Latest Update: With DHS Support, District Courts May Rule In Favor Of H4 EAD

Updated: The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has conclusively submitted to the District Court of Columbia that H4 EAD holders are not a threat to American workers and therefore, not to rescind the 2015 law that allows spouses of H1-B visa holders to be work in the US.

This was in response to a lawsuit filed by an advocacy group called Save Jobs USA that claimed that H4 EAD holders will take away local jobs.

H4 EAD has a Positive Impact on US Economy

Here’s why it shouldn’t be rescinded

The DHS presented its findings in the court that the 100,000 (approx.) employed H4 EAD visa holders did not adversely impact the job opportunities available to the local American work force. This claim was said to be only theoretical in nature and not proven in actual relationship.

The US District Court of Columbia is yet to make its final ruling.

In consideration of the Coronavirus pandemic, and the continued flexibility offered by USCIS due to restrictive norms around social distancing, USCIS just announced that they will continue to process valid applications for EAD through Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization extensions. Processing continues for any newly filed eligible H4 EAD applications as well. 

Since all USCIS and Application Service Centers are going to be closed until April 30, 2020 and all in-person services have been suspended, all biometric appointments have been cancelled. USCIS today announced that in order to continue processing EADs and their extension applications, they will be reusing previously submitted biometrics for the same. This is applicable to all Forms I-765 Application for Employment Authorization extensions submitted on or after March 18, 2020 or had an appointment for the same after this date.

Will the H4 EAD be Revoked?

Find out what the US courts have to say

It is important to note that by this March, US District Courts were to take a decision on rescinding the eligibility to work for certain H4 visa holders. Started in 2015, an Employment Authorization Document gave H4 dependent spouses the ability to join the US workforce if the principal beneficiary, H1-B visa holder had an approved Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker. However, with the ongoing pandemic and with several immigration courts and Application Service Centers being closed until April 30, 2020 the decision may be deferred for a while.

Steps to File for an EAD, US Work Permit

If you are an H4 visa holder and eligible to file for an EAD, you should do the following:

  • Complete and submit Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization 
  • Include supporting documents:
  • Most recent Form I-797 and Form I-94
  • Approved Form I-140
  • Copy of passport 
  • Copy of Birth Certificate
  • Copy of marriage certificate with H1-B primary beneficiary
  • Copies of H1-B spouse’s passports, Form I-94, Form I-797 for Form I-129
  • Submit filing fees of $410

For more information on H4 EAD, read the FAQs on Spouse’s Work Permit