On Wednesday, the Trump administration’s proposed rule for eliminating the H-4 EAD was submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review.  The administration had previously published an agenda item in December of 2017 titled Removing H-4 Dependent Spouses from the Class of Aliens Eligible for Employment Authorization, indicating their intent to remove the current H-4 employment authorization document (EAD) rule that has been in place since 2015.

The Obama administration created the H-4 EAD program to allow the spouses of certain H-1B skilled workers to be employed while in the U.S.  The H-4 EAD has been particularly important for families that are awaiting approval for permanent residency.  Without the H-4 EAD, these dependent spouses cannot work in the U.S. until they receive green cards, a process which can often take many years, especially for immigrants from countries like India and China that send a lot of high-skilled talent to the U.S.  Since the rule went into effect, more than 90,000 spouses have been approved for work permits.  More than 90 percent of those who would be affected by the removal of the program are women.

Once the OMB reviews the proposed rule, it will be published in the Federal Register.   Upon publishing, a comment period occurs after which the administration must review the comments and make any necessary revisions before the rule is finalized.  Litigation could potentially delay the rule for months or years longer.  The proposed rule has not escaped the attention of Congress where a bill was introduced in the House of Representatives called the “H-4 Employment Protection Act of 2018” (H.R.7150) which seeks to protect the program.

 

Comments are closed.

Hot Topics

USCIS Clarifies New Interview Requirement for Employment-Based Adjustment of Status

During a recent stakeholder call with USCIS, Associate Director of Field Operations Directorate, Dan Renaud, discussed the new interview requirement for employment-based adjustment of status applicants. Although it is not official agency guidance, a summary of the stakeholder call compiled by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) … read more

Immigration Blog

Percentage of U.S. Workers Who Are Foreign-Born Reaches 20-Year Peak

On Thursday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a division of the U.S. Department of Labor, released a [...]

Asylum Seekers Face Mandatory Detention After New AG Decision Denies Bond Hearings

On April 16th, Attorney General William Barr issued a decision in Matter of M-S-, 27 I&N Dec. 50[...]

Request a Consultation

Name *

Phone Number *

Email *

captcha