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DHS/USCIS RIN: 1615-AC15 Publication ID: Fall 2017 
Title: ●Removing H-4 Dependent Spouses from the Class of Aliens Eligible for Employment Authorization 

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.  DHS is publishing this notice of proposed rulemaking to amend that 2015 final rule.  DHS is proposing to remove from its regulations certain H-4 spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants as a class of aliens eligible for employment authorization.

Agency: Department of Homeland Security(DHS)  Priority: Economically Significant 
RIN Status: First time published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Proposed Rule Stage 
Major: Yes  Unfunded Mandates: Undetermined 
EO 13771 Designation: Other 
CFR Citation: 8 CFR 214    8 CFR 274a     (To search for a specific CFR, visit the Code of Federal Regulations.)
Legal Authority: 6 U.S.C. 112    8 U.S.C. 1103(a)    8 U.S.C. 1184(a)(1)    8 U.S.C. 1324a(H)(3)(B)   
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need:

DHS is reviewing the 2015 final rule in light of issuance of Executive Order 13788, Buy American and Hire American.

Summary of the Legal Basis:

The Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary) has the authority to amend this regulation under section 102 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, Public Law 107-296, 116 Stat. 2135, 6 U.S.C. 112, and section 103(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. 1103(a), which authorize the Secretary to administer and enforce the immigration and nationality laws. In addition, section 214(a)(1) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1184(a)(1), provides the Secretary with authority to prescribe the time and conditions of nonimmigrants’ admissions to the United States. Also, section 274A(h)(3)(B) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1324a(h)(3)(B), recognizes the Secretary's discretionary authority to extend employment authorization.


Anticipated Costs and Benefits:

DHS anticipates that there would be two primary impacts that DHS can estimate: the cost-savings accruing to forgone future filings by H-4 spouses, and labor turnover costs that employers of H-4 workers could incur.


Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  02/00/2018 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes  Government Levels Affected: None 
Small Entities Affected: Businesses  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
RIN Information URL:   Public Comment URL:  
RIN Data Printed in the FR: Yes 
Related RINs: Related to 1615-AB92 
Agency Contact:
Kevin Cummings
Division Chief, Business and Foreign Workers Division
Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
20 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Suite 1200,
Washington, DC 20529-2200
Phone:202 272-8377
Fax:202 272-1480