Starting in 2015, qualified H-4, dependent visa holders were eligible to receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and be part of the American workforce. Fast-forward to 2019 and there has been every attempt by the Department of Homeland Security to rescind that privilege.
Recap of the H-4 EAD Situation-2019
DHS had sent out an initial ruling to the Office of the Management and Budget to rescind the right to work for these H4 visa holders claiming that local job availability for US citizens was compromised. Several Heads of prominent tech companies appealed to the White House and supported the need for talented foreign workers to be retained. Senators U.S. Senators Kamala D. Harris (D-CA) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) spoke of equality of work and Congress women Zoe Lofgren and Anna Eshoo officially introduced the H.R 7150: H–4 Employment Protection Act of 2018 officially preventing DHS from eliminating the H4 EAD work permit.
Detailed Breakdown of H4 EAD Timelines so far…
Know about court decisions, processing times and future of H4 EAD
As of today, the Federal courts have heard arguments in favor of H-4 visa holders right to work and the case has been tossed around between the District Courts. Finally, it stands wherein the Appeals Court has ruled in favor of Save Jobs, a non-profit that fought to prove that EAD was not a threat to the American workforce. The final ruling is expected this month.
H4 EAD January 2020 Update
Immigration Voice and the DHS requested the Courts to hear the case again which was denied by a panel of judges on January 24, 2020. The case is sent back to the District courts.
Stuck in the H4-EAD processing backlog?
Here are ways to expedite your H4 EAD petition
H4 EAD February 2020 Update
The Appeals Court formalized their decision from November 2019.They issued a final mandate to the District Courts to proceed with the case and look at the merits going forward.
The H4 EAD case lies with the OBM now for final review.
H4 EAD March 2020 Update
A final decision is scheduled for March 2020 when more evidence can be presented in favor of H4 EAD. Until then H-4 visa holders can continue filing for an EAD or applying for extensions as they become eligible.
Until a decision is made, H4 visa holders can still apply for an EAD
Here’s the H4 EAD Application Process
H4 EAD May 2020 Update
As the court case continues to decide on the rescission of the right to work for H4 visa holders, the DHS stated that there wasn’t enough evidence to prove that the working spouse of the H1-B holder was a threat to the American work force. This puts one in favor of the H4 EAD workers in an ongoing case with Save Jobs USA in the District Courts of Columbia.
The District court is yet to give its judgement regarding the revocation of the right to work for the H4 EAD holder.