Lawsuit filed in USA to challenge existing L1/H-1B spouse visa rules
In a recent event, a class action suit has been filed to challenge the existing US Immigration policy regarding the spouses of L1/H-1B visa holders. As per the rule, the spouses are entitled to an L-2 visa, and they are not allowed to work in the USA until they get a work permit. Amongst the group of 15 people who have filed the case last week in the US District Court for the Western District of Washington, 13 of them are Indian nationals.
H-1B spouse Visa
Due to the present policy, the spouses of the L1 visa holders have to wait for 10 to 15 months, at least before the US immigration agency decides on their work permit application. This causes enormous monetary loss to the migrant families where only one member is earning. The plaintiffs have demanded that the spouses be authorized to work on their L2 visa status without applying for a separate work permit application.
Apart from this, the lawsuit also demands the automatic extension of employment authorization documents (EAD) for H4 visa holders or the spouses of H-1B visa holders. Such extension should be given only if the applicant meets the eligibility criteria being stated in the policy handbook. As per the convention, the immigration agency does not follow the practice. It again leads to the earning loss for the working spouses who cannot work until their documents are verified upon expiry.
This lawsuit indicates the strengthening migrating community in the USA, especially the Indians who are making efforts to simplify the otherwise restrictive policies. If they win the case, the spouses of the L1 and H-1B visa holders will be largely benefitted, as they can continue to work without having to wait for months regarding their separate work permit or the EAD. It will ease the burden of the lone working partner as immigration in itself is a costly affair, and the expenses in the USA are usually more than the home countries of such migrants.
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