March 20, 2019
The Economic Value of Work Permits for H-4 Visa Holders
The Trump Administration is considering a regulation to rescind employment authorization from select H-4 visa holders — the spouses of high-skilled H-1B workers. AAF’s Director of Immigration and Trade Policy Jacqueline Varas estimates the current and future economic contributions of H-4 workers and the potential impact of rescinding their employment authorization.
- This analysis, using American Community Survey data, estimates that H-4 workers are more highly educated and have higher earning on average than the overall U.S. working population, and that they are concentrated in software developer occupations and in the professional, scientific, and technical services industries; and
- Current H-4 workers contribute an estimated $12.9 billion to the U.S. economy each year, and if every eligible H-4 visa holder were to obtain employment authorization, their economic contributions could increase to roughly $41 billion per year.