Proposed H-4 EAD Rule

Earlier this year, the White House announced a proposed rule that would allow certain H-4 visa holders to APPLY FOR an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). A few months ago, the Department of Homeland Security issued a Press Release outlining who would be eligible to apply for EADs if the proposed rule becomes law.

Unfortunately, not all H-4 visa holders will be eligible. Here’s what has to be met in order to APPLY FOR an EAD:

  1. The spouse on H-1B visa status must have an approved I-140; or
  2. The spouse on H-1B visa status must have been granted an extension of authorized stay beyond the 6-year limit under AC21.

If the applicant’s spouse meets either of the two scenarios set forth above, the H-4 visa holder can APPLY FOR an EAD. The government has estimated that close to 97,000 people will be able to apply for an EAD and be eligible to work.

It’s important to note that this is only a proposed rule right now. We expect the Department of Homeland Security to issue final regulations toward the end of this year, after which this will go into effect. We will keep our readers posted as this moves forward.