Work Authorization for H-1B Spouses

H-1B spouse, H-4

On May 6, 2014, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published proposed rules that would allow spouses of certain H-1B visa holders to obtain work authorization.   According to the DHS announcement, the main goal of the initiative is to promote the growth of the U.S. economy by bringing more high-skilled workers to U.S. businesses.  The proposed rule is also another acknowledgment by the U.S. government of immigrants’ important role and their contribution to the U.S. economy and society. Under the proposed rules, H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B visa holders would be able to obtain work authorization.  The rules only cover spouses of H-1B holders and do not extent to other types of dependents such as children.  Under the proposed rules, an H-4 visa holder spouse would be able to apply for work authorization once his or her H-1B spouse has started the process of obtaining permanent residence. You can see the full text of the proposed rules here. Should you have any questions or if you would like to schedule a consultation, please contact me by submitting this form.