H4 Visa Holders Can Work in the United States

As we come upon a new H-1B season (H-1B applications are accepted beginning today), there are some important changes for H-4 dependent spouses.  The Department of Homeland Security recently announced that beginning on May 26, 2015, certain H-4 visa holders can obtain work permits while in valid H-4 status!  

This change in policy was part of President Obama's Immigration Actions on November 20, 2014.  However, this reform could not have been possible without the tireless advocacy of numerous groups, including Facebook groups such as H4 Visa, a curse.  

But only certain H-4 visa holders are eligible to work.  Take a look below to find out who can apply for a work permit (also known as an Employment Authorization Document):

  • H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B visa holders who are the principal beneficiaries of approved I-140 petitions, OR
  • H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B visa holders who obtained their H-1B visas under sections 106(a) and (b) of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act of 2000 as amended by the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act. Basically, H-1B nonimmigrants seeking lawful permanent residence who are able to work and remain in the United States beyond the six-year limit on their H-1B status can have their H-4 dependent spouses obtain work permits.

here are a lot of questions regarding this.  Feel free to call my office to have your questions answered, or schedule a consultation here.