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

H4 Visa EAD 2017 News – Lawsuit Status, Trump Administration Impact

In Immigration| Visas by Saurabh265 Comments

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 – 
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:

  1. 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).
  2.  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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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.

What Happens Now – Can H4 EAD be revoked by Trump Administration ? What’s the Impact ? Status ?
This is where things get tricky…It is hard to predict at this point. The Trump administration may decide not to challenge the H4 EAD lawsuit, or they may continue to fight it. I am not a legal expert, but I think there is a possibility of someone else to step in (for e.g. AILA) in case administration decides to roll back the rule. Until the Trump administration makes it stance clear, its business as usual, all H-4 EADs would remain valid, you can apply for H4 EAD, if eligible, and new EADs would continue to be adjudicated by USCIS. The current motion filed by Government for 180 days time does NOT impact the current rule in any ways, until any judgment is given by Court. We have to wait and see until January 2, 2018 to see what comes out.

My advice would be to not fall prey to gossip and speculative rumors on revoke of H4 EAD rule by Trump Administration; and if you are on H4 EAD then have a back-up plan for the worst case scenario.  I will keep this article updated as new information emerges.

What are your thoughts ?

Reference : Court Document of Actual Court Case File in Sept 2016

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Comments ( 265 )

  1. Jeff Vangalapudi

    Even if it’s decided to roll back the h4 ead, can’t the rollback be delayed by months and months if someone decides to file a case against the new regulation that rescinds h4 ead?
    Because oh law firm shared this view on their news bulletin on 18th November.that it will take months and months for repeal to happen. And infinity if a few court cases are filed.

    1. AZ

      I hope so. That’s so unfair and it should not happen. I have a Master’s degree here and I am on H4Ead. We are working for this country to make things happen. Who the heck on the earth thinks that H4Ead’s are not eligible? It’s not the Visa status, it’s your knowledge

      I have spent a lot for my career and I am working. Does everyone who is against this has a Master’s degree? How is the eligibility even decided? If you think you are eligible, compete with us and win the race.

      Why do someone from your country hire us ? Because they think we are better than you. Rather than changing the rules, change yourself and grow better.

      Damn rules!!

  2. ASD

    There was a post on a Chinese Forum on H-4 EAD that the Trump Agenda will be released on Monday Dec 11. If anyone gets the link first please post here.

    1. VP

      Do not believe breitbart or any other news outlet just yet (breitbart is known for it anti immigrant stance) . DHS should announce something in the next few weeks

        1. VP

          @Kriti I said weeks not days. The reason for that is the court has only extended the deadline till 2nd of Jan, less than a month away. A request for an extension by DHS has been denied by the court. DHS has to respond before that with their decision. So we should see some statement from DHS in the upcoming 3 weeks or so.

    2. Geeta

      # Mehrul – There is no rule or news released about H-4 EAD till now. It will come through the unified agenda. You can read what this means


    3. administrator

      Nothing is official. Do not be mislead. The latest speculation is from Breitbart News as updated above. Nothing is released by DHS

  3. Jk

    People are fighting on H4 and H1, while lobbyists are doing their job in White House. Can Apple start manufacturing in the US, please? That is not an H1B problem. Companies need to be profitable, so they choose their own way of making fat profits. Waste of time discussing this .

  4. Sophia

    China, India, and many counties get benefits from huge population. Look at the world and go back to history. By having more population, salaries, education and GDP are up. Everybody shared the benefits. Don’t you think the lottery of H1B is ridiculous enough? Not to mention the case trying to abandon certain H4 holders’ EAD. Please note, only certain H4, most Chinese and Indian, because their spouses can’t get I-485 concurrent with I-140. Each year, only 185K people get H1B, suppose 50% of them are married. Among who married, suppose 50% are Chinese and Indian. So H4 is up to 46K each year. Comparing to 40.5 M 24 to 65 ages people looking for a job in the U.S., it is really like a drop in the sea. Win the game by your ability not by changing the rule. Why L2 can work but not H4?

    1. SH

      Excellent point. If H4 spouses with EAD aren’t allowed to work, they should revoke work authorization of L2 spouses as well. “Save Jobs USA” isn’t fighting against that. Why???
      Most of the dependent spouses are in CA, NY, & NJ and there is no shortage of jobs there. If not for H4 EADs, these reqs will remain unfulfilled anyway. Atleast by employing spouses of H1B visa workers (with approved I140), both – the companies and employees are contributing to the economy.
      All of us who are facing such situation should unite and stand against this if Trump administration tries to revoke the rule

  5. B

    @ASD – H4 EAD revoke proposed rule already published in Fall Unified Agenda released today. Publicly will be released midnight. Goodbye and go home all H4 EADs. If you have signed up for notifications, you will get it or wait to hear the news with your coffee.

    1. Gautham

      Is this a rule developed by you? Don’t spread these kind of fake news. This is not a place to play fun on these things. This itslef proves what ever you said until this time were utter lies

      1. j1

        don’t chase down this guy. The frustrated guy just because someone took his job at TCS. I still had no idea why people complain about others and not improve their skill. Without skill, there is no way they will hire you at TCS. Wait not even small Indian IT company. haha

  6. Tech Talk

    If you are capable you would not loose a job. Rather than blaming on H-1B/H-4 EAD, train yourself to be competent. No one is giving free money. Capable ppl get jobs.

          1. BO

            I think then its TCS problem and not you or H4 EAD. Why TCS want to pay less money to someone as because that job really need that level of skill. TCS is smarter than you atleast i can tell.

            I have green card and my is on green card too so H4 EAD doesn’t bother me.

          2. VV

            You talk like a philistine. probably from a state school with a 2.7 GPA, if that. You know why we
            take your job ? Coz you are dumb as hell and only capable of working in coal mines or in construction.

    1. P

      So True !
      Jobs are given on experience and knowledge, this is what are the first rounds of interview, the pay questions are asked in the end when you pass these.

      If you are really capable pass these first rounds.

      Removing H4 Visa is just a shortcut you are trying to take by removing competition.

      Capable??? Keep the Visa and get in the market….oh wait…you already are and not getting jobs…hence you are upset…right !

      People here are trying to run the race alone and win it….if you really want to experience winning of the race…run with us and win it. Educate yourself.

      1. B

        Haha you are getting too personal . I can replace 20 of you offshore TCS coders . And ofcourse I charge twice of H1bs and probably 10 times of H4 eads . removing h4 ead is avoiding low skilled workers replace true American who belong here . Go to India and Work from there if you are that well skilled . Americans come first in USA . It’s not a race . It’s the country . You came here as a non immigrant worker and now asking for rights .How was the schooling in india with no toilets ?

        1. B*

          haha. So TCS don’t want to pay you twice as h1b because they know they don’t need high skill guys to do their support work. So TCS is more smart than you. If i own business and if skill need for work is $10/hr than there is no way i can pay 20$/hr for same work. So technically you were doing some low skill job before. You don’t deserve to have competition with H1B or wait not even H4 EAD. Haha! get some skill and don’t complain!

        2. M

          So you are charging in multiple of millions? If not then STFU. Because I’m on H1B and although I won’t disclose my numbers, you would have to be CEO of some big shot company to charge twice as much as me. So don’t give people the s**t that you are being paid more than H1B folks.

    2. Whitecollarslave

      This is nonsense. If you are not authorized to work, it does not matter how capable you are. Which world do you live in dude. Wake up and stop thinking you are superior than someone else encaustic you figured out your h1b

  7. Observer

    I am a beneficiary of H4 EAD and still believe that an administration has complete rights to make or scrap any law. Though solely stripping of laws made by the previous administration is not healthy of any organization.

    There are plenty of jobs and all of them prefer citizens.A qualified and talented person of any origin, can make a living anywhere in the world, under any circumstances. While weak hides behind reasons & blame the world. It’s a fair world, you can’t be ignored.

    First, they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you and finally you win.

      1. J1

        i think you said 30nov will be the day. I think that day is gone . where did you got that information before? at the barber shop? hahaha

        1. B

          Hello JK, H-4 EAD is gone my friend. Search in the Regulations Gov Site and it is mentioned that H4-EAD is go, going, gone. Link posting not allowed so search for “H-4 EAD Recipient Rule Review and Reconsider”

          1. J

            haha! I did and that is main reason i said you need to see doctor and not post your frustration here. Did you get another job or everywhere you got same cheap competition? hahahaha.

          2. JK

            B ~ Not sure if US gov makes rules and send personally to you in your dreams. I did not see any such rule. There is no authentic news on this. Gov is revisting H4 EAD and 1000 other thing ex: removing coutry cap, that everybody knows since new President came. There is case is court, that also everybody knows. But there is no final verdict on anything. Here you are taking about some final rule. Thats nowhere. I dare you to share an authentic link here suggesting there is a new rule which would be effective from a certain (exact) Data.

          3. JK

            B~ Where? this 15 day old link http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/11/21/dhs-prepares-end-work-permits-foreign-h-1b-spouses/ ? That I had read before I became active in this thread. Yes DHS is preparing, whats new in that. I am asking about the outcome. Is there a new update?
            How hard it for you to post a link here?

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