Top US tech companies filed legal brief to protect a work authorization for H-1B spouses


Many of the top US tech companies including Google, Apple, Amazon, Twitter and Microsoft have filed a legal brief to protect a work authorization program that allows the spouses of H-1B visa holders to work in the US

Former President Donald Trump, when he was in office, had proposed to bring this visa rule to an end the issuing of work authorization (H-4 EAD) for certain spouses of high-skilled talent who came to the US on H-1B visas as part of his anti-immigration policy.

US President Joe Biden has already permitted dependents of H-1B visa holders to continue working in the country. The development is expected to provide relief to over 1 lakh Indian nationals who had moved to the US along with their spouses for work.

Google said in a statement late on Friday that to support this important program, “we are leading an amicus brief with over 40 companies and organizations to preserve and protect the H-4 EAD program.”

“This builds on an amicus brief we recently joined in support of a lawsuit filed by the American Immigration Lawyers Association to expedite the delayed processing time of H-4 work authorizations,” said Catherine Lacavera, VP, Legal at Google.

The H-4 EAD program also provides work authorization to H-4 visa-holders — more than 90 percent of whom are women.

H-4 visas are reserved for the spouses of people with H-1B status.

“As an immigrant myself, I have been the beneficiary of a welcoming America and I hope we can ensure that same welcome for future immigrants by preserving the H-4 EAD program,” said Lacavera.

“Ending this program would hurt families and undercut the US economy at a critical moment,” she added.

Google said that a fair immigration system is necessary to preserve America’s laudable history of welcoming people from different places and to fuel a virtuous cycle of innovation.

“Unfortunately, an impending court case is putting both at risk at the most inopportune moment,” it added.