USCIS says rule-making process to terminate H4 EAD not complete yet: report

Image via USCIS.gov

OMB decision on scrapping the work permits of H-1B spouses was expected in spring.

Nearly three months after the Department of Homeland submitted a proposal to terminate the H4 EAD to the Office of Management and Budget for review, the United States Department of Homeland Security is yet to make a final decision on the work permit. The reason for the delay is the holdup in the rule-making process, the Press Trust of India reported.

“No decision about the Obama administration regulation granting work authorization to certain H-4 spouses is final until the rule-making process is completed,” the news agency quoted USCIS spokesperson Jessica Collins as saying.

H4 visas are issued to the immediate family members of H-1B visa-holders, a significantly large number of whom are high-skilled professionals from India.

Some H-4 visa holders were granted Employment Authorization Document in 2015. But the Trump administration wanted to reverse the Obama era rule right from the beginning, arguing that it puts American workers at a disadvantage, even though the US tech industry, one of the primary beneficiaries of the rule change, requested the White House not to scrap the work permit.

President Trump’s “Buy American and Hire American” executive order, signed in 2017, has sought to rigorously enforce, administer and reform immigration laws.

“The USCIS is committed to upholding our nation’s immigration laws, helping ensure they are faithfully carried out and safeguarding the integrity of our immigration system designed to protect the wages and working conditions of US workers,” she said.

ALSO READ: H4 visa: a primer

Collins said the H4 EAD review is part of the administration’s relentless pursuit of a “merit-based policy and regulatory immigration reforms.” She added that “a thorough review of employment-based visa programs” is intended to benefit “the American people to the greatest extent possible in fulfillment of the president’s “Buy American, hire American executive order.”

“The USCIS will continue adjudicating all petitions, applications and requests fairly, efficiently, and effectively on a case-by-case basis to determine whether they meet all standards required under applicable law, policies, and regulations,” said Collins.

However, it is important to note that the decision was poised to arrive in Spring 2019, which ends June 20th.

It is still unclear when, if ever, the plan to rescind work authorization for H-4 visa holders will be brought into effect, however, if the policy change is enacted, it could affect the lives of tens of thousands of people.

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One Comment

  1. I strongly feel H4 ead work authorization should be revoked .. h4 dependent can acquire the master degree and can apply for their own work visa.. IT sector got corrupted because of H4ead.. They don’t need much documentation. Can work anywhere ..though they do not have the required skills and educational background… lowering the job opportunities for the qualified ones

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