Employment Authorization for Certain H-4 Spouses

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The long awaited provision for granting employment authorization to certain H-4 spouses, which was announced by President Obama in November 2014 as part of his executive action on immigration, has been finalized by USCIS.

Starting May 26, 2015, USCIS will begin accepting applications for employment authorization documents (EADs) for the following H-4 depended spouses:

  •  If the H-1B nonimmigrant (principal beneficiary) has an approved employment based immigrant petition (I-140); or
  • If the H-1B nonimmigrant has been granted H-1B status beyond the six-year limit pursuant to the provisions of the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act (AC21).

Note that the rule does not include all H-4 dependents and there are specific restrictions to eligibility. However, we encourage our H-1B clients who have started their process towards obtaining lawful permanent resident (green card) status to contact us regarding possible employment authorization for their spouses.

As usual, we also advise our clients to beware fraudulent websites and/or individuals offering incorrect advice or illegal representation. Always seek immigration advice from a licensed attorney!

If you have any questions regarding this new provision, please do not hesitate to contact us.