Each year, the US government issues about 85,000 H-1B visas allowing foreign employees to work in the US temporarily. Until recently, spouses of those H-1B visa holders on H-4 visas were not allowed to work in the US, sparking debate over the last couple of years of whether or not to allow H-4 visa holders to work in the United States as well. However, United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) recently approved EAD, Work Permit for H-4 visa holders, allowing those spouses to work in the US starting May 26, 2015.
An organizational unit of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE-USA) approves of the Work Permit for H-4 visa holders but at the same time advocates the green card as a better solution.
IEEE-USA President Jim Jefferies said in a press release that it is good that H-1B visa holders will now be able to legally work in the US, but it would be better if they could obtain Green Cards, as it would eliminate the extra red tape.
He added that EAD for H4 is a useful reform that will improve the lives of thousands of H-1B families, but the Green Card is still the final goal, for which most of the H1-B workers are never sponsored.
He also said that more than half of the H-1B visas go to the outsourcing companies whose business model is to replace American employees with easily exploited foreign workers.
The organization said that there is a stunning imbalance in admitting highly skilled immigrants to the US. This simply occurs because companies prefer to hire men to women. An estimated 70 to 85 percent of all H-1B visas are issued to men, implying a discriminatory impact on women.
Jefferies said that IEEE-USA applauds this step by the Obama Administration, but we should still keep in mind that it is the immigrant’s end goal to earn a Green Card and not a guest worker visa.