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US to Give H-1B Spouses Work Permit
Mar 07, 2015

The US announced that it will provide work permits to spouses of H-1B visa holders beginning May 26, a move that is expected to benefit thousands of talented and professional Indian spouses who come to USA but are unable to work.

  • Under existing laws, spouses of H-1B visa holders, many of whom are Indians, are not eligible to work.

  • The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting applications for work visas from H-1B spouses on May 26.

  • Once USCIS approves the Form I-765 and the H-4 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 authorization under this rule could be as high as 179,600 in the first year and 55,000 annually in subsequent years.

  • Department of Homeland Security is extending the Eligibility for Employment Authorization (EAD) to certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B non-immigrants who are seeking employment based Permanent Residency.

  • Eligible individuals include certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B non-immigrants (principal H1B worker) 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 H1B worker has an approved 'I-140' or is currently on an extended H1B status beyond the 6-year limitation based upon an I-140 petition application pending for at least 365 days (one calendar year)

  • Recent State Department figures show that approximately 76 per cent of those who received H-4 status in 2013 were from South Asian countries.


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