The Employment Authorization for Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses Final Rule (H-4 rule), effective on May 26, 2015, seeks to support the goals of attracting and retaining Highly Skilled Foreign Workers and minimizing the disruption to U.S. businesses resulting from H-1B non-immigrants who choose not to remain in the United States and pursue LPR Status.
Although USCIS published the H-4 notice of proposed rule making in May 2014, finalizing that it was part of the Executive Actions on Immigration that President Obama announced in November 2014. Extending eligibility for employment authorization to certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants is one of the initiatives to modernize, improve and clarify visa programs to grow the U.S. economy and create jobs.
U.S. businesses use the H-1B program to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require a bachelor’s or higher degreein a specific specialty that is directly related to the H-1B position. In addition, for specialty occupation workers, the H-1B classification applies to individuals performing services related to a Department of Defense Cooperative Research and development project or co-production project, and to individuals performing services of distinguished merit and ability in the field of fashion modeling.
For more information on eligibility for the H-1B program, Click Here.
|FIND ON THIS PAGE|
|Eligibility Requirements||Approval of Form I-765|
|How to Apply||Denial or Withdrawal of Form I-765|
|Form Filing Tips|
You are eligible if you are the H-4 dependent spouse of an H-1B non-immigrant if your H-1B non-immigrant spouse:
- Is the principal beneficiary of an approved Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker; or
- Has been granted H-1B status under sections 106(a) and (b) of the AC21. The AC21 permits H-1B non-immigrants seeking employment-based lawful permanent residence to work and remain in the United States beyond the six-year limit.
You must file Form I-765 and receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD/Form I-766) from USCIS before you may begin working. Carefully follow these steps to prevent your application from being rejected and returned to you:
- DO NOT FILE BEFORE MAY 26, 2015.
- Complete Form I-765 using the Instructions for Form I-765. USCIS will reject any application that is not accompanied by the proper filing fees or signature. The fee is $380.
- Submit Supporting Evidence (see chart below). Submitting sufficient supporting evidence will minimize the likelihood that USCIS will need to send you a request for more evidence.
|EVIDENCE OF…||CAN BE SHOWN BY SUBMITTING…|
|Your H-4 status|
|A government-issued identification document with photo|
|Your relationship to the H-1B non-immigrant|
|Your basis for eligibility|
1. A copy of the H-1B non-immigrant’s passports, prior Forms I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record), and current and prior Forms I-797 for Form I-129, Petition for a Non-Immigrant Worker; and
2. Evidence to establish one of the following bases for the H-1B non-immigrant’s extension of stay:
Examples of Secondary Evidence: If you do not have any evidence relating to the H-1B non-immigrant as described in “a” or “b” above, you may ask USCIS to consider secondary evidence in support of your application for work authorization as an H-4 spouse. For example, such information may include the receipt number of the H-1B non-immigrant’s most current Form I-129 extension of stay request or the receipt number of the H-1B non-immigrant’s approved Form I-140 petition. Failure to provide necessary information about the H-1B non-immigrant may result in a delay in the adjudication or denial of your application for employment authorization.
|Photos for card production|
If you submit any documents containing a foreign language to USCIS, you must also submit a full English language translation that the translator has certified as complete and accurate. The translator must also certify that he or she is competent to translate from the foreign language into English.
When filing Form I-765, please mail it to the proper location based on the chart below.
|IF YOU ARE SUBMITTING YOUR FORM I-765,||THEN PLEASE FILE YOUR APPLICATION AT-|
|As a standalone application because you are currently in H-4 status and do not need to extend your status||The Lockbox address found on our Direct Filing Addresses for Form I-765 Web page.|
|Together with Form I-539 seeking a change to or extension of H-4 status||The Lockbox address found on our Direct Filing Addresses for Form I-765 Web page.|
|Together with Form I-129 seeking H-1B status for your spouse and Form I-539, seeking a change to or extension of H-4 status for yourself||The Service Center with jurisdiction over Form I-129. Please see our Direct Filing Addresses for Form I-129 Web page for more information.|
For your convenience, you may file Form I-765 with Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Non-immigrant Status, or with both Form I-539 and the H-1B principal non-immigrant’s Form I-129, Petition for a Non-immigrant Worker. However, USCIS will not process your Form I-765 (except filing fees) until after USCIS has adjudicated your Form I-539.
The 90-day period for adjudicating Form I-765 filed together with Form I-539 does not begin until USCIS has determined whether you are eligible for the underlying H-4 non-immigrant status, whether your spouse is eligible for the underlying H-1B non-immigrant status, or both.
Do NOT e-file Form I-765. You must mail your form together with evidence and fees to the appropriate filing location as outlined above.
You will not be eligible to work until USCIS approves your Form I-765 application. Once your employment authorization is approved, the expiration date on your EAD will likely be the same date as the expiration date on your most recent Form I-94 indicating your H-4 non-immigrant status. You are only authorized to work through the expiration date on your EAD. If you still will be eligible for work authorization after that date, you should file for a renewal EAD by submitting another Form I-765. You cannot file for a renewal EAD more than 120 days before your original EAD expires.