The Future of H-4 EADs — Update
As we advised in January, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had slated for February 2018 publication of a regulation to remove work authorization for certain H-4 spouses. However, no such regulation materialized in February.
DHS has now submitted a status report in relation to Save Jobs USA v. DHS, the case challenging the law which authorized H-4 employment authorization. The report indicates that DHS intends to publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking by June 2018 to remove from its regulations certain H-4 spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants as a class of individuals eligible for employment authorization. The court case continues to be held in abeyance pending the regulatory action by DHS.
If and when the regulation is published, we expect it will be subject to the usual procedures under the Administrative Procedures Act, which will include a mandatory notice and comment period.
Unfortunately we do not have additional information at this time as to how rescission of the regulation would impact any H-4 EAD applications pending adjudication. For those working pursuant to an H-4 EAD, we recommend filing for renewal as soon as possible.
According to USCIS, 104,750 H-4 spouses have received employment authorization under the current H-4 employment authorization rule, which was published on 2/25/15.