H4 EAD News June 2019 DHS Revoke Rule OMB Review Pending

Written by Anil Gupta
  By Anil Gupta          Updated  19 Jun, 19

June 19, 2019 – OMB Review Pending

H4 EAD news update today: OMB review is still pending. A widespread expectation is that OMB may come out with something by June 20. It is an important day as the OMB will complete 90 + 30 days of extension after the DHS submitted revoke rules for review on Feb 20, 2019.

Some Indian newspapers ran a story on June 18 about USCIS saying that H4 EAD rule is delayed but there is nothing new that we have observed.

Multiple H4 and H4 EAD approvals have been reported from Vermont now after the court case. The first H4EAD approval after biometrics was on June 11.

The theory that USCIS and DHS were intentionally delaying the EAD approval does not seem to stand ground now.

H4 EAD Protection Act

H4 Employment Protection Act was re-introduced by California Congress woman (Eshoo, Lofgren) in 116th congress in May last week. The chances of saving H4EAD with this law are very low at this time as compared to high probability of success with H4 EAD revoke lawsuit.

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

DHS Spring 2019 Agenda, Cissna Resigns

H4 EAD revocation appears on DHS Spring 2019 rule making agenda and USCIS director Cissna resigns. Cissna was strictly against giving out H4EAD work permits.

H4 EAD removal is on DHS Spring 2019 agenda list
H4 EAD removal is on DHS Spring 2019 agenda list


Trump’s DACA Executive Order Overturned by Court

A positive news came from Federal court on May 17 when they ruled against Trump’s attempt to stop DACA program that shields young immigrants from deportation.

Court mentioned that DHS did not “adequately account” for how ending DACA program would affect the hundreds of thousands of young people who “structured their lives” around the program, reports NBCNews.

This probably means that DHS H4 EAD revocation rule also has low chances of standing lawsuit.

We are actively tracking OMB for any update but neither the meeting attendees nor OMB has published any details.

OMB Proposed Rule Meetings

An OMB meeting on Mar 26, 2019 was attended by lot of Indian people possibly putting the strong argument in favor of H4-EAD in front of OMB:

H4 EAD revoke rule Indians meeting OMB
H4 EAD revoke rule Indians meeting OMB

We do not have details of the outcome of these OMB Proposed Stage meetings that they are conducting regularly:

H4 EAD revoke rule OMB proposed rule meetings
H4 EAD revoke rule OMB proposed rule meetings

If you are one of the attendees or know the meeting details, please do share with us on our Facebook Group. We will share it here with your name.

No details are available for Amanda’s OMB review meeting from May 1 either. We contacted her directly for an update but she has not responded.

The Amanda’s meeting shows as ‘scheduled’ at this time which probably means that it did not happen.

OMB May Not Approve H4EAD Revoke Rule

John Miano from Center for Immigration Studies has the opinion that OMB may not approve H4EAD revoke rule.

Miano says that ‘Deep State’ (business lobby with government without explicitly showing it to public) will not let the H4 EAD go away. He has argued that DACA EAD was not defended by DHS in court with good arguments when they had the intentions of revoking it either. The same behavior has been shown by DHS in SaveJobsUSA federal court case.

John Miano believes that the text of H4 EAD revoke rule has been drafted in such a way that it is unlikely to survive a legal challenge.

My opinion and attorney analysis on why H4 EAD revoke may be blocked by lawsuit even if passed by DHS and OMB.

SaveJobsUSA brief in Court

SaveJobsUSA presented their points in federal court hearing on Apr 29:

  • Congress has not given authority to DHS to give out EADs.
  • Majority of H4 EAD holders are working in IT sector and taking away American jobs.

My opinion is that SaveJobsUSA is not able to prove their argument in court convincingly at this time. DHS has already conveyed that H4 workers do not impact US economy negatively based on their study.

Federal court has not given any opinion yet. My hopes are high that federal court is going to rule in favor of H4 workers.

ImmigrationVoice Appeal Favors H4-EAD

ImmigrationVoice presented good defense in support of H4 EAD rule on April 8, 2019 in federal court

  • H4EAD does not affect American workers
  • DHS had full authority to give H4 work authorization as per law
  • H4 EAD add to federal and state taxes
  • H4 EAD is important for H1B families to help them economically sustain in USA

DHS says H4 EAD not affecting US workers

DHS informed Federal court on Apr 1, 2019 that H4 EAD program does not affect job competition in US job market based on their economic analysis.

The acceptance that H4 EAD does not affect American jobs is a win for H1B spouses along with a big blow to SaveJobsUSA’s case. It might be a hint that DHS may have something good for H4 EAD in their kitty. Only time will tell.

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.

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!

H4-EAD Withdrawal Survey – 14k responses

The survey’s 14K responses reveal that H1b skilled people are getting ready to get Canada or Australia PR.

Will H1B family move to Canada if H4 EAD is withdraw
Will H1B family move to Canada if H4 EAD is withdraw

Find the mood of H1B, H4EAD community. Google account required to fill survey.
Open H4 EAD withdrawal survey in a new window.

Is H4 EAD still valid?

H4EAD is still valid. You can apply for new H4-EAD and H4-EAD renewals at this time. USCIS is actively processing H4-EAD applications within 2-3 months. Apply 180 days before your current H4 EAD card expiry to get full 3 year validity.

Will H4 EAD be valid after DHS Termination?

Existing H4 EAD cards will remain valid after revocation. DHS is expected to stop the issuance of new cards and renewals.

H4 EAD News Timeline

  1. Sep 26, 2018 – U.S. Senators Kamala D. Harris (D-CA) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) letter to USCISUSCIS reply (on last page) – Oct 16, 2018.
  2. Aug 23, 2018 – Business Roundtable letter supporting H4 EAD signed by Apple, ADP, American Airlines, Pepsi, Coca-Cola among other CEOs.
  3. Aug 20, 2018DHS to Federal Court – No intention of backing off on H4 EAD withdrawal.
  4. May 16, 2018 – 130 bipartisan congress members signed letter of support.

Recent discussion on forum

  1. Vamsi_Krishna_Maring

    With the confusion around H4 EAD, is it advisable to apply for H4 EAD. I got my I140 approved last week and planning to apply for EAD.

    Please let me know your thoughts

  2. Anil.Gupta

    Hi @Vamsi_Krishna_Maring

    Do not worry about the H4 EAD news at this time. Nothing is final and this drama is going on for last 2 years.

    I strongly advise to apply for H4 EAD if you are eligible.

  3. divya_nathan

    Hi Anil,
    I am currently on an H1B valid till Dec 2019. Since my employer has decided not to go ahead with my PERM filing, I plan to go to India for an H4 stamping in Aug once my husband’s I140 is ready. Do you think it is still a viable option for me to apply for an EAD sometime in Sept 2019?
    Please advise.

  4. Anil.Gupta

    Hi @divya_nathan

    H4 EAD is available until it is finally removed. You can file it.

Comments are closed. Ask question on Forum (we answer in 1-24 hour)

  224 Useful Questions & Answers

  1. JD S
    JD S 9 Feb, 19 at 10:01 am

    I wanted to point out that in most countries including Canada and UK (see links below), spouses of even legal temporary workers are issued open work permits which allows them to work without restrictions. Here in the US, the spouses of “just H1B” visa holder (without i-140) have no authority or right to work, remain jobless and economically dependent vulnerable to abuse, discrimination, financial burden in the society for several years. Only after H1B visa holder has an approved i-140 after 3-6 years of employment, the spouse is allowed to even obtain an EAD. Now they want to take the EAD away and these spouses will have to wait 15-20 years or even longer for their spouse’s green card before they can even think about earning money for their family.
    UK – https://www.1stcontact.com/visas/uk-visas/partner-visas
    Canada – http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/helpcentre/answer.asp?qnum=1163&top=17

    Not permitting a legal temporary residents to work goes against the international human rights law – ‘right to work’ which is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We fully support stricter H1B rules but after being granted H1B on the basis of specialty occupation, there MUST be protection against unemployment for the legal temporary workers and their spouses.

    Save job USA’s fight is against misuse of H1B visas, and has already yielded fruit with stricter H1B regulations. There are mechanisms in place to protect US worker’s interests with LCA petition, and these rules should be made stricter if needed. Eliminating spouses of legal non-immigrants and legal immigrants (waiting for decades in line for green cards) from workforce will increase discrimination, financial stress and rates of unemployment in this country.


    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 9 Feb, 19 at 10:10 am

      I agree, you have a valid point.


  2. Rony
    Rony 5 Feb, 19 at 2:36 pm

    Anil, your statements above sounds like you are eagerly waiting for this to get revoked!!!


    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 9 Feb, 19 at 10:01 am

      That’s your interpretation. I am just writing about latest updates.


  3. Rakesh
    Rakesh 5 Feb, 19 at 2:36 pm

    Hi Anil,
    Thank you for putting this article. It is very helpful. Just a comment – You shouldn’t change any dates at all because the whole purpose to put 3 scenarios (Low, Medium and High) are to point out how USCIS is moving ahead. For example – Before for FAST scenario you have put Dec. 21, 2018, I don’t think you should change it to March, 2019 because than folks know that USCIS is not moving ahead with FAST scenario, they might move in medium or slow.


    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 9 Feb, 19 at 10:27 am

      You have a valid point but that’s not how most people see it.
      Many people asked me to change the dates as USCIS or DHS misses the FAST dates. They want to see the updated dates in all 3 categories (Fast, medium and slow).

      If I could, I would give all possible scenarios but space is limited in above article.
      I appreciate your feedback.


  4. Rock
    Rock 28 Jan, 19 at 8:52 pm

    Hi Anil, Do we know if Court got the replacement brief from SAVE Jobs USA? How do we know Case progress? Thank you.


    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 28 Jan, 19 at 8:52 pm

      No update yet. We will update the article as soon as we get any update.


      • madhusudhan sala
        madhusudhan sala 9 Feb, 19 at 10:02 am

        Hi Anil, I guess the save jobs replacement brief was submitted but we need PACER login


  5. Yuanzhang
    Yuanzhang 28 Jan, 19 at 8:51 pm

    Hi Anil, I have a question about applying for H4 EAD separately versus filing H1B extension, H4 extension and EAD all together with premium processing.

    I just got an 140 approval, I am in H1B status expiring at the end of July, and my wife is in H4 status without EAD. I can file for H1B extension as early as the beginning of February, with premium processing. I know that the best option is to file all together. However, my employer is really, really slow in these processes…

    If we file a H4 EAD application separately now and then all together later, how will the pending H4 EAD application affects the H4 extension and EAD application later?

    Thank you!


  6. Sriram
    Sriram 28 Jan, 19 at 8:51 pm

    Hi Anil,

    Save Jobs USA has filed their replacement brief on Jan 16th. DHS filed a motion on Jan 18th to put a stay on the deadlines because of government shutdown but court denied it.
    What happens if DHS fails to submit their brief by Feb 16th ??


    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 9 Feb, 19 at 10:01 am

      The court case will go on as usual. Judge will hear the arguments.


  7. H4EADSupporter
    H4EADSupporter 28 Jan, 19 at 8:51 pm

    First, thanks for the timely updated post. However, the time estimation should be seriously revised since It’s based on ungrounded speculation. Taking the fast estimation as an example, It assumes that DHS and OMB take no gap and things never get stalled. We all know that it’s IMPOSSIBLE.

    This chart now does very little things but create panic.


    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 28 Jan, 19 at 8:51 pm

      Thanks for your feedback but the estimation is not meant to create panic.
      Also, the 3 modes have been given simply on the basis of speed. Off-course, if FAST is not possible, then you can consider other slow and medium timelines.

      The name is fast because the assumption is that speed has to be fast and nothing is impossible if they really want to do it.
      USCIS and DHS are working on FAST timelines for implementing the H1B lottery change starting April 2019 and they are following the same OMB process at FAST timelines.


  8. Anil Gupta
    Anil Gupta 14 Jan, 19 at 10:05 am

    At this time, there is no news from DHS. Are you to talking about anything specific?


  9. Rag Ramini
    Rag Ramini 14 Jan, 19 at 9:47 am

    Just I said before, H4 EAD UPDATES: YEAR 2030 —– Still in process and no rule. Remove this blog.


    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 14 Jan, 19 at 10:05 am

      It’s good that they are taking time.
      Why are you after removing the blog? It’s for tracking and sharing the details of what happens.
      Keeping users informed is a good idea. Isn’t it?


  10. Rag Ramini
    Rag Ramini 14 Jan, 19 at 9:47 am

    There will be no rules. This is all a game. The court will decide against SAVEJOBS USA and every one will go home and you will close your blog.


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