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May 2014


May 12, 2014 | Posted by Business Immigration Group | Permalink

In a welcome regulatory change, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has proposed a regulation that will allow H-4 spouses of certain H-1B foreign nationals to apply for work authorization. The extension would be limited to H-4 dependent spouses of principal H-1B nonimmigrants who are in the process of seeking lawful permanent resident status through employment. Specifically, spouses in H-4 status would be able to apply for work authorization only if: 1) the H-1B spouse is the beneficiary of an approved I-140 petition, and visa numbers are currently unavailable in the preference category; or 2) the H-1B spouse is the beneficiary of a labor certification that was filed 365 or more days prior to reaching the end of the sixth year of H-1B status. Dependent spouses of H-1B workers who are not in the process of seeking permanent residence through employment will continue to be ineligible for employment authorization, as will the children of H-1B workers in H-4 status.

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