Protecting work authorization for H-4 visa holders, vast majority of whom from India

SAAPRI flyer/email relating to its online survey launch on H-4 visa holders. (Photo: SAAPRI)

A non-profit research and advocacy organization based in Chicago, has launched a project to focus on the opportunities that H-4 visa status affords to the American employment landscape, and highlight the plight of those who have these visas and fear for their futures.

The H-4 visa’s Employment Authorization Document (EAD) which came into operation in the waning days of the Obama administration, allows spouses of H-1B visa holders to work.

According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), 95% of H-4 visa holders who have secured work authorization are women and at least 93% are from South Asian countries, the vast majority from India.


Now, the South Asian American Policy and Research Institute (SAAPRI) in Chicago, is looking to build knowledge around the H-4 EAD program and its impact on the lives of South Asian H-4 visa holders, it said in a press release Dec. 7.

In 2017, the Department of Homeland Security announced it will rescind the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) H-4 visa holders, and the new rule is expected to be released in coming months. This rule is expected to impact the lives of more than 100,000 South Asian immigrants, preventing them from being able to work in the United States.

The advocacy organization has launched an online survey calling on H-4 EAD visa holders to participate in an online survey followed by a one-on-one interview if willing, in a bid to emphasize the benefits of the work authorization.

Contact Dhara at for any questions or details.




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