Employment Eligibility for Certain H-4 Visa Holders Effective May 26, 2015
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published its final rule, effective May 26, 2015, confirming that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will extend employment authorization eligibility to certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants who are seeking employment-based lawful permanent resident (LPR) status.
In order to be eligible, the H-4 visa holder must be the dependent spouse of an H-1B nonimmigrant visa holder who:
- 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, known as 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
Under the new rule, eligible H-4 dependent spouses will be able to file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, with supporting evidence and the required $380 fee in order to obtain employment authorization and receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
USCIS will begin accepting applications on May 26, 2015. The H-4 dependent spouse will not be able to begin working in the United States until USCIS has approved the Form I-765 and the H-4 dependent spouse has received the EAD.
Gibney will work with clients and provide any updates as the rule is implemented.
If you have any questions about this alert, please contact your Gibney representative or email firstname.lastname@example.org.