ANNOUNCED AS TEMPORARYNo
Labour market access
On February 25, 2015 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services of the Department of Homeland Security adopted (with amendments) a proposed rule that it had originally published in the Federal Register on May 12, 2014 (Volume 79, Number 91) to extend the availability of employment authorization to certain H-4 dependent spouses of principal H-1B nonimmigrants. The final rule took effect May 26, 2015.
The extension is limited to H-4 dependent spouses of principal H-1B nonimmigrants who are in the process of seeking lawful permanent resident status through employment. This population includes those H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants if the H-1B nonimmigrants are either the beneficiaries of an approved Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker (Form I-140) or who have been granted an extension of their authorized period of admission in the United States under the American Competitiveness in the Twenty- first Century Act of 2000 (AC21), as amended by the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act.
According to DHS, this regulatory change will lessen any potential economic burden to the H-1B principal and H-4 dependent spouse during the transition from nonimmigrant to lawful permanent resident status, furthering the goals of attracting and retaining high-skilled foreign workers.
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