Trump Administration Signals Impending End of H-4 EAD Program

On August 20, 2018, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) provided a status update to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, confirming that the agency is working to finalize a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), which is expected to lead to the end of the program that allows a qualifying H-4 spouse to obtain an employment authorization document (EAD). This federal court is involved in the process based on a lawsuit challenging the H-4 EAD rule, as discussed in the MurthyDotCom NewsBrief, Federal Appeals Court Grants Abeyance in H-4 EAD Lawsuit, but Program Still in Jeopardy (22.Feb.2018).

Timeline for Release of Rule Unknown

No specific timeline is provided on when the NPRM may be published. Further, once the NPRM is published, this will not immediately impact the H-4 EAD program. Rather, the public will have an opportunity to comment on the notice, and only after the comments are reviewed can a final rule be published that will terminate the program. This process likely will take at least several months from the point the NPRM is released.


Until and unless a final rule is published, this effort by the Trump Administration to end the program will not impact the processing of H-4 EAD applications by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), nor will it impact the validity of existing H-4 EADs. Subscribe to the free MurthyBulletin to receive future updates in your inbox.


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