H4 EAD may be withdrawn by DHS in 2018 - Bad news

Update Nov 8, 2019 - Good news

H4EAD Good News today as SaveJobsUSA vs DHS case reaches result and court decides in favor of DHS.

ImmigrationVoice reports that court did not find DHS overstepping its authority in issuing H4 EADs. Court has sided with H4 EAD workers and SaveJobsUSA can now ask for re-trial in the lower court, which had earlier sided with DHS too.
SaveJobsUSA had claimed that DHS has no authority to issue H4 EAD work permits.

Note that DHS is still on its way to H4 EAD as per their intentions using the rule making process. This result of this court case is kind of a temporary relief.


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DHS agenda to withdraw H4-EAD work authorization

Withdrawing H-4 EAD is on DHS time table for 2018.
The aim is to remove H-4 Dependent Spouses from the class C(26) of Aliens Eligible for Employment Authorization (EAD).

H4 EAD withdrawal rule has Economical Impact and Significant

This rule is designated as “Economical Impact and Significant” by DHS, meaning that each step of the rule making processes for OMB review clearance can be completed in 30 days or less rather than 60 days or 90 days.

Bad news for H-4 EAD holders as the work authorization was given in May 2015 after a long wait and they now aim to take away right to work to gain political miles.

Is H4 EAD still Valid?

  1. You CAN apply for NEW H4-EAD and H4-EAD renewals. Currently, the H2-EAD is still active.

  2. If you are planning to apply for H4-EAD or renewal soon, we would strongly recommend to apply as early as possible and possibly before Feb 2018 end.
    The current processing time for H4-EAD is HIGH around 150 days too. You need to hurry!

  3. It is still not known if DHS will finally remove H4-EAD work authorization or not. They presence of this item on their agenda means that they INTEND to do it, though. The final regulation will be clear only when they come out with it, hopefully by Feb 2018.

Text from DHS note:

On February 25, 2015, DHS published a final rule extending eligibility for employment authorization to certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants who are seeking employment-based lawful permanent resident (LPR) status.
DHS is publishing this notice of proposed rule making to amend that 2015 final rule.
DHS is proposing to remove from its regulations certain H-4 spouses of H-1B non-immigrants as a class of aliens eligible for employment authorization.

Will existing H4 EAD holders be allowed to work for EAD validity period?

  1. There is no need to panic at this time. H4 EAD, if withdrawn by DHS, may take some time.
    The assumption is that the H4-EAD work authorization rule making, itself took 2 years in first place.
    So, rule withdrawal may take similar amount of time too.

  2. Other DACA and similar EAD withdrawals were not stopped in one shot.
    The EXISTING EADs were NOT withdrawn.
    The active ones were given their remaining validity time on EAD to use.

    So, going by that earlier behavior for DACA EADs, it is safe to assume that existing H4 EADs will also get to utilize their remaining due time, if DHS finally stops the H4-EAD work authorization.

H4 EAD withdrawal lawsuit against DHS?

Depending on what rule DHS comes out with, there is a possibility for a litigation be filed in court to stop the withdrawal and get a STAY on DHS’s decision.

This may be a long battle in court too.
This essentially means that if we get a stay, the H4-EAD can still be given until court makes a final decision.

Source: DHS rule agenda for removing H4-EAD

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5 posts were split to a new topic: Apply new H4 EAD before its withdrawal by DHS?

H4-EAD holders are needed to collaborate and help SAVE H4-EAD.

As per latest information, DHS has already started working on this rule and they are on-track to publish the clauses for removing H4-EAD by February 2018.

This is high time and everybody, who is affected, should come forward and join hands with this group:

LIFE4USA Facebook Group

This is a Facebook group that’s trying to create a response to DHS rule publishing and submit at-least 50,000 comments.

Please join the group and help make it a bigger and stronger collective voice, that can be heard, as loud as possible by DHS and Trump administration.

Remember:
DHS will publish the final rule and then wait for public comments for 30 days (since this is marked as economically significant rule). The H4 EAD is going down the drain faster than we can think of.

Update 18 Jan 2018

  1. As per latest information, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft have urged Trump administration to keep the H4-EAD program active for H1B spouses.
    U.S. Chamber, TechNet and Fwd.us, the immigration reform advocacy campaign backed by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, also supported the urge to save H4 EAD work authorization.

  2. This is a big development as it is backed by 4 biggest technology companies of the world, not only US.

  3. Their statement (through lobbying groups backed by these companies):

We represent employers who are committed to growing the U.S. economy and creating jobs for American workers. However, we cannot achieve these goals unless companies can recruit and retain the most qualified employees.

  1. The tech giants fear that the employees working for them on H1B will be demotivated, if the H4-EAD program for their spouses is withdrawn.

  2. This statement of support has been issued on late Wednesday (17 Jan 2018).
    It emphasizes that H1B spouses are eager to work and contribute to US economy by using their skills.
    They work legally, pay taxes and are an asset to our community.

  3. The statement WARNS Trump administration that ending H4 EAD program will have adverse effect on US economy as these highly skilled people might STOP coming to US, in the first place.

  4. The letter aimed at USCIS clearly highlights the point that these highly skilled people have been forced to use this H4-EAD simply because they belong to a specific country.
    If they were born in a country with low immigration number, they would have already got their permanent residency within a year.

  5. They argue that other countries such as Canada and Australia stand to gain from this decision, if employers decide to move their work and talent to these countries.

  6. Employers have invested a great deal of amount in hiring talent and people might decide to leave them for better immigration opportunities available in other countries.

Read the full content of letter here

Source: ITI

1 Like

7 posts were split to a new topic: Awaiting to know DHS final rule for H4 EAD termination

2 posts were split to a new topic: Will DHS allow existing H4 EAD to work till their EAD expire?

Update 22 Feb 2018 - H4EAD Court Case Update

The federal court has allowed DHS motion. This means DHS can start on the H4-EAD removal rule making.

The SaveJobsUSA VS DHS case is now in HOLD (Abeyance).

This is because DHS has planned to take off the H4-EAD and the case will not hold any significance if the DHS ultimately withdraws H4 spouse work permits.

DHS needs to report on the rule progress ( H4-EAD removal ) every 90 days to court starting Feb 21st, 2018. The next due date is May 22, 2018.

CURRENT STATUS : DHS has not published any rule yet as nothing has been sent to OMB.
We are tracking the DHS progress and will keep updating this page.

The H4-EAD sun-set is pretty much imminent at this point of time.

Following are the excerpts of court decision:

The United States Court of Appeals for District of Columbia Circuit has issued the following order:
Notice of Docket Activity: The following transaction was entered on 02/21/2018 at 10:58:36 AM EST and filed on 02/21/2018
Case Name: Save Jobs USA v. DHS
Case Number: 16-5287
Docket Text: PER CURIAM ORDER [1718765] granting motion to hold in abeyance [1710291-2]; denying motion to reschedule briefing and oral argument [1710188-2]. This case will continue to be held in abeyance pending further order of the court. Appellee represents that it plans to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking in February 2018 to remove from its regulations certain H-4 spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants as a class of aliens eligible for employment authorization. Appellee is directed to file a status report within 90 days of the date of this order, and every 90 days thereafter. The parties are directed to file motions to govern further proceedings within 30 days of appellee’s completion of the proposed rulemaking. Status Report due by 05/22/2018. Before Judges: Rogers, Griffith, and Kavanaugh. [16-5287]”

5 posts were split to a new topic: Should I change status from H4 EAD to H1B before DHS cancels my EAD?

7 posts were split to a new topic: Is it final that DHS will remove H4 EAD soon?

2 posts were split to a new topic: Stay with H1B contract or convert to H4 EAD full time opportunity at this time?

Update 1 March, 2018

DHS is now looking at June 2018 to come up with the H4 EAD termination rules.

DHS has not published any rule yet, for H4-EAD withdrawal / removal as anticipated based on their 2017 Fall rule making agenda and official timelines mentioned there.

This is a temporary relief and does not mean that they have abandoned their intention. They are probably working on the rules and trying to find ways to mitigate any lawsuits that may crop up in future.

DHS on Feb. 28 said “ significant revisions ” were made to a draft that originally was slated for a February release.
Those revisions required a new economic analysis, which “ required an additional several weeks to perform ,” the DHS told a federal appeals court.

Stay tuned as we keep an eye on the progress.

2 posts were split to a new topic: Will H4 EAD support letters sent by tech Giants push DHS to change their decision?

4 posts were split to a new topic: Is it too late to apply H4 EAD with DHS is almost ready to withdraw EAD?

Update Apr 20, 2018

USCIS chief Francis Cissna has responded to 15 US Law makers by clearly indicating that Trump administration wants to revoke H4 EAD work permits.

If Cessna’s words can be read correctly, he clearly suggests that nothing can be done to stop the demise of H4 work permits.

“the public will be given an opportunity to provide feedback during a notice and comment period”.

Read the full text of the letter here:

h4-ead-news-uscis-director-cissna-letter

Cessna has responded on behalf of DHS.

Update Apr 24, 2018

The news is not good for H4-EAD from anywhere. Trump administration and its agencies are aggressively working on taking the work permits away!

A former communication is expected to be made later this summer,” US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Francis Cissna said in a letter to Senator Chuck Grassley.

Our plans include proposing regulatory changes to remove H-4 dependent spouses from the class of aliens eligible for employment authorisation, thereby reversing the 2015 final rule that granted such eligibility,” Mr Cissna said.

uscis-cissna-letter-text-to-remove-h4-rad-truvisa

Read the full text of the letter here and about H4-EAD on page 2, last paragraph:

3 posts were split to a new topic: If H4 EAD rule is revoked, how long will it take to get implemented?

2 posts were merged into an existing topic: Will DHS allow existing H4 EAD to work till their EAD expire?

Update Apr 25, 2018 - FWD.us group supports H4 EAD

An immigration group fwd.us backed by Facebook, Apple, Microsoft and other big tech companies has criticized USCIS and DHS’s decision to withdraw H4-EAD.

In response to USCIS director Cissna’s letter highlighting the plan to terminate H4-EAD work permits by 2018 summer, they have released a report that highlights the effects of such a barbaric move and the kind of financial burden that this change would cause on H1B families and spouses.

“The current administration must reverse its attempts to use the regulatory and policy process to make it harder for international talent to contribute to the United states, and to make it more challenging for those who are already here to contribute.”

“There is no question that our immigration system is fundamentally outdated and broken, but the answer cannot be simply shut the door; instead, we must begin the hard but crucial work of reform to ensure that immigration remains a driver of our economy and America’s unique competitive advantage for generations to come.”

Read the full report here: FWD.US report

2 posts were merged into an existing topic: Will H4 EAD support letters sent by tech Giants push DHS to change their decision?

Update May 14, 2018

H4 EAD work authorization removal final rule is now expected to be published for OMB review in June 2018 and public comments by DHS.

Since, this is marked as ‘economically significant’ rule, DHS has the option of wrapping up the comment period in 30 days only!

DHS is working on it and is eager to get it our as early as possible to get some political mileage before mid-term elections.

The DHS Spring 2018 agenda proves that they are working on it.

All H4-EAD workers and beneficiaries, get ready for a roller coaster ride. News is not going to be good next month.

I know a lot of people who were working on H4-EAD and were eligible for H1B, have already converted.
If you can, you should too convert as early as possible to keep your job and income source un-affected.