The proposal to withdraw the authorization in H-4 spousal work is coming close to reality; the immigrant community is taking a few remedial steps. Spearheaded by people of Indian origin, it is working to ensure the continuity of the program, introduced by the past President Obama in 2015.
Launching of a petition
There was a petition on the White House website, with a request to the US government, regarding not revoking the H-4 Employment Authorization Document program. Additionally, on March 7, the petition received the signatures of 43,332 persons. Moreover, the norms specify that, in case there are one lakh signatures, within a month of launching the petition, the White House must give an official response in 60 days.
IT Pro Alliance, which is a networking platform for US tech professionals and a non-profit, launched the petition in February. Now it needs 56,668 signatures before March 24 to reach the mark of one lakh. Additionally, the First Amendment of the US Constitution gives the right to petition the government.
The White House website
The platform is ‘We the People’ on the White House website facilitating this approach. Spouses do not have the right to work or continue their business except when they obtain the EAD. Experts feel that all H-1B holders with spouses or persons who plan of marrying have to support this petition. It is important to secure a career for realizing their American dream. In case the H4 EAD program is revoked, there must be a petition to bring the rule in the future.
The US Homeland Security Department submitted a proposal regarding rescinding the H-4 EAD, to the office of Management and Budget to undertake a review. This proposal will not take effect until it is finalized. Moreover, this process generally takes quite a few months.
The likely course
Till the publication of the proposal in the federal register, the fundamentals of the decision remain unknown. There is ambiguity regarding allowing the existing EAD holders to continue their work till the expiry of the term of the work authorization. Moreover, not all dependent spouses of H-1B visa holders can apply for an EAD. It is available to the recipients of H-1B visa who are on the track to get the Green Card.
Finally, the experts feel that there will be some guidance on the subject of phasing out. In case an employee is holding the valid EAD for many months, he/she is likely to continue with the job until its expiry.