Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Newsflash – USCIS Issues Guidance on Employment Authorization for Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses

On Wednesday, May 20, 2015, the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) confirmed a ruling announced in February (see the related newsflash here) that will extend employment authorization to certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B workers who:
  • Hold an approved immigrant visa petition (Form I-140); or 
  • Were granted H-1B status under sections 106(a) or 106(b) of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act of 2000, which allows H-1B extensions beyond the six-year limit for certain H-1B holders seeking permanent residence.
USCIS will officially begin accepting Form I-765 Applications for Employment Authorization for H-4 spouses next Tuesday, May 26, 2015.  Any applications received prior to this date will be rejected and returned with the original filing fee.  The Service has further confirmed that Form I-539 Applications for H-4 Status may be submitted as concurrent filings with the I-765 for individuals who do not currently hold H-4 status.  Spousal Form I-129 H-1B Petitions will also be accepted concurrently.

For further information, please see the related alert here.

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