What the H-4 EAD Rollback Means for Businesses

By George Khoury, Esq. on February 27, 2019 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

With the recent news about the Trump administration's proposal to roll back the granting of work visas to the spouses of high-skilled immigrants, employers that need to recruit those high-skilled immigrants may soon be faced with a difficult choice: move operations abroad, or pay immigrant employees more money to offset the fact that spouses will be unable to work.

And while there is a severe lack of support for the proposed rollback and critics seem to make valid points that the proposed rollback is nothing but bad for businesses and the country, the Trump administration is continuing to push forward.

Attracting the Best Workers

While companies that recruit internationally can dangle the carrot of coming to America as a big incentive for workers, killing the H-4 Employment Authorization Document makes that incentive much less enticing. After all, the high-skilled workers that qualify for H1-B visas are generally at the point in their lives where they are starting families. Though a H1-B worker would still be able to bring their spouse with them, that spouse would no longer be able to work in the U.S. legally.

This means that, simply, the United States will no longer be able to attract and retain the best workers, as top talent can typically find work easily, and are unlikely to stay in a country that will not allow their spouse to have a career.

In the end, employers that need to recruit from abroad will have to pay more to attract that top talent.

Setting Up Abroad

For companies that rely on high-skilled immigrants, the prospect of moving business abroad might be the next logical step. After all, in the modern world we live in, tech makes connecting worldwide workforces easier than it has ever been. But, setting up abroad is also fraught with complications and regulations, which, generally, will result in businesses having to shell out more money for operation costs.

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