H4 EAD may be withdrawn by DHS in 2018 - Bad news

Update Sep 21, 2018 - DHS to court - rule coming out in 3 months

DHS has filed its response to SaveJobsUSA motion on Sep 21, 2018 in federal court.

DHS states that its senior leadership has reviewed the proposed H4 EAD withdrawal rule and sent it to USCIS this month for revisions.
USCIS will return the proposed rule to DHS for final clearance and submission to OMB after review.

“DHS expects the rule to be submitted for OMB review within 3 months.”

This effectively means that you may see it by end of Dec 2018 or early Jan 2019.
Be ready for the Christmas gift !

We try to estimate the final H4 EAD revocation date based on how fast DHS moves. This is just a guess.
H4 EAD revoke estimated timeline
H4 EAD revoke estimated timeline - Guessing the date based on DHS decisions

Starting 21 Sep 2018 Fast (Days) Medium (Days) Slow (Days)
OMB Review Start 90 110 160
Comment Period End 30 60 90
Comment Review End 30 90 120
Final H4 EAD withdraw rule publish 1 10 30

Do we know yet is the H4EAD will be revoked for all sorts of job or there will be certain jobs for which it will still exists. My wife is going to school to study and she is working oncampus in certain administration job. I wanted to know if that would be affected.

Nothing has been mentioned by DHS about any exceptions yet.

At this time, what we know is that H4 EAD is going away for all, with no exceptions.

A post was split to a new topic: How to keep working in Govt company if H4 EAD is revoked?

Hi Anil,

Appreciate your help in this crunch situation for lot of H4/H1b visa holders. I have few questions. Could you please help in answering them?

  1. When will USCIS stop accepting (at what point of time in the H4 EAD revoke estimated timeline) new H4 EAD applications if everything works as per “Fast timeline”?

  2. What will happen to all H4 EAD applications reached to USCIS for processing or applications which would be under review before commenting period ends?

  3. I would be getting married in Jan 2019 and we are planning to come back to US in 3rd week of January 2019. I have all the documentation ready to apply for H4 EAD (will have to just wait for I-94 to be generated). What are the chances of me applying for H4 EAD in 3rd week of Jan and still hoping to get even when my application will reach USCIS during commenting period?

Relying upon your response & answers which will help me in taking some further decisions.

Thanks,

  1. If everything works according to ‘Fast timeline’ estimation, the last date to apply would be Feb 22, 2019 and this is same date when USCIS will stop accepting new applications. This is just an estimation.

  2. After comment review period, DHS will tell if they would continue with existing pending applications or abandon them. We do not know about it yet.

  3. As per my opinion, DHS will probably follow either the ‘Medium’ or ‘Slow’ timeline estimation. The chances of ‘Fast’ timeline are very low based on prior experience.
    So, you should be able to file H4 EAD in Jan 2019 end and still get it approved before it is revoked.

Hello Anil,

I checked the OMB/regulatory review website and it says USCIS has not submitted the rule for OMB review. Is that right?

And
based on past example(International Entrepreneur Rule, h4 EAD creation
rule) proposed rules take 6 months or more in OMB review. Is that
included in your timeline?

Thanks for this amazing website btw!

Yes, you are right. The rule is not yet submitted for OMB review.
I have tried to give 3 timelines based on the speed with which DHS moves for OMB clearance. It may come out true or false.
I think that DHS will follow the ‘Slow’ path though.

Hi there, thanks for your article and estimated timeline in each case.
I have a question.
My current H4 EAD is valid till Jan 2020, which mean i can file another extension in October 2019. However, according to your timeline and DHS progress, it is not sure if H4 EAD rule stays valid till that time.

Since my husband is planning to switch his job. And he needs to have an H1 transfer which will be valid from the day of transfer to next 3 years. Let’s say he gets a job in December 2018 and apply for H1 transfer.

Can I also apply for H4 and H4 EAD renewal along with that? If that is possible, it gives me some more EAD life (Dec 2018 to Dec 2021) to find a better solution meanwhile.
thank you very much

Yes, you can try that option.

Update Sep 27, 2018 - US Senator send letter to USCIS

U.S. Senators Kamala D. Harris (D-CA) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) sent a letter to USCIS and DHS urging them not to revoke employment authorization for roughly 100k high-skilled immigrant women, mostly from India, currently covered under the “H-4 rule.”

I hope this push from IT industry and Senators help turn the tide against H4 spouses!

Update Oct 17, 2018 - DHS updates Rule making page

DHS has updated their rule making agenda page with the estimated publish date as Nov, 2018.

DHS thinks that they will save costs of operation when H4 EADs are stopped.
Also, employers of H-4 workers could incur costs when their employees’ EADs are terminated.
Does that mean that existing H4 EADs will not be allowed to continue with their validity? Only time will tell.

Nov 26, 2018 – HR 7150: H4 Employment Protection Act of 2018

DHS has NOT published any rules yet as we reach end of Nov.

California Congresswoman introduced H.R. 7150 bill to protect H4 EAD work permit from DHS removal.
If H4 Employment Protection Act of 2018 bill becomes a law especially with Democrat majority in house, it might bring a big relief for H1B families.

The bill stands low probability of approval before DHS H4-EAD termination.
It would be interesting to see if the bill moves faster than DHS speed of removing work authorization.

Dec 17, 2018 - Immigration Voice files appeal in Federal court in favor of H4 EAD

Immigration Voice reports that their appeal against H4 EAD removal accepted by federal court for hearing! Good news!

This will give them a chance to argue and put forward their views in favor of H4EAD workers in front of federal court.

what is Immigration voice ?

Hi @Sandhiya_Arumugham
Immigration Voice is an independent non-profit organization lead by an Attorney. Their main purpose is to safeguard H1B’s interests and fight for removing country based limits thereby decreasing the long wait for Green Card.

Most of the members in this organization are from GC backlogged countries like India and China.

You can read more about them here:
https://immigrationvoice.org

Feb 21, 2019 - Removal Rules Submitted to OMB

H4 EAD news update today : Finally, DHS has submitted the revoke rules to OMB and marked it as ’ Economically Significant ’ which means that OMB will wrap up comments period within 30 days.

April 2, 2019 - DHS to Federal court - H4 EAD does not impact US workers

DHS informs federal court in SaveJobsUSA vs DHS court case that SaveHobsUSA has not provided any proof that it adversely affects the job prospects of American workers.

This is good news.

Update April 29, 2019 - SaveJobsUSA reply in federal court

#SaveJobsUSA has repeated d same point in their federal court hearing today:

  1. Congress has not given authority to DHS to give out EADs.
  2. Majority of #H4EAD holders are working IT sector and taking away American jobs.

Federal court has not given any opinion yet.

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.