Client Alerts

Plan to Eliminate H-4 Employment Authorization Delayed – At Least Until June 2018

By: David W. Leopold

About: Immigration

Bloomberg Law reports that the Trump Administration’s plan to eliminate Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) for H-4 visa holders has been delayed, at least until June 2018. The EADs are reserved for the spouses of H-1B workers who have been approved for their green cards but are waiting for them to become available. Quotas for employment-based green cards, coupled with per-country caps, can translate into wait times of years or even decades.

This is good news for many physicians, researchers and IT experts, particularly from India and mainland China, who are prevented from adjusting their status to lawful permanent residency (green card), often for years, due to the employment-based immigrant visa backlogs. According to Bloomberg, the plan to eliminate H-4 work permits won’t be revealed until at least June, 2018.

According to Bloomberg Law, “the notice about the proposal to revoke work permits for the spouses of H-1B guest workers came in the context of a lawsuit challenging the 2015 regulation authorizing them. The Department of Homeland Security has been successful several times in getting the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to delay the case. The delays are based on the agency’s assurances that it plans to undo the work permit program.”