The long-threatened proposal to rescind the H-4 spousal work authorization has finally been sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review.
The details of the proposal are confidential and not available for review. OMB has up to 90 days to review the proposal. Once OMB finishes its review, the proposed rule will be published in the Federal Register. There will then be a public comment period of 30-60 days.
If you are a foreign national that will be affected by this change, or an employer of H-1B workers, your comments will be very important in preventing this rule being finalized. It is critical that the government hears personal stories of the devastating impact this will have on US residents and on companies hoping to attract and retain talent.
Until any new rule is finalized, current eligible H-4 holders can continue to apply for new and renewed employment authorization. Given that the proposed rule is a priority for the Department of Homeland Security, and may be enacted very soon after clearing the regulatory steps mentioned above, we recommend that H-4 holders apply for new or renewed EADs as soon as possible, before the program is eliminated.
For more information, and to check your eligibility for H-4 work authorization, please contact Elaine Martin.
Elaine Martin has been practising US and global immigration law since 1997. She is an immigrant herself (from Ireland), so has a special understanding of the legal and emotional challenges involved in relocating to a new country.