H4 EAD Rule Latest News - Trump Administration Revoke and Lawsuit Status

H4 Visa EAD 2019 News – Lawsuit Status, Trump Administration Actions

In Immigration| Visas by SaurabhUpdated : 2620 Comments

H4 EAD News Update Today, March 24th, 2019 – No new updates, Most recent update are that Court approved DHS’s request to extend the date to submit brief to April 1st. Check below for more info. On the rule making side, DHS submitted the H4 EAD removal rule for OMB to review. Check full detailed update in below timeline or short 2 min Video on March 2019 H4 EAD updates .  Scroll down bottom for latest H4 EAD news update. Join us on WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook and Community Forum to discuss, ask, share.

You may check out our new short video on  Entire H4 EAD History from 2015 to 2018.  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, Latest News
  • 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

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. H4-EAD-Lawsuit--Update-Extended-till-Dec-31-2017
  • 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 belowH4 EAD News Update - 2017 November for January 2-2018
  • 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.govH4 EAD Work Rule Amendment 2017 Fall Agenda
  • 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.
      H4 EAD Update February 2018 - Case to be Held in Abeyance
    • 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.H4 EAD Update Lawsuit March 2018 News
    • 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 H4 EAD USCIS Updated Secretary April 2018
    • 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 H4 EAD April 2018 News Update
    • 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 RuleSpring 2018 Regulatory Agenda H4 Visa EAD Rule Removal
  • 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 H4 EAD Rule News Update May 2018 Latest Court Update
  • 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 USCIS H4 EAD update court - August 2018
  • 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 H4 EAD News Update September 2018 - Save Jobs USA Motion to reopen caseConclusion of the H4 EAD Litigation September 2018 Update Court
  • 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 H4 EAD News Update September 22 filed by DHS supporting the NPRM
  • 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.

H4 EAD December 2018 Update with January 2019 New Orders and ImmigrationVoice

Court Dates for H4 EAD January 2019 Updates Submission including Immigration Voice

  • 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 .  
  • 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 
  • 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 H4 EAD Court Decision to Move Deadlines to March 2019 Update
  • 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.govH4 EAD Rule Sent to for OMB to Review - February 2019
  • 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.DHS request court to enlarge deadlines by 15 days from March to April 1-2019 Info
  • 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.   H4 EAD DHS Brief Due on April 1st 2019 Info
  • March 24th, 2019(Unofficial ) : No New Updates, we are still waiting for everything from OMB and no update in court as well as of today. We have a short video in summary for March 2019 updates, you can watch it below. It is a 2 min video. 
  • Join us on WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook and Community Forum to discuss, ask, share.

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.

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 2020 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 2019 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 2019. We have a long way to go and nothing changes until it is final and USCIS publishes the official rule that it is removed.

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 Regulatory Agenda and continued the same in Fall 2018 Regulatory agenda 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.  On the other hand, we have a new bill in House introduced in Jan 2019 to protect H4 EAD holders. With Democrats, having the majority in house, this also can play a part.

On the lawsuit front, court issued an order to remove case from abeyance (dormant state) and gave dates for submitting new opening brief ( supporting documentation and info for their lawsuit) to SAVE Jobs and given dates for the same from Jan to March 2019. ImmigrationVoice team also got the request accepted to intervene and present their facts and findings in the lawsuit.  On Jan 16th Save Jobs USA filed their replacement brief putting strong argument stating that DHS exceeded their authority and H4 EAD has to be removed.  DHS got an exception to have their dates moved by 30 days with Govt Shutdown to March 18th, 2019 to file their brief. This is another track on lawsuit. DHS would very likely have their brief prepared based on the H4 EAD rule removal that would come out after OMB review.

Overall, as of now, H4 EAD rule is still set to be on track to be removed by DHS. We can anticipate that OMB would review this before the DHS Court brief submitting date so that they can defend their position in the brief that is planned to be submitted on March 18, 2019.  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 rule making process, we predict the H4 EAD rule removal timeline for Dec 2019

What are your thoughts ? What do you think of timeline for OMB to review the rule ?

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Comments ( 2,620 )

  1. Lucky

    What about Life Science Technicians working in the institutions? I have passed 2 levels of interview and I am the topper in the interviews based on rank system. I got hired. As I am doing this job for about couple of years, everyone is saying that I am the best fit.
    Sad that my institution does not sponsor H1B Visa for my position. I am so worried about losing the EAD because these days jobs are competitive and it is very come hard to find a job that fits for you.
    I am supporting H4 EAD and I would request everybody to support H4 EAD. Because there are so many people like me who wants to work for good and serving other people.

    1. Mayuri

      I’m in same boat dear. Unfortunately, its almost impossible to find H1b sponsors in this domain. without a PhD and Post doc. Only masters degree even is not enough, H4 EAD is my only hope.

      1. rr

        Wait till April 1st . proposed rule review will be published then. chances are high that ead will be allowed till expiry. don’t expect anything other than that unless a file suit against them(less chance) . looks no one supporting h4 ead petition due to very less EAD people now. almost 60% lost ead due to H1b denial and most of them back to home country. around 1L ead published all together and now believe less than 40K will be used. i don’t know why big fuzz on this for small count, i support EAD ! but i know many husband trying to get spouse job without any interview with client with same company with the same projects. lets stop this first. this is affecting really talented people. company should stop accepting people like this . mostly CTS , IBM TCS etc,

      2. HM

        Hi Reethu,

        No good news yet but i believe at least we should be allowed to work till visa expiry. In the mean time i would say try for other countries too Canada, Australia etc. GC queue is very long here too.

        1. Renu

          I am sure you will be allowed to work until ead expiry. Even DACA participants got a chance to submit their last renewal with in two months of publishing new rule.

          Everyone should get united and file a litigation against removing the EAD.

  2. raj

    After the 2 years existence of H4 EAD, we see them everywhere taking the poor American jobs. Even if we ignore those jobs and talk about highly skilled jobs.. markets are flooding with fake H4 resumes. No relevance of education, no experience, no skill set.. Can’t communicate properly.. Poor work ethics boasting about their spouses.. working for low billing rates.. hurting the opportunities for H1 and F1.. I believe this is the strong reason the Desi community itself has not voted in white house petitions even after one month.. They got only 63,500 so far which is not even close to the count ofone year H1 quota..

    There are 500,000 Indians in all categories of Green card backlog.. So not even the green card backlog community is encouraging H4 EAD. It’s clearly evident. It is also said the same H4 group has not supported while collecting the signatures for OPT 2 year rule proposed by Obama, The F1 student community has struggled till the end to gather the momentum. Looks like they has their revenge now.

    Are these the Highly skilled jobs that H4 EAD are taking?
    Walmart, Kroger, COSTCO, Macy’s, JCPenny, Meijer, Sams, K Mart in-store jobs
    Labeling and package handling at Amazon
    Servers and clerks in restaurant chains and Desi hospitals
    Uber and Lyft drivers
    Working at Day care centers
    Data Entry and Medical transcription jobs
    Testing jobs with billing as low as 20$/hr

    Time to say good bye to H4 EAD.

    1. Sumit Kapoor

      So you are afraid of these fake H4 with relevance of education, no experience, no skill set.. Can’t communicate properly.. Poor work ethics boasting about their spouses.. working for low billing rates?

      On one hand there are these fake H4 and on other hand you (highly educated and highly skilled, passed out of a very good college with MS degree) and still you are afraid of them then its your fault not system.

      anyway I support for H4EAD for highly skilled jobs the reason I mentioned just below this comment.

    2. Sumit Kapoor

      If you are highly skilled then why are you worried about the following jobs? This is not your issue, if a citizen criticizes this then I can understand his legitimate problem, but why are you worried about these jobs?

      Walmart, Kroger, COSTCO, Macy’s, JCPenny, Meijer, Sams, K Mart in-store jobs
      Labeling and package handling at Amazon
      Servers and clerks in restaurant chains and Desi hospitals
      Uber and Lyft drivers
      Working at Day care centers
      Data Entry and Medical transcription jobs
      Testing jobs with billing as low as 20$/hr

    3. Bull_reddy

      Believe me , I have seen more H1Bs with poor ethics and communication skills. Cooking rice in office microwaves ( not warming lunches ) , just to name a single incident. H4 Eads are thousand times better at my work place , they pay attention to details and maintain work timings better than H1Bs and just converted OPTs / H1bs.

    4. Jin

      Dear Raj,

      No one is taking anyone jobs. Most of the company give jobs based on the interview. If you have that skill you can always get a job. Give an interview and compete. People like you don’t even know the overall impact. You people don’t even consider the mental health of people who have to sit idle at home even with a good master degree and work experience. Also dependent of L1 can work and H1b cannot, don’t you think that’s also another issue. Why to have partiality with H1B people.

    5. HM

      Raj – we can wish same bad things for you too but we are not that selfish and jealous because we believe in our talent. Dont spread so much hate that people start wishing negative for you and then you will realise. You have no idea how it feels to sit at home without working . Dont try to test karma

    6. H4EAD Supporter

      @Raj and likes

      Self proclaimed elites are scared of fake resumes and poor ethic, that is classic. I have been working in US for over 12 years and have recruited several people, do people get in without right skills, occasionally. Do they last, almost never. Real problem is low tech job that don’t require heavy technical background were feeding F1 and H1, now they aren’t happy they have to compete with H4. Best part AI and RPA are eliminating those jobs. They need to blame their incompetency and they blame the system. I hope H4 stays for the good of people who deserves it. H1 and F1 aiming who are bottom fishing will be out of job with or withou H4. No different than blue collar manufacturing jobs that were replaced by more sophisticated machines.

  3. Sumit Kapoor

    I strongly believe that they should not only allow but promote H4EAD to work for highly skill jobs like Software Engineer (I don’t think they are high skill jobs), by doing so there will be lesser number of new immigrants (new H1B from India), and a new H1B does not mean only one person but around 4 new people coming to USA to eat normal US jobs (3 people will do normal job and only 1 high skilled).

    It is better to allow 2 people to do high skilled job and 2 normal job (one h1b family) rather than 2 high skilled job and 6 people normal job (two h1b families).

  4. Bull_reddy

    Internal news is that they are going to retain H4 EADs and they will use these H4 EADs to remove some of the H1B positions from “Highly Skilled Positions” . Everyone here knows most of the H1Bs jobs are “System Analyst” ,”Business Analyst” and “Programmer Analyst” “QA”. Even any american from Macy’s store with little training can do these jobs , its a fact , all these days H1Bs had no competition in faking , now H4 EADs are proving that they can do these jobs very easily ( most of the times better than H1Bs )

    Jai ho H4EADs millionaire !!!!

      1. Bull_reddy

        @Kumar Sir , no internal information. It’s so frustrating to see so many people talking against H4 EAD . One of the readers ( Raj ) says ” H4 EADs with poor communication skills working at Walmart …. ” from his perspective if H4 EADs are working for low skilled jobs , then why are you worried about H4 EADs, which part of his comment is true. I think its Raj who has poor communication skills.

  5. new

    Few Things to be mentioned here,
    there are many H1 and their dependents same as L and J visa holders,Why is it only for H4 visa holders impacting US economy?
    Dont they remove all immigrant visa’s then?
    rather than removing H4 EAD why dont they have some limits or bars on issuing EAD ? I know many H4 EAD holders well educated but is tied at home, its not spouse alone but this includes their kids as well , cant even work after having top education from US college and flying back to their country to work, agree they get the education from here and using it for their homeland to reap out the best, but why dont you think about the fact they leave their parents and sometimes siblings back in US ??

    Also did anyone notice, Many here pushing back on H4EAD are once immigrants and got in citizen ship later, i rarely see any non immigrant citizens,

  6. x

    H4ead can clear interview with fake experience & then continue to be an UNDERPERFORMER as the person has no experience & yet continued to be employed .

    Employers would just pay H4ead by looking at their face & do not expect them to work.
    That proves H4EAD is really talented, we need to learn this of being consistently an underperformer & yet be able to keep their job from H4ead folks.

    IS that EVEN POSSIBLE? Apply common sense ? As an employer would yo keep a candidate who may have cleared the interview but is unable to DELIVER .Think!!!!!

    Also mark my words, you heard it 1st here .
    H4ead will remain that is insider news.

  7. Mayuri

    Please don’t generalize. Not all H4 EAD’s work on IT. A majority work in non IT fields and have started their own business.
    Regarding the low pay, any business would prefer to go for a candidate who they have to pay less for same skill set.
    Please don’t categorize and spew hatred.

  8. Someone Impacted by H4EAD

    Please sign this petition. Please also send to your acquaintances , friends who are impacted just like you. We need a response from the White House.

  9. Bhaskar

    Hello Anil,

    Thanks for keeping everyone updated. I am wondering what will happen to SSN if the EAD is revoked. will it automatically become invalid?
    In that case what happens to the investments and SSN contribution? can we operate bank accounts opened using SSN?

    Keep up the great work!


      1. Scr

        Because most h4ead are incompetent.
        They have no work ethics.
        They stagnate the wage because most are housewives ready to work for any amount. It impacts the work work culture
        It’s not fair to competent people. There are students who are higher skills, more professional, advance degree from US, they deserve the visa first than house wives
        mid-skill level jobs where many h4ead work, employers have stopped taking H1 to save cost and taking h4ead instead. That is discrimination against H1 who came here on merit.

        1. vf

          first we need to provide return ticket to him , students once they are finished studies here. that will create more jobs here for all. they will join here as intern and slowly adjusted to work culture without any skills.

        2. Desi Bulls

          That’s just disgusting !!!!!!!! All these people who complain about H4 EADs are really low skilled people. Just listen to yourself, unable to compete with H4 EADs. And look at your gender discrimination ( Housewives ) , I know for sure most of H4EADs equally educated as most of the H1Bs. It clearly clearly proves that all the H4 EADs current jobs can be done by US Citizens and do not belong to H1Bs , I hope H4eads authorizations are retained and H1Bs gets thrown out.

          1. Renu

            All these are so called selfish people who can’t digest the double salaries of their friend’s families.

            Do you know how many women left their promising careers in india and came to USA along with their husbands?

            There are lot of OPT candidates who work for peanuts. Why dont you complain about them?There is no limit on these OPTs and we are just complaining about 40K H4 EADs?

    1. Ram_si

      definitely working as desi consultancy with very low skills . that’s why posting this. we can understand your feelings! keep upgrading your skills.

      1. Scr

        Because most h4ead are incompetent.
        They have no work ethics.
        They stagnate the wage because most are housewives ready to work for any amount. It impacts the work work culture
        It’s not fair to competent people. There are students who are higher skills, more professional, advance degree from US, they deserve the visa first than house wives

        1. eee

          Nobody is complaining about companies about discrimination. You can easily blame whole h4EAD program because of someone misusing it. WOW…
          The same rule applies to even H1B too. Are H1b’s not stagnate the wage? Just think

    2. Bull_reddy

      H4 EADs ( especially Indian women ) have really made lot of progress with employment opportunities. I have noticed , at my work place , learnt speaking and writing better english than H1bs, they listen and pay attention to details. Whereas H1Bs , partially may due to pressure on maintenance of status , they loose interest quickly on work when the job is stable and keep complaining about how they employers are taking a big cut and talk about indian politics all the time. As an employer or manager , I prefer H4 EADs to H1Bs.

      Go H4EADs !!!!

      1. mm

        there is no need for categorization, if you are good with skills and active at job, employer will prefer you either H1b or h4 eads. now its a matter of h4 eads to continue with some rule change based on speciality occupation. at least some background should be conducted prior appointment.

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