DHS has published the Rule Making Agenda for 2018. It includes a Notice to Propose a Rule to Remove H4 EAD for certain spouses along with other Immigration related notices. In this case, certain spouses could be everyone with H4 EAD.

The updated version of this article is here –  H4 EAD Rule To Be Revoked by USCIS

Happy Schools started tracking H4 EAD Rule Making since 2012. H4 EAD became effective on May 26, 2015. For the H4 EAD community, it was a hard fought battle to get this Rule Proposed and Published in Federal Register.

As per leaked memo from Jan 2017, both H4 EAD and STEM OPT was considered to be revoked. As of today, notice is posted to propose a rule to Revoke H4 EAD.

Here’s the timeline since H4 EAD Rule become effective:

  • Mar 1, 2018 – Proposed Rule to Terminate H-4 EAD Program Delayed Until June or Later
  • Feb 21, 2018 – Court has ordered DHS to provide progress on Rule Making to Revoke H4 EAD every 90 days.
  • Dec 22, 3017 – DHS asked for abeyance (no hearing on this case) until July 2018. It’s an indication that H4 EAD could be removed by then.
  • Dec 14, 2017Notice to Propose Rule to Remove H4 EAD
  • Sep 29, 2017 – Trump Administration asked for 60 days extension until 12/31/2017
  • Apr 2017 – Trump Administration asked for 6 months extension
  • Feb 2017 – Trump Administration asked 60 days extension
  • Sep 28, 2016 – New challenge filed against DC Court Ruling
  • Sep 27, 2016 – Lawsuit was dismissed in the District Court
  • April 2016 – New Lawsuit filed to Challenge the Rule in the district court (by Save Jobs USA)
  • May 26, 2015 – UCSIS will accept applications for ED for H-4 Visa

Feb 21, 2018 – Granted the motion for abeyance

  • If Save Job USA had asked the court to schedule an oral argument, so court can issue a ruling. If Save Jobs USA won the ruling, then H4 EAD would be eliminated right away.
  • Now, with Court granting abeyance (a condition of being undetermined or in a state of suspension or inactivity), DHS would have to report the status of Rule Making to revoke H4 EAD every 90 days. 
  • This buys more time for H4 EAD holders to continue to use and benefit from H4 EAD.
  • DHS is expected to propose the Rule to revoke H4 EAD in Feb 2018 as per court order.

Expected Timeline for H4 EAD Rule Making

  • Rule Make is a long process, as we learned from H4 EAD Implementation
  • There could be additional lawsuits to slow down the Rule Making process (Save Jobs USA wanted a quick decision, so it H4 EAD could be removed immediately).
  • There’s no way to tell how long this Rule Making process would take. But, I did read from an Immigration Blog that, DHS has an option to revoke as quick as 30 days because of “Economically Significant” category.

Advocacy Efforts

It’s not going to be an easy decision to accept for the Immigration community about H4 EAD being revoked, when H4 EAD was issued only to certain spouses, who have pending I-140 approval.

There are advocacy efforts going on to stop H4 EAD from being removed. Please take part actively by reaching out to your representative.

Notice to Propose Rule to Remove H4 EAD

  • Title: Removing H-4 Dependent Spouses from the Class of Aliens Eligible for Employment Authorization
  • Abstract: On February 25, 2015, DHS published a final rule extending eligibility for employment authorization to certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants who are seeking employment-based lawful permanent resident (LPR) status. DHS is publishing this notice of proposed rulemaking to amend that 2015 final rule. DHS is proposing to remove from its regulations, certain H-4 spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants as a class of aliens eligible for employment authorization.

Points to Ponder:

Here’s my guess and thought process on what could happen and notice that it’s my opinion and I’m not a legal professional:

  • The rule is not yet proposed, but a notice to Propose a Rule is posted
  • When the actual rule is proposed, it would contain actual language of the rule.
  • The rule is considered under “Economically Significant” category.
  • How Long for Rule to be Effective: With Public Comments and Review of Public comments, it could take few months to Publish the Rule to be effective?
    • I read about the possibility of skipping the public comments does exist for rule under Economically Significant (someone please clarify if this is possible)
  • Possible Outcomes for current H4 EAD Holders: Allow current H4 EAD holder to continue to renew
    • Let H4 EAD expire after a certain time (No Renewal when current H4 EAD Expires)
    • Abruptly terminate H4 EAD validity when rule becomes effective
  • What’s Next: Learn about Rule Making Process and be ready to Participate in Public Comments
    • Public comment is not yet open.
    • When Open, learn how to write an effective comment with your personal story.
  • When it comes to Immigration, have a Plan A, B and C when things are going according to your plan and Plan A, B and C when things are not working out as per you plan.

Above points to ponder my quick take on this Rule-Making Agenda that includes a notice to propose a Rule to Remove H4 EAD. Additional talks from other are here and here.

Post any questions about this Notice to Propose a Rule to remove H4 EAD in the comments section below.

Related Articles: Removing H4 EAD 

  1. H4 EAD Rule To Be Revoked by USCIS
  2. Depressing Life of H4 Visa Spouses and H4 EAD Changed That
  3. 9 Reason Why Finding a Job on H4 EAD is Difficult
  4. Removing H4 EAD Rule Making Process
  5. How to Apply for H4 Employment Authorization


  1. sweeny on May 18, 2018 at 2:13 AM

    Can I apply for H4 EAD after June, when the rule is published but waiting for public comments or any lawsuits settlement ?

    Here is my situation :
    I am currently on L2 working on EAD (both valid until Feb 2019). My husband has dormant H1 which he got in lottery last year. Do you think if we apply for change of status as a combined package (L1 to H1, L2 to H4, H4 EAD) under premium processing, I can still get my H4-EAD before the new proposed rule becomes effective ?

    Thanks is advance!

  2. RZ on April 25, 2018 at 10:04 AM

    We need to remember this when we came to this country on H1B we knew what we were signing off on now calling this country being unfair to you see a total lie.I am on work Visa too but there has to be a filtered system on How they allow work permit rather then give it to all .I see people working in walmart & Sams after getting there EAD ,by which definition its high skilled job.

    Its unfortunate but a reality that we want everything our way :
    1. Want EAD
    2. Cut GC Time
    3. Process or Parent GC right away
    4. Process out Family GC right away .

    In short do everything for us since you allowed us to work here & live a better life now we are your liability .

  3. ani on February 20, 2018 at 4:05 PM

    Any new on this proposed rules, I have not heard anything. in the register it says that proposed role will come by feb-2018. I have not seen anything till now (feb-20-2018)? any news on this.

    • Raghuram Sukumar on February 20, 2018 at 8:53 PM

      There’s no updates from DHS about the Rule Making process.

      • Kumar on February 22, 2018 at 5:13 AM

        Court passes baton to DHS, says respond in 90 days on its stated intention in Fall 2017 to revoke the EAD for H4 dependants of H1B workers

      • Kay on April 2, 2019 at 3:21 PM

        Hey Do you have latest update on this. Sorry to say this site lacks latest updates where it used to have earlier.

  4. Ahilaa on February 8, 2018 at 1:07 PM

    Hi Raghu,

    I started my Masters in US on H4 status and now thinking of changing it to F1. Am I eligible for OPT if I am in F1 fo just one semester before I graduate.

    Need to understand whether this is correct:
    To become eligible for OPT, at the time of OPT application you should be in valid F1 status and should have completed 1 full academic year as full time student. The 1 full academic year condition could have been completed on different nonimmigrant status like H4. So it is not necessary to complete 1 full academic year condition on F1 status to be eligible for OPT.

    Can you please guide me on this.

    • Raghuram Sukumar on March 30, 2018 at 8:09 AM

      Depends on your school and of they would issue I-20 for OPT.

  5. AG on January 24, 2018 at 4:12 PM

    Hi, I am doing masters currently and Now with chances of ead being revoked and with only one semester remaining in my degree program, I am in a fix. am I eligible for F1 OPT if I apply for F1 in my final semester. What are my options.

  6. Jay on December 23, 2017 at 2:48 AM

    Still any hope for h4 ead not to be revoked or make some changes to existing h4 ead? Or its clear now that H4 Ead is definitely going away?

  7. Abhi on December 21, 2017 at 12:04 PM

    Hi All,

    I am currently working for an IT company and have H4 EAD till 09/10/19. I also have an offer for another company with 70% hike but the new company would not file my H1B if H4EAD is revoked.

    My current employer might raise H1B if H4EAD is revoked.

    What are my options? Should I take the new offer and might go to a consultancy when H4EAD is removed or stay back with my current employer?

    Are there any chances, H4EAD still stays back or the existing H4EADs will be allowed to renew.


  8. Supriya Gujja on December 19, 2017 at 10:30 AM

    I have changed my visa from F1 (I already had my STEM OPT approved till feb 2019)to H4 EAD .Now if the government decides to remove work authorization do I have the ability to switch back to my previous status (F1 OPT) and continue to work till my previous work authorization expires .

  9. Pravin on December 18, 2017 at 10:26 PM

    Check who is stealing the Green Cards. Please sign petition.


  10. Mayank on December 18, 2017 at 6:29 PM

    I have already applied for H4 EAD renewal and USCIS has received it on November 21, 2017. Any changes to H4 EAD rule can also affect the existing application in progress?

    • Raghu on December 19, 2017 at 7:51 AM

      There’s no change in any H4 EAD processing policy as of now.

    • Ar on December 21, 2017 at 11:29 AM

      How long before the EAD expires , you can apply for renewal ?

  11. Rajeshwari on December 17, 2017 at 2:57 AM

    Raghu , I changed from H1b to H4Ead, and my EAD is set for renewal next August.

    I now have a full time job at fortune 100 company with my H4EAd and my husband works for the same company .

    If this rule gets published sometime next year , and I end up in applying for renewal in February ( 6 month rule) , can you let me know what are the odds for missing my next extension because of this revocation .

    • Raghu on December 17, 2017 at 10:57 PM

      At this time, we don’t now how the Rule will look like or any other details. But, I would ask folks to be cautious and plan for worst case. When the Rule is proposed, we would know more details. Having H1B always helps in this scenario. Good Luck.

  12. Shlok on December 16, 2017 at 12:19 PM

    Hi Raghu – Is it possible to file H4EAD in Feb/March-2018?

    My current H-1B is valid until July-2018, so I will eligible to file my next extension sometime in Feb next year. I am planning to file (H1 renewal + H4 (COS) + H4EAD) all together under premium processing.

    Would you think I”ll be eligible to do this until H4 EAD new proposed rule will not be finally published?

    • Raghu on December 17, 2017 at 10:59 PM

      Refer to my other comment. Consult with your attorney as well.

  13. BGuru on December 15, 2017 at 11:10 PM

    Lets make our own nations great again. Leave america all immigrants!

  14. Sindhu on December 15, 2017 at 2:15 PM

    Hi, I have graduated in May 2017 with a degree in Chemical Engineering and facing tough time finding jobs with F1- OPT status. I am getting married in March 2018 and my fiance has an approved PERM status for green card and expecting to receive i140 by March 2018. I want to apply for dependent status H4 EAD and look for jobs but given the circumstances about revoking this rule, what do you suggest is my best shot?

    • Raghu on December 16, 2017 at 7:31 AM

      Sindhu – There are no easy option other than Green Card or H1B Visa. You may want to look into other countries.

    • Mishra on December 16, 2017 at 6:04 PM

      It will take around 6-9 months at the minimum for H-4 to be revoked. Get married, get your H-4 EAD by then. You are fine. Go to the site link from perchingtree above, read the timeline. You are safe buddy.

    • justsaying on December 18, 2017 at 12:54 AM

      the choice you make will haunt you forever about staying in US and begging to work. unfortunately your indian passport is worth of thrash for the US immigration system.
      Your significant other person having the same passport does not help you as well.
      If you are smart and educated and want to live in US then you should get married to non indian and get your GC in 2-3 years and do whatever you want….study…open a business….work for anyone…. Anyone can get PERM done, i have one too….but I have been waiting for green card for more than 8 years after I-140.
      Be sure with whom you get hitched with, your dreams will never come true (he/she) might be the best person on planet…..but you have to be practical too.

    • Y on December 19, 2017 at 9:58 AM

      if ur looking for other countries canda is best bet for you. It is easay to get PR in Canada.

  15. venky on December 15, 2017 at 12:52 PM

    what will happen to the existing H4- EAD. People who EAD is already valid for certain period.

  16. AA on December 15, 2017 at 12:52 PM

    Would this revoke the EAD issuance for new applicants or all current holders of EAD? Any ideas?

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