USCIS may require further justification before clearing the rule, says Dhara Puvar of SAAPRI.
The uncertainty over the fate of H4 EAD, which is under attack from the Trump administration and anti-immigrant groups, has thousands of H4 work permit holders, as well as their spouses, on tenterhooks.
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is scheduled to review a draft of the rules proposed by the Department of Homeland Security on May 1. The DHS submitted the draft on February 20 to scale back work permit for limited number of H4 visa holders, which was allowed by the Obama administration.
A review by the OMB, a White House that is tasked with reviewing proposed legislation, is one of the first steps in rule-making process, and it is a clear signal that the administration wants to eliminate the H-4 EAD.
“It is our understanding that meetings that various groups have held with OMB seem to have worked, and OMB’s, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) wants more justification from DHS in their proposal before they can clear it,” Dhara Puvar, Executive Director of the South Asian American Policy & Research Institute (SAAPRI), told the American Bazaar.
ALSO READ: End of the road for H-4 EAD program? (April 24, 2018)
This may seem like good news for many who are working on H4 EAD, Puvar further explains, “We suspect that a lot of what held up USCIS from submitting to OIRA in the first place was the weakness of the economic argument to rescind the EAD. It appears that OIRA has seen this gap as well, and would require USCIS to provide further justification before clearing the rule for publication to the Federal Register.”
Now with the OMB expected to announce its opinion just in a day, what are the options available for the existing H4 EAD holders? “Once the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) is published, there will be a 30-60 days comment period where the public can submit comments to USCIS to oppose the rule change,” Puvar said. “This provides an opportunity for EAD holders and advocates to take concrete action on this issue. These comments and responses are likely to provide the basis for a court challenge to the rescission of the rule, so it is important that people take time to get involved. SAAPRI and other organizations will have links to submit these comments to USCIS with sample language and data advocates can utilize.”
ALSO READ: H4 visa-holders’ work authorization is under review: report (February 7, 2017)
Puvar said, in the meantime, H4 visa holders who are eligible to apply for the EAD (their spouse has an approved I-140) should do so as soon as possible. “Current EAD holders should renew their applications as soon as they enter their renewal period,” she said.
Meanwhile, a lawsuit filed by the group Save Jobs USA is being litigated in a federal court, with DHS and all parties involved submitting briefs and counter arguments.
H4 visa: a primer (updated March 9, 2017)
End of the road for H-4 EAD program? (April 24, 2018)
Trump administration may soon end H-4 Visa Rule: report (February 1, 2018)
Tech industry urges USCIS not to cancel H-4 spouses’ work permits (January 19, 2018)
Trump to end H-4 EAD program for spouses of H-1B workers (December 15, 2017)
Trump administration asks for more time on H4 work authorization (April 4, 2017)
H4 visa-holders’ work authorization is under review: report (February 7, 2017)
H4 visa holders start to get EAD work permits from USCIS (June 29, 2015)
No work permits for H4 visa holders: lawsuit filed by Save Jobs USA (April 27, 2015)
458,177 H4 visas issued in 6 years between 2008-2013 (February 26, 2015)
COLUMN: EAD cards for H4 visa holders: USCIS needs to give it to all of them(February 24, 2015)
EAD cards for H4 visa holders: green cards better solution, says IEEE-USA (February 24, 2015)
H4 visa holders can apply for EAD cards beginning May 26, 2015 (February 24, 2015)
EAD cards to H4 visa holders: Immigration Voice lauds Barack Obama February 24, 2015
H4 visa: a primer (December 9, 2014)
Final rule on work permits for H4 visa holders by December 2014-January 2015(November 23, 2014)
Indian women on H4 visas eager to get back to work (May 8, 2014)
Many H4 visa holders will get work permits this year (May 7, 2014)
For H4 visa holders from India, the X visa all-important (May 26, 2013)
BLOG: The H4 visa conundrum (April 21, 2013)