H4 EAD Revoke Estimate Timeline Predictions Info

H4 EAD Removal Estimated Timeline, Predictions, Revoke Status(Feb)

In Immigration| Visas by KumarUpdated : 45 Comments

H4 visa EAD is planned to be removed by DHS and was part of their regulatory agenda in Fall 2018. Every regulation/rule , including H4 EAD removal, proposed by an agency like DHS goes through majority of the 9 steps in US Rule Making process .

We have mapped current H4 EAD revoke status to the standard rule making process below. If you want full background, you can check out the entire history of H4 EAD removal, News

We will look at historical dates for original H4 EAD rule, time taken for processing by varying speed and predicted dates for H4 EAD rule revoke in 2019.

H4 EAD Revoke Rule-making Current Status by Step

US Federal Rule Making Step

H4 EAD Rule Removal Status, Time Taken

Additional details on H4 EAD Revoke Status at this rule making step

Step One:

Initiating Events




Took around 24 Months with lawsuit

It all started with a lawsuit filed by ‘Save Jobs USA’ (an organization comprised of IT workers who claim they lost their jobs to H-1B workers) in April 2015, then dismissed by court in 2016 and again contested in US Court of Appeal for the DC Circuit. With new Trump Administration, the case was on hold for quite some time until mid-Nov 2017.
Step Two :

Determination Where a Rule is Needed



Took around 6 months with lawsuit.

In mid-Dec 2017, Trump Administration published Fall 2017 regulatory with an agenda item “Removing H-4 Dependent Spouses from the Class of Aliens Eligible for Employment Authorization”, indicating their intent to remove H4 EAD Rule from 2015. It was published in Federal Register. Here is the first original one at Reginfo.gov from Dec 2017 with NPRM ( Notice of Proposed Rule Making) date of Feb 2018.


Step Three :

Preparation of Proposed Rule

In Progress

11 months and counting.

Since the original H4 EAD removal rule has been published in federal register, it has been moving very slow. It was part of Spring 2018 regulatory agenda with NPRM date of June 2018.  Check Reginfo.gov with June 2018 as NPRM . Again, it was part of Fall 2018 Regulatory Agenda with

NPRM  date of November 2018. Check  Reginfo.gov with Nov 2018 NPRM date

As you can see the NPRM date has been kept moving and we are now in January 2019 and still the rule is not even sent for OMB for review. Also, we have now a new Bill introduced in house called H4 Employee (EAD) Protection Act to stop the H4 EAD revoke process.  Also, on Jan 18th, replacement brief was filed by Save Jobs USA and motion to keep the case in abeyance (on hold) by DHS was denied by Court..Immigration voice is also part of the defendant team now. Next step will be for DHS to submit the response to new replacement brief.  It will be interesting to see how long it will take in 2019.

Check out predicted timeline for H4 EAD removal based on past data and current conditions.

Step Four :

OMB Review of Proposed Rule

Not Started


Estimated few days to 90 days


As H4 EAD removal rule is categorized as “significant”, it has to go through Office of Management and Budget(OMB) for review. The rule is not yet sent to OMB for review. No update on the rule sent to OMB for review as of January 1, 2019. With the US Govt Partial shutdown, the overall process could be delayed for H4 EAD removal.


Step 5:

Publication of Proposed Rule

Not Started Not started
Step 6 :

Public Comments

Not Started Not started
Step 7 :

Preparation of Final Rule, Interim Final Rule, Or Direct Final Rule

Not Started Not started
Step 8:

OMB Review of Final Rule, Interim Final Rule, or Direct Final Rule

Not Started Not started
Step 9 :

Publication of Final Rule, Interim Final Rule, or Direct Final Rule.

Not Started Not started

H4 EAD Rule Revoke Estimated Timeline – Future Predictions

Below are the estimated timelines for H4 EAD Rule removal. They are based on some assumptions and some standard durations that each of those steps take.  The table will be updated frequently to reflect updates. Prediction Timelines last updated on  January 28th, 2019

DHS Rule-making Stage of H4 EAD Revoke Duration / Pace of Rule Execution
Fast Medium Slow
Step 3 : Preparation of Proposed Rule 10 days 30 days 60 days
Step 4 : OMB Review of Proposed Rule 15 days 30 days 90 days
Step 5: Publication of Proposed Rule
Step 6 : Public Comments 30 days 60 days 120 days
Step 7 : Preparation of Final Rule, Interim Final Rule, Or Direct Final Rule 30 days 60 days 90 days
Step 8: OMB Review of Final Rule, Interim Final Rule, or Direct Final Rule 15 days 60 days 100 days
Step 9 : Publication of Final Rule, Interim Final Rule, or Direct Final Rule.
Delay for Effective Date for Major Rules 60 days 90 days 90 days
Total Estimated Days 160 days 300 days 550 days
Estimated Date for H4 EAD Rule Revoke Jul-7-19 Nov-24-19 July-31-20

If we put it in a chart, it looks like below

H4 EAD Revoke Estimated Timeline Predictions

Historical Timeline for H4 EAD from 2014, 2015

If we check out the original H4 EAD rule passed from 2015 at Reginfo.gov, below is the timeline from NPRM comment period start to the rule being effective. The original NPRM comment period started on May-12-2014 and the rule became effective on May-26-2015.

H4 EAD 2015 Rule Making Action Date
NPRM 05/12/2014
NPRM Comment Period End 07/11/2014
Final Action 02/25/2015
Final Action Effective 05/26/2015

Prediction of the H4 EAD Revoke Date Timeline – How may days in future ?

As per past H4 EAD history from 2015, the timeline and dates for original H4 EAD rule making, it took over a year from the day NPRM comment period started. If we look at current state of H4 EAD rule removal, NPRM has not even started and not even OMB has reviewed the proposed rule. So, we are at least behind by 30 days for even the NPRM to start as per rulemaking process.  Also, as per our estimated dates above and the projected timeline, with the current pace, we should consider medium pace and that date comes to around end-November 2019. Also, with recent partial US Govt Shutdown, it has slightly delayed the process.

Now, looking at the current state, there are many delays already in the entire process,  also we have a new bill in House for H4 EAD not to be revoked, besides Democrats having majority in the US House. Based on the political strength, the Trump Administration would handle this carefully and try not to push too hard to get it done quickly due to their situation in House and bigger immigration issues that they are dealing with.  Also, we have now the court case lawsuit back from abeyance (dormant state/ hold) for oral hearing and replacement brief was submitted by Save Jobs USA on Jan 18th, now DHS has to submit their response. The responses are due in Feb and others responses are due in March 2019. In summary, looking at all of these and timelines, we predict that, it may take an estimated amount of one year or more for H4 EAD to be removed. Things may change, but that’s how the outlook stands today. We will review and update the predictions as per changes and events, stay tuned.

What do you think ? What is your take on the H4 EAD removal estimate timeline ?

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Comments ( 45 )

  1. AnushaP

    Hello Kumar,

    I am currently working on H4-EAD (valid until 2020). However, I had filed for H1-B in consular processing and got picked in lottery last year and expires in 2020. I haven’t yet converted my visa status by traveling out of US. I am waiting for a proper judgement on H4-EAD before letting go of it. Is that a good idea or do you recommend me converting to H1-B ASAP?

    What happens if I don’t end up changing to H1-B and it expires? Can I still file for H1-B later and be cap-exempt or will I be subject to lottery again?


  2. H1- H4 EAD

    Hi Kumar,

    I have a question. I have H1 approved but its approved until july 2019 and I am not sure if I will get an opportunity from my employer for onsite . My husband’s I-140 is approved. Can I apply H4 and immediately apply H4 EAD and join a company but in this case I dont know if I can use my H1 later with same or different employer?

  3. Karma2018

    Hey Kumar!

    Thanks for the detailed analysis. The effort is much appreciated.

    i am currently working full-time on F1 CPT and thinking about transferring it to H4 EAD. I know the maximum time is 6 months. My question is, till the time my transfer from F1-H4 happens, can I continue to work on my CPT?
    I understand once my status is changed to H4, I can’t. but till that Can i continue wroking on my current work permit status.

    Thank you

    1. administrator

      When you apply for COS, you can put in start date after 6 months, which means you can continue to be on F1 status until your H4 is approved and can do what you are currently doing on F1. You can apply for H4 EAD and H4 status change concurrently as well.

  4. VD

    Hi Kumar,

    I’m on H4 visa, my visa is valid till Sep 2020 but my I-94 is stamped till Sep 2019. Soon I’ll apply for H4 EAD, my EAD validity duration will be based on my H4 visa end date or I-94 validity date?

    Please let me know your thoughts on this.

  5. Pramila

    Hi Kumar,
    Can you please provide your input here. My husband i140 is filed in premium. I have plans of travelling to india for 3.5 months after applying for h4 ead. Will my Ead be approved in this case. TIA

    1. administrator

      As per USCIS, you may travel during when H4 EAD is pending. But, they indicate that, if they need any information and you do not provide that during your absence in US, then they may deny the petition. You can read guidance at H4 EAD FAQ USCIS Website

  6. Aspiring H1B

    While this forum is for H4 EAD, I wish to bring to your attention the Maria Mendoza case.

    She is an illegal alien that was deported to Mexico last year and issued a 10 year immigration entry bar. Thanks to liberal politicians love affair with illegal aliens (“immigrants” as they call them), Senator Diane Feinstein was able to lobby Immigration to grant Maria Mendoza an H1B and approve her entry to the US via the I-212 , which is a waiver for those that have immigration entry bar.

    I believe in equal opportunity and equal enforcement and hope the above is helpful to those in similar circumstances that have a reentry bar. This must be the only country in the world that rewards criminal behavior (entering illegally is a crime)

    For details on the story see:

  7. narasimha

    Hello Kumar,
    Please guide me. Currently am on H1b and my 140 got approved 2 weeks back.
    Based on the information I found there are two ways to apply H4 EAD for my wife.

    1. Apply now and wait for the response ( Now approximate processing time : 3 to 4 months – Correct me if am wrong.)
    2. As my H1B is going to expire august next year. If i apply for the H1B Extension 180 before expiry in feabruary along with EAD, both will get approved simultaneously.( in premium)

    As there are rules changing over H4 EAD, Please guide me which will be the best suitable path for me. Am so confused

    1. administrator

      Well, it is a tricky decision. In my view, I would go with option 1 as there is no point in waiting for future as we do not know what can change in the mean time.

        1. administrator

          Usually they are approved normally irrespective of how long H1B is valid, unless something is really wrong…It would be usually tied to your H1B expiry. You can always request for extension of the same, when you file your H1B as well. Work with your attorney, they can help you.

  8. Sr. Albert, Dave

    As a Recently American Retired Mechanical Engineer, My last (8) years @ (1) firm, I had the Privilege of working with H-1B & H4 Indian Engineers. I not only enjoyed working side by side with them, but I also felt Privileged to have that Opportunity. I have MUCH Respect & Admiration for them, & many other Indian H-1B’s & H4’s that they introduced to me. We as a Group, all became Friends. I learned so much about US Immigration Policies. Both the GOOD & the BAD Policies. I learned so much about the MANY SACRIFICES & the STILL ONGOING Stress & Pressures & unbelievable Costs, both Financial & Personal, that these Talented & Motivated & Hard Working Indians had to deal with ever since they FIRST ARRIVED in America.
    I want ALL H-1B’s & H4’s to know that MANY, MANY AMERICAN CITIZENS are VERY Supportive of All of You. And are speaking out & also Praying that the Prejudices & the Unjust & Unfair treatment that each of You have had to endure here in America, & continue to endure, ARE NOT the Feelings or Beliefs of the Majority of American Citizens. We see & speak out against the many Prejudicial actions & unjust new Laws brought on by our own current Prejudicial & Unjust Trump Administration. We All stand with You in your continuing strides to Make a Better Life for Yourselves & Your Family. We have, & continue to write & voice our Support to our Congressmen & Congresswomen, of Your ongoing struggle to be treated in the Proper & Just & Fair way that America USED TO, & MUST START AGAIN DO IN WELCOMING CITIZENS & IMMIGRANTS WHO COME TO AMERICA TO NOT ONLY WORK HARD & WORK HONESTLY FOR A BETTER LIFESTYLE FOR THEMSELVES & THEIR FAMILIES, BUT ALSO TO CONTRIBUTE TOWARDS A BETTER AMERICA.
    God Bless Each of You. And God Bless America.

    1. EO

      To all H1B and H4EAD , please disregard Dear Dave the retired guy, most of us in the US are very happy with most of you going back to your home country. Like Dave, we wish you the best, but in your own country – we have an existing talent pool and upcoming generations to cater to. So farewell!

      1. Sr. Albert, Dave

        Then accordingly, EO, You & All of Your Family (Including All Of Your Relatives) should ALSO go back to “Your Own Country” too. There is no doubt about the FACT that your “original Family Relatives” in America we’re ALSO IMMIGRANTS. America is, & has been for Hundreds of Years, a “Land Of Immigrants”. INCLUDING YOU, EO. I’m sorry to have to Break Your Prejudicial Heart, EO, but that’s just the way it is in America. And “That’s a Fact”.

        1. EO

          Dear Dave, what part of being born here don’t you seem to comprehend? I was born here, as were most of my relatives… As for the ones that migrated here, they did so in a manner that required a lot of sacrifice. You have no moral high ground to stand on, so get down from your high horse and back to your donkey, sir! Do you know what a country is? It’s a landmass with a given name and set of laws by those on the land. It’s called the USA here for a reason, with a constitution which was created by the founding fathers who established the laws of the land. If you don’t understand how that works then you may want to re-educate yourself with History lessons. The H1B scheme has been violating labor laws since day 1, so nice try on your false sentiment of harsh treatment towards a group on foreign individuals that have been cashing in on the scam and depriving the national citizens of this country from having a fair shake at employment in a job sector they helped create. Good day! 🙂

          1. Dave

            EO: You say ‘…in a manner that required a lot of sacrifice.
            Then you HAVE NO IDEA of the every one of the H-1B’s & H4’s HAVE & ARE STILL EVERY DAY STILL MANY Financial & Personal SACRIFICES. And I would ALSO say, Many MORE SACRIFICES then what Your OR MY Immigrant Relatives ever did.
            Also Please Note: Many Of the current H-1B’s & H4’s HAVE CHILDRENS THAT WERE “BORN IN AMERICA”. But I suppose that with the Prejudicial comments you’ve already made, you’d think They should just “LEAVE THEIR CHILDREN HERE” when they follow your Suggestion of “Go Back to Your Own Country”. Believe it or not, EO, MANY OF THEM HAVE BEEN HERE FOR 10, 15, 20, 20+ YEARS , AND STILL WAITING.
            Don’t bother replying back EO. Your Prejudicial Heart is already “TOO HARDENED” to even care about ANYONE ELSE BUT YOURSELF, EO. So…Good Luck with THAT, EO.

          2. Red Dragon

            Dear EO,

            I can tell by just reading your diatribe that you were neither born here nor finished your high school here.

            “what part of being born here don’t you seem to comprehend?” This sentence is so badly constructed, I can only imagine a non-native speaker of English writing it.

            Ditto with this sentence,

            “…so get down from your high horse…”

            It should read “get off your high horse”.

            You speak of being logical – well, one way the TOEFL/SAT/GMAT/GRE test your logical skills is through your verbal and written skills. Yours are abysmal, and I cannot imagine you scoring well on any of these tests. I believe you are one of those Desis who got in when the standards for immigration were not too tight, and now want the doors to close on other deserving immigrants.

            Please note though that the whole point of tightening the immigration process is NOT to discriminate against Indians per se, but to get only people with the brightest minds and best skill set into the country. America has always been very good at retaining what it needs and throwing out what it doesn’t. I can guarantee it that someone with such evidently poor skills as yourself falls in the latter category. Careful, don’t get caught up in your own wishful thinking – citizen or not, you too are expendable.

        2. EO

          Dear Dave, the fact is that if you don’t put your countrymen first, then you should go to the country that you do put first. So I suggest maybe you perhaps move somewhere, like India?? You can keep attempting to sound like a person who cares about others by using caps and referring to “heart” and all that text magic that has no effect on a logical mind, but some of us prefer to use our brains. If my heart is hardened (a synonym for strong) then maybe your brain is too soft (a synonym for weak)? Feel free to message back 🙂

          1. EO

            Dear RED, your responses are simply a matter of preference in writing, a preference of who you feel should write what… I personally feel the “get down” statement is well suited. If you had only noticed that the following phrase included “high horse”. Thus, “get off” wouldn’t have the same desired effect/relationship between the two – (high, up, down, low, etc.)…

            You stated that “It should ‘read’ get off your high horse”. That is obviously a false statement, because it should be read as it is written. So perhaps you could have suggested that it be “written” differently, of which ultimately would have been read differently as a result? Perhaps instead of injecting yourself as an English teacher, you could provide a more intelligent response that would garner you something other than me correcting you?…

            Did you really throw out the “Desi” comment? What I am I supposed to do with that when considering I don’t care about categorizing the many different factions of H1B individuals?

            Please note though, that the whole point of changing the H1B process is to give the American Tech Workers their jobs back, so no longer will they be discriminated against by their guest workers…

          2. Dave

            Hahahahaha! EO – you just proved my point!

            Idioms, grammar, and punctuation are not a matter of preference. They are a matter of logical construct.

            You fail logic again with your false equivalency argument.
            “… don’t put your countrymen first, then you should go to the country that you do put first.”

            Too many undeserving people claim to be my countrymen but add nothing in terms of skills and intelligence to this country. I rather we get rid of them, so my country can be great again.

            Immigration reform isn’t only about getting American Tech Workers their jobs back, the President banned immigration from Muslim countries and is going to repeal DACA. This is about MAGA! Every undeserving immigrant who has not adapted to the ethos, culture and language of this country needs to leave.

  9. Vari

    Hi ,

    Currently I am working on H4 EAD, It’s valid until 07/10/2019.My question is when can I apply the H4 ead along with my husband’s H1B extension, is it 180 or 150 days before.


  10. H4EAD

    Thank you for sharing such detailed timelines, this is very helpful.
    Based on current processing times if we file for H4 change of status and H4EAD, we should get them within 6 months which is before your prediction of H4EAD revoke date. My spouse if on F1 visa and I’d like to avoid all the complication involved in filing H1B now. Do you suggest filing for H4EAD now? If H4EAD is revoked, do you think if existing H4EAD will also be revoked ?

    1. administrator

      yes, it is good to file H4 EAD now, if eligible. We do not know that yet, need to wait for the rule to published and how USCIS will handle it.

  11. Shlok

    Hi Kumar – Could you please help me in my case

    I am a full-time employee and currently working on H4-EAD which is valid until (2021).
    I received my H-1B approval (with counselor processing) from my current employer this year, which also valid from 2018 to 2021.

    I recently got a full-time offer from another employer, but I am confused if I am eligible to file H-1B transfer now or first I have to go for stamping and then the only new employer will able to file H1-B transfer.

    Please let me know your thoughts on this.

    1. administrator

      You are eligible for H1B transfer as long as you have an approved petition. No need to go to stamping before you transfer. It is not really a transfer, in general they will file a new petition using your old approval notice as reference. You will need to submit documents regarding your status in US and make sure you are maintaining it.

  12. Rana

    Kumar, need your input please. I have been in H4EAD for the past 2-n-a-half years, with my wife being the H1B holder (eight years have passed in the GC queue!) My wife would have to renew her H1B in the next few weeks. Should I apply to renew/extend by H4EAD along-with? What are the chances that my H4EAD would be extended/renewed? Or should I beg my current employer to sponsor a H1B to be on the safe side? Also, I have used up 4 year and a few months of H1B. So even if my current employer sponsors me a H1B would it be for less than 2 years (the total 6 years rule) ? Thank you

    1. administrator

      yes, you should apply for H4EAD along with it. It would be renewed as usual, because nothing has changed yet. It seems you are cap exempt, so you can make that decision to ask for H1B sponsorship from your employer, when you know for sure H4EAD will go way.

  13. Mrs EAD

    Thank you so much for all your efforts in helping distressed H4 EAD holders to understand the entire process.

    Every day I live with the fear – what if I lose my work status and my job and I’m back to not only sitting at home and running the house on 1 salary. Also, all these news channels and websites keep posting absolutely misleading news about H4 EAD work permits which I think is partly responsible for creating a bias against hiring H4 EAD holders.

    My story: While on H4 EAD, I was job hunting for about 6 months – it was tough with HRs actually asking a question or two about my work permit & if I need sponsorship etc. Not sure if anyone faced such a similar situation. Well, I received quite some rejections – even after a good, satisfying interview thus leaving me baffled about why I kept receiving rejections! I couldn’t help but think that this might be tied to my H4 EAD work permit.
    Well, I kept trying for 6 months with over hundreds of applications and few interviews and finally, I did manage to land a good job that I absolutely enjoy.
    Note to EAD applicants – do file for your new application if you don’t have one and EAD holders – keep applying to jobs, don’t let any news stop you until it’s officially a rule.

    I regularly visit your site as it is THE only site with sound and up-to-date information on the H4 EAD status. Thanks a lot once again for this entire timeline analysis! You guys are doing such a good thing here. Much love!

  14. Tejas

    Thanks for the nice analysis!
    I haven’t filed for my wife’s H4EAD because I am waiting for the proposed rule to come out
    Don’t want her to lose her existing F1 by moving to H4EAD and then H4EAD getting cancelled as well even for existing holders
    Have been confused about what to do so this analysis helps!

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