H4 EAD News Update Today : Jan 27th, 2020. Last Friday we had update from court on rehearing request, read below.
We have divided topics and summarised the latest updates on the top for easy review. If you need to additional details, check history, background, predictions and detail updates, scroll down and review timeline for all updates, opinions, FAQs.
Latest H4 EAD News Updates, Summary :
Below is the most recent H4 EAD News on various fronts
H4 EAD Rule Removal – Rule-making Process :
- January 27th, 2020 : No new update on the rule making in January 2020 yet. Still stuck with OMB. The planned NPRM date for H4 EAD rule removal is March 2020..We need to wait and see.
- November 21st, 2019 : H4 EAD rule removal continues to be part of the Fall 2019 Regulatory Agenda. It is mentioned with a NPRM date of March 2020, which is in-line with the DHS info given as part of the lawsuit. No changes are done to the H4 EAD rule yet. Being part of the regulatory agenda just means that it is still a priority for DHS, nothing more than that. Indian media and other media create hype and write lot of misleading information confusing everyone and creating panic, do not fall for that. Nothing has been done. This rule has been on every regulatory agenda since Spring 2018, so nothing to panic…still long way to go. You can check out the full details at : Fall 2019 Regulatory Agenda – H4 EAD, H1B, F1, USCIS changes . Below is the date of march 2020
- November 13th, 2019 : The Reginfo.gov website has a new update on the rule revoke, where Infosys has scheduled a meeting with OMB. This is part of the standard process to hear from stakeholders on the rule changes. See below and check Reginfo.gov
- November 8th, 2019 : No new update in H4 EAD rule removal yet in October, it is still in the same state as before, pending with USCIS. There was nothing in September as well.
- Previous update, include a document tied to the May 1st meeting was posted on the OMB meetings page for the rule. All it tells is that H4 removal will impact many and should not be removed. It is by few advocacy groups. See below. They have the H4 rule in pending state for a very long time, they only cleared H1B Registration Fee rule few weeks back in August.
- H4 EAD Rule Removal Status – OMB : On June 20th, H4 EAD rule removal hit 90 + 30 days, which is general timeline, but nothing came out. One key thing is that, if the head of the rulemaking agency wants, the review period can be extended indefinitely and there is no timeline. See below screenshot. Check EO 12866 FAQs. Check below timeline for more history.
- ( Unofficial – June 20,2019 ) There was a tweet by one of the attorney’s attending AILA Annual conference saying that the economic analysis was wrong and Govt is trying to fix that and there is no estimated time on the same. You can check tweet
H4 EAD Lawsuit in Court:
- January 27th, 2020: Court responded to the rehearing request by Immigration Voice on Friday, Jan 24th, 2020. It was denied by Judges and panels. There were two court orders that were released denying the re-hearing petition by Immigration voice & intervenors. See below. Next step is for the case to go back to district court as the re-hearing request is denied.
- December 30th, 2019 : We had updates on the lawsuit, where motion was filed by DHS for extension of date for rehearing, which was denied by court. Also, Immigration Voice also filed for rehearing challenging the judgment by appeals court. Check out the complete details at H4 EAD Lawsuit – Rehearing Requests, Court Order Summary . Below are the various timeline of events filed with court.
- November 8th, 2019 : Court gave Judgment today in favor or Save Jobs USA. The H4 EAD Case will be sent back to District court for next steps. This win for Save Jobs does not mean that they got the case in their favor, all they got is a win in Appeals court for them to go back to District Court and contest the case again. District court will review the case again in detail. So, it will be dragged further. See below and Read H4 EAD Lawsuit – Court Judgement Summary
- November 4th, 2019 : No new update last week. The most recent update on the case that transcript of Oral Argument was entered on Oct 22nd. It does not really mean anything in terms of the decision. Just a process thing for the court. See below. We are waiting for the Court opinion/ Judgment. There is no SLA as such, we need to wait, can be few weeks or couple of months. You can see below screenshot taken on Oct 28th, 2019, which says the update is from Oct 22nd, 2019.
- September 27th, 2019 : Court had oral argument on time. It lasted about 45 min or so. We have compiled the entire key points of the argument. Read H4 EAD Lawsuit – Oral Argument Summary, Next steps.
- September 25th, 2019 : Court has given the final schedule and timing for each of the parties int he Oral argument. Each of the parties get 15 minutes. DHS 15 min and Save Jobs 15 minutes to present their argument. This will be the first oral argument of the day. They changed the order, if you see previous update, it was the second one. See below from court website.
- September 20th, 2019 : DHS and Save Jobs submitted two documents.
- Initially, DHS Submitted a document that references a case called “Humane Society II”, where the current Appeals court rejected the case as lacking standing. DHS basically looked at previous cases and picked up something that the current Appeals court dismissed and referenced the same so that the oral argument would be in their favor. See below screenshot.
- Save Jobs submitted response to the DHS claim indicating they did share clearly the injury details in the past and does not find any relation with the Humane Society case, also DHS did not mention about this case details in the past and are inventing these now…See below screenshot.
- We need to see how the court will consider the new case details that DHS is comparing to and how Save Jobs has responded to the same.
- September 18th, 2019 : Court issued an order in the evening that the oral argument would go on as planned before on Sep 27th, 2019. No changes to the plan. They say that the argument will be limited to issue of standing. Basically, what they are trying to say is that they will look at Save Jobs USA’s key argument point, why they came to US appeals court, as district court said Save Jobs lacks standing, rather than current H4 EAD rule revocation in progress. You can read the actual Save Jobs Argument brief summary submitted in Jan 2019. See below the Standing Point from Summary Judgement of District Court from 2016 and current court order :
- September 16th, 2019 : DHS, Save Jobs USA and Immigration Voice submitted documents to court for the recent order issued by Court on Sep 11th. Below is the summary
- DHS says, it is still working on the rule and going through the regulatory process. Their earliest planned date to publish is Spring 2020 and they say the oral argument should be removed. See below.
- Immigration Voice says, the oral argument must be removed as well as it will be waste of court time and resources as the case is not ripe for oral argument and also that Save Jobs could not demonstrate potential harm due to the H4 holders working, so no point in oral argument now. See below.
- Save Jobs USA says, The oral argument should proceed as planned as DHS gave multiple assurances that H4 Rule would be removed, but nothing really happend. They wasted 2 years of time, they were granted multiple chances to remove the rule, but no concrete action was taken. There has been years of delay and taking this off the oral argument will hurt the American workers. Also, they are questioning the DHS authority, if they could issue the rule or not, so should proceed. Save Jobs also believes that even if they proceed with H4 EAD rule removal, there are many, trying to challenge that in lawsuit, so it has a difficult path, so oral argument should be held now. See below.
- You can check the actual court documents on our H4 EAD Lawsuit Court Documents Page
- Updates Before Sep 16th, 2019 : You can scroll down below for previous updates in order by dates before.
General H4 EAD News :
- Jan 15th, 2019 : No new general news on H4 EAD yet in January 2020.
- Dec 30th, 2019 : No general H4 EAD news in December yet. Nothing in November, October and September. Below are some general updates from previous months.
- H4 EAD Processing time Delays Lawsuits : Since June 2019, Immigration Law firms like RN Law firm in Houston, TX have been filing H4 EAD delays lawsuits every couple of weeks…there were multiple H4 EAD delays lawsuits filed by many individuals stating that H4 EAD adjudication delays with New H4 Biometrics Process is causing hardships for them due to the USCIS delays. You can check Summary of H4 EAD Processing Delays Lawsuit.
- H4 EAD Protection act Bill re-introduced : Rep Eshoo re-introduced H4 EAD protection act bill in House in May, and it is in sub-committee for review as of June 2019. All details at H4 EAD Employee Protection act Reintroduced 2019.
This article covers below aspects:
- Background to H4 EAD Rule
- What’s H4 EAD Lawsuit filed in court ?
- H4 EAD and Trump Administration actions history timeline by date from 2017 to today, Latest News, Lawsuit updates
- H4 EAD Revocation common FAQs – validity, can you apply, future applications, etc.
- H4 EAD Rule Revocation Impact Analysis and current state Summary
- User Comments – Heated discussions
You may check out our short video on Entire H4 EAD History from 2015 to 2018.
Background of H4 visa EAD Rule :
For many years, since the H4 visa program inception, H-4 holders have not been provided with any work authorization. This changed on May 26, 2015 when USCIS passed the Employment Authorization for Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses rule. The H4 visa dependent spouses were eligible for work authorization EAD provided the H-1B spouse satisfies one of the below two:
- Have an approved I-140, which is the immigration petition for foreign citizens to get Green Card or Permanent Residency in USA.
- Have H1B visa status extended beyond 6 years under AC21 Act, which allows H1B holders seeking Green Card to work and stay in USA beyond 6 years, if their Green Card or Permanent Residency Application is Pending.
Soon after the H4 Visa EAD Rule was enacted, two things happened:
1. Thousands of H-4 spouses applied for H4 visa EAD ( Employment Authorization Document) and got their first chance to work in US after many years of staying at home.
2. A lawsuit was filed against the H4 EAD rule to stop it from going into motion. More details on H4 EAD Lawsuit.
What’s the H4 EAD Lawsuit ?
‘Save Jobs USA’ (an organization comprised of IT workers who claim they lost their jobs to H-1B workers) filed its lawsuit against Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on April 23, 2015 before the rule was about to go live. The lawsuit was initially dismissed by a Federal district court in September 2016 (check references below ) as “Save Jobs USA” could not defend their lawsuit that H4 EAD holders will impact them. The plaintiffs, who is ‘Save Jobs USA’, filed an appeal to the United States Court of Appeal for the DC Circuit. The plaintiffs, claim two things:
1. The new rule has no protections for US workers and increases the pool of workers looking for jobs
2. DHS never had the authority to grant EADs to H-4 visa holders.
H4 EAD & Trump Administration Timeline, Latest News :
Since President Trump’s administration took office, there has been lot of speculation and rumors about what will happen to H-4 visa EAD rule. Below is the timeline of what has happened since President Trump took oath:
- February 2, 2017 : The Trump administration requested ( filed a motion) a 60 day abeyance (state of temporary inactivity ) to consider the issue and submit their brief ( response to consider the case).
- April 3, 2017 : The administration asked ( filed a new motion) for additional 180 day abeyance(state of temporary inactivity ) before they can provide their opinion. The Trump administration will update court every 60 days on the issue and update court before elapse of 180 days.
- June 23, 2017 : The appeals court granted a stay on Jun 23rd, 2017 and asked both the parties, SAVE Jobs USA and DHS to file further motions on how they would like to proceed with the case by Sep 27, 2017.
- September 20, 2017 : SAVE Jobs USA has filed its motion stating that DHS has not taken any action and no publication of rule has been done in Federal register related to the H4 EAD rule and they requested for oral argument to conclude the case. They continue to tell that the delay would hurt american workers and new litigation would begin again.
- September 27, 2017 : DHS ( Trump administration) filed a motion and requested the appeals court to hold the current H4 EAD case again in abeyance( which basically means hold on temporarily in suspension ), until December 31,2017. The whole reason DHS have asked for this extension is to ensure that DHS and administration align their entire approach to implement Trump Executive Order 13788 on Buy American Hire American and consider how to handle the H4 EAD rule as part of overall view. For source, you will need PACER Login to view the entire document on court’s website. Below is a screenshot of the actual info.
- November 17, 2017 : There was a new request to extend the deadline, but court has denied the extension and has asked to continue and proceed and file their motions by January 2nd, 2018. See below
- November 21st, 2017 (Unofficial – News) : A News article on Breitbart news says that there is a regulation drafted by DHS and is on the table to end the H4 visa EAD program. Until we see this published, it is still a rumor. You can read the News on Breitbart.com . There are so many speculations all over the place, please take every news with a pinch of salt.
- December 14th, 2017 ( Official ) : DHS has published an agenda item “Removing H-4 Dependent Spouses from the Class of Aliens Eligible for Employment Authorization” today in the Fall 2017 Regulatory agenda. Basically all it says is that they intend to amend the original rule published for H4 EAD Rule in 2015 and potentially remove it as per the Buy American, Hire American EO by Trump Administration . It states that the DHS Secretary has authority to do as per INA regulations. Not many details published except that it is part of the agenda and they plan to remove it. We have no details on what happens to current H4 EAD holder working. As of today, basically nothing changes as it is in proposed rule state. We can expect progress or update on this in February 2018. Below is a screenshot on what you see on regulations.gov You can check the actual official info at Reginfo.gov
- December 22nd, 2017 ( Official ) : Both DHS and SAVE Jobs have filed respective motions, one to hold the case in abeyance (hold), other fo oral argument and not hold the case in abeyance. Below is quick summary.
- DHS Motion Summary : DHS has filed a motion to hold the lawsuit in abeyance ( basically on hold/suspension ) as they are in regulatory process of implementing the “Removal of the H4 EAD” and they plan for Notice for proposed rule making ( NPRM) in February 2018. They say that having an oral argument now is of no use, when the H4 EAD rule is going to removed with regulation. As they are in process of removing, they are asking more time and will inform court in July, 2018 on the progress. You can check the document link in Official Documents section below.
- SAVE Jobs Motion Summary : SAVE Jobs argues that in the first place DHS never had the authority to implement the H4 EAD rule without an act in Congress. They say that the regulatory process will take years, as the previous H4 EAD rule making took over 2 years from publication in regulatory agenda, and it will impact many of the Americans. Also, this process will lead to more lawsuits around the DHS rule to remove H4 EAD. The best path is to have oral argument and have a judgment.You can check the document link in Official Documents section below.
- Current Status : Court is yet to review and give a decision on the motions filed by both. We will keep you posted.
- Official Documents : You can read both the documents at H4 Visa EAD – Official Court Documents DHS, SAVE Jobs.
- January 5th, 2018 ( Official ) : Many are waiting still for the update as we are past Jan 2nd, 2018 ,which was when we are supposed to hear something from the Court. As of now, there is no update on the case. We have checked court case updates, nothing has been published. Just to give you a perspective, the court has responded at least over 1.5 month after the motions were filed. As you can see below the actual court updates from the case on Court’s website, I have highlighted the one in RED, where court responded to the Motion filed. Now, if the same trend continues from court, we may not hear back anything end of January or February. Of course, just guessing here based on history. We will keep you posted, once there is an update. As nothing has happened, it can be assumed that Court has given DHS until July 2018 to hear the update. Again, we need official court response, will let you all know, once updated by court.
- February 21st, 2018 ( Official ) : After a very long wait, finally today there is an update on the case by court. They have ordered the case to be held in Abeyance ( basically hold) and denied the plea of oral argument by SAVE Jobs. As you can see below, they mention that, the reason for their decision is that they see the plan of rule-making by DHS to propose rule to remove H4 EAD in February 2018. DHS is asked is report status on the H4 EAD rule within 90 days from the order day, which is today Feb 21st, 2018 and also every 90 days after that. Basically, DHS has to file an update with Court by May 22, 2018 on the H4 EAD rule-making. Now, as far as the rule-making from DHS, nothing has been sent to OMB yet for review. So, we need to still wait.
- Official Documents : Read Official Docs at H4 Visa EAD – Official Court Documents DHS, SAVE Jobs.
- Next Steps : DHS to update Court regarding H4 EAD rule making by May 22, 2018.
- H4 EAD Removal Rule Making Status : No rule is sent to OMB for review yet. Need to wait.
- February 28th, 2018 ( Official ): DHS filed a status report with the DC Circuit Court stating that upon review by USCIS, they believe that draft of the regulation need to be revised further and they need some more time until June 2018.hey anticipate that it will be June 2018, when they can submit the proposed regulation to Office of Management and Budget for review and clearance in time for publication. The court document says that the decision to remove H4 EAD using regulation does not change, but they need more time. See below the document with sections highlighted.
- Official Documents :Read Official Docs at H4 Visa EAD – Official Court Documents DHS, SAVE Jobs.
- Next Steps : DHS to update court regarding H4 EAD removal regulation rule making process in next 90 Days, maybe end of May 2018.
- H4 EAD Removal Rule Making Status : Regulation will be revised further and send to OMB by June 2018. Need to wait.
- March 26th, 2018 ( Official ): Few of the Members of Congress wrote to USCIS Secretary requesting to reconsider and not revoke the H4 EAD rule. But, USCIS responded saying just that, they are working towards the president’s goal of Buy American and Hire American and everyone will get a chance to submit comments during the rule comments period to submit feedback. See below. You can check the actual Request Letter and Respond from USCIS
- April 4th, 2018 ( Official ): USCIS Director wrote to Senate outlining various H1B and H4 changes in a letter and plans of USCIS. It also talks about their intention to remove H4 EAD and the regulation in planning. Below is the screenshot of the exact info. It clearly tells that they plan to remove it with regulation and public will get a chance to provide feedback during comment and notice period. Check original document of USCIS Letter sent to Senate Judiciary committee
- May 10th, 2018 ( Official ) : H4 EAD Rule removal is now part of Spring 2018 agenda and the timeline has been updated to June 2018 for rule proposal and comment period. The current rule published in RegInfo.gov does not have much changes, except there is no need justification in the current rule proposal. See below the comparison. The green highlighted one is not there is Spring 2018 rule info. Check the actual rule info at Reginfo.gov Spring 2018 H4 Removal Rule
- May 16th, 2018 : A group of 130 members of congress lead by Rep. Pramila Jayapal and Rep. Mia Love, signed a letter to the DHS asking Trump administration to reconsider its plans to remove H4 EAD rule for certain spouses of H1B. You can read actual : Singed Letter H4 EAD
- May 23rd, 2018 ( Official ) : Despite all the letters, etc. nothing has changed from DHS/ USCIS in their stance towards the rule removal. Yesterday, DHS filed an update with the court indicating their stance and the progress with H4 EAD removal rule. It is a simple update and tells that the H4 EAD rule removal is in final clearance and will be sent to OMB for review and their plans remain unchanged for publication of NPRM for H4 EAD Removal Below is the most important piece of info clipped from the court document. You can check full Official H4 EAD Court Documents
- August 20th, 2018 ( Official ) : USCIS updated court on their latest status indicating that final DHS Clearance review is ongoing and its intention/ stance on the issue remains unchanged. See below screenshot from the exact ruling. In general, the OMB review process takes anywhere from a month or more, so we may expect the ruling around in late September 2018. You can check the full document at Official H4 EAD Court Documents
- September 11th, 2018 ( Official ): SAVE Jobs USA has filed a motion in court asking the court to conduct briefing and oral argument very soon. It is pretty lengthy 11 page document submitted by SAVE Jobs USA that highlights the delays and says nothing has moved in the last year and half and if it goes at this pace, it will take years for this case to be closed and they say “Justice Delayed is Justice Denied”. Also, they say that there could be another litigation as well, if the H4 EAD is removed, so they are asking for oral hearing to clarify one simple question if DHS had the authority to give H4 EAD without Congress approval. The key info is highlighted below in screenshots. If you are interested in reading the actual filed Motion Document, you can check it out at Official H4 EAD Court Documents
- September 21st, 2018 ( Official ): In response to SAVE Jobs motion filed earlier this month, DHS submitted in court their response requesting to hold the case as it is as they are making swift progress. DHS’s senior leadership has reviewed and proposed some changes and they plan to submit the rule to OMB within 3 months. DHS argues in the response document to all the concerns raised by SAVE Jobs USA in their motion regarding more jobs lost, future litigation, etc. The overall message DHS says is that, it is in best interest of everyone to hold the case hearing on hold until the process is completed as it would waste court’s and everyone’s time as their intent has not changed and they are making swift progress. The key info is highlighted below in screenshots. You also read the actual response document at by DHS at Official H4 EAD Court Documents
- October 16th, 2018 ( Official ): Senators Harris and Gillibrand wrote a letter to USCIS on Sept 26th,2018 regarding H4 EAD removal to reconsider as it will create extreme hardship for many families. USCIS responded officially to their letter stating that their priorities are to implement President Trump’s Buy American Hire American policies and safeguard US workers, stating that there will be comment period for everyone to provide feedback. You can check Official Letter from USCIS for Senator Harris
- October 17th, 2018 ( Official ): Fall 2018 Regulatory agenda was published and it included H4 EAD rule removal as one of the agenda item. DHS is looking to propose NPRM for H4 EAD rule removal in November 2018 as per the update. We are just waiting for the rule to be published. Check more details of Fall 2018 Regulatory Agenda – H1B, H4 Impact Summary
- November 16th, 2018 (Official) : A new bill called “H4 Employment Protection Act” was introduced in House by Reps. Eshoo and Lofgren. The whole idea of the bill is to stop Trump Administration from Revoking / Removing the H4 EAD Bill. It talks about hardships and benefits. Still very early stages, not much to predict. You can read Summary of the H4 Employment Protection Act, Status, Impact
- November 16th, 2018 (Official) : Also, semiannual regulatory agenda with H4 EAD rule removal info was published today in Federal Register. It is under sequence number 299. The NPRM is not yet published.
- Nov 17th to Dec 16th, 2018 ( Unofficial) : No updates from Nov 16th to Dec 16th. There was a status report due to Court on Nov 19th, but nothing was sent to court. We are expecting that DHS would very likely publish the rule for OMB review by December 21st, 2018. The reason is that they have mentioned that to the court on September 21st that they would file it to OMB within 3 months and that day would be Dec 21st. Check DHS court documents and above updated from September 21st screenshot of official court.
- Dec 17th, 2018( Official) : US Court of appeals issued two Per Curiam Orders ( basically issued by court and not a specific judge) stating few things :
- To remove the court case of H4 EAD Lawsuit from abeyance ( basically on hold or dormant status)
- Denied the motion filed to expedite the case ( take decision quicker)
- Granted a motion for leave to intervene ( meaning a third party other than the two parties fighting in the case to join the case past deadline ) for ImmigrationVoice team to join the case and let them put in their argument in oral hearing. Check out ImmigrationVoice FB Page
- Ordered all the parties to file a new opening briefs( a written argument on what went wrong with case and facts) and also the new party joined the case to file the same. See dates in below screenshot.
- Below is the screenshot. Also, we have dates now setup for the replacement brief. You can check out full court documents from today at H4 EAD Lawsuit Court Documents History
- It is going to be interesting as we have lot of things going on in parallel with DHS and court case in progress.
- Next Action Steps in the H4 EAD Lawsuit : By Jan 16, 2019 Save Jobs USA has to file a new Replacement Opening Brief ( written documentation supporting their lawsuit ) and after that by Feb 16th, 2019 DHS has to file their Brief (supporting documentation for the lawsuit defence ). Immigration Voice will need to file their Brief ( supporting information and facts) regarding the lawsuit by Feb 22nd, 2019. Based on all of these Brief’s submitted, SAVE Jobs USA has to reply by March 15, 2019.
- You may watch our short 3 min H4 EAD Court Order YouTube Video explaining what the court orders mean.
- Jan 15th, 2019(UnOfficial ) : No new updates on H4 EAD until today in this new Year 2019. Tomorrow is when court should get the replacement brief from SAVE Jobs USA. Also, Trump did a random tweet without any details saying that H1B will be given path to citizenship. With partial Government shutdown, there will be delays for the H4 EAD removal process… Also, We still continue to wait for the proposed rule to be sent to OMB to be reviewed for NPRM. We were expecting it to be published around last week of December 2018, but now with the new court orders and US Govt Shutdown, things have changed and we have to wait and see what happens .
- You may watch recent YouTube Video : Entire H4 EAD Lawsuit, Rule Removal History from 2015 to Dec 2018 ( 3 years 8 Months)
- Jan 16th, 2019( Official ) : SAVE Jobs USA Filed its replacement Opening brief today. It is a pretty lengthly 77 page document with an appendix of 116 pages. The replacement brief filed by Save Jobs USA emphasises on the previous points such as DHS lacking authority to give H4 EADs in first place and how H4 EADs are hurting the SAV Jobs USA members. Check out Summary of H4 EAD Lawsuit Replacement Brief with Argument Points, Facts
- Jan 18th, 2019( Official ) : DHS filed a motion today to put a stay on the deadlines as there is no funding due to Govt. Shutdown and they request to put the case in abeyance and put hold on the deadlines to submit response. Court reviewed it and denied the motion to hold the case in Abeyance or put stay on the deadlines. See below. You can check all court documents at H4 EAD Lawsuit Court Documents History
- You can check out Jan update in short video on YouTube – Replacement Brief Argument , Court Order
- Jan 23rd, 2019 ( Official ) : DHS filed another consent motion requesting to enlarge the deadlines by 30 days, they have raised Govt Shutdown issues and the situation that many cannot work even on voluntary basis. After further review, Court has given consent for the same. Below is the screenshot. TO read actual documents, check out H4 EAD Lawsuit Court Documents History
- Feb 20th, 2019( Official ) : DHS Submitted the H4 EAD Rule removal to OMB ( Office of Management and Budget) for review today ( see below). It is marked as economically significant. If you look at the general 9 Step Federal Rule Making Process, we are in step number four. OMB Office can take anywhere from few days to 90 days. Now, with all the lawsuit and this going on, it is not very positive news for H4 EAD holders. Based on today’s update of OMB, we have revised the H4 EAD removal Predictions, check out H4 EAD Rule Removal Predictions for updated timelines. The actual H4 EAD removal rule is not published yet and still in proposed rule stage. Still all eligible H4 holders can apply for EAD. Watch the short video below as well. Check the official OMB Pending Review of Rule on Reginfo.gov
- March 12th, 2019(Official ) : On the lawsuit side, DHS has requested Court to extend their date by 14 days due to pre-planned court hearing travels, leave. They have asked the new date to be April 1st. Court is yet to respond to the request. See below for the official info on the documents submitted. On the rule making side, nothing has changed and the rule info is submitted to OMB ( Office of Management and Budget) and they are reviewing the same. If court approves, we may not hear anything until April. We need to wait and see, if court will give the extension…Stay tuned for updates.
- March 14th, 2019(Official ) : Court reviewed DHS request and approved it with an order to extend the date to submit brief to April 1st, see below the revised dates. This order gives DHS more time for OMB review of the initial proposed rule.You can check H4 EAD Lawsuit Court Documents History for actual documents. No new update on the rule-making side, we are still waiting for OMB update on the rule review…DHS is just buying more time to have the rule review complete from OMB, so that they can have a strong brief in the court on their intent to revoke the H4 EAD rule..Stay tuned for updates.
- April 1st, 2019(Unofficial ) : No new updates today as of 8:30 PM EST. Today was the deadline for brief from DHS, but nothing came out today as of 8:30 PM EST.…Usually the updates happen in the business hours, we have not seen anything today. Maybe we see something tomorrow. Also, we are still waiting for review and updated from OMB, we were expecting something there, nothing moved there as well. On the other hand, H1B 2020 Season Starts Today and USCIS Launched H1B Employer Data Hub today. Also, if you are on H4, recently USCIS introduced New Form I-539, with Biometrics that will impact H4 EAD processing times. You can check out our short video in summary for March 2019 updates, you can watch it below. It is a 2 min video. Also, if you are filing
- April 2nd, 2019(Official ) : Late last night ( see below) DHS filed their brief with the court, where they argue that Save Jobs could not establish their argument that it will harm SAVE Jobs Members. It is a 49 page document, we have summarized it. Check out Summary of DHS Argument and Appellee’s brief submitted with court. We have put up a short video on Youtube, you can check it below.
- Also, there is another update on Skilled Immigrants America Facebook group stating the background work done by a group of H4 holders advocating to fight against the removal of H4 EAD rule and lawsuit. They have met with OMB and submitted lot of data and report on the current situation of H4 holders . The group believes that it helped shape up DHS brief to indicate that Save Jobs does not have standing in the case. Check it at : Skilled Immigrants America Facebook group
- April 8th, 2019(Official ) : We had two Intervenor briefs submitted yesterday. One by Immigration voice only and Second one by Immigration voice and other non-profit trade organizations. Both of them support H4 EAD and support all the actions of DHS.
- First Brief by Immigration Voice and Non-Profit Trade Orgs : The first brief is 38 page document and talks about the merits of H4 EAD program to US businesses and highlight the impact and how it will affect families, etc. and support H4 EAD. Key points include
- Contributions to US Economy, Taxes, etc
- Damage done to irrevocable life decisions of H4 Holders
- How EAD will not impact american jobs
- DHS had power to create H4 EAD rule based on 1324a.
- Congress did not prevent H4 EAD as they did not had any intent on the same.
- Send it back to district court, if has different stand on the case.
- For Full details read Summary of Intervenor’s Brief by Immigration Voice and Team.
- You can check out the video summary of this brief below.
- Second Brief by Immigration Voice Only : The second brief is 54 pages and talks about the case supporting DHS brief and the overall case addressing the Save Jobs points raised in their brief.. Key Points include
- DHS argued it correctly in their brief
- Immigration voice has standing as Intervenor due to court order and the potential injury to H4 Holders
- 50 years History of how INA has given authority for DHS to create rules like H4 EAD.
- If different stand, send it back to the district court.
- For full details read Summary of Immigration Voice Only – Intervenor Brief
- You can check out the video summary of this brief below.
- From Rule-making side, no update from OMB on the H4 EAD rule removal yet, it still pending review.
- First Brief by Immigration Voice and Non-Profit Trade Orgs : The first brief is 38 page document and talks about the merits of H4 EAD program to US businesses and highlight the impact and how it will affect families, etc. and support H4 EAD. Key points include
Video Summary on First Brief with Immigration Voice and Others :
Video Summary on Second Brief with Immigration Voice Only :
- April 25th, 2019(Official ) : We have a scheduled date now for the OMB review meetings ( EO 12866 Meetings ) for the H4 EAD removal rule. It is scheduled for May 1st, 2019 for 3 pm. It is updated on the Reginfo.gov website. See below. On the lawsuit side from the court, no new updates, it is same state since April 8th. We are expecting something to be filed by Save Jobs USA on April 29th, 2019.
- April 29th, 2019(Official ) : Save Jobs USA filed their Appellant’s reply brief earlier today. It is a 37 page document. In short below is the summary from the reply brief
- Save Jobs USA argues on their fundamental points that H4 EAD hurts their members. They put in counter arguments for DHS and intervenor’s arguments on DHS authority, post complaint date evidence.
- Save Jobs USA says that there is no point in sending this back to old court, as the key points were discussed.
- Also, they say that fundamental rule of H4 EAD was to help H1B holders and it is in the H4 Rule creation charter, now DHS is contradicting its own points, etc. Some of these arguments are logical
- Save Jobs make many references to the cases, only court can validate all such proofs.
- For full details read the article Summary of the Appellant’s Brief filed by Save Jobs USA
- You can watch the video summary as well below
- On the rule removal side, the next meeting is scheduled for 1st of May. Stay tuned for updates.
- May 4th, 2019(UnOfficial ) : No new update today. One of the fellow (who represents Save Jobs USA in the H4 EAD Court Case) from Center for Immigration studies published that OMB may not directly approve H4 EAD rule removal as it is in current state based on his analysis of parallel with DACA as it could end up in legal battle. So, it can take time and DHS will take a deep dive and he believes that Court would ultimately decide such things. Check article . No update on the OMB review meeting. The purpose of the OMB Review meeting, also called as EO 12866 review meeting, is to review the current rule proposed by DHS to assess the holistic purpose, costs, benefits. The exact statement : “Executive Order 12866 requires an analysis of the costs and benefits of rules and, to the extent permitted by law, action only on the basis of a reasoned determination that the benefits justify the costs.”
- May 8th, 2019(Official ) : OMB Meetings list page is fully updated with data from previous meetings that were conducted in March. They were attended by many groups. See below screenshots. There were few meetings held on 3/26/2019. The meeting at 1:30 was attended by IRLI, which is a American Employees Rights Organization, unlike at 1:00 PM the meeting was attended by many Indians and USCIS officials. Most of these meetings are OMB review meetings to assess the impact of the rule as part of due diligence. These meetings can be requested to work with OMB to convey the feedback. Overall, one weird thing is that one of them says Final Rule Stage, it is very confusing as the rule is still in proposed rule stage and you cannot be in final rule stage…I am guessing it could be a typo…Because, as you can see all rules have to go through 9 Rule Making Steps and H4 EAD Removal rule is not there yet…We are still few days away from reaching the 90 days mark for OMB deadline.
- Also, the overall status of the rule on Federal Register has not changed and it still says Pending Review. Only new info added is the meetings data. You can check all of this at Reginfo.gov H4 EAD rule.
- If you know anyone who attended or you are one of them who attended meeting, may you can share details with the community in comments or in WhatsApp groups listed below or Facebook.
- No New update on the Lawsuit side, it is same as before..
- May 20th, 2019(Official & Unofficial ) : OMB Meetings list page had typos of the final rule, now it is updated to reflect “Proposed Rule Stage”, but one typo still exists for the May 1st meeting. it still says Scheduled. Also, we hit the 90 day mark today for OMB review, technically, we should have heard something today, but they can extend by another 30 days until June 20th, need to wait and see. No update from the court side on the Lawsuit, we are waiting for court’s next steps.
- May 22nd, 2019(Official ) : The H4 EAD rule removal is part of the Spring 2019 Regulatory Agenda. It was part of Spring 2018 Agenda as well. Technically NO new status update or new development. Appearing on the regulatory agenda means that, it is still a priority for the current administration and nothing else. See below screenshot and at Reginfo.gov. There are rumors by few websites telling that the rule will be published soon by Govt., which is pure speculation and NOT true. There is no update from the Court Side on the lawsuit.
- May 27th, 2019(Un-Official ) : There is a lot of wrong information/ Fake News reported by many mainstream Indian News Papers online saying that US Govt begins removing H4 EAD… This is false information, nothing new….It is unfortunately trending on Google News as well and many users would see all of these articles in their Google Suggest in browser (see below screenshot). The only thing that happened in the last few days is that H4 EAD rule removal was part of the Spring 2019 Regulatory Agenda, that’s about it. There is one section in that, where it says NPRM Date as May 2019, which is just an approximate date that USCIS gives when they publish a regulatory agenda item. It used to be June 2018, when they published in Spring 2018 agena. Just scroll up to see May 10th, 2018 update…Again, it is pure speculation and that date does not mean anything… Anyways, please do not panic and be mislead. Also, on the lawsuit side, there is no new update from court today as well as of now.
- May 29th, 2019(Un-Official ) : No new updates as of today morning both from the court side regarding lawsuit or on the H4 EAD rule removal side. There is again continuation of the false news spread by many news agencies based on the mainstream media wrong info from previous days, it is trending on Google, do not worry, it is all the same info on Unified agenda of Spring 2019, nothing new other than that. See below the trending info on Google news
- May 30th, 2019(Official ) : Rep Eshoo re-introduced H4 EAD protection act bill yesterday in House. It has a long way to go…We have covered all details at H4 EAD Employee Protection act Reintroduced 2019. Besides that there is nothing new. No updates from the court or on the OMB side from the H4 Rule removal.
- June 6th, 2019(official ) : We have a new lawsuit for H4 EAD delays in processing
- H4 EAD Processing time Delays Lawsuit : A lawsuit was filed on June 6th, 2019 by few individuals stating that H4 EAD adjudication delays with New H4 Biometrics Process is causing hardships for them due to the USCIS delays. You can Read Lawsuit document here .
- On the other hand, for general US visa application, US state department is asking Social Media accounts info on DS-160, DS-260 forms now.
- June 20th, 2019( Unofficial ) : There was a tweet by one of the attorney’s attending AILA Annual conference saying that the economic analysis was wrong and Govt is trying to fix that and there is no estimated time on the same. You can check tweet , see below. Nothing on the lawsuit side. If you are waiting on H4 Approvals, we have couple of users, who reported H4 Extensions Approvals after Biometrics.
- June 21th, 2019( Official ) : We had an update from the court on the on the lawsuit. They published an order with date for the oral argument set to be September 27, 2019 at 9:30 AM. It also says that the argument panel will be revealed 30 days before the date of the argument. It also, says the court order does not change. See below.
- What happens during Oral Argument : On the day of the Oral argument, each of the parties present to the judge with the time allocated to them. Unlike in trial court, during oral argument in appellate level, judges can be active participants and ask questions to the parties. The panel would have read the briefs and free to ask. You can read Wiki Page of Oral Argument in US.
- You can check official court documents H4 EAD for actual court order document.
- June 24th, 2019( Unofficial ) : Many asked, if OMB can extend the review deadline past the 120 days as they hit the deadline on June 20th. The reality is that, if the agency head wants to extend it, they can do it for as long as they want. That’s the guidance, see below screenshot. For official info check EO 12866 FAQs on Reginfo.gov.
- July 1st, 2019( Official ) : Save Jobs USA re-filed their Opening and Reply Briefs with concerns raised by the court on the abbreviations. There were three documents that they filed ( see below). One is the letter, second and third are the actual documents. There are no major changes done, we have verified the documents, they are primarily abbreviations and referral info for some of the documentation for proofs. You can check out the actual court documents filed today at page H4 EAD Lawsuit Official Court Documents
- July 5th, 2019( Official ) : Immigration Voice re-filed their Intervenor Brief with court today to fix the acronym related issues in the brief. They filed only two documents, one that says that they are submitting a letter and second one is the corrected Intervenor Brief document. The document length has not changed we have verified all 53 pages and they look more or less the same, they fixed acronyms such as DHS, AC 21, etc with actual words, and some references info. There were no argument points changed in the document. You can check out the latest court documents filed at page H4 EAD Lawsuit Official Court Documents. No update on the H4 EAD rule removal, it is still stuck with OMB. See below.
- August 30th, 2019( UnOfficial ) : There were no updates in August yet, both court case and the H4 EAD Rule removal with OMB were in same state as in previous month. Also, since June until end of August, many H4 EAD Processing Delays Lawsuits were filed by many individuals using RN Law-group and they claim that it is working and they are getting faster adjudications.
- September 3rd, 2019 : The court website has confirmed the judges names, location and time for the oral argument for H4 EAD Lawsuit. See below. No updates on the H4 EAD rule removal yet.
- September 5th, 2019 : The court issued an order to USCIS/ DHS to give an update by 4 pm on September 10th, 2019 to them on the H4 EAD Rule removal status as it was mentioned in court documents previously that NPRM would be done for H4 EAD rule removal. See below the court document screenshot. Also, there was a document tied to the May 1st meeting with OMB was posted on the OMB meetings page for the rule. All it tells is that H4 removal will impact many and should not be removed. It is by few advocacy groups. See below.
- September 10th, 2019 : DHS Updated Court today that H4 EAD rule removal is submitted to OMB / OIRA for review as per executive order 12866 and it is pending with them. They mentioned that they attended meetings along with OMB and got feedback on the impact and things to consider. See below the actual document screenshot and highlighted text. Nothing is new here. We need to wait and see how the court will react to this. The reality is that DHS has their defence that they are following due process and trying their best to revoke the H4 EAD Rule.
- September 11th, 2019 : The Court after reviewing the respond submitted by DHS has second thoughts and would like to confirm, why the oral argument has to happen now on Sep 27th, 2019. The reason is that they can see that DHS is doing its regulatory process for H4 EAD Rule Removal and there is no good outcome out of the oral argument except DHS saying that they are trying to get through the regulatory process and has to follow process. The Court believes that their time would be wasted, unless there is strong justification to have the oral argument on on Sep 27th, 2019. They have given deadline till Sep 16th, 4 PM to submit response by both the parties in the case.
- September 16th, 2019 : All the three parties posted their court response today. We have summarized the details on top of the page. Please review details there.
- September 18th, 2019 : Court issued an order in the evening that the oral argument would go on as planned before on Sep 27th, 2019. Read the details and screenshot in beginning of the article for summary and screenshot.
- September 20th, 2019 : DHS and Save Jobs submitted two documents, see above in the beginning of page for details on the update.
- September 25th, 2019 : Court gave the order of cases and timing for the oral argument on their calendar, see above in the beginning of page for details on the update.
- September 27th, 2019 : Court had oral argument on time. It lasted about 45 min or so. We have compiled the entire key points of the argument. Read H4 EAD Lawsuit – Oral Argument Summary, Next steps.
- November 4th, 2019 : No update from the court on the judgement until today. As there is no SLA, it can take few weeks to few months…No new update on the rulemaking as well for H4 EAD rule removal.
- November 8th, 2019 : Court gave Judgment today in favor or Save Jobs USA. The H4 EAD Case will be sent back to District court for next steps. See below and Read H4 EAD Lawsuit – Court Judgement Summary
- November 10th, 2019 : There is a minor update on the Reginfo.gov website that indicates that there is a stakeholder meeting scheduled with Infosys on the H4 EAD Rule revoke. Details are at Reginfo.gov
- November 21st, 2019 : H4 EAD rule removal continues to be part of the Fall 2019 Regulatory Agenda, read beginning of article for summary info.
- December 30th, 2019 : There were motions filed for rehearing in the case and court denied request by DHS. They are yet to respond to Immigration Voice’s request for retrial. See above in the beginning of article for more info. We continue to wait on the rule making side.
- January 27th, 2020: There were two court orders that were released denying the re-hearing petition by Immigration voice & intervenors. You can see above in the beginning of article for the screenshots of orders. Next step is for the case to go back to district court as the re-hearing request is denied.
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What is the H4 EAD Removal Estimated Timeline, Predictions ?
Every proposed rule has to go through Standard 9 Rule Making Steps in US to become law, in our context H4 EAD removal also has to go through the same steps. We have outlined the entire rule making process and mapped it to current H4 EAD rule removal progress. Also, based on data and varying speed, we have done predictions on when we can estimate the rule to be removed. Read article H4 EAD Rule Removal Estimated timeline Predictions for all details. In short, looking at all current situations, we predict that, it may take an estimated amount of 10 months or more for H4 EAD to be removed. With current political climate and new H4 Employee (EAD) Protection Act Bill in House, things can change anytime and slow down quite a bit, stay tuned
Common H4 EAD Rule Removal FAQs
Can you still apply for H4 EAD ? Can you work on H4 EAD, when this revoke rule process is going on ?
Yes, you can continue to apply for H4 EAD and work on H4 EAD. Still the rule is in very early stages and until the rule completes comments, review and it becomes final, you can apply for H4 EAD and work on the same. Read Step by Step guide to Apply for H4 EAD , Biometrics needed ?
Will your existing H4 EAD be valid after USCIS/ DHS implements the H4 EAD Rule revoke or removal ? What happens to my EAD ?
Well, it is hard to tell what USCIS will do once they implement the final rule to remove the H4 EAD. They will publish the guidance on the impact and what happens to existing H4 EADs and their validity, we need to wait and see. Having said that, in the past for DACA and other similar rules, DHS let the existing EADs be valid until they expire, which technically let them work until their full validity. So, we can speculate similar aspects for H4 EAD and may expect that H4 EADs will also be allowed to work until they expire or until the end of the validity period.
Should I apply for Change of Status from H4 EAD to H1B to continue my work ?
Well, it does not hurt to apply for H1B, if your employer is willing to sponsor H1B for you in the upcoming H1B Visa 2021 Season. It gives you an extra backup option to work, if something happens to H4 EAD and USCIS does not let H4 EADs work until the expiry date after rule is removed. You should consider applying for H1B visa petition with Consular processing, instead of change of status from H4 to H1B, as it will give you an option to work on H4 EAD, until it expires and switch to H1B only, if needed after expiration. If you get picked in H1B visa lottery and have approved H1B, then you can apply for Change of Status to H1B and work as needed. Discuss with your employer and see, if this can be done.
Can any of the groups file a Lawsuit against DHS regarding H4 EAD Rule Removal ?
Well, it all depends on what comes out of the rule-making process. Putting up a lawsuit is something many groups may be considering and all of them are waiting for the outcome of the current process. As you know there is already we have H4 Employment Protection Act, Status, Impact in house supporting H4 EAD to exist…Overall, we can speculate lawsuit, but it is too early to say…
Can I apply for H4 EAD in 2020 with all the Rule Removal process and the New Bills to Stop H4 EAD in progress ?
Absolutely Yes, until the official rule is published, you are eligible to file for H4 EAD in 2020. We have a long way to go and nothing changes until it is final and USCIS publishes the official rule that it is removed. Check out Step by Step guide to Apply for H4 EAD , Biometrics needed ?
Yes, you can. Until USCIS publishes the final rule and decision on the future of EAD, you can continue to file H4 EAD normally.
Yes, it H4 EAD rule is still valid. It is not revoked yet. The H4 EAD rule revoke is not done, it has a long way to go.
We do not know that yet. USCIS has not given any guidance yet. Even the proposed rule is not yet published for comments yet, so long way to go…It will be speculative, if anyone says something at this point.
Well, it is stuck with OMB for a very long time…it seems OMB is not happy with the way the proposed rule was sent by DHS, so until they review and approve, it will not be out for public comments. Apparently, the economic analysis was not done right as per some insider information.
It does not hurt to have a backup option. But, at this point H4 EAD is still valid and you can continue to use. No need to take any drastic decision, but just plan for back up options, if something goes wrong.
Summary : H4 EAD Rule Revoke by Trump Administration – Impact Analysis ? Can they revoke ? Estimated time ?
It all started with a lawsuit by ‘Save Jobs USA’, that questioned the authority of DHS to grant EADs for H4. After Trump administration took office, they took charge of the lawsuit, took time, delayed the process and finally aligned to remove H4 EAD rule in line with Executive Order of Trump Buy American, Hire American. They made an item “Removing H-4 Dependent Spouses from the Class of Aliens Eligible for Employment Authorization” , as part of Spring 2018, Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 Regulatory Agendas indicating their intent to remove the rule and communicated the same to Court as well and requesting more time not to go for oral hearing.
Many attempts were made in the meantime by Members of Congress, Many other groups including CEOs of companies, writing letters to USCIS to re-consider and not remove H4 EAD and the hardships it will create to many, but all of them were politely replied saying their intent is to align with Trump’s Executive order priorities and public will get chance to put in their comments during rule removal process. USCIS has been delaying this as they know they have to be very thorough to submit to OMB and then to public. The last official update is that H4 EAD rule removal was sent to OMB for review on Feb 20, 2019 and many meetings were held until May 1st. By June 20th, OMB has exceeded their 90 Days + 30 days limit. It is stuck with them and as per disc they have exceeded. The reality is that, if the agency head wants to extend it, they can do it for as long as they want.
Also, we had a new bill in House introduced in Jan 2019 to protect H4 EAD holders, but it has been dormant for a while now. With Democrats, having the majority in house, this also can play a part.
On the lawsuit front, we had the oral argument on September 27, 2019 at 9:30 AM and court judgement came in favor of Save Jobs USA indicating that they have standing in the case. The court sent the case back to district court to restart the process and review the case again. We are yet to see new update from the district court. Also, DHS said that they plan to have H4 EAD rule removal for NPRM in Spring 2020 in one of their previous updates.
If this H4 EAD rule removal is implemented, it will have a significant impact to many of the thousands of H4 holders working and they need to plan for backup options like H1B. As it stands today, you can apply for H4 EAD and work on the same, nothing is stopping you from that until the rule is final and USCIS mentions that you cannot work. As far as our estimate based on 9 steps of rulemaking process, check our predictions for the H4 EAD rule removal timeline
What are your thoughts ? What do you think of timeline for OMB to review the rule ?