New rule have been proposed to provide work authorization EAD for H4 Visa holders in certain conditions.

Key terms to know

  • EAD – Employment Authorization Document or Work Permit
  • H4 Visa Work Permit -  H4 is issued for dependents of H1B visa holders
  • Not all H4 Visa spouses will qualify for work permit. (“certain spouses”).
  • DHS – Department of Homeland Security.

Lot of people have been waiting for long time for this rule to be implemented.  Since, H1B Cap for 2015 is over in first 5 days, White House have released a fact sheet on implementing this rule.

Short Updates Tracker

  • April 8, 2014 – White House Announced Fact sheet to allow certain H4 visa holders to get EAD. Details below.
  • Feb, 2014 – USCIS haven’t implemented this rule or made any progress. It’s still listed in their Rule Making Agenda.
  • March, 2013 – Review Extended by OMB.
  • Feb, 2012 – This Rule was proposed in Feb of 2012.

Specifically, employment ( work permit ) will be authorized for H4 visa dependent spouses of principal H-1B visa holders who have begun the process of seeking lawful permanent resident status through employment after meeting a minimum period of H-1B status in the U.S.

This effort will help retain talented professionals who are valued by U.S. employers and who seek to contribute to our economy.

April 2014

Attracting the World’s Best and Brightest: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will soon publish several proposed rules that will make the United States more attractive to talented foreign entrepreneurs and other high-skill immigrants who will contribute substantially to the U.S. economy, create jobs, and enhance American innovative competitiveness.  These proposed regulations include rules authorizing employment for spouses of certain high-skill workers on H-1B visas, as well as enhancing opportunities for outstanding professors and researchers. These measures build on continuing DHS efforts to streamline, eliminate inefficiency, and increase the transparency of the existing immigration system, such as by the launch of Entrepreneur Pathways, an online resource center that gives immigrant entrepreneurs an intuitive way to navigate opportunities to start and grow a business in the United States.

Above statement was part of new fact sheet released by White House. Hope this will result in some progress from USCIS on new rule making agenda.

We have to wait for exact language from White House or DHS to know who would qualify for “certain” H4 spouse as per April 2014 update.

Please Implement this EAD for H4 Rule ASAP #DHS. Tweet: Please Implement this EAD for H4 Rule ASAP.  #DHS  via @happyschools  http://ctt.ec/P5XGa+

March 2013

Previous update us listed below – Status update as of March/9/2013 – Rule Review Extended.

In order for the this rule to be implemented, there is a process that DHS, they have to complete review via OMB.

This work authorization for H4 rule was received by OMB on Dec/10/2012. Typical Time taken for PMB to review the Rule is 90 days.

90 Days have come and gone. OMB has extended the EAD for H4 visa holders rule review.

h4 ead rule extended

I don’t know how long the extended review will last.

Looks like if the Rule is classified as Economically Significant, then this rule could have been reviewed faster.

I know several H4 visa holders are hoping for this new EAD for H4 rules to pass, so they can start working. I personally know several H4 Visa holders who are highly qualified, talented are spending time as home makers.

EAD for H4 Visa

 

This is part of initiative to Attract And Retain Highly Skilled Immigrants.

  • Provide work authorization for spouses (H4 Visa) of certain H1B holders.

This proposed change to the current DHS regulation would allow certain spouses of H-1B visa holders to legally work while their visa holder spouse waits for his or her adjustment of status application to be adjudicated.

Here is more detailed information on who will be qualified under new proposed H4  work option rule

  • This means that if the H4 Visa souse’s whose principal H1B Visa holder have spent less than 6 years in H1B cannot get EAD.

At  a minimum, a PERM labor certification or I-140 would have to have been filed, and even approved to qualify for the 3 year H1B extension, if less than 365 days had elapsed since submission.

Who qualifies for EAD for H4

For instance,  a person named John, who is working on H1B in USA for 1 year, gets married. Wife Anita, get H4 visa and comes to USA.

Anita (H4 spouse) will not be eligible to get EAD under this new rule right away.

In order for Anita to get EAD for H4 Visa, she must wait for John to complete 5 more years in H1B for a total of 6 years.

Check if you or your spouse qualify for EAD for H4 Rule? Tweet: Please Implement this EAD for H4 Rule ASAP.  #DHS  via @happyschools  http://ctt.ec/P5XGa+

Stay tuned for more updates on this new proposed EAD for H4 visa rules. We have been waiting for long time for this rule to be implemented right?

 

Comments

  1. The new rule for h4 spouses announced in april 2014..Is this applicable only to h1b visa holder sppouses with green card wait or to all h1b visa holder spouses?? Pls clarify

  2. The new rule for h4 spouses announced in april 2014..Is this applicable only to h1b visa holder sppouses with green card wait or to all h1b visa holder spouses??Pls clarify

  3. Please pass this bill. We also want to work. to sitting idle at home is really waste of time and our study. Please give us the opportunity to work .

  4. What the hell? What about highly skilled MBA spouses who have been working in MNCs in India and now because of this bloody system are doing dishes and household chores in America? Why aren’t those spouses being considered here? I have seen a lot of Indian spouses in America who work in companies like Oracle, Microsoft, Tata.. They cannot speak proper English and do not have US degrees. How are these people getting visas and jobs? While it’s a sucidal situation for the well deserved ones!

  5. I had to re-read the aeticle to allow myself to believe this. Definitely good news for some of us and totally fair too , considering that EB2 and EB3 wait is very long.

    Also, my husband is in the exact same situation(6+ years of H-1, I-140 approved andn ow waiting). I am on F-1 status. Can I change my status to H-4 if this rule takes implementation so that I may be eligible to apply for EAD?

  6. My spouse has completed 4 years on H1 and his I 140 is done. His H1 is till 2015 and then it gets revnewal. I am on H4. Am i eligible for this new rule as I 140 is done.

  7. Dear Friends,
    I request you to join http://www.facebook.com/groups/H4Visa/. As you all know that USCIS has proposed a rule to give EAD to H4 visa holders.
    After two months they will open it for public comments as well. Lot of activities are going on the page to get this rule passed asap.
    DHS’s historical data suggests that the rules approved pretty fast. I think it would take at least 6 months to for the law to be changed 2 months comment period,1 to 2 months for rule making, 2 months for USCIS to prepare internally before they can accept applications. Please, spread the word to get H4 curse end for good.

    • Dear Friends,
      I request you to join http://www.facebook.com/groups/H4Visa/. As you all know that USCIS has proposed a rule to give EAD to H4 visa holders.
      After two months they will open it for public comments as well. Lot of activities are going on the page to get this rule passed asap.
      DHS’s historical data suggests that the rules approved pretty fast. I think it would take at least 6 months to for the law to be changed 2 months comment period,1 to 2 months for rule making, 2 months for USCIS to prepare internally before they can accept applications. Please, spread the word to get H4 curse end for good.

  8. http://wh.gov/8hrD

    please click on this link to sign in the petition for EAD for H4 VISAs… thank you.. this needs to be shared and signed but December 07, 2012… and reach 25,000 signatures..

    thank you…

  9. Hey raghu is that rule passed or not
    I have a question my husband staying in us since 6yrs his I140 got approved but he is on EB3 if that rule passed am i eligible for EAD

  10. My husband is on H1 from last 5 years. he is changing his job and the next employer says that they will file for green card in next 6 months. can anybody tell that how long it usually takes to get an EAD after the company has sponsored the green card?

    P.S i am more concerned about my ead as i am on a H4 house wife.

    Cheers!!!!

      • 4- 6 years is a pretty long time.

        can you tell me something about I140 and I485? is there something that can help us in getting our EAD’s as early as possible.

        Thanks for ur earlier response.

  11. Hello HSB,
    My Husband came to US on 2005 and he applied for green card on June 2007. we got married on 2008. I came on H4 dependent Visa. His I140 is approved and he is working in the same company.
    Here is my Question,
    Am I eligible for applying an EAD?
    I need clarification on this thing
    My husband spend more than 7 years on H1b visa and he renewed his EAD twice. But its been only 5 years since he applied for a permanent residents (his priority date is June 2007).
    Somewhere I read that the Principal H1B Visa holder have spent at least 6 years in H1B from the priority date and then H4 Visa dependent can get EAD.

    May I get an EAD?

    Thanks in advance!

  12. Hi.
    My wife is travelling US on H1. I have H4 visa stamped.
    Also i got my H1 visa filed from India through a employer in US.
    Now my question is – should i wait in India till i get visa approval and stamping or should i travel US on H4 and then apply for H4 to H1 transfer. Which way has more chances to get H1 and also let me know the pros and cons of either process.

    • hi Narsing,
      I have question for you, My wife is travelling US on H1B, I have applied for H4, Can we keep any paper for my working company (leave letter or our designation etc.), can you guide me plz.

  13. From the link HSB gave on Feb 12 I get a feeling that EAD for h4 doesn’t seem to be forthcoming across the board but only on a selective basis depending upon the capacity of principal h1 holder.
    But even it happens so, it is a good beginning!!!!

  14. Sir,

    Please let me know as one of the senator is opposing for this rule? still hopes are alive for this rule to be intiated in mar2012 ?? waiting for the rule H4 can get EAD after spouse completion of 6 yrs stay in US

    Fingers crossed for this rule !!

  15. What is the basis of this article? I could not find any us covet website announcing then same. Appreciate your help.

  16. We stayed in us for 3 yes from 2006 to 2009 in l1 n l2 visa and our I – 140 is cleared. Now my hubby has got h1 visa and I will join him as h2. Is there a chance for me to get EAD ?

  17. Hello,

    So from your post I can see that, H4 will be eligible for EAD only if primary H1 B has completed 6 years stay in USA and have applied or has approved I 140

    In my case, I will be completing 6 years stay in 2014 but I have applied for my labor. So as per your blog my dependent cannot get an EAD? what options do you think I have for my dependent to have EAD if this rule is implemented?

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