H-4 Work Authorization Crosses First Obstacle


Despite efforts to block work authorization for certain H-4 Spouses by anti-immigration advocates, The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued the Decision on May 24, 2015 allowing certain H-4 visa holders to apply for employment authorization. In the case brought on by Save Jobs USA, a front group to serve the agenda of the anti-immigrant group FAIR, the Plaintiffs argued that by allowing certain H-4 spouses of H-1B visas holders to work, they will take the jobs of US workers in the IT field. The Court held that Save Jobs request for injunction is entirely speculative. Work authorization for certain H-4 spouses “would be for any field for any employer. There is no indication, and Save Jobs has not provided any evidence, that it is certain that H-4 visa holders will apply for IT jobs and compete with Save Jobs members.” The Court further reasoned that the Plaintiffs failed to demonstrate economic harm sufficient to warrant emergency relief, that the alleged harm was neither imminent nor definite and that the harm could not be remedied by the Court. The result is that the Court denied a preliminary injunction, allowing DHS to move forward with its plan to grant work authorization to certain H-4 spouses on May 26, 2015. However, the battle is not over. This case to deny work authorization for H-4 spouses will now move forward through the normal legal process.

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