Ep. 39 DHS Extends Eligibility for Employment Authorization to Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses. When can H4 Spouses Work?

  • H-1B visa allows professionals to work in the U.S. but their spouses come on an H4 visa are not allowed to work.
  • Department of Homeland Security is extending eligibility for employment to certain H4 dependent spouses of H-1B workers.
  • Will be effective May 26, 2015.

Jacob: Hello everybody, this is Jacob Sapochnick with Ask An Immigration Lawyer. You ask. We answer. Simple. Today we have exciting news. Many questions are pouring in and this is following the announcement extending the eligibility for employment authorization to certain H4 dependent spouses of H-1B non-immigrant workers looking to work in the United States.

As you know, the H-1B visa allows professionals to work in the U.S. but their spouses come on an H4 visa are not allowed to work. They’ve not been allowed to work for years and so effective May 26, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security is extending eligibility for employment to certain H4 dependent spouses of H-1B workers.

This is something that is really, really important because the issues come up many times and people were asking me when finally H4 spouses can work. This is a major excitement, one of the highlights of President Obama’s announcement in November 2014.

So who are the eligible individuals? These include certain H4 dependent spouses of H-1B workers who: are the principal beneficiaries of an approved form I-140 immigrant petition or have been granted H-1B status under section 106 A&B of the American Competitive 21st Century Act of 2000. The Act permits H-1B non-immigrants looking for permanent residence to work and remain in the United States beyond the six-year limit as long as their application is pending.

So, the government expects that this change will, of course, reduce economic burden because now H1-B workers are the sole providers for families… now with the addition of H4 spouses that fall within those categories… they’re gonna be able to help.

Again, this will be effective May 26, not today but on May 26, 2015. They have to file form I-765. It’s gonna cost $380 and will take 90 days and they’re gonna get work permits.

This is exciting news. I just want to get the word out and once we know more, we’ll update you. If you have any more questions, please let me know at jacob@askanimmigrationlawyer.com.

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