On February 24, 2015, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”)
announced that it would begin granting employment authorization to certain H-4 dependent
spouses. Specifically, spouses of H-1B non-immigrants who are seeking
employment-based permanent resident status (“green card”)
will be able to apply for work authorization if their spouse meets one
of the two requirements. USCIS will limit H-4 work authorization to the
two categories below where the H-1B spouse:
- Is the principal beneficiary of an approved Form I-140, Immigrant Petition
for Alien Worker
- 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.
The Act permits H-1B non-immigrants seeking lawful permanent residence
to work and remain in the United States beyond the six-year limit on their
The procedure for applying for H-4 employment authorization will require
filing Form I-765 with all necessary supporting documents with USCIS.
USCIS will begin accepting applications on May 26, 2015. Currently, USCIS
estimates that it may receive over 179,600 applications for H-4 employment
authorization in 2015 alone.
The H-4 employment authorization program is a great initiative to assist
families that are undergoing the employment-based green card process.
By allowing certain H-4 spouses to work, these families will be able to
expand earning power and further support themselves during the EB green
card process. At this point, USCIS has not announced any restrictions
on the type of employment for H-4 work authorization. Subject to employers’
requirements for potential hires, the program appears to lend freedom
to an H-4 holder to pursue employment of his or her choosing upon work
Milla & Associates, LLC is happy to meet with you to discuss obtaining
H-4 employment authorization if you believe that you or a loved one may
qualify. We invite you to
schedule an appointment with our employment-based immigration specialist for a free initial consultation.
Please contact us at (312) 924-2862. Milla & Associates, LLC is a
leading immigration and deportation defense law firm located in Chicago.