H-4 Visa EAD for Spouses

2The law was passed in 2014/2015. H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B non-immigrants can file Form I-765 and Application for Employment Authorization.

Employment Authorization for Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses final rule (H-4 rule) took effect last May 26, 2015. It seeks to support the objectives of attracting and retaining highly-skilled foreign workers and minimizing disruption to businesses in the United States resulting from H-1B non-immigrants who choose not to remain in the United States and pursue LPR status.

Eligibility Requirements

Eligibility is granted to H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B non-immigrants. However your H-1B non-immigrant spouse must be:

– The principal beneficiary of an approved Form I-140 and Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker.

– He or she has been granted H-1B status under sections 106 (a) and (b) of the AC21. The AC21 authorizes H-1B non-immigrants seeking employment-based and legitimate permanent residence to work and remain in the United States beyond the six-year limit.

How to Apply

You must file Form I-765 and receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD/Form I-766) from the USCIS before you are granted permission to work.

USCIS continues to accept the older version of Form I-765 with edition date of 05/27/08 or later. However, the Service encourages H-4 applicants to use the newer version with an edition date of 02/13/15 to prevent delays or the need for USCIS to issue you request for evidence.

Follow these steps to prevent your application from being rejected:

Complete Form I-765 based on Instructions for Form I-765. USCIS will reject any application which has not been signed or accompanied by the proper filing fees. The fee is $380. You cannot file Form I-765 for category (c) (26) together with a Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status at the Lock-box address for Form I-765 category (c) (26).

In filing a Form I-485, you must follow the Form I-485 instructions and submit your Form I-485 to the correct filing address. If you file a Form I-765 together with a Form I-485 at the filing address for Form I-765 category (c) (26), USCIS will reject the Form I-485 and corresponding fees. Additionally, if you included the fees for both forms on the same check or money order, USCIS may also reject your Form I-765 for category (c) (26). Note: If you are filing Form I-765 together with Form I-485 at the USCIS location noted for Form I-485, specify your work eligibility category as (c) (9) and pay only the Form I-485 filing fee (and not the Form I-765 filing fee) to avoid delays in processing.  

Submit supporting evidence since this will reduce the possibility that USCIS will still ask you for more evidence.

Marian Moore – Social Media Manager

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