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DHS Extends Eligibility for Employment Authorization to Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses

Today USCIS Director Leon Rodriguez announced that, effective May 26, 2015, eligibility for employment authorization will be extended to certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants who are seeking employment-based lawful permanent residence.

This was one of the important elements of President Obama's executive actions announced on November 20, 2014.

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 sections 106(a) and (b) of AC21, which permits H-1B nonimmigrants seeking lawful permanent residence to work and remain in the United States beyond the six-year limit on their H-1B status.

USCIS reminds those potentially eligible that this rule is not considered effective until May 26, 2015. Individuals should not submit an application to USCIS before the effective date, and should avoid anyone who offers to submit an application to USCIS before the effective date.

If you have questions about your eligibility for H-4 employment authorization, please do not hesitate to contact our office.

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