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Work Authorization for H-4 Dependents?

Work Authorization for H-4 Dependents?

Courtesy of Bashyam & Spiro Immigration Law Group

The USCIS allows spouses of individuals on L-1 (intracompany transfer) status to apply for work authorization. Shouldn't spouses of H-1B visa holders be afforded the same opportunity?

It looks like that may happen in certain situations.

On Dec. 10, 2012 the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) began a review of proposed changes to a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulation to allow certain spouses of H-1B visa holders to legally work. Although the specifics of the proposal remain unclear, it appears that employment authorization would be limited to a select group of H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants. The proposed group includes the spouses of those H-1B nonimmigrants who seek lawful permanent resident status through employment.