US announced to allow work permits to spouses of H-1B visa holders from May 2015

Feb 25, 2015 16:20 IST

The United States (US) on 24 February 2015 announced that it would allow work permits to spouses of H-1B visa holders from 26 May 2015.

The move will benefit thousands of talented and professional Indian spouses who come to America but are unable to work.

Currently, spouses of H-1B visa-holders are not eligible to work. However, The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting applications for work visas from H-1B spouses from 26 May 2015.

The USCIS said the Department of Homeland Security was extending the eligibility for employment authorisation (EAD) to certain H4 dependent spouses of H-1B non-immigrants who are seeking employment-based Permanent Residency.

Eligible individuals include certain H4 dependent spouses of H-1B non-immigrants who are the beneficiaries of an approved Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, or satisfy at least one or more of the three conditions.

The conditions include that the principal H-1B worker must have an approved I-140 or be currently on an extended H-1B status beyond the six-year limitation based upon an I-140 petition application pending for at least 365 days.

Once USCIS approves the Form I-765 and the H4 dependent spouse receives an Employment Authorisation Card, he or she may begin working in the United States.

USCIS estimates the number of individuals eligible to apply for employment authorisation under this rule could be as high as 179600 in the first year and 55000 annually in subsequent years.

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