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Allen and Hodgman | Update: Proposal to repeal the H-4 EAD will be published in November 2018

Update: Proposal to repeal the H-4 EAD will be published in November 2018

The Fall regulatory Agenda of the Department of Homeland Security states that the proposed rule to eliminate the H-4 EAD will be published in November 2018. DHS previously had announced the new regulation would be published in February 2018. This was then pushed back to June 2018 and now to November. It is likely the rule will in fact be published shortly. This will be a proposed rule to eliminate the H-4 EAD. It will not end the H-4 EAD immediately. There will be a period allowed for public notice and comment, and then DHS will publish a final rule. It is very important that affected persons and their employers use the comment period to object to the elimination of the H-4 EAD. All interested parties may submit comments.

The H-4 EAD is available to the spouses of H-1B workers who have advanced to a specific stage of the green card process. You can apply for the H-4 EAD if your spouse has an approved I-140, or has filed a labor certification application at least one year ago. In many cases H-4 spouses are themselves highly educated and talented persons who are making important contributions to the nation’s economy and well-being.

The elimination of the H-4 EAD will have a disproportionate impact on H-4 spouses from India and China, due to the extremely long waiting periods for employment-based green cards in the EB-2 and EB-3 categories. Our law firm practices both U.S. and Canadian immigration. Canada currently offers permanent immigration to qualified skilled workers in as little as six months through the Express Entry process. Moreover, if you are the spouse of a skilled worker with a work permit, you are automatically entitled to a work permit yourself. If you are currently holding an H-4 EAD, contact us now by phone or email to explore your Canadian options.