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H-4 Dependent Spouses may no longer obtain Work Authorization Documents to work legally in the United States under the Trump Administration

Blog posted on by Evelyn Ackah in Family Class, Spousal Sponsorship and U.S. Immigration

H-4 Dependent Spouses may no longer obtain Work Authorization Documents to work legally in the United States under the Trump Administration

Currently some spouses of H-1B visa holders are eligible for an H4 Visa. The H4 visa does not allow the spouses to work or carry on their own business without obtaining an Employment Authorization Document (“EAD”). However, not all spouses of H-1B holders are eligible to apply under the Employment Authorization Rule. Those who are eligible are H-1B visa holders on track for a green card – meaning that the green card petition has been approved or the H-1B visa has been extended beyond six years pending that approval.

Since the policy came into effect under President Barack Obama in 2015, more than 100,000 H-4 holders have obtained EAD’s and have been able to work in the United States legally. However, the Department of Homeland Security is set to publish a proposal to rescind the H-4 spousal work authorization by June 2018. The announcement will precede several months of review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and a public comment period.

The announcement will not have an immediate impact on the H-4 EAD program and it is likely the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“UCIS”) will continue to accept and adjudicate new H-4 EAD applications and renewals until the regulation is formally implemented. However, it may have serious consequences for H-4 Dependent spouses.

With the current Trump administration, the UCIS has stated that they are working toward President Trump’s platform goal of Buy American and Hire American and it is likely that the Department of Homeland Security will follow through on rescinding the H-4 EAD program.

Those who are currently facing uncertainty about the possibility of not being able to work in the United States may want to look to Canada. H-1B and H-4 visa holders in the United States may be eligible under the Global Talent Stream work permits or Canadian Permanent Residence under the Express Entry system.

For more information on the revocation of the H-4 EAD program please click here: https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/files/nativedocuments/Employment_Authorization_for_Certain_H-4_Non-immigrants_-_Representative_Eshoo.pdf


Evelyn Ackah

Founder/Managing Lawyer

Ms. Ackah is passionate about immigration law because it focuses on people and relationships, which are at the core of her personal values. Starting her legal career as a corporate/commercial ...

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My brother suggested Ackah Business Immigration Law. He just raved about Evelyn Ackah and told me that she would definitely take care of me. At first I thought the fees were a little steep because I have heard of other people paying a fraction of the fee quote I received. However, I do know that you get what you pay for. Ultimately, I am so happy that Ackah Business Immigration Law took me on as a client and supported me through the LMIA process. Evelyn Ackah’s team was absolutely amazing to work with! They were very responsive. They responded to all of my emails quickly – even on weekends! . Evelyn called me right away to talk through the issues with me. Words really just can’t describe the level of service I received from this firm. I have worked with many different lawyers and professionals before and I can definitely say that Evelyn Ackah and her team provide exceptional service. They are worth every penny! Thank you again Ackah Business Immigration Law for all of your hard work!

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