United States – Certain H-4 Spouses of H-1B Holders May Seek Employment

US – Certain H-4 Spouses of H-1B Holders May Seek...

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Bureau (USCIS) has announced that, effective May 26, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security is extending eligibility for employment authorization to certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B non-immigrants who are seeking employment-based lawful permanent resident (LPR) status.

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The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Bureau (USCIS) has announced that, effective May 26, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is extending eligibility for employment authorization to certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B non-immigrants who are seeking employment-based lawful permanent resident (LPR) status.1

WHY THIS MATTERS

This will mean that persons in H-4 status will no longer be required to remain unemployed throughout the often-lengthy wait for an employment-based immigrant visa to become available. This could help boost economic growth in the United States.

Who Is Eligible, Procedures

According to the USCIS February 24, 2015 release, 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 the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act (AC-21) of 2000 as amended by the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act. The Act 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.2

Eligible H-4 dependent spouses must file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, along with supporting evidence and the required $380 filing fee if they wish to obtain employment authorization and receive a Form I-766, Employment Authorization Document (EAD). The I-766 is evidence of their authorization to accept employment in the United States. Once USCIS approves the Form I-765 and the H-4 dependent spouse receives an EAD, he or she may begin working in the United States.3

USCIS will begin accepting applications on May 26, 2015.

KPMG NOTE

USCIS has stated that this rule is not considered effective until May 26, 2015, and therefore individuals should not submit an application to USCIS before that date.4

USCIS estimates the number of individuals eligible to apply for employment authorization under this rule could be as high as 179,600 in the first year and 55,000 annually in subsequent years.5

FOOTNOTES

1 See: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, “DHS Extends Eligibility for Employment Authorization to Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses of H-1B Non-Immigrants Seeking Employment-Based Lawful Permanent Residence,” online at: http://www.uscis.gov/news/dhs-extends-eligibility-employment-authorization-certain-h-4-dependent-spouses-h-1b-nonimmigrants-seeking-employment-based-lawful-permanent-residence.

2 Ibid.

3 Ibid.

4 Ibid.

5 Ibid.

RELATED RESOURCE

This article is excerpted, with permission, from “DHS Extends Eligibility for Employment Authorization to Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses of H-1B Non-Immigrants Seeking Employment-Based Lawful Permanent Residence” in e-Alert (February 24, 2015) a publication of KPMG Law LLP, a KPMG International member firm in Canada.

CONTACTS

For additional information or assistance, please contact your local GMS or People Services professional or:

 

Monika V. Szabo,

U.S. Immigration Partner, U.S. Immigration Practice Leader, KPMG Law, Canada

Tel.: +1-416-943-0288 x287

mvszabo@kpmglaw.ca

 

KPMG LLP (U.S.) does not provide any immigration services.

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The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by KPMG Law LLP in Canada.

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