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H4 Employee Protection Act – H4 EADs– Re-introduced in House 2019

As you all know, recently Trump Administration announced Spring 2019 Regulatory Agenda and H4 EAD rule removal continues to be part of their priorities. In response to that, and on-going H4 EAD Rule Lawsuit with Save Jobs USA, Senator Eshoo introduced a bill called “ Allowing Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses to Apply for Employment Authorization” in congress today to help H4 EAD spouses. Let’s look at current details and our take on the same. Also, we have latest updates as well. see below.

Background of Current Bill to help H4 EAD Spouses retain their EAD :

Originally, in November 2018, Representatives  Anna G. Eshoo and Zoe Lofgren have introduced a bill in House to “Allow certain H4 Dependent Spouses to Apply for Employment Authorization (EAD)”. The bill was popularly called as “H4 Employee Protection Act “. You can read complete details at : H4 Employee Protection Act – EAD Details. Essentially, after it was introduced, nothing moved and it basically dormant bill.  In general, the congress term lasts for two years and if nothing happens to the bill during that term, at the end of it the bill would be essentially considered dead. The New US Congress term ( 116th Term) started on Jan 3, 2019. As new US congress term has started, they want to revive their old bill, hence they are re-introducing the original bill again.

What is the Bill “ Allowing Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses to Apply for Employment Authorization” ?

In fact, officially, there is no text out yet for the bill. It is just re-introduced. See below the actual bill screenshot on congress.gov. Based on the information provided in press release by the Rep. Eshoo, they are planning to revive the bill “H4 Employee Protection Act”. Check official bill on Congress.gov

Allowing Certain H4 Dependent Spouses to Apply for Employment Authorization - EAD

Is this new bill re-introduced to save H4 EAD different from last year’s “H4 Employee Protection Act” ?

Well, we do not know the specifics of the bill yet as the full text is not out yet. Based on what Rep. Eshoo states in her press release, she emphasizes the hardships of the H4 visa holders and how they contributing to economy. The bill’s goal is to stop the H4 Rule removal process and help H4 holders to continue Applying for H4 EAD and use EAD provision for them. Key points from her press release:

  • H4 Holders contribute to local economies and they deserve a chance. They also support their families with extra income and it is matter of economic fairness.
  • Trump administration is doing nothing for future American citizens, who are waiting in line and no one benefits from the current system.
  • Many of the accomplished individuals with great skills would leave to other countries, if there is no better solution to immigration.

Latest Updates on H4 EAD Protection Act :

  • June 20th, 2019 : Two more new sponsors were added to the original sponsors. No other changes. Check below. New Sponsors H4 EAD Protection Act

How does this New re-introduced “H4 Employee Protection Act” impact current removal of H4 EAD Rule by Trump Administration ?

Well, as you all know there are few things happening with H4 EAD rule : one is the Lawsuit that is in court, second is the H4 EAD rule removal process, which is now with OMB for review.  Now, this bill is re-introduced and supports H4 EAD holders that would allow eligible H4 holders to continue to apply for EADs.  It is opposite to the current administration’s priority to remove H4 EAD…The big advantage now is that democrats have majority in the US house, and it would help them push. But, H4 EAD is not a major topic, in the grand scheme of things like DACA, Asylums, etc.  Recently, Trump announced New Immigration Plan with Points Based Green Card System and other topics, with no details, which has more bigger topics that are on the table for discussion now. We are waiting for those details as well.

Overall, this bill has a very long way to go. It is just re-introduced in the house and we do not even have the summary text. For this bill to make it through, it has to pass house, then senate and signed by president to become law, which is a very long and hard road to go through. There are many immigration issues that are stuck in the house for a long time. I believe this bill will be added to the larger immigration issues that are in house. Only time will tell.

What do you think of this bill ? What is your take ?

Reference : Eshoo – H4 Bill re-introduced Press release – House.gov


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  1. Objective desi,
    I have over a decade of experience working with the biggest financial institutions in an outsourced set up. All my US managers wanted me to join the US team. My visa was also initiated but did not go through the lottery thrice. Only thing that makes me eligible to be still working here is H4 EAD. So based on your limited understanding please don’t make suggestions which are not applicable to all.

  2. H4-EAD is given to do a skilled worker Job in USA? I think people are just trying to deviate the H4 EAD definition by imposing their own opinions . Don’t forget the rule says to support their family (H4EAD never says you should do only computer software jobs, H4EAD spouse can do a business and earn and produce jobs on H4EAD) they introduced H4 EAD.

  3. I believe that the first person to support “the removal of H4-EAD” rule, should be the foreign citizens in the US waiting in line for their GreenCards. Let’s look at this objectively for a second….
    1) H1B is a speciality work Visa, which the majority of the US educated folks easily qualify for, and rightfully so. We spend years of hard work to earn degrees that give us this right.

    2) The right to work obtained by jumping through hoops, and after years educating and preparing ourselves for; is easily handed to someone just because they are related to someone who has ! I don’t think it’s fair at all.
    – If any spouse (like the commentor earlier) feels qualified and ready to work in the US why not get an employer ready to sponsor their Visa (as they are qualified and considered speciality work), and go through the same H1B lottery like the rest of us. It’s fair game then.

    On a related note:
    1) The green card backlog for citizens of India and China is a disaster. I would like to ponder the question- why is it so ?
    – If not all speciality educated (in the US) foreign citizens are not getting their H1B in the lottery and therefore are forced to return to their home country, then who are the people adding to the backlog ?
    – The answer to the above question will easily set us in the right path to looking at this H4-EAD issue.

    2) The H4-EAD was a bandaid that the Obama administration put on the folks waiting in line for years for their GC. Whereas no steps were taken to solve the backlog in the first place.

    3) Denial of H1Bs to non-speciality jobs is the first step, and we should all support this move by the government. This is the first of any move to resolve the GC backlog – at the source. If such people in the GC line are removed, then the backlog will shrink and there will be no need for a H4-EAD. A dependent will work as a GC holder like the thousands of our fellow brothers/sisters did before 2015.

    We should support any law that tries to solve the problem at the source not hold on to the bandaid, and keep cribbing about the unsolved root cause (which will only get worse).

  4. US representatives working for foreign nationals and corporate interests and against interests of US workers need to be impeached. These sold out puppets have no business in US Congress.

  5. It’s good to have H4 EAD in cases where the spouse is genuinely skilled. I have worked in the places where lot of house wives with fake experiences are working n not performing. I feel the program has been misused by greedy people and I feel it should be scrapped.

  6. I have perused Bechlors of Engineering in Information Technology from one of the top college in my home country.
    I have achieved gold medal 3 times during my academics.
    Since my husband’s I-140 has not been initiated, I am not eligible to apply for H4-EAD. I am much more skilled and can equally contribute to USA economy.
    Rules should be changed to make sure that skilled person can be allowed to work in USA otherwise I will be enforced to leave this country soon.

    • Surbhi,
      I have a friend who has a US Masters in a niche field ( not taught in India) with more than 5 years experience who had to leave the country because he could not get a job with a sponsor, at the right time before his OPT expired.
      – don’t try to add to the job pressure that is already existing in this country for tech jobs.
      – if you feel you are qualified, then approach an employer and ask to be sponsored for H1B. This will be your litmus test to learn if you deserve a work Visa in the US.


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