Certain H-4 dependent spouses may now apply for employment authorization under the H-4 rule. On February 24, 2015, USCIS announced that effective today, May 26, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would begin accepting applications for employment authorization from certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants who are seeking employment-based lawful permanent resident status.
Starting today, you may apply for employment authorization under this rule if your H-1B nonimmigrant spouse:
- 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 (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.
For more information on applying for employment authorization under the H-4 rule, please visit the Employment Authorization for Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses Web page and the list of Frequently Asked Questions that we have compiled since we announced the H-4 rule in February.