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H-4 EAD Under Trump Administration?

Rahul Reddy, Attorney at Law

In the aftermath of this election, many immigrants are fearful that their status may be in jeopardy. Donald Trump’s stance on immigration was a big cornerstone of his campaign, and he continually reaffirmed his desire to end illegal immigration. Instead of inspiring fear in legal immigrants, this should offer some comfort as it is safe to say that his policy will focus on stopping illegal immigration, rather than removing or drastically changing the legal immigration avenues that currently exist. The H-4 EAD program, allowing spouses of H-1B beneficiaries work permits has been rumored to be in jeopardy, but this could not be further from the truth as it stands. It is unlikely that this regulation will be changed or removed in any way that will substantially affect those who hold the visa, or its availability to those who wish to enter the United States by obtaining one.

President Trump previously stated that he will roll back the executive orders known as DACA and DAPA which allow undocumented immigrants with clean criminal granting them work permits. He has since recanted this, stating that “. . . repealing DAPA and DACA are not action item[s]”. Immigrants in the United States on visas like the H-4 EAD should therefore not be affected. Primarily, the reason is that these immigrants are in the U.S. legally, and therefore not subject to the provisions outlined in DAPA and DACA. Additionally, unlike DAPA and DACA, the regulations giving rise to the H-4 EAD visa were promulgated by regulatory agencies, and are not based on an executive order.

Even if Donald Trump did repeal the executive orders dealing with illegal immigration, this will have no effect on visas available through regulations set by the Department of Homeland Security and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service.

A transfer of power between administrations in the United States is always accompanied by some uncertainty as citizens, immigrants, and political pundits try to predict what the new President will do. The change of current administrations is no different. But that uncertainty does not have to include fear for those immigrants in this country on visas such as H-4 EAD who are doing their best to maintain legal status.


Reddy Neumann Brown PC is an immigration law firm in Houston, Texas. For over 15 years, our firm has successfully represented corporate clients across the United States in their efforts to bring foreign workers and business professionals to the United States. Reddy Neumann Brown PC is highly experienced in working with employment-based visas, adjustment of status, green cards, and PERM labor certification. From filing, through approval, and on to appeal, we do everything possible to ensure that your company can bring the best and brightest in the world to the United States.