Employment Authorization for Certain H-4 Spouses

To help U.S. businesses retain highly-skilled workers, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued a final rule providing employment authorization eligibility to certain H-4 spouses.

Beginning May 26, 2015, certain H-4 spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants will be eligible to apply for employment authorization with the USCIS. To be eligible for employment authorization, an H-4 spouse must demonstrate that he/she is the spouse of an H-1B nonimmigrant who:

(i) Is the principal beneficiary of an approved Form I-140, Immigrant Petition; OR

(ii) Has been granted H-1B status under Sections 106(a) and (b) of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act of 2000.

The validity period of the approved employment authorization will match the end date of the H-4 spouse's authorized period of stay. USCIS will not accept I-765 applications for employment authorization from eligible H-4 spouses until on or after May 26, 2015.

For more information, please see this announcement on the USCIS website: http://www.uscis.gov/news/dhs-extends-eligibility-employment-authorization-certain-h-4-dependent-spouses-h-1b-nonimmigrants-seeking-employment-based-lawful-permanent-residence.

This client update is prepared for the general information of our clients and friends. It should not be regarded as legal advice. If you have any questions regarding this update, or for more information about this topic, please contact any of the attorneys in our Business Immigration practice group, or the attorney with whom you normally consult.

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