UPDATED: H4 EAD Timeline So Far – Court Date Set

Update: H4 EAD will finally get its voice heard in court come September 27, 2019. Oral arguments have been scheduled when the Department of Homeland Security is set to make its case to rescind the right to work for H4 visa holders who came to the US based on the primary beneficiary, their spouse’s H1B visa. Set in motion in Yr 2015, the DHS aims to terminate their right to work by the end of the first quarter of Yr 2020. As of September 10, 2019 The Office of Management and Budget is still reviewing DHS’s proposal to terminate the H4 EAD.

Based on our last update on the current state of H4 EAD, the OIRA has not reached a conclusion on what to do about rescinding the right to work for a spouse of a H1 work visa in the US. They are issued an EAD which allows them to be gainfully employed if they are on a certain stage of their Green card process. As the decision on H4 Employment Authorization Document is expected to come soon, here’s a timeline of what has happened on the scene so far:

  • May 30, 2019: As of today, H4 EAD holders still hold hope that they have a fighting chance to hold on to their rights to work and support the US economy.
  • May 22, 2019: Proposal included within the “Spring Agenda” for the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs overseeing this draft implying that it is set to go to the next level in the decision-making process.
  • May 20, 2019: The 90-day comment period ended.
  • Mar 8 – May 1, 2019 – At least eight known meetings conducted with proponents and representatives evaluating the pros and cons of this proposal rescission.
  • Feb 20, 2019: DHS submitted H4 EAD revoke rules to the Office of Management and Budget review.
  • Dec 27, 2018:  The Federal Court accepts a request from Immigration Voice Federal hear the case against DHS and argue in favor of H4 EAD.
  • Dec 21, 2018 – H.R 7150: H–4 Employment Protection Act of 2018 officially introduced by California Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren and Anna Eshoo.  This bill prevents DHS from eliminating the H4 EAD work permit.
  • November 2018: Congress women Zoe Lofgren and Anna Eshoo write to DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen regarding a proposal with a H4EAD Protection Bill.
  • Oct 16, 2018: USCIS responds to their letter saying the USCIS is going to revise the proposal and review it keeping in mind the security and sanctity of the immigration process and keep the interests of the American worker first.
  • Sep 26, 2018 – U.S. Senators Kamala D. Harris (D-CA) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) write to USCIS highlighting the need for equal opportunity to eligible H4 candidates, prevent a barrier to employment, help spouses support their primary beneficiary in higher-cost areas thus preventing financial and psychological distress.
  • Sep 21, 2018 – DHS says rules pending USCIS review.
  • Aug 23, 2018 – Top tech firms and other fortune 50 companies join hands in support of H4 EAD. They sign an official letter written by the Business Roundtable and send it to USCIS. This included CEO from Apple, ADP, American Airlines, Pepsi, Coca-Cola among other CEOs.
  • Aug 20, 2018 – DHS stands its ground against the courts in wanting to rescind the EAD program. Prepares to make a proposal by February 2019.
  • May 16, 2018 – 130 bipartisan congress members sign a letter of support in favor of H4-EAD and submit to USCIS.
  • May 26, 2015 – H4 EAD rule came into effect under the Obama Administration and allowed the retention of highly skilled foreign workers instead of them choosing not to opt to stay in the US.

Stay tuned for any new updates as Path2usa gets it first from USCIS!