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.
“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.
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.
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.”