Update Oct 6, 2020 – H4 EAD news update today: There is no news of the revocation process at this time. The OMB approval is still pending.
Earlier, DHS published its Spring 2020 agenda and the H4 EAD revocation was featured as one of the items.
There is no need to panic.
This agenda is shared by DHS twice every year and H4 EAD revocation features on it every year.
The current termination process is at the ‘proposed’ stage which means that nothing has been finalized. This has been going on for more than 2 years now.
It is expected to take another couple of years too based on past experiences. Then, there could be lawsuits that can further delay its implementation.
This article will discuss:
Does Trump Travel Ban Affect H4 EAD?
Trump’s travel ban for H1B does not affect H4 EAD. Do not worry. H4 EAD can be applied if you are inside USA and can be approved by USCIS at this time.
There is no other news about H4 EAD termination at this time which is currently pending for OMB approval. This cannot be expedited as assumed by David Pier.
Should You Worry?
There is no need to worry as per my opinion as H4 EAD cannot be stopped by executive order.
There is no progress in the H4 EAD revocation process at this time.
DHS Defends H4 EAD in Federal Court – May 2020
Earlier on May 7, 2020, DHS told the federal court that any claims of economic harm suffered by Save Jobs USA are completely speculative. it was widely reported as being a change of DHS’s opinion on H4EAD including by Law360.
The H4 EAD revocation process is going on in parallel with the SaveJobsUSA vs DHS court case. Both are related and hence sometimes cause confusion. H4 EAD’s fate is hanging on to these two streams separately:
- SaveJobsUSA vs DHS court case – American workers group asking to stop H4 EAD as it increases competition and takes away jobs.
- DHS’s own idea and process of revoking H4 EAD work Authorization motivated by Trump’s orders.
Note that neither of the two streams has reached a final result yet. The court has not taken any final decision and I expect that the OMB may not do anything either as DHS is not able to justify any economic loss to the US government at this time.
The hopes are alive that H4 EAD will not be terminated.
New York-based attorney Cyrus Mehta has echoed the sentiment in his talk with Times of India that DHS may be facing difficulties to convince OMB.
He says, “The Trump administration’s position in its latest pleading is at odds with the position it has taken earlier against work authorisations for H-4 dependants. They have been trying to issue a regulation to rescind the Obama era rule, but have not been able to get it through. Probably the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), may have advised that the proposed regulation had no economic and legal rationale. The administration must also be facing a lot of pressure from allies in big business who support H-4 EADs.”
Earlier on Sep 16, 2019, DHS had told the court that the earliest possible date that H4 EAD revoke may be published is Spring 2020.
EAD Revoke Rule details
H4EAD revoke rules will be available as and when OMB publishes them for public comments. DHS submitted the revoke rules to OMB for review on Feb 20, 2019.
DHS is actively working on making rules on removing H-4 Dependent Spouses from class C(26) of Aliens Eligible for Employment Authorization (EAD).
Marked as ‘Economical Impact and Significant’ rule, DHS has the legal obligation of giving only 30 days for public comments instead of longer 60 or 90 days!
You can apply for new H4-EAD and H4-EAD renewals at this time. USCIS is actively approving H4-EAD applications.
DHS is still working on the H4 EAD removal and the rule is currently pending for OMB approval.
This is a separate process and DHS initiated it themselves due to Trump administration policies.
The federal court judgment does not affect this process and H4 EAD termination is still on the cards.
Existing H4 EAD cards will remain valid after revocation. DHS is expected to stop the issuance of new cards and renewals.
Yes, a lawsuit is expected as and when DHS publishes its H4 EAD revoke rules.
A lawsuit will definitely extend the available time and the final judgments would define as to what happens with H1B dependent work permits.
The federal court has sent the case back to the lower court after it gave a decision for SaveJobsUSA vs DHS case on Nov 8, 2019.
The lower court will now hear the case and decide whether DHS has any authority to issue H4 EAD work permits or not.
SaveJobsUSA has challenged that only congress can give EAD work authorization and not DHS.
You can apply 180 days before your current H4 EAD card expiry. USCIS is giving full 3-year validity.
H4 EAD Protection Act
H4 Employment Protection Act was re-introduced by the California Congresswoman (Eshoo, Lofgren) in 116th congress in May 2019 last week.
The chances of saving H4EAD with this law are very low at this time as compared to the high probability of success with H4 EAD revoke lawsuit.
Survey – 14k responses
Find the mood of H1B, H4EAD community. Google account required to fill the survey.
Open file in New Window
The survey’s 14K responses reveal that H1b skilled people are getting ready to get Canada or Australia PR.
- Apr 8, 2019: ImmigrationVoice presented good defense in support of the H4 EAD rule citing it does not affect American workers.
- Apr 1, 2019: DHS informed the Federal court that the H4 EAD program does not affect job competition in the US job market based on their economic analysis.
- Sep 26, 2018 – U.S. Senators Kamala D. Harris (D-CA) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) letter to USCIS. USCIS reply (on last page) – Oct 16, 2018.
- Aug 23, 2018 – Business Roundtable letter supporting H4 EAD signed by Apple, ADP, American Airlines, Pepsi, Coca-Cola among other CEOs.
- Aug 20, 2018 – DHS to Federal Court – No intention of backing off on H4 EAD withdrawal.
- May 16, 2018 – 130 bipartisan congress members signed a letter of support.