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Allen and Hodgman | Trump administration proposes to repeal H-4 EAD regulation

Trump administration proposes to repeal H-4 EAD regulation

On December 20, 2017 the Trump administration released its regulatory agenda for the coming year. Included in the agenda is a new regulation to repeal the H-4 EAD. The H-4 EAD allows the spouses of certain H-1B workers to obtain open work permits. In most cases this is limited to H-1B employees with approved I-140s. According to the regulatory agenda, a proposed rule will be announced in February 2018. A proposed rule does not take affect immediately. There must first be a period of notice and comment. It is possible the proposed rule will not be introduced at all, or will be introduced later than February 2018. It is also possible that the rule would be proposed, but not adopted. In the meantime, the H-4 rule is in full force and effect. In the past, valid EADs have seldom if ever been cancelled, even if new EADs are no longer available. So it is unlikely any existing H-4 EADs will be cancelled. We urge anyone with an existing H-4 EAD that is eligible for renewal to renew the card as soon as possible. Along with the American Immigration Lawyers Association, we encourage all EAD holders and their employers to contact their representatives in Congress to urge them to keep the H-4 EAD program in place. This program is vital to ensure that skilled and essential H-1B employees remain in the United States to continue to contribute to the economic prosperity of the nation.