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Employment Authorization for H-4 Dependent Spouses – USCIS

Employment Authorization for H-4 Dependent Spouses – USCIS

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Eligibility Requirements:

You are eligible if you are the H-4 dependent spouse of an H-1B non-immigrant if your H-1B non-immigrant spouse:

How to Apply?

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EVIDENCE OF… CAN BE SHOWN BY SUBMITTING…
Your H-4 status
  • A copy of your most recent Form I-797, Notice of Action, for Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Non-immigrant Status; or
  • A copy of Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, showing your admission or extension of stay as an H-4 non-immigrant.
A government-issued identification document with photo
  • A copy of your last EAD (if any);
  • A copy of the bio-metric page of your passport;
  • A birth certificate with photo ID;
  • A visa issued by a foreign consulate; or
  • A national identity document with photo.
Your relationship to the H-1B non-immigrant
  • A copy of your marriage certificate.
Your basis for eligibility
  • Evidence that the H-1B non-immigrant is the principal beneficiary of an approved Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker (Form I-140).
    • You may show this by submitting a copy of the H-1B non-immigrant’s Form I-797 approval notice for Form I-140;
OR
  • Evidence that the H-1B non-immigrant has received an extension of stay under AC21 sections 106(a) and (b).
    • You may show this by submitting:
  1. A copy of the H-1B non-immigrant’s passports, prior Forms I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record), and current and prior Forms I-797 for Form I-129, Petition for a Non-Immigrant Worker; and
  2. Evidence to establish one of the following bases for the H-1B non-immigrant’s extension of stay:
    • Based on Filing of a Permanent Labor Certification Application: Submit evidence that the H-1B non-immigrant is the beneficiary of a Permanent Labor Certification Application that was filed at least 365 days prior to the expiration of the six-year limitation of stay. You may show this by submitting a copy of a print out from the Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) website or other correspondence from DOL showing the status of the H-1B non-immigrant’s Permanent Labor Certification Application. If DOL certified the Permanent Labor Certification, also submit a copy of Form I-797 Notice of Receipt for Form I-140 establishing that the Form I-140 was filed within 180 days of DOL certifying the Permanent Labor Certification;
OR
  • Based on a Pending Form I-140: If the preference category sought for the H-1B non-immigrant does not require a Permanent Labor Certification Application with DOL, submit evidence that the H-1B non-immigrant’s Form I-140 was filed at least 365 days prior to the expiration of the six-year limitation of stay and remains pending. You may show this by submitting a copy of the Form I-797 Notice of Receipt for Form I-140.
Examples of Secondary Evidence: If you do not have any evidence relating to the H-1B non-immigrant as described in “a” or “b” above, you may ask USCIS to consider secondary evidence in support of your application for work authorization as an H-4 spouse. For example, such information may include the receipt number of the H-1B non-immigrant’s most current Form I-129 extension of stay request or the receipt number of the H-1B non-immigrant’s approved Form I-140 petition. Failure to provide necessary information about the H-1B non-immigrant may result in a delay in the adjudication or denial of your application for employment authorization.
Photos for card production
  • Two identical two-by-two-inch passport-style color photographs of yourself

Translations

If you submit any documents containing a foreign language to USCIS, you must also submit a full English language translation that the translator has certified as complete and accurate. The translator must also certify that he or she is competent to translate from the foreign language into English.

Form Filing Tips:

When filing Form I-765, please mail it to the proper location based on the chart below.
For your convenience, you may file Form I-765 with Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Non-immigrant Status, or with both Form I-539 and the H-1B principal non-immigrant’s Form I-129, Petition for a Non-immigrant Worker. However, USCIS will not process your Form I-765 (except filing fees) until after USCIS has adjudicated your Form I-539. The 90-day period for adjudicating Form I-765 filed together with Form I-539 does not begin until USCIS has determined whether you are eligible for the underlying H-4 non-immigrant status, whether your spouse is eligible for the underlying H-1B non-immigrant status, or both. Do NOT e-file Form I-765. You must mail your form together with evidence and fees to the appropriate filing location as outlined above.

Validity of Employment Authorization:

You will not be eligible to work until USCIS approves your Form I-765 application. Once your employment authorization is approved, the expiration date on your EAD will likely be the same date as the expiration date on your most recent Form I-94 indicating your H-4 non-immigrant status. You are only authorized to work through the expiration date on your EAD. If you still will be eligible for work authorization after that date, you should file for a renewal EAD by submitting another Form I-765. You cannot file for a renewal EAD more than 120 days before your original EAD expires.
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