May 7, 2018 / Media Mention

Freeman quoted in Law360 article on proposed policy changes to affect H-4 visa holders


Immigration partner Ellen Freeman was interviewed for and quoted in the Law360 article, "Attys gird for potential end of H-4 holders' ability to work," which discusses proposed policy changes that could affect H-4 visa holders' ability to work in the U.S.

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From Law360, Nicole Narea reporting:
"Ellen Freeman, a partner in charge at Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP, said that women have relied on the H-4 category in part because H-1B visas may not be a viable immigration option due to their strict requirements and scarcity. Immigration authorities require H-1B petitioners to show that they fulfill a 'specialty occupation' involving the 'theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge' and a corresponding bachelor's degree at minimum, which has excluded a number of liberal arts fields in which her clients operate." 


"Freeman said that she is also telling her H-4 clients to apply for work authorization if they haven't already. She anticipates that H-4 holders granted work authorization documents that are valid for a period of several years will mostly likely be allowed to continue working for that period regardless of the proposed rule, simply because it would be logistically difficult for immigration authorities to invalidate those documents once issued.

"'Everyone should still be applying for H-4 work authorization because none of us know, when the rule is eliminated, how exactly it will be eliminated and how they can enforce it,' she said."


"One of Freeman's clients, a woman who has won multiple awards for leading and starting companies in Pennsylvania, is considering switching to an O-1 visa for extraordinary ability in business and then seeking a green card. But Freeman worries that if her client simply keeps her H-4 work authorization and petitions directly for a green card, immigration authorities will be prejudiced, knowing that her work authorization may soon be eliminated, and subject her paperwork to heightened scrutiny."