USCIS says rule-making process to terminate H4 EAD not complete yet: report

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OMB decision on scrapping the work permits of H-1B spouses was expected in spring.

Nearly three months after the Department of Homeland submitted a proposal to terminate the H4 EAD to the Office of Management and Budget for review, the United States Department of Homeland Security is yet to make a final decision on the work permit. The reason for the delay is the holdup in the rule-making process, the Press Trust of India reported.

“No decision about the Obama administration regulation granting work authorization to certain H-4 spouses is final until the rule-making process is completed,” the news agency quoted USCIS spokesperson Jessica Collins as saying.

H4 visas are issued to the immediate family members of H-1B visa-holders, a significantly large number of whom are high-skilled professionals from India.

Some H-4 visa holders were granted Employment Authorization Document in 2015. But the Trump administration wanted to reverse the Obama era 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.

President Trump’s “Buy American and Hire American” executive order, signed in 2017, has sought to rigorously enforce, administer and reform immigration laws.

“The USCIS is committed to upholding our nation’s immigration laws, helping ensure they are faithfully carried out and safeguarding the integrity of our immigration system designed to protect the wages and working conditions of US workers,” she said.

ALSO READ: H4 visa: a primer

Collins said the H4 EAD review is part of the administration’s relentless pursuit of a “merit-based policy and regulatory immigration reforms.” She added that “a thorough review of employment-based visa programs” is intended to benefit “the American people to the greatest extent possible in fulfillment of the president’s “Buy American, hire American executive order.”

“The USCIS will continue adjudicating all petitions, applications and requests fairly, efficiently, and effectively on a case-by-case basis to determine whether they meet all standards required under applicable law, policies, and regulations,” said Collins.

However, it is important to note that the decision was poised to arrive in Spring 2019, which ends June 20th.

It is still unclear when, if ever, the plan to rescind work authorization for H-4 visa holders will be brought into effect, however, if the policy change is enacted, it could affect the lives of tens of thousands of people.


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)

One Comment

  1. I strongly feel H4 ead work authorization should be revoked .. h4 dependent can acquire the master degree and can apply for their own work visa.. IT sector got corrupted because of H4ead.. They don’t need much documentation. Can work anywhere ..though they do not have the required skills and educational background… lowering the job opportunities for the qualified ones

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