With the May 26, 2015 effective date of H-4 spouse work authorization rule (“H-4 EAD Rule”) approaching, a lawsuit has been filed trying to block the implementation of the Rule, which allows spouses of certain H-1B visa holders to apply for work authorization.
On April 23, 2015, Save Jobs USA, a group of former employees of Southern California Edison, brought the suit in D.C. federal district court challenging Department of Homeland Security’s authority to issue the H-4 EAD Rule. Save Jobs USA claims that the rule injures the group members by depriving them of statutory protections from foreign labor, increasing the number of economic competitors, and conferring benefits to their economic competitors on H-1B visas. In its complaint and motion for preliminary injunction, Save Jobs USA also stated that three of its members would have standing to bring the lawsuit on their own as they were all replaced by H-1B workers and remain in competition with H-1B workers, and soon H-4 visa holders, in the job market. As of today, the lawsuit has not changed H-4 EAD Rule’s scheduled effective date. It is very likely that the rule will still go into effect as planned and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) will begin accepting applications on May 26, 2015. If the court grants a preliminary injunction, however, USCIS will not be able to accept H-4 EAD applications beginning May 26, 2015.