Due to an immigration application backlog, which was worsened by the pandemic’s adverse effects on USCIS and the nearly four-month office closure of Application Support Centers (ASCs) and Field Offices,
Continue Reading Long Delays for Work Permits for L, H, and E Spouses Are Over

Due to an immigration application backlog, which was worsened by the pandemic’s adverse effects on USCIS and the nearly four-month office closure of Application Support Centers (ASCs) and Field Offices,
Continue Reading Long Delays for Work Permits for L-2 and H-4 Spouses Are Over

As an update (to this recent posting), we clarify that USCIS recently indicated in the Fall Unified Agenda the posting of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in November 2018 (see
Continue Reading USCIS Publishes a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to Remove Employment Authorization for Certain H-4 VISA Holders

On Feb. 24, 2015 the Department of Homeland Security issued a final rule providing for employment authorization for certain H-4 dependent spouses. This is one of the most significant changes to employment-based immigration to occur in many years.

Who is eligible? Only certain H-4 dependents of H-1B nonimmigrants are eligible for employment authorization. The benefit is limited to H-4 dependent spouses (i.e., not children) of H-1B nonimmigrants who are the principal beneficiaries of an approved Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker (Form I-140), or who have been granted H-1B status in the United States under the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act of 2000 (AC21), generally by exhausting six years of H-1B eligibility and being the beneficiary of an I-140 which is retrogressed or a labor certification that has been pending with the government for at least one year.

When does the H-4 employment authorization rule take effect? DHS will begin accepting Applications for Employment Authorization (Forms I-765) submitted by eligible H-4 dependent spouses on May 25, 2015.

Continue Reading Work Authorization for (Some, But Not All) H-4 Visa Holders

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on May 6, 2014 the publication of two proposed rules to attract and retain highly skilled workers.

The first rule would allow spouses of certain H-1B holders to request employment authorization if their H-1B spouse is currently pursuing permanent residence through employment based sponsorship. H-1B dependents are currently not permitted to apply for work authorization. The H-1B visa is set aside for persons in specialty occupations that require theoretical or practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge, such as scientists, engineers, or computer programmers. H-1B employees are admitted for an initial three year period, with a maximum limit of six years. H-1B workers have the ability to extend their H-1B status beyond the six years under certain circumstances, including if a permanent residence application has been filed prior to the end of the fifth year of the H-1B eligibility period; or, if the H-1B worker has a PERM labor certification approved by the Department of Labor and an I-140 Petition approved by DHS.


Continue Reading DHS Proposed Rulemaking to Attract and Retain Highly Skilled Workers