Thousands of H-4 visa holders are living – and working – across Wisconsin. However, some H-4 dependent spouses are on the verge of losing work authorization in the U.S. Here’s what you need to know.
H-4 Employment Authorization
Some spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants qualify for employment authorization. This authorization allows the husband or wife of an H-1B visa holder to work anywhere, including as a self-employed businessperson, in the United States. But right now, that authorization hangs in the balance for many families.
The current presidential administration has been working overtime to roll back rules put in place during former President Obama. One of those rules provided H-4 visa holders the ability to work while residing in the U.S. The rule in question had been in place since 2015, and it allowed H-4 visa holders who were waiting for green cards to apply for an employment authorization document, or EAD. Two years later, the current administration unveiled its plan to discontinue these work permits – and it’s been battled in court since then.
Related: The challenges of legal immigration
Some companies, including Pepsi, American Airlines and Apple, are fighting to keep H-4 visa holders in the workforce. Their argument is that the highly skilled H-4 workers they employ will be forced to take their skills to other countries because they can’t work here. The consequences could be dire – especially in fields involving science, information technology, engineering and mathematics – where there are already significant shortages.
Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Your Immigration Status and EAD Removal?
If you’re married to an H-1B visa holder and you have H-4 status, you could still qualify for another type of business immigration if your EAD is removed. We may be able to help you find realistic alternatives, so call us at 414-383-6700 today or contact us online.