Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Updated: EAD for H4 Visa Holders - Part 3

If you missed Part 1, please click here: http://topimmigrationnews.blogspot.com/2013/01/updated-ead-for-h4-visa-holders-part-1.html

Rule-Making Timeline:

For this initiative to be implemented, the USCIS must complete the two steps of ruling making process. The first step is completion of "Proposed Rule" process, and the second step is completion of "Interim Final or Final Rule" process after completion of the Proposed Rule making process. Proposed Rule is not binding and only interim or final rule is binding. Both Proposed Rule and Final Rule must be submitted to the OMB of the White House for clearance before they can be published in the federal register. 

Proposed Rule must incorporate a period from 30 days to 60 days for comments from the public once the OMB approves publishing of the Proposed Rule in the federal register. Both Proposed Rule and Interim or Final Rule requires from 30 days to 90 days for the OMB to complete their review and approval, unless an emergency or economic issues are involved. The H-4 spouse EAD proposed rule is presented not as an emergency or economic issue rule and will be subject to the regular time of 30-90 days review period.

Additionally, after the approval of the Propose Rule or Interim or Final Rule, the USCIS can take time to schedule publishing it in the federal register, which causes a problem to estimate the exact time line for completion of the rule making process. All we can do is to give best and worst scenario to estimate rough time lines. The H-4 Proposed Rule was submitted to the OMB of the White House on 12/10/2012.

If it is approved in 30 days with the 60-day comment period, and the USCIS submits the Interim or Final Rule after considering all the comments received in about 90 days after the approval of the Proposed Rule, it adds upto 120 days. Adding another 30 days for OMB review of the Interim or Final Rule, it will add upto 150 days. Assuming that the Interim or Final Rule is published in 30 days after the approval, it adds upto 180 days. The foregoing is the "best" possible scenario. Even under the best scenario, the total rule-making process will take "at least" six months or longer.

No one knows the target time line of the USCIS, but considering all the factors involved, the Interim or Final Rule may not be enacted and implemented until after the summer of the year 2013 or even farther later.

Tip: This proposal is more than a year old. See this link: http://www.dhs.gov/news/2012/01/31/dhs-reforms-attract-and-retain-highly-skilled-immigrants 

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