H4 EAD USCIS Statistics Released Ahead of Anticipated Rescission


On Friday, May 11th, USCIS released updated statistics of H4 EADs. It is anticipated that the rule allowing H4 visa holders applying for work permits will be rescinded in June.

Here is a link to the USCIS data on the issue.  Also, here is an article in which I saw the report.  A snapshot copied below.

It is important for people to understand the background for these numbers.

  • Only those in the green card ‘line’ are eligible for work permits.
  • There is a huge backlog of Indian citizens in the ‘line’.  Citizens from most other countries do not suffer this long wait. (Read our monthly visa bulletin update).
  • Most people in this ‘line’ from India are on H1b visas.
  • Those H1b visa holders’ spouses are the visa holders reflected in the chart below.
  • If the backlog could be cleared, people mentioned in this article will not need work permits.  I have written much on the issue. Here is one of my blog posts from 2014.

Skilled workers on H1b visas are crucial to the American economy. There are many examples, too many to list, to demonstrate the necessity. But one simple example is your phone on which you might be viewing this article. From the hardware to software to the service provider, your phone would not be functioning seamlessly without skilled workers (many from India) working hard behind the scenes keeping everything functional. For those H1b workers to be ‘functional’ for America, their spouses should be afforded the opportunity to work, if they want.

So, until the green card backlog clears, the H4 EAD rule must not be rescinded.

Call to action? If you are on an H4 visa with EAD, ask your H1b visa holder spouse working in corporate America (esp. if it is a large company)  to engage his/her employer to stand up against the idea that H4 EAD should be rescinded. There is no rule yet, and there is time to advocate but big businesses need to be part of the conversation.


Country 2015 2016 2017 2018 (as of Dec. 25, 2017) Total
India 24,791 28,660 24,779 6,130 84,360
China 711 1,564 1,832 501 4,608
Canada 12 21 21 N/A* 54
Philippines 91 248 204 31 574

*Data for countries with less than 10 recipients in a given year were unavailable