Repeal of H-4 EAD Delayed Until Spring 2020


The publication of a proposed rule that would rescind the H-4 EAD has been delayed until at least spring 2020.  In a letter submitted by the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia last week, the agency confirmed that while it still plans on publishing a rule to repeal the H-4 EAD, the proposed rule is still undergoing interagency review.  DHS also stated that the spring 2020 date was “aspirational.”   

In the meantime, eligible H-4 spouses can apply for initial work authorization documents or applications to extend work authorization.  Extension applications can be filed up to six months before the expiration of the employment authorization document.  

By way of background, the H-4 EAD provides work authorization for spouses of certain H-1B workers who are in the process of obtaining permanent residence through their employers. 

DHS formally stated that it planned to rescind the H-4 EAD in February 2019, but it has not yet published a proposed rule.  The formal statement came in response to federal litigation where DHS was ordered to respond to a legal challenge to the H-4 EAD by Save Jobs, a group of U.S. technology workers.  Save Jobs alleges that the H-4 EAD program adversely impacts U.S. workers.

For more information regarding the proposed rescission of the H-4 EAD, please see our previous blog post.  

This alert is for information purposes only. If you would like to discuss this development further, please contact us.