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Employment Authorization for Certain H-4 Spouses


Not all immigration news are bad or controversial. Today I am pleased to report good news.

Beginning May, 26, 2015, certain H-4 dependent spouses may apply for employment authorization. H-4 dependent spouses are spouses of H-1b specialty occupation visa holders. In order for the H-4 spouse to qualify, the H-1b principal must be seeking employment-based permanent residence in the United States.

Specifically, an H-4 spouse may apply for employment authorization when the H-1b principal visa holder:

  • 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.

In other news; an appellate court in New Orleans will hear oral arguments on President Obama's executive action.....stay tuned for updates.


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