On December 14, 2017, Trump Administration indicated that it will be issuing a new rule to vacate the February 25, 2015 Final Rule that had granted “EAD – Employment Authorization Document” to H-4 Visa Holders (Spouses of H-1B Visa Holders) under certain conditions. Trump Administration indicated that it is overturning the Obama era H-4 EAD Rule in light of the “Buy American and Hire American” Executive Order.

H-4 EAD has been controversial and there was a pending law suit filed in April 2015 by Save Jobs USA which argued that H-4 EAD visa holders threaten US jobs and hurt US Workers. As part of its response, Trump Administration had requested the Court to hold the case in abeyance until it decides what to do with the Rule and had also asked for an extension to file its Motion. The Court denied the extension request and ordered Trump Administration to file its Motion by January 2, 2018. GLF expects that Trump Administration having signaled its intent to vacate the H-4 EAD Rule will now tell the Court in its filing that the case is set aside until it can fully eliminate the H-4 EAD rule through a formal rule making process.

Once the Proposed Rule to undo H-4 EAD is published, it will be open for a 60-day public notice and comment, before it is made Final. GLF believes that the majority of the comments will be in the favor of the overturn and as such it is a foregone conclusion. GLF is unsure however whether the existing H-4 EAD holders will be allowed to remain gainfully employed until their current EADs expire or whether the EADs will be yanked away on the very same day the Final Rule takes effect.

This is a continuation of the onslaught by the Trump Administration against India and IT Consulting from India as the Rule change disproportionately affects Indians. This change will impact a huge percentage of H-1B workers and their spouses who are living and working in the US; paying taxes and contributing to the overall US economy. This change will also impact companies that employ H-4 EADs.

GLF will continue to follow further developments in this matter and we will provide updates through our Newsletter as and when they become available.

GLF receives numerous emails and phone calls every day asking for comment on various proposed bills and media reports that are often inaccurate. It is our job to separate fact from fiction and advice clients on important updates that are relevant. The best way to receive accurate information is through GLF Newsletters. We encourage you (and your employees) to sign up for GLF Newsletter. If you are not already signed up to receive our Newsletters, please do so by going to www.gokarelaw.com and signing up under the Newsletter Tab. All we need is your name and email address and it takes very little time to sign up. You can also review all of our earlier GLF Newsletters on our website.

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