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Some H-1B Spouses Eligible for Work Authorization on May 26, 2015

On May 26, 2015, USCIS will begin accepting applications for work authorization from certain H-1B spouses.

For a long time, H-1B spouses could not work until they got a green card. Given the wait in certain categories and for citizens of certain countries, this meant these spouses, often well-educated professionals, sat idle. This is a waste of an important American resource - educated individuals who would contribute to the economy as they wait to become permanent residents and eventually citizens of the United States. See our previous post for more information:


H-1B spouses hold an H-4 visa and are eligible to work under two scenarios: (1) The H-1B holder has an approved I-140; or (2) The H-1B holder has received an extension beyond the six-year limit pursuant to specific provisions of AC21. H-1B extensions beyond year six are granted when the H-1B spouse is in process of a PERM labor certification or an I-140 immigrant petition that was filed at least 365 days prior to the end of the sixth year of H-1B status.

Eligibility and application are complex, especially given that these are new regulations. If you think you or your spouse may qualify for work authorization, contact us at TheTeam@huwelaw.com to begin the process.