DHS starts to accept employment authorization applications from H4 visa holders

179,600 H4 visa holders would be eligible to work this year.

By Sujeet RajanUS-Visa

NEW YORK: It’s official: the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) started accepting applications for employment authorization for certain H-4 visa holders, from Tuesday, May 26.

On February 24, 2015, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that effective May 26, 2015, the DHS would begin accepting applications for employment authorization from certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants who are seeking employment-based lawful permanent resident status.

Despite a civil complaint by Save Jobs USA, who tried to stymie the effort of the DHS to give employment authorizations by filing a complaint in the court of Washington, DC – the fate of which is still not known – DHS announced today that they have started to receive the filings.

Read related previous stories on the complaint filed by Save Jobs USA:

http://www.americanbazaaronline.com/2015/04/27/no-work-permits-for-h4-visa-holders-lawsuit-filed-by-save-jobs-usa/

http://www.americanbazaaronline.com/2015/05/22/save-jobs-usas-civil-complaint-against-dhs-to-stop-h4-visa-holders-from-getting-ead-cards-is-discriminatory/

According to the rules of the DHS, the employment authorization cards, for those applications which get approved, have to be sent within 90 days.

Those H4 visa holders may apply for employment authorization under this rule if your H-1B nonimmigrant spouse:

  • Is the principal beneficiary of an approved Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker; or
  • Has been granted H-1B status 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 (AC21). AC21 permits H-1B nonimmigrants seeking lawful permanent residence to work and remain in the United States beyond the six-year limit on their H-1B status.

According to the USCIS, as many as 179,600 H4 visa holders are eligible to file the applications for employment authorization within the first year and 55,000 per year subsequently.

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