March 16, 2016

H-4 EAD: New USCIS Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Since May 26, 2015, an H-4 dependent spouse can get work authorization if the H-1B spouse:

The USCIS recently updated its responses to frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the H-4 employment authorization document (EAD), information on eligibility, the application process, processing times, and more.

Here are some of the key FAQs for your attention:

2. Is this a one-time opportunity?

No, this is not a one-time opportunity. If you are a H-4 nonimmigrant who obtains employment authorization under 8 CFR 274a.12(c)(26), you may file to renew your employment authorization and receive a new EAD as long as you remain eligible for employment authorization as described in 8 CFR 214.2(h)(9)(iv).

4. Am I eligible for employment authorization if USCIS revoked my H-1B spouse’s approved Form I-140 petition?

In order to qualify for employment authorization as an H-4 nonimmigrant, your H-1B spouse must have been granted H-1B status under sections 106(a) and (b) of AC21 or be the beneficiary of an approved Form I-140. If USCIS revokes the Form I-140 petition, your H-1B spouse is no longer the beneficiary of an approved Form I-140. Therefore, you would not qualify for employment authorization based on that eligibility criterion. You may still qualify for employment authorization if your H-1B spouse has received an extension of stay under sections 106(a) or (b) of AC21.

7. If I am granted H-4 employment authorization, can I work anywhere (including starting my own business)?

Yes. If you are granted employment authorization based on your H-4 status, your employment authorization is unrestricted. This means that your employment authorization is not limited to a specific employer. It also does not prohibit self-employment or starting a business.

Read the entire USCIS FAQ.

Remember that the USCIS FAQ is simply general information and should not be considered legal advice for your specific case. To avoid dangerous mistakes in your H-4 EAD or other immigration case, contact us.