DHS Extends Work Authorization To Dependents and Spouses of H-1B Nonimmigrants seeking Employment-Based Lawful Permanent Residence

February 27, 2015

On May, 26, 2015, dependent spouses of H-1B visa holders will be eligible to apply for a work permit if the H-1B holder is in the process of applying for their green card. In November 2014, President Obama announced a series of executive actions including providing the opportunity for dependents and spouses of H1B holders to seek employment. According to the President and DHS this extension is part of a series of initiatives underway to modernize, improve and clarify visa programs to grow the U.S. economy and create jobs. Allowing the spouse or dependent of an H1B holder to work will help U.S. business owners retain their international key employees and will provide families more economic stability and a better quality of life.

Eligibility for some H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants:

  • Prime beneficiaries of an approved Form I-140, immigrant petition for alien worker, or

  • Is allowed H-1B status from sections 106 (a) and (b) of the American Competiveness in the Twentieth-first Century Act of 2000 as corrected by the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act. 

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