A blog about U.S. immigration matters by Paul Szeto, a former INS attorney and an experienced immigration attorney and counsel. Contact Info: 732-632-9888, http://www.1visa1.com/ (All information is not legal advice and is subject to change without prior notice.)

Thursday, May 28, 2015

H-4 Spouses May File for EAD After District Court Denied Injunction

USCIS began to accept applications for Employment Authorization Document (EAD) by eligible H-4 spouses of H-1B employees on May 26, 2015.  The original proposed rule-making was published in May 2014, but it was not finalized until the executive actions announced by President Obama on November 2014.  

A lawsuit filed by a group of  former technology workers at Southern California Edison attempted to block the implementation of the H-4 EAD program. The new rule went into effect as scheduled after District Court Judge Chutkan in Washington, DC, denied the plaintiffs' request for a preliminary injunction in SAVE JOBS USA vs. DHS.  These former technology workers alleged that they will suffer irreparable harm if EADs are issued to the H-4 spouses.  Judge Chutkan reasoned that the allegations are speculative as there is no evidence at this stage to indicate that the H-4 spouses will ever apply for IT jobs or apply for jobs at the former employer of the plaintiffs in California.  Hence, preliminary injunction was denied.  

Even so, it is still wise for eligible H-4 spouses to apply for EADs as soon as possible.  Litigation is still ongoing and the outcome is unpredictable.  It is important to submit legally sufficient applications to avoid delay or denial.  Documents regarding the status of the H-1B/H-4 couple, identification documents, photos, proof of I-140 approval or AC-21 eligibility, etc., are required. Any questions can be directed to our office.   

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