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The Qualification Requirements of Employment Authorization for H-4 Spouse

Hi William:

As a H-4 dependent spouse of H-1B visa holder, what is the qualification requirements for me to receive the Employment Authorization (EAD) to work in U.S. legally?


U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that after May 26, 2015, Employment Authorization (EAD) will be issued to certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants who are seeking employment-based lawful permanent resident (Green Card) status. Therefore, qualified H-4 dependent spouses can accept employment in the United States.

USCIS believes that extending the eligibility for employment authorization to certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B visa holders is one of ways to improve U.S. visa programs and grow the U.S. economy, and it also provides more economic stability and better quality of life for the affected H-1B families. The eligible individuals include certain 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 the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act of 2000 (AC-21) - the Act permits H-1B nonimmigrants seeking lawful permanent residence to work and remain in the U.S. beyond the 6-year limit on their H-1B status.

The change will reduce the economic burdens and stresses that H-1B visa holders and their families may have, during the transition from nonimmigrant to lawful permanent resident status, and facilitate their integration into the society of United States. It will also help their
efforts to remain in the U.S., with minimized disruptions to U.S. businesses employing them.  The rule also will bring U.S. immigration policies more in line with those laws of other countries that compete to attract similar highly skilled workers.

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