Future of H4-EAD work permit holders uncertain?

The future of a 2015 Department of Homeland Security initiative that allows certain H-4 visa holders (spouses of H1-B skilled workers) to work is uncertain under the Trump administration, according to Indian American immigration rights activists.

President Barack Obama had made several important moves for immigration – H4 EAD which was passed May’2015 and including the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and an initiative (DACA) to aid the undocumented parents of U.S. citizens – through executive orders.

President-Donald Trump has vowed to repeal Obama’s executive orders during his first 100 days in office.

Although some sources have already begun reporting that Trump intends to eliminate H-4 EADs, this claim is not actually backed up by the text of the draft EO which is due to be announced by second week of March-2017.

When H-4 EAD bill was passed in May 2015 about 170,000 work permits approved. Though H-4 EADs are “small potatoes” to get Donald Trump’s attention and impact on national labor markets of work authorizations is not significant but still in the process of repealing the immigration EOs will undergo changes impacting directly or indirectly.

In general dependents in H-4 status need to be more concerned about the risk that the H-1B program, which their H-4 visas are derivative from, will be significantly curtailed by High Skilled worker by Point Based System or shuttered temporarily.

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