US court denies to dismiss H-1B spouses employment

Vastavam web: In a relief to dependents of H-1B visa holders, a US court dismissed the US Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) motion to dismiss the lawsuit filed for unreasonable delay in issuing their work authorisation renewals. The court has also asked the USCIS to provide information related to one of the plaintiffs, Choudhary’s application within three days. These H4 visa holders are spouses of H-1B visa holders in the US and majority of them Indians. A group of 45 foreign nationals filed a lawsuit against the immigration agency for the same in the Northern District Court of California on November 3, 2020, for unreasonable delay in issuing H4 EAD renewals.

H4 EAD was introduced under the Barack Obama administration in 2015 that allowed the spouses of H-1B visa holders to work. This benefitted large number of Indian women in the US. However these spouses have been facing huge delays in getting H4 and their Employment Authorisation Document (EAD) renewed, leading to many of them losing jobs. On December 9, the USCIS filed for a motion to dismiss the case on grounds of improper venue where the lawsuit was filed since only six plaintiffs reside in the district, and moot since 39 of the 45 plaintiffs have got their H4 renewals and EADs. Defendants also argued that the cases cannot be enjoined under one lawsuit. In an order on December 15, Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley, dismissed the USCIS claims. Judge Corley noted that six plaintiffs in a district is sufficient to establish that the venue is proper.