What You Need to Know About the H-4 Visa and Proposed Changes

November 26, 2018

In recent months, H-4 visa dependent spouses and others in the business community have been keeping close tabs on the Trump administration’s proposed changes to the H-4 visa.

In late August, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) submitted a status report in the case, Save Jobs USA v. DHS, 8/20/18. In this case, technology workers employed by Southern California Edison filed a complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief and a motion for preliminary injunction. They were seeking to stay the implementation of a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) final rule on employment authorization for certain H-4 dependent spouses.

Additionally, in that status report, DHS stated that its proposed rule to remove from regulations certain H-4 spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants as a class of noncitizens eligible for employment authorization – is still ongoing.

CNBC reported that nearly 100,000 H-4 visa holders hold work authorization in the U.S.

Business Leaders Respond

After news broke about the Trump administration’s plans, business leaders from all industries wrote to Department of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen.

These leaders, which included Apple CEO Tim Cook, JP Morgan Chase & Co. CEO Jamie Dimon and more, wrote that spouses of H-1B employees are highly skilled as well. The possibility of revoking U.S. work authorization status for spouses may lead these highly skilled immigrants to seek employment competitors outside the U.S.

However, USCIS has not made any announcements regarding the H-4 visa in recent weeks. But if updates are released, Global Immigration Associates and Envoy will provide a swift update.

Envoy is pleased to provide you this information, which was prepared in collaboration with Stephanie Wedel, Associate at Global Immigration Associates, P.C. (www.giafirm.com), Envoy’s affiliated law firm.

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