types of resident visas or work permits related to their status and contributions they can make. Proponents of the Trump's order also argue that doing away with the visa will discourage H-1B holders from staying in the country if their spouse is unable to also become employed.

Doing away with the visa is ultimately seen as a way to focus on making Americans themselves more technologically inclined instead of relying on foreign labor.

If you're considering applying for an H-1B visa and you have a spouse that wishes to qualify for a H-4 one, then a Norcross, Georgia, employment immigration attorney can advise you as to the process.

Source: CNN Tech, "Trump to propose ending rule allowing spouses of H-1B holders to work in U.S.," Jethro Mullen, Dec. 15, 2017

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