In another measure to roll back Obama-era initiatives, the Trump administration is likely to end the H-4 EAD rule, which gave work authorization to thousands of legal immigrants since 2015. CNN reports that the Department of Homeland Security stated that it intends to eliminate the rule, without explanation, other than:
[I]t was acting “in light of” the “Buy American, Hire American” executive order that President Trump signed in April. The formal process to rescind the rule will still need to be initiated at a later date.
While changing the rule wouldn’t prevent spouses of H-1B holders from pursuing other avenues for work authorization, it could deter a number of high-skilled immigrants from staying in the U.S. if their spouses can’t easily find work.
The process to end the rule will take time. However, in light of this development, H-4 spouses with EAD cards should contact an attorney as early as possible to determine their options for continued work authorization.