H-4 Dependents’ eligibility to have a Work Permit (EAD)

Based on President Obama’s Executive Action announced in November 2014, USCIS has recently expanded the eligibility for the Employment Authorization Document filing on February 24, 2015.

“Allowing the spouses of these visa holders to legally work in the United States makes perfect sense,” USCIS Director Leon h4visaholder_work_authorization-e1372649234387Rodríguez said. “It helps U.S. businesses keep their highly skilled workers by increasing the chances these workers will choose to stay in this country during the transition from temporary workers to permanent residents. It also provides more economic stability and better quality of life for the affected families.”

With the change, certain H-4 dependents are eligible to file for an EAD.  To be eligible, an individual must be the H-4 dependent spouse of an H-1B visa-holder who is (1) the principal beneficiary of an approved Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker; or (2) has received extended H-1B status beyond the six-year limit based on AC 21 (American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act of 2000 as amended by the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act) – which is a Labor Certification application or an I-140 pending at least 365 days.

USCIS will begin accepting these eligible H-4 dependents’ EAD applications on May 26, 2015. Please note that H-4 dependents’ EAD applications submitted before May 26, 2015 will be rejected.

Please stay tuned and contact the experienced lawyers at Just Law International, P.C. to prepare and file your H-4 spouses’ new EAD application.

Please consult an attorney for advice about your individual situation.  The information provided on this site is not legal advice, nor is it intended to be.  You are welcome to get in touch with our law firm by electronic mail, letters, or phone calls.  Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship.  Until an attorney-client relationship is established, please withhold from sending any confidential information.

Beware of H-1B Deadline

The H-1B visa program is the most practical way for US businesses to hire foreign professional workers.  This visa is for specialty occupations that require a bachelor’s degree in a specialty field or equivalent combination of education and/or experience.   Employment under the H-1B visa may be approved for three years and can be extended for another three year increment, totaling a maximum of six years.  Certain H-1B holders pursuing a green card are eligible to extend the visa beyond the 6 year limitation.

April 1Please keep in mind that H-1B petitions may not be filed year-round.   This particular visa type has a numerical limit that USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services) accepts every fiscal year.  The number is called the “cap” and the current annual cap is 65,000 for regular H-1B applicants plus an additional 20,000 H-1B visas are available as the Master’s degree cap exemption.  This means that USCIS accepts only the first 85,000 petitions from US employers annually.  USCIS will begin accepting H-1B applications on April 1 and will continue to accept filings for the subsequent five business days.  Most years, the cap is not only met within those first few days of the open, about three times the number of H-1B petitions are filed than visas exist.  If more than 65,000 petitions are received during the first week of April, USCIS performs a computerized lottery to randomly select the petitions to review.  Non-selected petitions are returned along with filing fees uncashed.  The cap-subject H-1B employment starts on October 1.

For F-1 students with OPT (Optional Practical Training), timely H-1B filing will extend your OPT until the H-1B start date of October 1.  Please consult with a lawyer for more details and options.

US employers must plan ahead to avoid missing the H-1B filing deadline.  There are certain prerequisites to file an H-1B petition with USCIS, and US employers are encouraged to contact an immigration lawyer as early as possible.

The experienced attorneys at Just Law International, P.C. are  fully equipped to serve you in preparing and filing H-1B petitions.  Please contact us and schedule a consultation to discuss further details and options.

Please consult an attorney for advice about your individual situation.  The information provided on this site is not legal advice, nor is it intended to be.  You are welcome to get in touch with our law firm by electronic mail, letters, or phone calls.  Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship.  Until an attorney-client relationship is established, please withhold from sending any confidential information.