|As a H-4 Visa Holder, Can I Apply for Employment Authorization Document (EAD)?|
I am a H-4 visa Holder, can I apply for Employment Authorization Document (EAD) at this time to work in United States?
For many years, since the H4 visa program inception, H-4 visa holders have not been provided with any work authorization. This changed on May 26, 2015 when USCIS passed the employment authorization for certain H-4 dependent spouses. The H4 visa dependent spouses were eligible for work authorization EAD (Employment Authorization Document), if the H-1B spouse satisfies one of the two conditions:
1) have an approved I-140, which is the immigration petition for foreign citizens to get Green Card or permanent residency in the United States;
2) have H1B visa status extended beyond 6 years under AC21 Act, which allows H1B holders seeking Green Card to work and stay in United States beyond 6 years, if their Green Card application is pending.
Soon after the H4 visa EAD rule was enacted, thousands of H-4 spouses applied for H4 visa EAD and got their chance to work in U.S. after many years of staying at home.
The Trump administration will propose revoking a rule that makes spouses of thousands of immigrant workers eligible to work while in the U.S., potentially complicating a major driver of technology jobs.
The Department of Homeland Security said it intends to do away with that rule. The department did not explain its reasons in the announcement, saying only it was acting "in light of" the "Buy American, Hire American" executive order that President Trump signed in April of 2017.
While changing the rule would not prevent spouses of H-1B holders from pursuing other avenues for work authorization, it could deter a number of high-skilled immigrants from staying in the U.S. if their spouses can't easily find work.
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