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H-4 Spouse Employment Authorization and H-1B Cap Reminder

On May 26, 2015, USCIS will begin accepting employment authorization applications for some H-4 dependent spouses. H-4 spouses are eligible for work authorization if their H-1B spouses have:

  1. an approved Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, or

  2. have been granted H-1B status beyond six years under the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act of 2000.

Eligible H-4 dependent spouses must file a Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization, with the required $380 fee, to obtain employment authorization.

Employers may first apply for 2016 H-1B visas for individuals not currently in H-1B status on April 1, 2015 with a start date of October 1, 2015. USCIS received approximately 172,500 H-1B petitions during the first week applications were accepted for the 2015 H-1B visa cap and conducted a random lottery to select the 85,000 petitions for the H-1B cap (65,000 for the general category and 20,000 for the US advanced degree category). We anticipate similar high demand again this year. This H-1B cap limitation does not apply to extensions of H-1B status or those obtaining H-1B status to teach at colleges, universities, related nonprofit or government research organizations or J waiver physicians. If your company has potential H-1B candidates working on post-education employment authorization that will expire prior to October 1, 2016, please contact us to prepare H-1B petitions for these individuals as soon as possible to secure an available visa.

© 2019 Varnum LLP

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About this Author

Kimberly A. Clarke, Varnum, Immigration Lawyer
Partner

Kim focuses her practice on immigration matters, including nonimmigrant petitions, both employment- and family-based permanent residence applications, expatriation and foreign visa issues. She has developed a strong background in the area of worker verification issues and managed clients through internal and agency Form I-9 audits, USICE compliance investigations and civil criminal charges.

In addition, Kim maintains a specialty practice of consultation with agricultural clients and handles various agricultural labor and employment issues such as compliance with...

616-336-6441
Nina A. Thekdi, immigration lawyer, Varnum
Partner

Nina focuses her practice on business and family-based immigration matters.  Her experience encompasses nonimmigrant visa petitions including H-1B visas, L-1A and L-1B visas, TN visas under the NAFTA treaty, and O-1 visas. She also assists clients with employment-based permanent residence petitions including the labor certifications process, EB-1 extraordinary ability, EB-1 outstanding professor and researchers and EB-1 multinational managers and executives petitions; family-based permanent residence applications; naturalization applications; and foreign visa issues.   She guides clients through the process of obtaining short-term visas and permanent residence status for skilled personnel, including technical professionals, accountants, scientists, managers and executives.  Nina also provides counsel regarding effective immigration compliance programs.

248-567-7406