Certain H-4 spouses should be eligible for EAD work authorization soon
February 20, 2015
After many years of interest in the business community, we may expect some relief soon regarding work authorization for H-4 spouses. We anticipate an announcement in March or April. This comes almost a year after the government last May took a baby step to alleviate the pressure on employers and employees due to limited H-1B visas. The government published a proposed rule to grant two groups of H-4 spouses work authorization:
- where the primary H-1B worker has an approved I-140 petition; or
- where the primary H-1B worker has obtained an H-1B visa allowed under applicable law beyond the normal 6 years because her employer timely filed a PERM labor certification application and it was pending at least 365 days.
Over 6000 commenters responded to the proposed rule. It is not final yet, but as of February 9 the rule moved over to the Office of Management and Budget for final approval. Further, the government has approved the draft Form I-765, application for work authorization.
WSM will be working with employers on streamlined processes to assist in obtaining work authorization for eligible H-4 spouses.