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Certain H-4 Spouses Eligible to Apply for Work Authorization Beginning May 26th

24 Feb

On Tuesday, February 24th, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the extension of employment authorization benefits to certain H-4 spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants working in the United States. Beginning May 26th, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (CIS) will begin accepting applications from qualifying H-4 nonimmigrants. To be eligible, the H-4 nonimmigrant must be the spouse of a principal H-1B nonimmigrant who:

  1. Is the principal beneficiary of an approved I-140 Immigrant Visa Petition; or
  2. Has been granted an extension of H-1B nonimmigrant status beyond the normal six-year limitation on H-1B eligibility under sections 106(a) and (b) of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act of 2000 (AC-21).

Applications may not be filed prior to May 26th, and only H-4 spouses are eligible to apply. Dependent children in H-4 status will not be eligible.

For more information on H-4 eligibility to apply for employment authorization, and to initiate new applications for qualifying applicants, contact your Foster immigration attorney. As always, Foster will continue to monitor executive actions impacting on eligibility for immigration benefits and will provide additional information in future Immigration Updates© and via our firm’s website at