The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) filed a status report in response to a court order in Save Jobs USA v DHS, a lawsuit that challenges the work authorization for H-4 spouses of H-1B beneficiaries. According to the status report, the proposal for rescinding H-4 work authorization is still under federal review. DHS has also not provided an expected timeframe for when it would publish the proposal for public feedback.

Back in February 2019, DHS sent the proposed rule to rescind employment authorization for spouses of H-1B workers to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). While proposed rules often go through the OMB process within a few months, the DHS’s proposal to rescind H-4 work authorization appears to be undergoing a lengthier federal review process than normal, with no timeline in sight for the next step for the proposal.

In early 2017, the Trump Administration first announced that it would review and reconsider the H-4 work authorization program. The H-4 work authorization program has been in place since March 2015.

Once the proposal clears the OMB and is published, the public will be able to provide feedback for a 30-60 day period. After the completion of the public feedback period, DHS will review the feedback and the proposal will go to OMB for further review before the publication of a final rule.

There is currently no impact on H-4 spouses of H-1B beneficiaries, and DHS will continue to accept and adjudicate new H-4 EAD applications and renewals under the current rules until the finalization and implementation of H-4 rescission.

Please do not hesitate to contact our office if you have any further questions regarding this matter.