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uscis announces work authorization eligibility for certain h-4 spouses

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director León Rodríguez announced today that, effective May 26, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is extending eligibility for employment authorization to certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants who are seeking employment-based lawful permanent resident (LPR) status. DHS amended the regulations to allow these H-4 dependent spouses to accept employment in the United States.

It is important to note that this DOES NOT APPLY TO ALL H-4 SPOUSES.  It will only apply in certain cases where the H-1B visa holder is well on the way toward applying for a green card. Specifically, it will only apply to H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants who either have an immigrant visa petition (Form I-140) approved in their behalf, or have been granted an H-1B extension based on the AC21 regulations, which would mean that they have been an H-1B for at least six years and have a green card case started.

If you have questions about the new H-4 employment authorization rules, please contact Managing Partner Michael Wildes at

For Further Information On How We Can Help Your Firm Meet Its Employment Eligibility Verification Obligations, Please Contact Amy Wildes At