H4 EAD News 2018 DHS – USCIS Plan Removal by Nov

Anil Gupta  18 Nov, 18      261  USA

H4 EAD news update today DHS publishes mid-term agenda in federal register with H4 EAD at proposed stage. USCIS reviewing rule. No draft out in Nov 2018 yet.

Nov 18, 2018 – DHS may publish rule by Nov 2018

H4 EAD news update today: Two California congresswoman (Eshoo, Lofgren) introduce bill to protect H4 EAD work permit from DHS removal, reports Mercury news. If the bill becomes a law especially with Democrat majority in house, it might bring a big relief for H1B families. The chances of it getting approved and becoming law are low at this time though.

Note that the H4 EAD removal draft rules are still NOT out. Earlier, DHS updated their Fall rule making agenda with estimated publish date to Nov, 2018.

DHS accepts the fact that employers of H4EAD workers could incur costs when their employee’s EADs are terminated.
Does that mean that DHS is planning to STOP existing H4 EADs too? Only time will tell.

The proposed H4 EAD revoke rule would no longer allow 100k H-4 workers, majority of them from India, to enter the labor market.

H4 EAD Revoke Estimated Time

An estimation chart based on how fast DHS moves. These are just estimations. DHS may take much longer than anticipated based on prior experience.

H4 EAD revoke estimated timeline
H4 EAD revoke estimated timeline – Fast, Medium, Slow


Draft H4 EAD removal Publish

OMB Review Start

21 Dec 201911 Jan 20191 Mar 2019
OMB Comment Period End (30/60/90 days)21 Jan 201911 Mar 20191 Jun 2019
OMB Comment Review End (30/90/120 days)21 Feb, 201911 Jun 20191 Oct 2019
Final H4 EAD withdraw rule publish

(Date when H4 EAD is STOPPED)

22 Feb 2019120 Jun 20191 Nov 2019

Lot of people who were working on H4-EAD and were eligible for H1B, have already changed their status to H1B. If you can, you should too convert as early as possible to keep your job and income source unaffected.

We update this page every day to make sure no H4 EAD termination news is missed.

Related: 42% Increase in Indian H1B Extension, Transfer, Amendment Denials

H4-EAD withdrawal survey – 10k responses

Find the mood of H1B, H4EAD community to know if Will H1B family move to Canada if H4 EAD is stopped?

Google account required to fill survey. See results after you have filled your own responses. No email collected. No spam. Your response remains anonymous.

Open H4 EAD withdrawal survey in a new window.

H4 EAD News Timeline

  1. Nov 16, 2018: DHS published mid-year agenda to federal register and features H4-EAD termination at proposed stage. Agenda in Federal register is meant to provide public with information about DHS’s regulatory activities and enable them to submit comments.
  2. Oct 16, 2018 – USCIS reply (on last page) to Kamala Harris letter of support for H4EAD rule again confirms their stand of ‘No backing off‘ on H4 EAD removal.
  3. Sep 26, 2018 – U.S. Senators Kamala D. Harris (D-CA) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) sent a letter to USCIS and DHS urging them not to revoke employment authorization.
  4. Sep 21, 2018 – DHS informed the federal court that they have completed their portion of rulemaking work and sent it to for USCIS review. H4EAD removal draft rules will be ready for OMB public review comments around the first week of Jan 2019 or late Dec 2018.  Comments period of 30 to 60 days only as this rule is marked as ‘Economically significant‘.
  5. Sep 17, 2018 – SaveJobsUSA files motion in Court to continue with the case as DHS is taking too long to publish rules for H4 EAD withdrawal.
  6. Sep 6, 2018 – USCIS replied back to Internet Association confirming their stance of no backing off.
  7. Aug 23, 2018 – Business Roundtable sent an official letter to USCIS in support of H4 EAD is signed by Apple, ADP, American Airlines, Pepsi, Coca-Cola among other CEOs.
  8. Aug 22, 2018 – Internet Association sent a letter to USCIS requesting a re-think on their H4 EAD withdrawal rule.
  9. Aug 20, 2018DHS to Federal Court – No intention of backing off on H4 EAD withdrawal and they are in the last stage of framing the rules.
  10. May 19, 2018USCIS started issuing RFEs for filing renewal before 120 days."<yoastmarkUSCIS officially allows filing H4 EAD renewal 180 days before expiry and the H4 EAD 120 day RFEs are not justified."<yoastmarkRelated: H1B Visa Approved but Status is Administrative ProcessingThe 180-day EAD renewal policy USCIS website references: Especially for H4-EAD renewal same as the screen shot above, USCIS EAD Rules and EAD.
  11. May 16, 2018 – 130 bipartisan congress members sent signed letter of support in favor of H4EAD to USCIS.

DHS / USCIS agenda to remove H4-EAD work authorization in 2018

DHS is actively working on making rules on removing H-4 Dependent Spouses from the 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!

H4EAD status – Is H4 EAD still Valid in 2018?

You CAN apply for NEW H4-EAD and H4-EAD renewals at this time. DHS is issuing H4-EADs.

Related: EB2 India Predictions – 20 years average wait time, 151 years worst case

Will existing H4 EAD be Valid after DHS withdraws work authorization?

It is not known if DHS will remove existing H4 EADs or not. As per the past DHS rules (DACA and similar EAD withdrawals) existing active EADs were given their remaining validity time to use.

Hence, it is safe to assume that existing H4 EADs will also be allowed to run through their validity period.

H4 EAD News - DHS planning to revoke work permits
H4 EAD News – DHS planning to revoke work permits

Should I change status from H4-EAD to H1B?

If you are eligible for converting to H1B, we strongly recommend that you should change your status. But, remember, you can start work on H1B only after your H1B change of status is approved.

Can a Lawsuit be filed against H4EAD withdrawal?

Depending on what rule DHS comes out with, the chances are high and a lawsuit stay can be obtained by H4-EAD groups in their favor, which may take years to reach a decision.