June 09, 2015

USCIS extended eligibility for employment authorization to certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants. In order to be eligible for H-4 work authorization, the H-1B nonimmigrant spouse must be in the process of seeking employment-based lawful permanent resident (green card) status. 


Eligible individuals include only H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants who: 

  • Are the principal beneficiaries of an approved Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker; or 
  • Have 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 nonimmigrants seeking lawful permanent residence to work and remain in the United States beyond the six-year limit on their H-1B status.


Eligible H-4 spouses must apply for a work permit. Once USCIS approved the application, the H-4 spouses may begin working in the United States.