H4 EAD and STEM OPT TO be Revoked By President Trump?

Raghu OPT 137 Comments

Update: Dec 2017

  • Original article about the leaked memo was published in Jan 2017.
  • As per leaked memo STEM OPT and H4 EAD could be revoked.
  • There was a a pending lawsuit for H4 EAD as well.
  • As per latest Federal Register, new rule making have been submitted to Remove and Revoke H4 EAD.

Links to Read:


24 Months STEM OPT, H4 EAD could be Revoked by President Trump’s Executive Order as per the Leaked Memo. This is Developing News (and Breaking News). We have been hearing news about President Trump and his plans for restricting and reforming U.S. Immigration System. Two Executive Orders were signed today and leaked memo shows four more Draft of Executive Order that President Trump can sign.

Plus, there’s language in the Executive Order that impacts H1B Visa, J1 Visa, L1, Adjustment of Status for Green Card, etc. Yes, my head was spinning when I started reading the draft. And here’s the list of New H1B Visa and Green Card Bills that have been introduced in Congress till date.  As per the Leaked memo form Vox of Executive Order, 24 Months STEM OPT Extension, H-4 EAD could be revoked.

Quoting from Vox:

But on Wednesday afternoon, Trump signed two executive orders on immigration that word-for-word matched the drafts we’d received. Given that our source had early access to two documents that were proven accurate, and that all the orders closely align with Trump’s stated policies on the campaign trail, we are reporting on the remaining four.

Here’s a quick overview of what’s in the Executive Order:

  • Memo Title: Protecting American Jobs and Workers by Strengthening the Integrity of Foreign Worker Visa Programs
  • Review/Revoke Regulations
    • 24 Months STEM OPT Extension
    • H4 EAD
    • Parole based entry into the USA
    • Other Non-Immigrant Work Visas
  • Increased site visits for L-1 and other employment based guest worker visas
  • Ways to alter H-1B Visa program instead of allocating visa via Lottery
  • Improve monitoring of foreign students” and to “reform, practical training programs for foreign students to prevent the disadvantaging of US students in the workforce.
  • To reform the J-1 Summer Work Travel program to improve protections of US workers.
  • E-Verify Program changes

We don’t know which provision of this Leaked Executive Order will make it into the final executive order or even if this order would be even signed. But, looks like the source who provided the leaked copy of two executive order signed by President today matched word for word as reported by Vox Media.



I will be talking to Immigration Attorney to understand the potential impact of this Executive Order and get a clear understanding for some of the vague to generalized terms used in the leaked memo.

How to Get Breaking News Updates?

Questions and Answers

1. Is this Memo for real?

As per Vox Media, the source who shared two other memos was word-to-word correct. But, they are also warning that this memo can be revised or may not see the light of the day.

2. When will President Trump sign this?

I’m clueless as you are. He announced that he’s signed an Executive Order to build the wall the day before. So, we don’t know what will happen with this leaked memo.

3. What is the Best Case Scenario?

If this memo is fake and the president doesn’t sign this or similar memo to rescind 24 Months STEM OPT or H4 EAD or other immigration provisions enacted by President Obama.

4. What is the Worst Case Scenario?

Do we really need to discuss the worst case scenario here?

5. How to get updates about this memo?

Refer to the above section – How to get breaking news updates.

6. I’m worried, what should I do next?

There’s not a lot we can do. At this time, members of  the F1 Visa Facebook group have reported about re-entry without any problems. Plus, the Travel Ban is for the 7 specific countries. If you haven’t done wrong, have all the documents, done things by the books, I think you shouldn’t have any problem.

7. Can I travel to India?

Here’s an update from a student on STEM OPT who entered USA via Chicago (ORD) on 20th Feb.

travel on stem opt extension port of entry

8. Where is STEM OPT and H4 EAD mentioned in the leaked memo?

I think it’s in the language of the Memo is written (I have highlighted them in the above screenshot). Here’s two sentences from Vox (source of leaked memo) that mentions the same:

revoke h4 ead stem opt trump

If there are further updates about the possibilities of changes to H1B Visa, H4 EAD, STEM OPT and other legal immigration visa, I will be covering them here.

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  1. Hey Ajay! Thank you for all your efforts in helping out students. Very very helpful.I applied for my opt Extension April 13th,2017 and it was received by USCIS on April 14th,2017. I received a text message from USCIS about my case receipt number on April 20th,2017. The message also read ‘Official Receipt Notice (Form I-797) to follow in mail’. I still have not received my receipt notice by mail. When i track my case on USCIS website it says to contact them after May 14th if i did not receive the mail before that. I do have my receipt number but no receipt notice by mail. Is there anything i should do now?Please help me out. Your inputs are much appreciated. Thanks!

  2. I’m currently working full-time on H1B and my wife is studying full-time on H4. She has B.Com from India which is not considered equivalent to US 4 years bachelor’s degree. So, she is enrolled into special program to finish her US equivalent bachelor’s degree. She will be graduating with Bachelor’s in Business Administration in Oct 2017. My permanent residency application is currently in the process and they’re nearing the end of recruitment process. I should expect to have my PERM filed by beginning or mid-May. Presently, it takes approximately 2-3 months to get the PERM certified speaking on the base of my colleague’s application. So, if mine also gets certified by the end of July and my employer agrees to submit 140 application with premium processing by end of Aug, I should be targeting mid-Sept to initiate the H4 EAD application for my wife under the assumption of approved 140. According to recent updates, Trump administration appealed court to delay decision of H-4 EAD appeal until 09/27/2017. Now, we cannot be certain of the outcome. So, my dilemma is whether to submit COS application for convert my wife’s status from H4 to F1 and apply for OPT or remain on H4 and apply for EAD.

    1. Author

      Million Dollar Question. I’m not sure if there’s a right answer. You have to find the pros, cons and risks with each option.

      1. Thank you for you honest opinion Raghu! I’m leaning more towards F1 OPT for now till we have some clarity on H4 EAD rule.

  3. The STEM OPT Repeal is coming due to a court case between Washtech and DHS. You were right. They have already created problems in H4EAD and now they are targetting STEM OPT.

  4. People shud stop this stupidity and start looking for other options.
    For an indian F1 to Green card is at least 15-20 years…or more
    The question is, is it really worth it?
    Opt is going to be reduced to 2 years.
    H4 Ead is going to be gone for good.
    What r u holding on to, which is never going to exist in future.
    In future they will open up skilled based immigration, and reducing family based.
    No body knows the timeline to it.
    I assume this year 400,000 people will apply for 85,000 slots for H1B.
    Since trump may make changes to h1b starting this year end.
    american dream is over for people coming on F1 visa…stop screwing up your life.
    If the country needs people it will open its arm and welcome you…like australia and NZ, Canada. You shud go where people want you.
    Not like places to US and UK they don’t any more people…brexit and trump.

    1. Bummer!!!… US will not close the door. Developed countries need to be one step ahead in all the sectors and how can they be without fresh talents? This country is and will be surviving only with smart brains. It doesn’t matter whether you agree or not but these sentiments are well echoed by industries. Students if you think you have the right talent (Do some self-assessment) and can stand out in the crowd then you should not worry about all these things. So for those immigrants, (OPT-STEM, H1B, H4EAD) just don’t just bang your head and try not to find a reason to justify your existence. All sectors are revisiting what they are doing. You are in a country where innovation is the bread and butter and you have to be super flexible to the change. In fact, you should be one step ahead to bring these innovations to the table. And for the Citizen, who was once an immigrant (check your history – 10,20 or even 100 years), it applies to you, as the status doesn’t add additional brains. Stay smart or so-called future citizens who are smart will remove you. If you are really worried by fake individuals, EB1C in which few are average, then this country will be brutal, as they will be removed sooner than later. There are a lot of openings and we get hundreds of profile but pity we are not able to find a good talent (Your legal status as no weight when you cannot do the job). So please invest some quality time in you and be useful to this country.

  5. Hello Raghu,
    I understand you are not an expert but your suggestion would be appreciated. I recently got my 24 month STEM OPT approved and planned a 3 week vacation from Feb 15th to March 11th. Seeing the draft order(if we believe it is the final one)which seems to state that, committee needs to study and revoke STEM OPT if necessary with in 90 days of the order.
    My questions are in the case of the order getting passed while I am in India and there is a 90 day period for the committee to decide on whether or not to revoke the STEM OPT Extension, would you think if there would be any issue while I am coming back.

  6. TV, Print, Internet media is just creating too much panic. I don’t know why people are posting these kind of leaked information, which could be fake. Unless specified by USCIS, why to worry?

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