Employment Authorization for Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses Final Rule is now in Effect!

USCIS has begun accepting employment authorization (EAD) applications from certain H-4 dependent spouses as of Tuesday, May 26, 2015 – qualified H-4 nonimmigrants should start the process as soon as possible. Once USCIS approves Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, and the H-4 dependent spouse receives the physical Employment Authorization Document (EAD), he or she may begin working in the United States.

USCIS Director León Rodríguez announced on Tuesday, February 24th, that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is extending eligibility for employment authorization to certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants who are seeking employment-based lawful permanent resident (LPR), effective May 26, 2015.

Finalizing the H-4 employment eligibility was one of President Obama’s key elements in his immigration executive actions announced last November.

Eligible individuals include certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants who:
• 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 (i.e., an extension of H1B status beyond the 6th year).

The H4 EAD is not limited, nor restricted; the H4 spouse may use the EAD to work anywhere realistically speaking.

Generally, EAD applications are processed in 2-3 months!

The duration of the EAD will vary depending upon the status of the H-1B nonimmigrant, it will be valid for one (1) to three (3) years, as each case is case specific and will depend upon the primary H1B nonimmigrant’s eligibility for the underlying H-1B extension.

For further details please read the USCIS news release linked below.

To discuss your eligibility, contact an Immigration Attorney.

Source of Information:
USCIS.gov, 5/26/15, News Alert:
Employment Authorization for Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses Final Rule in Effect Today, May 26, 2015
USCIS.gov, 5/26/15, Web Page:
Employment Authorization for Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses
USCIS.gov, 5/21/15, Web Page:
FAQs: Employment Authorization for Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses

federalregister.gov, 2/25/15, Final Rule:
Employment Authorization for Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses