End of H4 EAD?
End of H4 EAD?

H4 EAD – Are these the final nails on the coffin?

The H4 EAD was a work authorization program that was enacted by the Obama administration. It was done using executive order privileges that a president has. From the onset, it has faced criticism and scrutiny. As a recap H4 is a nonimmigrant status that can have dual intent. It was popular with certain groups, and employers while immigration hawks panned this executive order.  As a recap, it is a privilege that is provided to spouses of h-1b who have approved form I-140 and are waiting to obtain their Green Card. Certain sections of the workers have extended wait time to obtain Green Card, which we have discussed in another article.

From the onset, H4 EAD has faced criticism and scrutiny. As a recap H4 is a nonimmigrant status that can have dual intent. It was popular with certain groups, and employers while immigration hawks panned this executive order.  As a recap, it is a privilege that is provided to spouses of h-1b who have approved form I-140 and are waiting to obtain their Green Card. Certain sections of the workers have extended wait time to obtain Green Card, which we have discussed in another article.

The current Trump administration has questioned this right at the onset, and now after extensive studies, the results have been sent to Trump administration’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review last week.

H4 EAD news, what is it ?

There is a lot of speculation stating that H4 EAD is about to be rescinded or revoked. This is not true at this point. It is still being evaluated and a final decision has not been made.

DHS submitted a proposed regulation, “Removing H-4 Dependent Spouses from the Class of Aliens Eligible for Employment Authorization” to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. This was not unexpected as Trump’s administration had been very critical to H4 EAD program.  There is no information about how the administration plans to handle this regulation.

The OMB generally takes a month to month and a half to review and provide their analysis. From there on the following needs to happen:

  • The actual proposed regulation will be published in the Federal Register;
  • There will be a review of Federal Register and will give people (general public) time to comment. This lasts for 60 days
  • DHS will review comments and make edits as appropriate
  • The updated copy is sent over to OMB for final review
  • The final regulation is published in Federal Register and date of effect is published.

What makes this even more tricky is they have marked this as “Economically Significant”, which means that they are super focused on getting this to closure pretty soon.

If this is enacted, no new H4 EADs will be issued to I-140 approved applicants,  and existing recipients will not be able to renew their EAD at the time of expiration (i.e. no more i-765 application approval).

Let’s wait and see which way this goes. As always, we will continue to monitor and report as this story develops.

Spread the love