Proposal to Eliminate H-4 EAD Under Review at OMB
February 22, 2019
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has sent a proposal to rescind the H-4 spouse employment authorization document (EAD) regulation to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The OMB will have up to 90 days to review the proposal. After OMB review, the agency may then publish the proposed change in the Federal Register and must accept public comments. The public comment period typically runs 30 to 60 days, and the DHS must review the feedback before issuing final regulations.
The details of the proposed rule at OMB will not be released until the date the proposed rule is published in the Federal Register.
It may take several months for the H-4 EAD program to be eliminated. In the meantime, Weaver Schlenger advises individuals who are eligible (H-4 spouses of H-1B employees who have an approved I-140 or who are eligible for an extension beyond 6 years – in both cases, due to delays in the permanent residence process) to apply for the initial EAD or renew an expiring EAD as soon as they are eligible. EAD extensions can be requested up to 6 months in advance.
Employers who support the H-4 EAD program will have a chance to provide comments to the DHS during the public comment period.