Is H4 EAD termination decision coming this week?

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OMB’s Spring Regulatory Agenda, released last week, says H4 EAD decision is scheduled in May.

It has been more than 90 days since the Department of Homeland Security submitted a proposal to terminate the H4 EAD to the Office of Management and Budget for review. And finally, after the OMB hosting eight meetings over 55 days, a decision may be coming as early as this week.

An indication of that came in the “Spring Agenda” released by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) on May 22, 2019. OIRA, a sub-agency within OMB, oversees US government policies and reviews draft regulations.

According to the bi-annual Spring Agenda, the proposal of removing H-4 dependent spouses from the classes of aliens eligible for employment authorization is currently in proposed rule stage and a decision is expected in May 2019.

Certain H-4 visa holders — who are spouses of H-1B visa holders — were given Employment Authorization Document under an Obama-era rule implemented in 2015. But the Trump administration signaled its intention to reverse that rule right from the beginning, arguing that it puts American workers at a disadvantage, even though the US tech industry, one of the primary beneficiaries of the rule change, requested the White House not to scrap the work permit.

The DHS submitted its proposal to eliminate the H-4 EAD to OMB for review on February 20. The OMB review is part of the rule-making process.

ALSO READ: H4 visa: a primer

The Spring Agenda, published last week, has updates on regulatory changes in the work in various federal government departments and agencies in the coming months. Often times, deadlines listed in the agenda are aspirational, meaning it is the time period within which the department or the agency is trying to come up with the rule-change.

Even though legal experts say that termination of H-4 EAD is quite likely, work permit holders can approach courts to ensure that the EADs once granted are not taken away from people, who planned their lives around government’s promise to provide them with a right to work.

OMB records analyzed by the American Bazaar reveal that the agency has conducted eight meetings between March 8 and May 1. In all, at least 68 people many of whom are H-4 visa holders gave the feedback on the proposal to eliminate the EAD, including dozens of work permit holders, immigration lawyers and opponents of H-4 EAD. They include author Amy Bhatt, and H4 EAD holders such as Neha Mahajan, Priyadarshini Chandrasekaran  and Aarthi V. Raghavan.

Representatives of the trade group US Chamber of Commerce, companies such as Microsoft, Salesforce and Accenture, and the tech industry’s prof-H-1B visa lobbying group FWD.US were among the dozens consulted by the OMB.

Following are the individuals consulted by OBM:

  1. Amy Bhatt – University of MD Baltimore County
  2. Mary Fitzpatrick – OMB/OIRA
  3. Sunita Barot – Chemist, NY
  4. Nanctini Bhatlachary – Director of Special Ed Org, San Jose CA
  5. Rutvi Patel – Physical Therapist in NY
  6. Shivi Beckel – Software Developer
  7. Apsara Gopalarathnam –
  8. Neha Mahejan – Television Producer
  9. Nitin Pall – SIIA
  10. Murali Kailasunath –
  11. Manjula Chitkula – Kalorama Pharmacy
  12. Nanayanam Krishnamoothy –  Teleconference
  13. John Rodgers – DHS/USCIS
  14. Jennifer Van Trump – DHS/USCIS
  15. Shannon Joyce – OMB/OIRA
  16. Rama Grandhe – Help in Public Schools for Special Needs Children
  17. Rachana Mandsaunuale – Pharmacist in MD
  18. Swati Patel – DHS/USCIS
  19. Rich Theroux – OMB/OIRA
  20. Sangeeta Bandal – Special Educator, NJ
  21. Gayathri Kesavan – Graduate Architect/Furniture Business Owner
  22. Sudhanshu Malani –
  23. Abha Kheubanda
  24. Tim Dodd – DHS/OGC
  25. Srujana Eluri –
  26. Jon Baselice – US Chamber
  27. Jeff Lungron – US Chamber
  28. Stephanie Hall – NAM
  29. Christine Scallion – Accenture
  30. Rebecca K. Peters – SHRM
  31. Hugh Gamble – Salesforce
  32. Grace Paek – Microsoft
  33. Cesar Villaneueva – OMB/EIML
  34. Kris Carlson – Schweitzer Engineering Labs
  35. Portia Wu – Microsoft
  36. Kan Wang – OMB/EIML
  37. Briohailoh Broun – Microsoft
  38. Andrew Mariarty – FWD.US
  39. Brett Matsumoto – CEA
  40. Priyadarshini Chandrasekaran – H4EAD
  41. Aarthi V. Raghavan – H4EAD
  42. Arijit Banerdee – Consumer51
  43. Tim Dodd – DHS/OGC
  44. David Houser – DHS/OGC
  45. Charlotte Skey – DHS/OGC
  46. Shev – DHS/USCIS
  47. Ike Brannon – Kemp Foundation
  48. Kevin McGee – UW Oshkosh
  49. Sujarita Jayara –
  50. Asiti Bhavdiocej –
  51. Atul Bhardwaj –
  52. Margueritte Kleczek – DHS/USCIS
  53. Tim Dodd – DHS/OGC
  54. Swati Babaria –
  55. Varun Gupta –
  56. Tushar Patil –
  57. Usha Balamurali –
  58. Poonam Gangaware –
  59. Ekta Gupter –
  60. Neha Mahapabra –
  61. Kirstin Battaglia – DHS/USCIS In Person
  62. Ranjana Varadarajon –
  63. Vishnu Ramakrishnan –
  64. Swatt Bhandari –
  65. Akhila Padanada –
  66. Kavya Savat –
  67. Neha Chande –
  68. Abhijit Majumder

(Editor’s note: A previous version of this posted had listed some of the individuals consulted multiple times. The story has been updated.)


H4 work authorization may be next on Trump’s hit list, says Sheela Murthy (March 9, 2017)

H-4 and H-1: Time for Indian immigrants to speak up on immigration policy, says author Amy Bhatt (January 5, 2019)

New bill proposes to let H-1B workers switch jobs, H4 visa holders to work, F-1 holders to apply for green card (September 14, 2018)

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)

Regulations on H-4 EAD program on cards; may even be terminated, says Murthy Law Firm (November 24, 2017)

H4 visa-holders’ work authorization is under review: report (February 7, 2017)

H-1B visa exhibition at the Smithsonian: of goddess who gives visa, to women on H4 status in shackles (November 24, 2015)

H4 visa holders start to get EAD work permits from USCIS (June 29, 2015)

Save Jobs USA petition to not issue work permits to H4 visa holders dismissed (May 27, 2015)

DHS starts to accept employment authorization applications from H4 visa holders(May 26, 2015)

COLUMN: Save Jobs USA’s civil complaint against DHS to stop H4 visa holders from getting EAD cards is discriminatory (May 22, 2015)

No work permits for H4 visa holders: lawsuit filed by Save Jobs USA (April 27, 2015)

H4 visa holders can start a business after getting EAD: Sheela Murthy (March 9, 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)

COLUMN: Obama’s speech has not made anything clear for immigrants waiting for Green Cards, H4 visa holders hoping for work permit (November 21, 2014)

COLUMN: Agony for H4 visa holders, as Obama’s executive action delays work permits (November 21, 2014)

COLUMN: As Republicans take control of the Senate, dream of H4 visa holders to get work permits, expedited Green Cards, is over (November 5, 2014)

Work permits for H4 visa holders will end mental anguish for almost 100,000 spouses in the US (June 10, 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)

DHS proposes to allow limited number of H4 visa holders work permits (April 8, 2014)

For H4 visa holders from India, the X visa all-important (May 26, 2013)

BLOG: The H4 visa conundrum (April 21, 2013)


  1. Instead of H4 ban, if they try to stop EB1C, it will be great. CTS now bring back all their canada people in T1 and process EB1C. Why can’t we sue CTS. They are not showing any justice to others waiting on the queue following laws. EB1C is not a work around to skip visa frauds.

  2. Tanay Mishra

    Ha ha ha, names are being repeated twice??? That’s how you morons counted “83 people” that were consulted by OMB/DHS?? Portia Wu was consulted twice – or counted twice? Same with Shannon Joyce, Swati Patel and all the others… counted twice. LEARN TO COUNT 1 to 100 CORRECTLY FIRST, YOU IMBECILES!! If that’s how smart all these indians are, is it any wonder their H4 EADs are being DENIED?? Good riddance, send them all back to the third world garbage dump that india is, they’re not needed nor wanted here anymore.

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