Thanks to legislation passed in the 2014/2015 session, some H4 spouse visa holders became eligible to submit applications for Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) on May 26th of 2015. Berd & Klauss, PLLC, immigration attorneys based in New York City, explain the eligibility requirements, along with a few of the law's finer points that may affect you.
Their spouse must hold a valid H-1 visa, which must be in valid status. If it is not, the H4 visa-holding spouse must wait until the valid status is restored. In addition, the spouse must either:
- Be the beneficiary of an approved I-140 petition, even if the visa holder moved on to another employer. The specific category in which the petition was approved is irrelevant, as is the duration of residency within the United States. There is no waiting period, so H4 visa spouses can apply for EAD immediately.
- Have extended H-1B status beyond the initial six years, which occurs when the employer files a Perm Labor Certification filed for the beneficiary spouse. This petition must not have been denied or revoked, and cover six full years of residency.
This program offers H4 spouses considerable benefits, especially the ability to work legally in the U.S., regardless of the type of industry in which they want to find employment. It even entitles them to start a business and pursue a variety of other opportunities.
Visit immigration attorneys Berd & Klauss, PLLC online to see their full list of legal services, or just call (212) 461-7152 to learn more about recent changes to immigration law.