H-4 employment authorization changes

UPDATE |  May 21, 2015—USCIS has published additional guidance and FAQs about H-4 employment authorization.

March 5, 2015—The federal government recently announced some long-awaited changes related to work authorization for H-4 dependents. Starting May 26, 2015, if an H-1B scholar has a long-pending permanent residence case their H-4 spouse will be eligible to apply for work authorization.


H-4s can apply for work authorization if their H-1B spouse:

  1. Has an approved I-140 immigrant worker petition; OR
  2. Has received a 1-year extension of H-1B status beyond their 6th year based on a filed I-140 or labor certification.

H-4 children are not eligible for work authorization.

Filing instructions >>