Work Ban on Some H-4 Visa Holders Could Arrive in 3 Months

Within the next three months, the Trump administration plans on submitting a rule banning certain spouses of H-1B visa holders from obtaining an H-4 visa to work in the United States.

In a Sept. 21 court filing, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) clarified that timeline, pending final clearances and approvals by officials from DHS, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB). “DHS is making solid and swift progress in proposing to remove from its regulations certain H-4 spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants as a class of aliens eligible for employment authorization,” the filing reads; in theory, the timeline may extend further if OMB needs additional time to review.

The filing is the latest in a string of legal maneuvers stemming from a lawsuit filed by advocacy group Save Jobs USA, which has argued that DHS is taking far too long in rescinding the rule regarding spouses. (Save Jobs USA is composed of former tech employees who claim to have lost their jobs as a direct result of the H-1B visa.) Throughout 2018, DHS has filed several status reports, insisting that the case shouldn’t proceed because the rule is eventually going away, anyway.

The rule, issued in 2015, extends “eligibility for employment authorization to certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants who are seeking employment-based lawful permanent resident status.” Reports indicate that as many as 125,000 people are authorized to work via the H-4 visa with an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).

News first emerged in December 2017 that the Trump administration planned to shut down H-4 EAD. At the time, DHS cited the “Buy American, Hire American” executive order that Trump had signed the previous April as the reason behind the movement.

Well before that movement began, Save Jobs USA had been asking for congressional intervention, arguing that the process of issuing the H-4 visa to spouses of H-1 visa holders should be reversed on the grounds that DHS didn’t have the authority to issue such visas in the first place. Save Jobs USA filed its first lawsuit over the issue in April 2015, and the legal battle continues to this day.

For those who feel that H-4 visas potentially take jobs from tech workers who are U.S. citizens, the latest announcement of a shutdown should come as good news. It remains to be seen whether tech companies will push back; they might save their political capital to fight against new, proposed restrictions on H-1B visas.

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44 Responses to “Work Ban on Some H-4 Visa Holders Could Arrive in 3 Months”

  1. Amit Gupta

    I think this type of NEWS should be published with responsibility. If the rule is still under consideration or someone is still planning to bring it on, then I think publisher and writter should take it seriously and re-think before putting it on web. This directly impact the market sentiments.
    Even though this is not a rule yet but employer start to stay away from H4 EAD job seekers.
    I have read news about H4 end ban since last year. The hearing was in Feb, 2018 and then it kept on postponing. This is one of those news. Can the publisher take guarantee that in 3 months the H4 ead will be completely stopped for NEW and OLD holders?
    The employers and consultants take your news seriously and they do not read the hidden meaning it.
    It directly impacted those who has EAD but are not getting a job only due to so called NEWS. Please Please STOP doing this! OR write clearly the uncertainly and background on a news.

    • True,I agree to your statement. The author should do more home work before writing such articles. These type of articles are of no use. STOP making recruiters to think that H4EAD visa is bad.

    • Hey there,
      Above blog post is a legally verifiable response that’s been posted by DHS to the court, with a clear mention of 90 day window (before this they have never agreed to a window or a deadline), it is no longer a case where in it will get delayed any further, it is coming and be prepared for it in the best way you possibly can – most people are taking this lightly assuming it will get delayed one more time – NOPE not this time.

      Let me be clear – go read the lawsuit and the court hearing, there is no other side – DHS has sided with Save Jobs USA, so there is no chance now, and DHS will not be able to delay any further, let’s check back in 90 days, and it will be very clear to you.

      Have a backup plan party is over ….

      Sometimes, wolf does carry the lamb away, but people assume it might be a joke.

      • Good Riddance

        THANK God… I love how all these job-stealing, 3rd world infiltrators had NO PROBLEM coming here to exploit all the loopholes, even at the expense of a real America’s career… Anything to get out of their 3rd world hell hole (and if you’ve never been there, believe me, it is)… But now that the party is over, they’re all crying foul. I love it!

        Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way back to your hell-hole of a country where there’s barely running water, HUGE illiteracy rates, and citizens crapping on the sides of roads… Enjoy! Hope you were dumb enough to buy a house here too!

        • I double that. Send this garbage back to where it came from. They come here expecting everything to be free. They avoid paying taxes while they expect us to pay their bills. I personally witnessed their performance. It takes 16 of them to do the job of 1 American. To top it off, they get paid at least 60% more than an American worker, being a consultant or contractor. They cheat and take credit for work done by their American counterpart. The Trump administration is on right track. Keep up with the good work. Don’t allow these vampires take over this beautiful country. Confiscate their assets and send them back to where they belong. Keep AMERICA GREAT.

          • Yeah Right

            Actually, Since the invasion of 3rd world slave labor with falsified credentials & resumes… America has looked much less beautiful than it used to be. Hope you enjoyed a taste of the good life… Because it’s coming to an end, thank God. See ya!

          • People who are eligible to get H4 EAD, deserve it absolutely.They work hard, they do not cheat. Employers are not fools. When they hire, they look for the right talent, if the candidate does not perform, they will be fired in this country.

      • hoolahoop

        3 weeks remain to complete the 3 months, still no wind about it. They have been asking for time every time since Feb 2017. Even if they manage to finally move forward with it there will be multiple lawsuits and it will be blocked by the courts pretty easily. You can’t just yell “STEALING OUR JOBS” when the numbers show lowest un-employment in a long long time. So yes good luck to them justifying this. Don’t hold your breath, you’ll run out of air. lol

    • Indians have been abusing H1B for decades and this H4 is in fact a bad policy by the Dems who were and are pretty much bought over by the corporate America. What Trump’s doing is course correcting and making the H1B visa what it was intended in the first place – a non-immigrant visa. H4 EAD is wrong and must be bumped off sooner than late. I would say to the respondent to stop deluding himself and brace for the fact that H4 would be soon a fond memory of the marital imports into the US.

  2. The author is wrong in both the title and article. The original statement is DHS “anticipated” to submit initial rule to OMB within 3 months, then OMB needs to clear it, DHS will publish it in registrar and then 2 months public commenting period, revise before publishing a final rule based on those comments. I can guarantee that no work ban will be done within 3 months, also those already approved EAD may stay valid until they expire.

    This article is full of misinfo and just unbelievable.

    • hoolahoop

      you forgot the numerous lawsuits that would be filed after this and the block that would be imposed by the courts just like it did on DACA. H4 EAD is in an even better position than DACA since it went through proper rule making process…. so there’s that.

  3. Mark Edwards

    I think that the author of the article did state the situation correctly. The administration does intend to shut down the H-4 visa, and the article didn’t say how that would affect current H-4 visa holders. It’s a fairly simple situation, exclusive of DHCS continuing to block the Save Jobs USA lawsuit under the auspice of the H-4 visa is going away anyway. This was simply stated in the article.

  4. GOOD,… IT SHOULD HAVE HAPPENED LONG TIME BACK..; ALREADY WORK PERMIT ISSUED TO H-1B VISA HOLDER.. WHY WORK PERMIT FOR H4 VISA ??. THESE REDUNDANT H4 VISA TAKE AWAY JOBS OF US CITIZENS.. NEED TO STOP THIS NOW, AND APPLIED WITH FORCEFUL EFFECT.

  5. Buy Americans, Hire Americans and kick the H4 applicants out from USA. Millions are without job. Hire them first. All this companies are crying because of thier greed. Screw them

  6. Sebastian Christian

    While the total H1-B visas is only 80,000 per year, the number of L1 visas is UNLIMITED per year. Indian software body shops bring as many L1 visa workers as they are permitted to the USA. Even more abuse is this limitless visa allows a spouse to automatically work in the USA and even get green card. I knew so many college kids from India with just 4 or 5 years experience working on L1 visas in the USA. Most L1 visa holders tend to marry computer qualified graduates. So with one L1 getting job in the USA, the spouse also gets permission to work. There is no numerical limit on L1 visas.
    The L1 visa has two subcategories: L1A for executives and managers, and L1B for workers with specialized knowledge. An L1A status is valid for up to seven years; L1B status is good for up to five years.
    As long as you were employed in managerial or executive position for one continuous year in the preceding three years (in U.S. or outside the U.S.), you can apply for green card in EB1C category immediately. … Otherwise, you will have to be on L1A visa status for one year before applying for green card in EB1C category.
    Spouse and minor unmarried children under the age of 21 years can accompany L1 visa holder and L2 spouse can get EAD and work in the U.S. … Dependents may be able to accompany them on a B2 visa (tourist visa) but there is no dependent visa. B2 visa holders are not allowed to work in the U.S.

    • I agree…. ” EB1C category.” is abused the most. If you do a statistics, then I am of the firm belief that 80% of the cases of EB1C green-cards are fraud and misfit. uscis has been fooled by companies on this category.

  7. Think Wise

    9 out of 10 people that I know, applied for H4 EAD only to be eligible for Social Security Number so that their spouses can get State ID, Drivers License, etc because some states like Illinios does not issue state ID without SSN. So if Social Security Administration issues SSN to H4 candidates, several people will refrain from EAD.

    • Looks like you are not aware of documentation required to get State ID / Driving License; You don’t need SS number and you don’t need EAD or work permit for H4 to get Drv Lic;

      Here is the typical list of documents needed; these correspond to H4 visa holder.
      Passport along with Visa
      I-94 card.
      H4 Approval notice ( I797 form H4)
      H1B approval notice of the spouse (I797 form H1B)
      Letter from SSN office that you are not eligible for SSN.
      Utility Bill ( You can get electricity bill or phone bill on your name).
      Rental Lease papers (If you have name on it.
      Bank account Statements of US Banks.
      Medical Insurance Papers
      ITIN of H4 visa holder (Individual tax identification Number)
      International Driving license ( if you have one from home country)

      Depending on state sometimes they ask for H1B visa holders Passport, SSN and I-94.
      So, it is a good idea for your spouse to come along with you with documents.
      Date of Birth certificate from Home country (in English)

      So, … No excuses for H4 visa holders to getting work permit or telling lies to get work permit; One H-1B Visa with work permit is more than enough for Spouse on H4 Visa to get Drv Lic; If H-1B visa cannot afford family or spouse.. let them not come… Same as in Saudi, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman & UAE… ; No more of this sham and fraud… enough is enough;

  8. Laudeshwar venkat

    Author has not done research and does not understand visa system for sure. Why? Story starts with incorrect lines ” ban on h4 visa ” ots not correct…ban will be on h4 ead and not h4 visa

  9. Im from India and I think its damn fair enough to take out the H4 out of the states..before 2015 there was no concept of H4 EAD .Well if both Husband and wife wants to work they can go back to India..you cant have the whole family eating the American job market..

    Im also sure that we indians dont welcome anyone in our country to eat our jobs unreasonably

    • ABSOLUTELY…; No work permits for H4 visa spouses…. ; If one cannot afford to have family here.. so be it… ; These H-1B visa holders are being cheated by their hiring companies and these companies steal more than half of the paid salaries; Indians stealing money from their own kind..; It is absolutely not going to be permitted to steal jobs from US Citizens;

  10. There was Never any justification for allowing H4 visa holders the right to work in the US. There is no labor need for this large number of workers to appear on the scene. The comments about the rule on the government website were appalling. They actually claimed it would be good to present the H1b worker as a ‘two for one’ deal. There were a huge number of copy/paste statements about how they were truly talented and were wasting their education – not my problem, it was not a secret. There is No Reason for the US government to act against the interests of the American citizen in the job arena, and this is what Obama did. Remember this at the polls: the Democrats have not walked back the ‘staple a green card to the diploma of every foreign student’ promise that Hilary Clinton made. We cannot let the Democrats take away our ability to work in our own country without discrimination based on national origin and race.

  11. I think H1B rules need to be tightened and made sure people with the right abilities remain here. Companies and people trying to game the system must be removed and stronger conditions need to be imposed on new H1B candidates. It makes sense to have H4 spouses also working as they will contribute to their families and to the economy in general. Very few American kids enter the field of technology and you will be stunned to see the composition of under graduate and graduate tech programs. Most are from Asia which include Indians, Chinese etc. American parents must encourage kids to take up science and math and it’s the only real way to stop future H1Bs from coming in. Most kids prefer careers in sales, finance and nursing. It’s easy to get influenced by talks of throwing people out and difficult to think about the underlying problems.

  12. Paul Katz

    H4 EAD holders generally don’t need to disclose how they are cleared to work until after they are hired; just definitely before their start date.

    And quick reminder to employers; you cannot discrimate against immigrants with work authorizations when hiring. You may ask “are you legally allowed to work in the US?”, but that’s it.

    H4 EADs don’t steal.US jobs, especially during times of record low unemployment. If you pay an Indian worker in the US, a lot of that money will be taxed and most the rest sent back into the economy. Beats the work being offshored.

  13. 1. This Article is seems to be written by someone who do no understand the basics of H4. The Author do not seems to understand that H4 EAD is not a VISA, its a work Authorization who have this VISA plus few other conditions fulfilled. The H4 EAD is automatically gone if H4 VISA is gone and any of the other conditions are gone.

    2. When people talk about H1 or H4 VISA , no one talk about their children. These Children are mostly American citizens, born and living an this country for several years. While making any decision , the present and future of these children should also be considered.

  14. Jobseeker

    About half of H4 EADs holders taking IT jobs are there with fake experience. They earn more than H1B and steal all jobs from the citizen and H1B as well. Some housewives one fine day thought of enjoying some time at work and make a lot of money.
    I am so surprised that USCIS is still approving H4 EADs for 3 full years when this case is pending.

  15. Don’t get your panties in a bunch gentlemen. What’s with all the insecurities? Let’s give common sense a chance shall we ?
    I’ve literally never understood this whole Americans loosing jobs to immigrants cry. Why would an employer choose to hire an immigrant over a citizen? Especially given the hassle of having to sort out the whole work visa gobbledygook.
    I can think of only one reason and that’s skill. So skill up if you want to win. And give your medieval hate a rest !

  16. So much misinformation about H1 and H4 EAD its crazy.

    1. H1B: you have to be pre-approved by DOL for wages being offered by your corporate sponsor and it specifically seeks that H1B get paid more than the average salary determined by the DOL list of jobs, second there has to be vacancy and if a company has to get an H1B they have to publish the opening for 3 months before hiring an h1B and sponsoring it. So all this cheap labor BS is nonsense. I have been on h1B for over 15 years joined a large company made over 200K for years, left and joined an early stage start-up company (so hard to make job change on h1B even though you have so much skill that you can offer ) grew it from 11mil to over 500Mil went IPO did the hard work (12-15 hrs a day work for over 4 years, awesome work pay was great reward was awesome, highly motivated and put in the sacrifice)created massive amounts of Jobs for Americans and pay a shit ton of tax.
    makeover 750K (base + stock) now and will make more mills
    2. Btw we pay so much social security its insane we don’t benefit anything from it, all the jobless losers get farewell from our money anyways

    3. H4EAD: are only for spouses who are waiting in line for green card ( where their I-140 is approved) this wait now is over 30 -35 years (cause there is a country cap a year) shouldn’t this be first come first serve like stand in line and get your turn which is fair for all.

    4. highly educated immigrants with multiple degrees suffer the most if I am a blue collar labor I can get a visa in 6 months and by the end of the year my green card. so the policy is basically if you can add to the economy its a bane and if you are a labor that cant add any intellectual capacity then you are welcome

    5. check this yale university research about job creation and you would be stunned: https://insights.som.yale.edu/insights/does-immigration-create-jobs

    6. My wife is on H4EAD has started a company and already created 28 job (23 are Americans and 5 immigrants) generate over 4 mil a year revenue

    7. Immigrants are one of the reasons for innovation that happens in this country and they do make a strong contribution to economy.

    rather than spew hate, learn to understand all perspectives.

  17. Nah… No Americans replied to the above posts will reply to you. They all wanted is to get the benefit of non employment and have fun vacation without working. if the indians have to leave then every Tom Dick and Harry should leave this country. Everyone of you or your great grand father came here as immigrants for some puprose either for work or for better life. Let us all leave this country to Real americans and get away from this place before pointing out that he stole the job or blah blah. If there was no need of foreign workers then why the government created a visa category and let the people come in? USA need of man power.