We often get asked about the intricacies of hiring employees with an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), especially when their work authorization is tied to their spouse's employment. First and foremost, when a candidate presents valid documents demonstrating they are authorized to work, employers are generally required to accept those documents. Discriminating based on future expiration dates or potential termination of employment authorization could be considered an unfair immigration-related employment practice.

However, it's essential to be aware of the specific risks associated with EADs tied to a spouse's employment.


Potential Risks

  1. Loss of Spousal Employment If the spouse loses their job and consequently their visa status, the EAD holder may lose their work authorization. This can happen suddenly and is often beyond the control of the EAD holder.

  2. EAD Renewal Issues While there is a provision for an automatic 540-day extension for certain EADs under specific conditions, complications can still arise. For instance, an individual with a pending H-4 extension might remain in the U.S., but if their I-94 is not valid, they wouldn’t qualify for the automatic extension.

  3. Green Card Application Challenges If the EAD is based on a pending green card application, any denial or abandonment of that application can result in the loss of work authorization. Unauthorized travel outside the U.S., for example, can lead to such complications.

Navigating the Risks

Employers must balance these risks with the potential legal and ethical implications of not considering a candidate based on their work authorization status. It's essential to proceed with caution, thoroughly understand the implications, and ask questions whenever in doubt.

If you are not yet a Sumner Immigration Law client and you’re looking for an experienced, empathetic, and efficient team to help you navigate the process with confidence, please contact us today and set up your initial consultation to get the process started! You can set an appointment online. You can also call us at 804-396-3412 or send us an email at info@sumnerimmigration.com. We are immigration lawyers in Richmond, VA but we serve clients throughout the U.S. and around the world. For more information on our firm visit Who We Are and What Makes Us Different! We look forward to hearing from you!

As always, the above information is for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. Please speak with a qualified immigration lawyer before taking action.

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