USCIS announced, on February 24, 2014, that it extends eligibility for an employment authorization card (EAD) to certain H-4 spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants who are seeking employment-based lawful permanent resident (LPR) status. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) amended the relevant regulations in order to allow these H-4 spouses to be able to accept employment in the United States. This will go into effect on May 26, 2015.
This is one of several initiatives underway to modernize, improve and clarify visa programs to grow the U.S. economy and create jobs, which was an important element of the immigration executive actions President Obama announced in November 2014.
Eligible individuals include certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants who: 1) are the principal beneficiaries of an approved Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker; or 2) have been granted H-1B status under the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act of 2000, as amended by the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act. The government estimates that as many as 179,600 people will be eligible to apply for employment authorization in the first year, and 55,000 annually in subsequent years.
For more information about this rule and filing procedures, please contact Sujin Kim, Esq. at (251) 387-2544/(251) 379-8065 or email@example.com