Tech lobby wants to protect H-4 visa program

Photo: Alex Wong / Getty

The Information Technology Industry council, a major tech lobby, sent a letter last night to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services calling for the H-4 visa rule to be upheld.

Why it matters: USCIS is expected to end the H-4 work eligibility program, which allows the spouses of H-1B holders with pending green cards to legally work in the U.S.

Who they lobby for: Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon and others. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, FWD.us and TechNet also joined in sending the letter.

Why it matters: ITI President and CEO Dean Garfield told Axios that they hope the letter would push the administration to "do the right thing, and don’t resign the program." He predicts H-1B holders will consider leaving the U.S. if the H-4 visa work program ends, which would be a detriment to many tech companies. "If I were told or my wife was told that one of us couldn’t contribute to sustaining our family… we would pursue those other options."

From the letter:

"The H-4 rule is instrumental in allowing U.S. employers to fill these critical positions with qualified professionals. Our companies employ individuals whose work authorizations stem not only from H-1B visas, but H-4 visas as well. The H-4 rule represents a valuable but targeted opportunity for us to not just attract and retain talent, but to promote immigration to the United States on the basis of one’s skills and merit."

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