Survey: H-4 EAD has no negative impact on employment rates of US workers

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The survey conducted by noted immigration lawyer Emily Neumann had a sample size of 10,000.

More than half — 50.9 percent, to be precise — of H4 EAD recipients in the United States hold a master’s degree. In contrast, a 2019 United States Census Bureau finding reveals that only 13.1 percent of US adults have an advanced degree. An overwhelming majority — 88.6 percent — of H4 EAD holders are between 20-39 years of age, the prime working age group that is the key drivers of economic growth in the country.

These are some of the findings of a recent survey conducted by prominent immigration lawyer Emily Neumann. The research titled “2018 National H4-EAD Survey” also revealed that employment authorization of H-4 spouses has no negative impact on wages and employment rates of US workers.

Emily Neumann

“The H4-EAD furthers an important public policy goal of enabling US employers to attract and retain highly skilled workers,” the noted attorney told The American Bazaar. “The survey makes it clear that the impact of the H-4 EAD to the US labor market is minimal while the addition of individuals of prime working age with high levels of education and high incomes further drives the US economy.”

Neumann, who has been practicing employment-based immigration since 2005, is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the Society for Human Resource Management.

The survey had a sample size of 10,000 respondents across America. The questionnaire was administered to an online panel of H4 EAD recipients recruited via website and social media.

READ MORE: H4 EAD revoking would lead to a national loss of gender diversity in tech industry (March 26, 2019)

The employment authorization to H-4 dependent spouses of H1-B nonimmigrants seeking lawful permanent residence was provided to encourage this group not to abandon their efforts to acquire lawful permanent residence because their H-4 dependent spouses are unable to work.

Though the rule has been contested ever since it got implemented, in the past couple of years, with the current administration’s constant efforts to thwart the rule, thousands of recipients of this rule have found themselves at career crossroads.

The survey further establishes what attorneys and civil rights advocates have been arguing for long – that H-4 EAD has not affected the American workforce negatively. Here are some key findings of the survey:

Age and economy

Furthering bolstering the point that H-4 EAD holders contribute to the economy, Neumann’s survey finds that 39.4 percent of H4 –EAD holders are between 30 and 34 years old, 27.3 percent are between 25 and 29 years old, 19.7 percent are in the 35-39 age group and 2.2 percent are in the 20-24 age category.

READ MORE: A petition launched on the White House website to save H4 EAD (March 4, 2019)

In other words, 88.6 percent of all H-4 EAD holders are in the prime working age and by growing the working age population in the United States, the impact of Baby Boomers’ reaching retirement will be lessened. An increase in the population in the prime working age group is key for the economy.

Higher level of education

The study found that 35.3 percent of H-4 EAD holders have bachelor’s degrees and 50.9 percent hold master’s degrees. In 2016, 33.4 percent of the adult population in the United States had a bachelor’s degree or

higher. However, in 2019, only 13.1 percent of US adults have an advanced degree.

H4 EAD does not reduce American wage

The national survey also found out that, amongst H-4 EAD holders, 35.7 percent earn between $50,000 and $74,999 and 32.1 percent earn between $75,000 and $99,999, while another 14.6 percent earn from $100,000 to $124,999.

In contrast to this, the median household income in the US was $61,822.00 in 2017.

“The earning power of the majority of individual H-4 EAD holders exceeds the typical household income in the United States,” Neumann says. “This demonstrates that the H-4 EAD does not reduce wages for U.S. workers.”

No cost to the federal government

Neumann says that USCIS established the fee for the adjudication of Applications for Employment Authorization (Form I-765 or successor form) in accordance with this requirement. As such, there were no additional costs to the federal government resulting from the H-4 EAD rule.

“Retaining highly skilled persons who intend to become lawful permanent residents is important when considering the contributions of these individuals to the US economy, including advances in entrepreneurial and research and development endeavors,” the attorney says. “Much research has been done to show the positive impacts on economic growth and job creation from high-skilled immigrants.”


  1. These surveys are all motivated surveys. Any intelligent person will not trust these.
    Uscis has hammered the h1 guys badly. There should be a reform for h1 program including giving ead upon 140 approval- not to their spouses.

    • And whats the purpose of EAD only the primary visa holder ?
      I agree that creates flexibility in moving jobs and can work on non tech jobs. Other than that EAD if given only to primary applicant is of no use and causes unnecessary trouble during travel.

  2. The Trump administration has almost decided to abolish H4 EAD. Only solution to this is to remove country cap for issuing green cards and thereby clear the backlogs.

    • Trust me. Removing country cap is NEVER going to happen.
      Reason, Solving the problem for India and China causes problem for the other countries in longer term and also disturbs the balance in diversity of people entering US. And if you say, country cap is removed only when there is a overflow, that is already happening.

      I see a different solution coming soon, not in near future though. The H1b visa will be fine tuned to prioritize green cards for high paying jobs. This will completely eliminate people coming through TCS/Wipro/Infosys.

  3. Yogesh Kumar

    I think it is common sense to allow people on H4 to work, I don’t understand how you can allow L1 dependents to work but make different rules for H1B dependents. If Fake resume and over supply of labor are the issues related to H4EAD then same issues exist with H1B.

    • Simple logic, L2 dependent work authorization is from Congress by amending Immigration and Naturalization Act. DHS director said he is not against H4 but he says DHS does not have the authorization to give work authorizations like H4 EAD. If this is passed by Congress then it can have same protections like L2 EAD

      • Getting something done in congress is difficult for these kind of immigration reforms. We all know what is happening with green card cap bill. Changing its number every year and is being misused by many immigration groups to milk it for their benefit.

  4. Read between the line people. This survey was conducted by immigration website whose primary motive is to make money of immigration matters. Further this survey was administered online and social media. Anyone can lie on kind of surveys. This is NOT real survey conducted by official administration. And moreover if this people are that qualified why are they not on H1 Visa. Given they came here on H4 or student visa and have been in this country for at least 6 years, they had got enough chance to convert to H1. There should be no excuses.

    H4 EAD in its current state is a real problem. They are taking American jobs via fake resumes, IT connection and greedy consulting firms.

    • Dear Asshole, Do u know that there is a lottry system for H1. Btw just as ur name u r shani for this country!

      • Seriously…now you have the courtsey of using profanity on this portal..what is worrying you? Are you on the verge of loosing your H4 EAD job and return to being a home maker…If scumbags like you come to our country at least don’t stoop that low and start using insults on public forum.

        Truely shows your upbringing and your value system. I guess you might be one of those wanna be spouses who marry an H1 just to come to US and cry for their rights.

        Get some life.

    • More important the conclusion says the economics of supply and demand do not work. Those economist got it wrong according to this. You can increase the supply of labor by a 100,000 foreigners and neither take a job away from an American nor drive down the wages of Americans. Who knew?

    • You are an 1diot who does not use common sense. H1b is limited in number and is controlled by lottery. I agree that thee must be an approval criteria on case by case basis depending on the job they are doing (similar to H1b)

  5. Tanay Mishra

    Stop posting bogus useless articles. Who cares what she says!! THERE IS NO SHORTAGE OF SKILLED WORKERS IN USA – it is a myth and utter falsehood propagated by silicon valley oligarchs, because they want to import cheap third world labor to replace all Americans whom they won’t even pay a decent wage. Wait until the people revolt and give it back to these megalomaniacs…. watch how it goes down then.

    • Do you care what DHS says? Read DHS’s submission in the court against Save Jobs.

    • Who the hell said that? DOL itself showed shortage of skilled workers. Doctor shortage is uggested to go 130k deficit by 2030. Go and read report of AMA. Skilled workers doesnt mean IT itself. As ur name suggests, we all know how Gujju guys come into this country

      • And why is your tone so offensive and aggressive. Were you a bully growing up?? I wonder!!!

        P.S. Kind request to forum manager, please don’t allow persons like “Priya” who use profanity on this forum to prove their point.

        Me and lot of my American friends come to this site to get Indian journalist’s perspective and not to read such posts from nuisance people like Priya.



        • Sumeet Jain

          I can bet “she” is one of those disgusting resume fraudsters from Andra, taking up a job illegally and here on a bogus visa, except she never got caught. Plus, too ugly to look at, too uncouth to be around and emanating a horrible stench that fouls the air for miles and miles around. That whole place is worse than vomit.

    • You are right and wrong at the same time. There is definitely a shortage of skilled people atleast in silicon valley. And H1B is not the answer for this. H1B is highly misused as a visa for cheap labor. If there are reforms by DHS around this, they can atleast stop the misuse. I am really not sure why the pay is not used as a measure to curb the cheap labor misuse.

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