The USCIS announced today that it will begin to extend employment authorization to certain H-4 visa holders. USCIS will begin to accept H-4 employment authorization applications on May 26, 2015. In order to be eligible for an H-4 Employment Authorization Document (EAD) an individual must meet one of the following criteria:
H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants who:
- Are the principal beneficiaries of an approved Form 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 as amended by the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act. The Act 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.
This is great news for clients who have an approved I-140 but are unable to submit an Adjustment of Status application because of priority date retrogression. We will continue to monitor developments on this change and will begin preparing H-4 EAD applications for clients as we get closer to the May 26, 2015 filing date.