The Trump administration will propose revoking a rule that makes spouses of thousands of immigrant workers eligible to work while in the U.S., potentially complicating a major driver of technology jobs.
Since 2015, the spouses of H-1B, or high-skilled, visa holders waiting for green cards have been eligible to work in the U.S. on H-4 dependent visas, under a rule introduced by President Obama’s administration. The tech sector is a major employer of H-1B visa holders, a category of visas for highly skilled jobs.
But in a statement Thursday, the Department of Homeland Security said it intends to do away with that rule.
The department didn’t explain its reasons in the announcement, saying only it was acting “in light of” the “Buy American, Hire American” executive order that President Trump signed in April. The formal process to rescind the rule will still need to be initiated at a later date.
While changing the rule wouldn’t prevent spouses of H-1B holders from pursuing other avenues for work authorization, it could deter a number of high-skilled immigrants from staying in the U.S. if their spouses can’t easily find work.