US immigration
U.S. Immigration inspectors check passportsJoe Raedle/Getty Images

The debate on whether H-4 visa holders in the United States should be permitted to gain employment in the country or not has been going on since president Donald Trump assumed office in January 2017. And now, a top US court has granted permission for hearing a lawsuit against work authorisation to H-4 visa holders.

Until now, the law has permitted spouses of H-1B visa holders to gain employment in the US, on the condition that they obtain an Employment Authorisation Document. But the Trump administration has been urging the court to revoke this Obama era policy for a while now.

In tune, the group "Save Jobs USA" filed a lawsuit at a district court against the policy, and took the matter to the appeals court after a district court upheld the Obama administration's decision. The case has been in abeyance since.

"Justice delayed is justice denied," the Press Trust of India quoted Save Jobs USA as saying. The group also said that the case needs to be heard soon, as the delay due to abeyance will only result in American workers suffering "injury from the presence of foreign competitors in their job market."

The latest order of the court has said that the lawsuit is no longer in abeyance and Save Jobs USA must file new briefs by January 16, 2019. The Trump admin also has until February 22 to file its response.

In addition, the court has also said that "Immigration Voice" can be a part of the case. The non-profit works towards helping legal high-skilled foreign workers in the nation. Pleased with the move, Immigration Voice said that it would file the brief soon.

"This is a major development because the Court of Appeals does not typically allow a party to intervene at the appellate level and it is significant that the court granted our motion to intervene," PTI quoted Immigration Voice as saying.

"That indicates the court has some concern (and with good reasons) that our interests will not be adequately represented by the DHS/Government."

The Trump administration has changed quite a few immigration and visa policies and the Department of Homeland Security has time and again mentioned that it would revoke work permit for certain categories of H-4 visa holders. However, a formal notification is yet to be issued.