Friday, December 14, 2012

Proposal to Allow H-4 Nonimmigrants to Work

From, 12/14/2012

Regulation to Grant Work Authorization to Spouses of Certain H-1Bs Submitted Under Review

A proposed USCIS rule that could allow certain H-4 nonimmigrants to apply for work authorization is now under consideration at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Though the contents of the rule are confidential until published in the Federal Register, the regulation is expected to allow H-4 nonimmigrants whose H-1B spouses have started the employment-based permanent residence process to apply for work authorization, provided that the principal spouse has been in the United States as an H-1B for a minimum period of time. The rule is at the proposal stage only, and the OMB approval process may take several months or more. 

The proposed change may mean that H-4s could become eligible for work authorization after a labor certification or immigrant worker petition has been filed on behalf of the H-1B spouse. Currently, an H-4 spouse can apply for work authorization only if he or she is the beneficiary of a pending application for adjustment of status – the last stage of the permanent residence process.

Any updates on this proposal will be posted on The Global Buzz