On February 24th, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released an official statement that authorizes H-4 dependent spouses to legally accept employment. Employment Authorization for H-4 visa holders was an important element for President Obama’s 2014 Executive Action.

Requirements for H-4 Employment Authorization

As outlined in USCIS’s official communication, certain dependent spouses of H-1B visa holders will be eligible to accept legal employment in the U.S. The requirements for employment authorization are as follows:
• The individual must be the principal beneficiary of an approved Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker: OR
• Have been granted the H-1B status according to sections 106(a) and (b) of the American Competitivesness in the Twenty-first Century Act of 2000 as amended by the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act. This Act allows for H-1B nonimmigrants who are seeking permanent resident status to work and remain in the U.S., past the initial six year limit on their H-1B status.

Benefits of H-4 Employment Authorization

The discussion of authorizing legal employment for H-4 dependent spouses is not a new topic. This decision was reached after months of discussion. To read more about the benefits of H-4 employment authorization please read, Allowing H-1B Spouses to Work Benefits U.S. Economy. In an official communication from DHS, the organization believes that this expansion of employment authorization will carry the following benefits:

  • Reduce economic stresses on H-1B dependent families.
  • Reduce personal stresses felt by H-1B dependent families.
  • Aid in the transition from nonimmigrant to lawful permanent status.
  • Encourage skilled H-1B workers to remain in the U.S.
  • Benefit the U.S. economy by tapping into a new pool of skilled workers.

H-4 Employment Authorization Start Date

USCIS has communicated that this new rule will not be put into effect officially until May 26, 2015. Initial projections from USCIS are that over 175,000+ applications for H-4 employment will be submitted with 50,000+ applications in following years.

Potential Applicants Should Start Preparing Now

This decision will benefits H-1B families nationwide. However, the application process contains several steps and there is ample room for error. Potential applicants should work with an immigration attorney who has extensive experience with H-1B and H-4 visas.

We are Ready to Help You!

Pride Immigration Law Firm PLLC is ready to help potential applicants reach their goal of obtaining legal employment authorization. Our firm has over a decade of experience managing H-4 visas cases. If you are interested in learning more, or are ready to start preparing for the upcoming start date give us a call or contact us online.

The following two tabs change content below.

Beeraj Patel, Esq.

Partner at KPPB Law
Beeraj Patel's philosophy is simple - make it easy for talented and ambitious individuals to have access to immigration materials so that they can make the choice which is right for them.

Latest posts by Beeraj Patel, Esq. (see all)

Call Now Button