Since May 26, 2015, an H-4 dependent spouse can get work authorization if the H-1B spouse:
- Has an approved Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker; or
- Has received an H-1B extension beyond the six-year limit, based upon a pending employment-based green card application.
The USCIS recently updated its responses to frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the H-4 employment authorization document (EAD), information on eligibility, the application process, processing times, and more.
Here are some of the key FAQs for your attention:
2. Is this a one-time opportunity?
No, this is not a one-time opportunity. If you are a H-4 nonimmigrant who obtains employment authorization under 8 CFR 274a.12(c)(26), you may file to renew your employment authorization and receive a new EAD as long as you remain eligible for employment authorization as described in 8 CFR 214.2(h)(9)(iv).
4. Am I eligible for employment authorization if USCIS revoked my H-1B spouse's approved Form I-140 petition?
In order to qualify for employment authorization as an H-4 nonimmigrant, your H-1B spouse must have been granted H-1B status under sections 106(a) and (b) of AC21 or be the beneficiary of an approved Form I-140. If USCIS revokes the Form I-140 petition, your H-1B spouse is no longer the beneficiary of an approved Form I-140. Therefore, you would not qualify for employment authorization based on that eligibility criterion. You may still qualify for employment authorization if your H-1B spouse has received an extension of stay under sections 106(a) or (b) of AC21.
7. If I am granted H-4 employment authorization, can I work anywhere (including starting my own business)?
Yes. If you are granted employment authorization based on your H-4 status, your employment authorization is unrestricted. This means that your employment authorization is not limited to a specific employer. It also does not prohibit self-employment or starting a business.
Remember that the USCIS FAQ is simply general information and should not be considered legal advice for your specific case. To avoid dangerous mistakes in your H-4 EAD or other immigration case, contact us.