H4 EAD News 2018 DHS – USCIS Plan Withdrawal

By Anil Gupta,  19 Jul, 18      31  USA

USCIS H4 EAD renewal RFE if filed before 120 days of expiry. Officially 180 is allowed. DHS told Federal court about final stages of H4 EAD withdrawal rule. Current H4 EAD will be valid with new ones stopped.

Update July 18, 2018

June deadline has been missed by Trump admin and July is two third over.
We have no official news on the H4 EAD withdrawal rule making from DHS or USCIS.
It is good news that there is no news from DHS yet on H4 EAD withdrawal!

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

Related: H1B Extension Denial Can lead to Deportation – USCIS changes policy

In the meantime, USCIS is aggressively restricting H1B visa’s policies.
First, they changed rules to allow forceful deportation court order against H1B worker if their visa is denied.

Then, a week later, they have decided to reject H1B visa applications without ever issuing RFE (request for evidence) if the paperwork does not prove eligibility!

A small ray of hope provided by HR 6136 bill (to remove Green Card country limits) and HR 4760 bill (to increase skilled based Green Cards) have been blown away as both stand rejected in house voting. This is sad news for the Indian and Chinese skilled workers as they have missed a crucial immigration law change.

H4 EAD removal has featured in DHS’s semi-annual agenda submitted in federal register. The information is same as we have seen in earlier DHS agenda items. The newspapers especially Indian, are making a big news out of it.

There is nothing new in this agenda news. Here is a snapshot of the agenda that re-enforces the same June 2018 timeline.

H4 EAD Removal featured in DHS semi-annual agenda
H4 EAD Removal featured in DHS semi-annual agenda

Also, as per Perchingtree report SAVE Jobs USA submitted a statement to remind the Court to follow their recent decision in STEM OPT case in case of SAVE Jobs USA vs H-4 EAD lawsuit too.

The federal court has already accepted the DHS H4 EAD rule making and is waiting for it to come out.

There is no concrete information about when will DHS publish the rules except that their intended timeline still shows June 2018.
Earlier this ‘intended time‘ was Feb 2018 but was delayed to June 2018.

These delays are normal and it is possible the dates are again moved to some other date later in the year 2018.

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

H4-EAD withdrawal survey

This H4-EAD survey helps find a mood of community. 2000+ people have already responded.

You need Google account to fill it. You will be able to see results after you have filled your own data. No email collected. No spam. Your response remains anonymous.

Update May 23, 2018 – SaveJobsUSA vs DHS in Federal court

DHS has officially informed federal appeals court on May 22, 2018 in the SaveJobsUSA vs DHS case against H4 EAD work permit that they in ‘Final Stages of drafting the H4-EAD withdrawal rule’.

This clearly signals that DHS is on track to submit the h4-ead withdrawal rule in June 2018 for OMB (Office of Management and Budget) approval and public comments.

Related: H1B Visa Approved but Status is Administrative Processing

Update May 19, 2018 – USCIS issuing RFEs for filing renewal before 120 days!

Well, this is a big news and clearly indicates the USCIS and DHS agenda on removing the H4-EAD pretty soon and as expected in June 2018.

Recently, H4 EAD renewal applications have started receiving rejections based on RFE with reason:

You have filed for H4-EAd renewal too soon. You are allowed to file 120 days before expiry only.

USCIS issuing H4 EAD RFE for filing before 120 days
USCIS issuing H4 EAD RFE for filing before 120 days

You can read the comment from people who received H4-EAD renewal RFE here:

USCIS officially allows filing H4 EAD renewal 180 days before expiry

The RFEs are in stark contract with official USCIS H4-EAD renewal guidance which allows H1B spouses to file H4-EAD renewal **180 days** before actual expiry:

H4 EAD renewal can be filed 180 days before expiry
H4 EAD renewal can be filed 180 days before expiry

The same 180 day renewal policy has been mentioned at other places on USCIS website for EAD too:

  1. Specially for H4-EAD renewal same as screen shot above.
  2. https://www.uscis.gov/greencard/employment-authorization-document
  3. https://www.uscis.gov/working-united-states/information-employers-employees/employer-information/employment-authorization

USCIS and DHS are rejecting renewals with RFEs

USCIS and DHS seems to be doing this behind the scenes with a planned agenda to NOT issue any new H4-EADs that are due for renewal.

If this is any indication, then the news is certainly NOT good and H4-EAD termination is happening next month in June 2018 !

Update May 16, 2018 – 130 bipartisan member letter to USCIS

130 bipartisan congress members have sent a signed letter of support in favor of H4EAD to USCIS. They have strongly asked to keep the work authorization intact.

  1. The opportunity for H-4 visa holders to work has made our economy stronger, while providing relief and economic support to thousands of spouses, mostly women, who have resided in the United States for years.
  2. Many are on the path to permanent residency and would already be permanent residents if not for the decades-long employment backlogs. Rescinding the rule will hurt the competitiveness of US employers and the US economy, as well as H-4 accompanying spouses and their families. We strongly urge you to reconsider this action, said the lawmakers.
  3. We write to urge you to maintain the current regulation granting work authorization to certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B non-immigrant workers.

Source: jayapal.house.gov letter to USCIS

I know a lot of people who were working on H4-EAD and were eligible for H1B, have already converted.
If you can, you should too convert as early as possible to keep your job and income source un-affected.

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

The threat to H4 EAD work permits is real and started with note published in DHS fall time table for removing H-4 EAD.

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).

This rule is designated as ‘Economical Impact and Significant’ which gives DHS the ability to move faster than expected to get approvals for OMB review clearance.
Once they come out with rules in June 2018, they have the legal limitation of giving only 30 days for public comments instead of longer 60 or 90 days!

After creating this rule under Obama Administration in 2015, Trump administration is trying to gain political mileage by taking the work permits away from approximately 100k H-4 EAD holders.

Is H4 EAD still Valid?

You CAN apply for NEW H4-EAD and H4-EAD renewals. Currently, the H2-EAD is still active and valid. DHS is issuing H4-EADs.

Related: H4 EAD Documents, Sample new Application and Renewals

If you are planning to apply for H4-EAD or renewal soon, we would strongly recommend to apply as early as possible as it has not been revoked yet.

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

It is still not known if DHS will finally remove H4-EAD work authorization or not. But, the signals are strong and pretty clear.
The final regulation will be clear only when they come out with it.

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?

Although, the termination of H4-EAD will take its time depending on how fast DHS moves, but the possibility of final implementation is expected to be by end of 2018 in contrast to original rule making which took about 2 years to take birth.

If you are eligible for converting to H1B, we strongly recommend that you should change your status.

Will existing H4 EAD be terminated?

As per the past DHS rules, DACA and similar EAD withdrawals, existing EADs were not stopped in one shot. The active ones were given their remaining validity time on EAD to use.

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

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.
This essentially means that if we get a stay, the H4-EAD can still be given until court makes a final decision.