The US has issued employment authorisation documents to more than 71,000 spouses of H-1B visa holders, over 90 per cent of whom are Indians, a report said on Thursday.
The previous Obama administration had started issuing employment authorisation or work permits to the spouses of H-1B visas in 2015. The spouses or dependents of H-1B visa holders come to the US on H-4 visas, who before 2015 were not authorised to work.
"As of June 2017, USCIS had granted 71,287 initial (versus renewal) employment authorisation documents to H-4 spouses," the Migration Policy Institute said in a report.
"Of those H-4 spouses with work authorisation as of early 2017, 94 per cent were women, and the vast majority, 93 per cent, were from India, while four per cent were from China," said the Institute, which obtained the information from US Citizenship and Immigration Services under the Freedom of Information Act, which is similar to India's Right to Information Act.
The Trump administration has signalled it plans to end the programme this year, likely with a proposed regulation in June.
The Obama administration in 2015 put into place a programme to grant work authorisation to H-4 visa holders whose spouses had been on an H-1B visa for more than six years and were in the process of applying for a green card, said the Migration Policy Institute in its report.