Immigration Law Blog

Monday, March 5, 2018

DHS Delays Decision on Terminating Work Authorization for H-4 Visa Holders

On February 28th, the Department of Homeland Security submitted a court filing in the Save Jobs USA lawsuit stating that it would not issue a new rule terminating work authorization for H-4 visa holders until June because it needed to review the economic impact of terminating the program.

DHS had been expected to issue a Notice of Proposed Rule Making – NPRM – in February, intending to revoke H-4 EADs. Currently, more than 100,000 H-4 visa holders – largely women from India whose spouses are on track to get legal permanent residency – have received work authorization since 2015.

An organization known as Save Jobs USA filed a lawsuit in 2016 against DHS, claiming that H-4 work authorization negatively impacts job opportunities for American workers.

An advocacy group, Save H4 EADS, surveyed more than 2,400 members, all of whom currently have work authorization. The survey found that:

  • 59 percent had post-graduate or professional degrees
  • 43 percent purchased a home after receiving work authorization
  • 60 percent were paying annual income tax of more than $5,000
  • 5 percent have started their own businesses creating jobs for American workers

If DHS does terminate work authorization, we do not yet have details on how such a rule will be implemented, or if a grace period will be provided. We do warn that it is likely the H-4 EAD will no longer be a benefit afforded to certain H-4 dependent spouses in the future.

We advise our H-4 dependent EAD holders to begin considering alternatives for employment authorization in anticipation of this rescission. Please contact our office to schedule a consultation to discuss your case-specific questions.




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