H4 EAD Update – February 22nd, 2018 update – DHS has 90 DAYS to update court 

H4 EAD Update – February 22nd, 2018 update – DHS has 90 DAYS to update court 

H4 EAD update, perhaps one of the most nerve wracking topic among educated immigrants and their spouses.  Earlier, court granted a 6 month delay so DHS and Save Jobs can come up with responses.  Save Jobs filed their amendment  and DHS filed it on September 27th. The new government (Who is the third plaintiff after last year’s election) requested 180 days to come up with a response to court order.

February 22nd, 2018 update

Finally today, there is an update on the H4 EAD case. Court ordered the case to be held in Abeyance and denied the plea of oral argument by SAVE Jobs USA. The court mentioned that, the reason for this decision is that they see the plan of rule-making by DHS to propose rule to remove H4 EAD in February 2018. The court also directed DHS to report the status on the H4 EAD rule within 90 days from the order day, which is today Feb 22, 2018 and also every 90 days after that. Basically, DHS needs to file an update with Court by May 22, 2018 on the H4 EAD rule-making. Now, as far as the rule-making. DHS is yet to send to OMB for review. So, we need to wait further for an actual cancellation confirmation.

What is the H4 EAD lawsuit? 

Few weeks before H4 EAD visa holders could start working, Save Jobs USA filed a lawsuit seeking to stop the rule. A group of computer workers formerly employed by Southern California Edison formed Save Jobs USA’s plaintiff. They argued instead of a legislature passing H4 EAD, a regulation did. Hence, they argued courts must vacate the rule. The group further alleged they were displaced by H1B workers and face more competition from H4 EAD workers.

What happened then? 

The court sided with the then Obama government. It found only a subset of H4 visa holders eligible to obtain EAD. In addition, the court also indicated Save Jobs USA did not establish its argument. Finally, the court stated that a Congress delegated authority set rules regarding employment authorization and DHS was reasonable in using that authority to grant EADs.

The 2016 Election and President Donald Trump

Once Donald Trump became president, Save Jobs again filed an appeal at the US court of appeals at DC circuit.  The new government (Enter 3rd  plaintiff)  requested 60 days to respond. Then, government again requested a 180 day freeze so DHS can reconsider H4 EAD based on the executive order issued by the president. The court granted the stay requested by government. However, directed DHS and Save Jobs to file further motions on how they wish to proceed by September 27, 2017.

Save Jobs filed its motion and requested the court for oral argument to conclude the case. DHS on September 27th ,again requested the court to hold H4 EAD case in abeyance until December 31, 2017. DHS wanted this freeze to review the president’s executive order and assess how to go about with H4 EAD. Which means as of now 2 out of 3 plaintiff’s have responded (DHS and Save jobs). While the new government is yet to.

November 17, 2017 H4 EAD Update 

Court denied the 180 days deadline extension requested by the government. And asked the government to file their motion by 2nd January ,2018.  The new administration’s stand currently is against immigration and cancelling H4 EAD status.  So the government will likely file a response to abolish H4 EAD. However, AILA and other organizations plan to oppose the move. As a result, nothing changes for now.  All H-4 EADs remain valid until an actual judgement gets passed. For now the good news is that you can apply for H4 EAD, if eligible. New EADs will continue to be adjudicated by USCIS. Any current motion filed by Government until January 2nd, does NOT impact the current rule in place.

November 22, 2017 – As reported by Breitbart 

Breitbart, A news outlet backed by Steve Bannon reported today that Officials at the Department of Homeland have drafted plans to end H4 EAD. A regulation to end the H4 giveaway is “on the table” an agency official told Breitbart News. If published in the federal register, it will be enforced after 60 days but likely will be tangled up in business-funded lawsuits. Immigration lawyers (AILA) and business groups are already are promising to block the regulation with lawsuits. We are tracking this story closely and will keep you all posted.

Dec 14th 2017 H4 EAD update

DHS releases notification of proposed Rule for Rescinding H-4 EAD Rule in OMB Agenda.  However, no rule has been posted to the Federal Register as of today. We are also tracking the court records to see if any notification is updated on the ongoing case



Source: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eAgendaViewRule?pubId=201710&RIN=1615-AC15 (site seems to be down. But the picture above is the page’s link)

The spouses of highly skilled foreign workers would no longer be able to work legally in the U.S. under a regulatory change proposed by the Trump administration on Thursday.The plan, laid out in a notice that it intends to propose a rule in 2018, would undo a program by the Obama administration that benefits foreign couples where one person is working in the U.S. on an H-1B visa. The regulation is being challenged in court as an overstepping of executive authority, and the Trump administration appears to be signaling that it intends to overturn it rather than defend it.
The notice published on behalf of the Department of Homeland Security wasn’t specific about its reasoning, saying: “DHS is proposing to remove from its regulations certain H-4 spouses of H-1B non immigrants as a class of aliens eligible for employment authorization,” it said.

Dec 22nd 2017 H4 EAD update

Both DHS and SAVE Jobs have filed respective motions.DHS wants to hold the case in abeyance until July 2018. While Save Jobs wants to prevent this abeyance and have oral argument.  
DHS argument: DHS filed a motion to hold the lawsuit in suspension. DHS argues that they are in the process of removing H4 EAD. Furthermore, they plan for Notice for proposed rule making (NPRM) in February 2018. DHS argued that having an oral argument currently is of no use since they plan to remove H4 EAD accompanied with regulations. Here is an excerpt from the actual filing.



SAVE Jobs argument : SAVE Jobs argued that DHS never had the authority to implement the H4 EAD. They said that the regulatory process will take years, as the previous H4 EAD rule making took over 2 years from publication in regulatory agenda. And this in turn will impact many of the Americans. Save Jobs also argued that more lawsuits can crop up in the mean time. Hence, they pleaded the court to have an oral argument to pass a final judgement.

Previous status

Court is yet to give a decision on the arguments filed by both. We will keep you posted. Regardless of the outcome, if the government wants to get rid of the H-4 EAD, it must first go through a 60-day notice and comment period. In addition there is a 30-day period to reconcile those comments. After reconciliation they will  publish a final rule with an effective date in the federal register. As you can see, this will take few months. How will the existing EADs  be treated is the next question. We still do not have a clear picture on this. However, if we draw from how they handled the DACA cases. An educated guess is that already approved and pending EADs will be honored. But they will accept no new applications. There is no guarantee for such an outcome, this is only an educated guess.



What does the executive order tell DHS?

“In order to create higher wages and employment rates for workers in the United States, and to protect their economic interests, the order instructs the “Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Labor, and the Secretary of Homeland Security” to, “as soon as practicable, and consistent with applicable law, propose new rules and issue new guidance, to supersede or revise previous rules and guidance if appropriate, to protect the interests of United States workers in the administration of our immigration system.”

Consistent with the President’s directive, DHS is still evaluating next steps. Rumors about DHS backing the government this time is floating around. DHS plans to announce its final intentions by the end of the calendar year Dec 31,2017. The new government will file its response on 2nd January, 2018. And a final judgement on H4 EAD follows after that. Keep your fingers crossed!



30 Comments on "H4 EAD Update – February 22nd, 2018 update – DHS has 90 DAYS to update court "

  1. H4 EAD is only issued to people whose employment-based green card application is already approved and they are waiting in the queue for the quota. That means these EADs are given to families who has entered the US. legally and is promised to become U.S. permanent resident holders in next few years. Why take it away from these families who need more income to realize their American dream?

  2. Jake vangalapudi | December 11, 2017 at 2:08 pm |

    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.

  3. JAYASHREE SURESH | December 14, 2017 at 1:54 pm |

    H4 EAD rule should not be changed again putting the lives of H4 to static. Can’t imagine going back to square one once again. Keeping my fingers crossed.

  4. The government/DHS should work against illegal immigration. That sounds right and that looks right. A few thousands of H4 spouses, only who are eligible, capable and are educated end up getting jobs with the EAD. Most importantly they are all legal to stay in USA and become a part of work force like other people and pay taxes from their salary. Any revoke is not going to boost job sector in US. This is not going to help anyone and is a ridiculous idea.

  5. LackOfInsight | December 15, 2017 at 5:31 pm |

    DHS and whosoever filed a suit against the original rule that allowed H4 spouses to get EAD are only targeting this because it was in the news and it was done under Obama administration. They feel that revoking this would solve the issue of jobs going away. Do they even know that “Spouse and minor unmarried children under the age of 21 years can accompany L1 visa holder and L2 spouse can get EAD and work in the U.S.” That is a rule since always and no-one had an issue with that, just because no one talked about it.

  6. This is literally a panishment for legal immigrates who follows all the rule books to enter the country legally work , pay taxes and hope to achieve an American dream but contantly live in fear of being denied visa extension next time he or she apply for extension or while reentering the country after a visit from origin country. All the rumors about H1B and now this new found way to save American jobs by over turning already restricted H4 EAD program is bizarre move and hope this does not go through. And I second the point made about other visa program which no one questions like L1 and dependent getting L2 ear and are free to work. Just because H4 is related to H one B this is catching everyone eye when thinking of saving America jobs. What about all the cry about acting against illegal immigration.

  7. Kanthi Sambandan | December 16, 2017 at 11:55 am |

    H4 EAD is only issued to people whose employment-based green card application is already approved and they are waiting in the queue for the quota. That means these EADs are given to families who have entered the US. legally and are promised to become U.S. permanent resident holders in next few years. Why take it away from these families who need more income to realize their American dream?

  8. H4 was made to make legal, what was illegal.

  9. is this a big concern ???

    H4 EAD started only in 2015. Indian H1B workers (along with qualified spouses) started migrating heavily to US from 1980/1990s. All these years from 1990s to 2014, dependent spouses had no chance to work until unless they get a GC. So all these families migrated to this county with that mindset…only after 2015, with H4 EAD, they started working..and it is hardly 2 years…if they revoke H4 EAD, it is just that they are going back to the same state before 2014…why to blame this change ?

    The only impact is for the families who migrated here after 2015, assuming that their dependent spouses can also work using H4 EAD and have a better financial status and life…agreed….but this is only for very very small set of people who migrated after 2015…these numbers are very very small when compared to people started migrating from 1990s..

    Make sense ??

  10. H4 EAD candidate is adding value to US economy by paying taxes and renewal fee. If government is concern they should strict the rule instead revoking. It’s a win-win situation for H4 EAD candidate and government.

  11. how many H4 EADs got the job mentioning in their resumes that they haven’t worked from the time they came to the country till the EAD is approved?

  12. H4 was made to make legal, what was illegal.

  13. Not good for US economy. At least DHS should have a provision to renew H4 EAD for workers who are currently in a job, and not end it abruptly. This will be a big loss for US employers who have already employed and trained H4 workers.

  14. Why don’t they come out and say what they really want to say? Why hide behind words like ‘economy’, ‘steal jobs’ and ‘lower pay’? Why don’t they just say ‘We don’t like tan?’ ‘We don’t like that you work harder than me’, ‘We don’t like that I know less than you’

  15. It’s really discouraging for most of the women who wants to fulfill their Job dreams. From my understanding neither H1B nor H4 EADs are competitors for US Citizens in Job Market. There is no point in rescinding the H4 EAD rule and it does n’t help. If a US citizen has required skills any company will welcome them and most of the companies won’t prefer the H1B sponsorship hassle in reality. I do get 100s of Job requirements saying that only US Citizens or GC are considered for those positions and those requirements floats in the market for months and months. I am not sure when they will come out from this wrong perception that H1Bs or H4 EADs are taking away the jobs from Americans.

  16. H4 are legal immigrants and EAD is granted only when their green card is processing. But no one has issues with L2 visa, dependents of L1 visa, they are free to work as soon as they enter US. H4 EAD is the rights for H4. THEY want to stay here legally and become part of US. Revoking EAD is not the solution and doesnt gonna make any job openings. Its running away from actual issues like illegal immigrants.

  17. Ravi and everyone who thinks its not a big deal for revoking – Yes , this is a big concern ! why are people not thinking of the financial commitments one has taken like buying a house loan , and paying mortgage based of 2 salaries, after 6-7 years of living in apartments ?? How will one pay the mortgage for a newly bought home if its revoked ? And please don’t say who said to buy a house or take further financial commitments like loans ! All this is done in good faith as who knew this rule to be revoked as the benefits are obvious for both the community and the immigrants who are around the corner to become Lawful residents ! A sitter to get it ! there is a serious financial impact for those who have made financial commitments/loans from banks.

  18. This affects mostly Indians and Chinese who may have approved GC but waiting for visa to became available. It will be irrelevant very soon though since Congress will probably go for Merit-based immigration and most of these people are not going to qualify anyways due to lack of competence.

  19. When we look at the recent unemployment rate in USA, it has come down to 4.2% in October compared to 4.3% in July 2017. So, how can Save Jobs USA argue in the court, saying more Americans are losing their jobs. The unemployment rate is the lowest now in USA when compared to any time. H4 EAD was given because of the huge backlog in GC now, unlike before. Most of H4 holders are women and if we wait for GC to be issued, sure we will cross 40. It is just like losing your identity and be dependents for whole life.

  20. Lot of uncertainty on H4 EAD. It is better to improve and speed up the Green Card process like removing per country limit as US is looking for talented people from all around the world. This will give lot of relief to H1 and H4 people who are eagerly waiting for GC. This will also improve US economy like increase housing market.

  21. H4 EAD provided some relief to spouses of H1B workers. I really don’t understand how rescind this will help boost the american economy. The government first realize that they are making injustice to people who are on legal immigration. If they think that providing the EAD will effect low waged american worker. they can make the rule a little strict instead of removing it completely. I am hoping that they will make a decision that would be benefical to both America and immigrants who are here.

  22. Even after having Ph.D and double masters, stayed home for several years on dependent visa with no work permit. Finally got an opportunity with H4 EAD. Started my own company and running a successful business. Now, If I loose my EAD, what will happen to my company, clients, employees?
    What about the jobs created & work has done? Since the family living here in U.S legally, why waste the skill & man power? Isn’t it helping the growth & economy? Aren’t we all same in the competition? Why worrying about steeling jobs?

  23. Does anyone know what happened yesterday?

  24. The least allow the H4 to do business, that the scare “Americans” can force increase their job options!

  25. H4 dreamers, please send your stories to your representative and the administration and make your voice heard.
    Many of us have sent letters, please you and your spouse should send too.

  26. It is a foolish step to even consider removing h4 ead, which came after years of struggle. This only benefits the economy and one of the main reason this was granted is due to the simple reason that green card applications are backlogged for years. Government needs to crack down on illegal immigration and not attack legal immigrants. H1, H4 EAD’s only benefit US.

  27. Its apparent that Save Jobs and DHS have not been able to provide a cogent argument or sufficient statistical evidence to demonstrate that the H-4 EAD program has had a harmful impact on U.S. citizens. Furthermore, the H-4 EAD program is recent enough that data for or against the program provides a weak argument as it is not time tested. In my opinion, the program should be left alone for the time being and re-assessed in 2 or 3 years once more data is available so that an objective, data-driven decision can be made.

  28. Department of Homeland Security told a Washington D.C court on February 28 that “significant revisions” have been made to a draft ‘proposed rule’ that was to be made public in February intending to revoke work authorizations of H4 visa holders in the US. The USCIS is saying that the proposed change requires a “new economic analysis” that will take several weeks to complete.

  29. what is update ? is H4 EAD is going to revoked in june 2018?

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