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