USCIS Begins Allowing Some H-4 Dependent Spouses to Apply for Employment Authorization

 
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
 

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services will allow certain H-4 dependent spouses to now apply for employment authorization under the H-4 rule. On February 24, 2015, USCIS announced that effective, May 26, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would begin accepting applications for employment authorization from certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants who are seeking employment-based lawful permanent resident status. 

Starting on that date, people can apply for employment authorization under this rule if the H-1B nonimmigrant spouse:

  • Is the principal beneficiary of an approved Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker; or
  • Has been granted H-1B status under sections 106(a) and (b) of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act of 2000 as amended by the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act (AC21).  AC21 permits H-1B nonimmigrants seeking lawful permanent residence to work and remain in the United States beyond the six-year limit on their H-1B status.

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