Some H-4 Holders can now get jobs (EAD for certain H4 Visa Holders)

Blog by AdviseHub

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The USCIS announced on February 24, that the spouses of H-1B Temporary Workers with an approved I-140, are now eligible to apply for an Employment Authorization card (EAD).  Spouses can apply for an EAD Card starting May 26, 2015.

This is an outstanding benefit for families who are waiting for a Priority Date to become current.

The only requirements are that the applicant be:

  • the spouse of a H-1B Temporary Worker,
  • that the H-1B holder have an approved I-140
  • the priority date is not current
  • OR the H-1B holder has used up their six years residency requirement and is still working due to extensions under AC21.  (Your spouse is waiting for an I-140 approval)

Children and other dependents of the H-1B are not eligible for EAD’s.  Any relatives staying with you, even if they are legally in the United States, will not be eligible.

What does this mean for the H-4?  With an EAD, you can work for any employer that will hire you.  Unlike your spouse, you don’t need a Bachelor’s Degree, or proof that you are a professional or technical worker, but you will need the appropriate qualifications for job you are applying for. You will also need to get a Social Security number, and you will have to pay taxes on anything you earn, just like every other worker.

You can submit an application ON OR AFTER May 26, 2015, but not before.  Early applications will be returned.  You will have to be patient about receiving your EAD, as there will be a lot of applications submitted then, but once you receive it, you can start working.  Because you will have to prove your status, you should work with an attorney to make sure you have all the documentation you need.  And don’t forget the $380.00 application fee.

 

Your EAD card will be valid for the same amount of time as your spouse’s H-1B.  When their H-1B expires and is renewed, you will also have to file for a new EAD.

What happens if my spouse no longer has H-1B status, or the marriage ends?  We’re not lawyers, so if that does happen, it’s best to consult a qualified attorney or immigration counsel.

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