Employment Eligibility is extended to Certain H-4 Dependents Spouses of H-1B Nonimmigrants
On February 24, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that employment eligibility will be extended for various H-4 depends of H-1B nonimmigrants. This change allows the spouses of these H-1B visa holders to work and grow the U.S economy. In addition, this particular change will reduce the economic burden that H-1B nonimmigrants face while transitioning to lawful permanent resident status. This change will further incentivize highly skilled foreign workers to immigrate to the U.S.
Specifically, the newly eligible individuals are H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants who are “the principal beneficiaries of an approved 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”. This particular act allows H-1b nonimmigrants who are seeking permanent residence to work and stay in the U.S past their 6 year limit on their status.
To receive employment eligibility, the qualified people must file Form I-765 with the required evidence and a $380 filing fee. USCIS accept these applications on May 26, 2015. Once the applicant’s I-765 is approved and receives their Employment Authorization Document from USCIS, the H-4 dependent can start to work in the U.S.
Furthermore, “USCIS estimates the number of individuals eligible to apply for employment authorization under this rule could be as high as 179,600 in the first year and 55,000 annually in subsequent years.”
For further information regarding this change, please visit http://www.uscis.gov/news/dhs-extends- eligibility-employment-authorization-certain-h-4-dependent-spouses-h-1b-nonimmigrants-seeking-employment-based-lawful-permanent-residence.
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