H4 Visa Holders, H1B Spouses Will Not Lose Their Jobs Now: Find Out Why?

H4 Visa Holders, H1B Spouses Will Not Lose Their Jobs Now: Find Out Why?
H4 Visa Holders, H1B Spouses Will Not Lose Their Jobs Now: Find Out Why?

Finally a moment of relief for the spouses of H-1B workers as most of them are waiting for a few months to obtain their employment authorization document (EAD) cards.

Now, lack of an EAD card will not result in a loss of job as US employers can now rely on a notice of approval issued to such individuals, according to the Times of India report.

Temporary Relaxation 

Employers could only accept EAD card as proof of work authorisation as per earlier norms. 

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to introduce this temporary relaxation due to inordinate printing delays in issue of EAD cards and also the settlement of a class action lawsuit initiated by an Indian citizen earlier.

Prior to this, the norms required that employers could only accept the issued EAD card as proof of work authorisation. 

So, the notice of approval given for an initial application or an application for renewal of an EAD was not sufficient then but now temporarily introduced the relaxation given the circumstances.

How Would This Help?

According to  Mitchell Wexler, california  based partner with Fragomen, a global immigration law firm, “This is a significant accommodation for employers who no longer need to wait many months for the creation of a plastic card to lawfully employ an authorised, critical foreign worker,”.

The US employers may accept Form 1-797 (which is a notice of approval of the EAD application) considering the temporary relaxation, provided such notice has been issued after December 1, 2019. 

Although, the employers are required to reverify employees who presented this form as evidence by 1st December this year.

Earlier in July this year, spouses of H-1B workers having H-4 visas had pointed out the fears of delays in obtaining EAD cards would result in their job termination. 

The decision could affect over a lakh Indian spouses working with H-4 visa.

It is noteworthy here that the EAD extension can be applied for only 180 days before the expiry of the current card. 

Normally, it takes 90 days for USCIS to process the application and after that EAD card gets mailed within 48 hours.

But, with the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, the waiting period ran into a few months.

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