Pursuant to President Obama’s November 2014 announcement on executive action, the Department of Homeland Security announced today that it will extend eligibility for employment authorization to certain dependent (H-4) spouses of H-1B visa holders who are in the process of seeking Employment-Based Lawful Permanent Residence.
According to USCIS.gov, H-4 visa-holders are eligible under the work authorization expansion if their H-1B spouses:
- Are the principal beneficiaries of an approved Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker; or
- Have 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. The Act 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.
USCIS will begin accepting accepting work authorization applications from eligible H-4 spouses on May 26, 2015. In order to apply, eligible spouses must file the Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, along with all required supporting evidence and filing fees (currently $380).
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