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H-4 EAD Lawsuit Results | What Are the Next Steps?

The H-4 EAD Rule, as we covered numerous time since its initial release, has come under great controversy by opponents and proponents. Dependent spouses of H1B visa holders have been waiting years to receive authorization to work. The lawsuit, filed against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on behalf of “Save Jobs USA”, was in an attempt to stop the H-4 EAD rule altogether because the group (former employees of Southern California Edison) were replaced with H-1B workers. It was announced today that the federal court denied the motion for the preliminary injunction, but that doesn’t mean the H-4 EAD lawsuit is over just yet.

H-4 Employment Authorization Background

The H-4 EAD Rule update permits H-4 dependent spouses to obtain employment authorization documents. Proposed to come into effect on May 26, 2015, the current estimates are that 179,000 H-4 holders will be eligible with an additional 55,000 annually after that.

H4 EAD Lawsuit Ruling

Despite what many people think, there will be specific qualifications to obtain EAD authorization. Primarily the chief H-1B holder must have an approved I-140 or extend their status past the six years under sections 106(a) and (b) of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act.

H-4 EAD Lawsuit

In the lawsuit submitted last month, the individuals claimed that permitting EADs for H-4 visa holders caused the labor pool in the U.S. to increase, thereby increasing competition and impacting the job opportunities. The agency representing these former employees, The Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) claim they are fighting the new legislation on behalf of domestic workers. Dale Wilcox, the IRLI Executive Director was quoted as saying, “The law states that foreign work permits cannot adversely affect American wages, but all we’ve seen during this administration is standards of living fall and outsized corporate profits continue to rise.” He went on to say, “we will continue the fight on behalf of the American worker and hold this administration accountable to the rule of law.”

Potential Impacts

There are monumental impacts if the lawsuit is able to block the new H-4 EAD rule. Many have been waiting for this regulation to pass for some time so they can begin working and support their families. Based on the information presently at hand, we think it will be challenging for the lawsuit to impact the regulation. As it stands, the USCIS will continue to process applications for H-4 EAD beginning May 26.

Ready to File Your H-4 EAD?

To begin filing your H-4 EAD work permit, fill out Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization in addition to supporting documents (i.e., marriage certificate, copies of passports, copy of spouse’s I-94, H1B approval notice, etc). At the point of receiving approval, the card will be issued within 90 days. Those receiving approvals will likely get their cards by mid-August.

How Our H-4 EAD Attorneys Can Help

Not sure if you qualifying as an H-4 dependent spouse? The H-4 visa attorneys at SGM Law Group can explain the H-4 EAD lawsuit or rule update in greater detail. During your consultation we can  also go over which options are available to your situation. What’s more we can help you file EAD applications, answer any requests for evidence along the way and more. Give us a call to schedule your free consultation today!

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