The Department of Homeland Security has proposed to provide work authorization benefits to spouses of H-1B visa holders. If this proposal is put into effect it will allow dependents to apply for an EAD, or an Employment Authorization Document.
This benefit would be limited to H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants who are in the process of seeking lawful permanent resident status via employment-based Immigrant Worker Petitions (I-140).
This specifically includes H-4 spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants who are either the beneficiaries of an approved Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker (Form I-140) or who have been granted an extension of their authorized period of admission in the United States under the American Competitiveness in the Twenty- first Century Act of 2000 (AC21).
This proposal has been suggested in hopes of helping to ease the economic burden during the transition from nonimmigrant to lawful permanent resident status, furthering the goal of attracting and retaining highly-skilled foreign workers.
The proposal is currently in comment period until July 12, 2014 and as such no action will be taken at this time. We will continue to monitor the progress of this proposal and notify MVA clients of any new developments.