Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses May Seek Employment Authorization

On February 24th, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B non-immigrants who are seeking employment-based lawful permanent resident status are eligible for employment authorization.

Eligible individuals include H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B non-immigrants who:

  • Are the principal beneficiaries of an approved Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker; or
  • Have extended their stay beyond the six-year limit as the result of seeking lawful permanent residence based on employment.

Eligible individuals must file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, with supporting evidence and the required $380 filing fee in order to receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).  USCIS will begin accepting applications on May 26, 2015. The individual may start working in the United States upon USCIS approval of Form I-765 and receipt of the EAD.

For more information about H-1B visas and other immigration matters, contact Joel Pfeffer, Elaina Smiley, or Gary M. Sanderson.