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DHS plans to propose rule to rescind work authorization for H-4 spouses of H-1B visa holders

  1. Date Announced

    Dec. 14, 2017

    DHS publishes a notice in the Unified Agenda of Regulatory Actions that it intends to rescind a rule making certain spouses of H-1B visa holders, who hold H-4 visas, eligible for work authorization. [ID #492]

    See Biden administration action below.

    View Policy Document
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  3. Subsequent Action

    November 1, 2018

    DHS continues to publish in the Unified Agenda its intention to rescind the rule providing for work authorization for certain H-4 nonimmigrants.

    Removing H­4 Dependent Spouses from the Class of Aliens Eligible for Employment Authorization
  4. Subsequent Action

    February 21, 2019

    The media reports that DHS has sent a proposed regulation to OMB to rescind work authorization for certain H-4 nonimmigrants.

    Law360: DHS Preps Proposal To End Work Authorization For Spouses
  5. Subsequent Action

    August 26, 2020

    DHS continues to publish in the Unified Agenda its intention to rescind the rule providing work authorization for certain H-4 nonimmigrants.

    Removing H-4 Dependent Spouses From the Classes of Aliens Eligible for Employment Authorization
  6. Biden Administration Action

    January 25, 2021

    This Biden administration policy withdraws in its entirety the Trump-era proposed policy identified in this entry.

    On January 25, 2021, the Biden administration withdrew the Trump-era proposed regulation, Removing H-4 Dependent Spouses from the Class of Aliens Eligible for Employment Authorization” (commonly known as the “H-4 EAD Rescission Regulation”) from review at the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), which is an office within the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) tasked with the review of Executive Branch regulations. The withdrawal of this proposed regulation was in response to a regulatory freeze memo issued by the Biden administration on January 20, 2021, freezing all rulemakings pending review.

    H-4 EAD rule withdrawn from OIRA
Type of Action: Rule
Agencies Affected: USCIS

Prior Policies

  • 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. This rule allows certain spouses of H-1B holders, waiting for green cards, to apply for work authorization in the U.S.

    DHS 2015 Final Rule

Subsequent Actions

Biden Administration Action

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