The Department of Homeland Security’s latest proposal would allow certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B principal nonimmigrants to obtain employment authorization from USCIS. The Department of Homeland Security states that if this proposal is passed, it would benefit H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B principal nonimmigrants who are in the process of obtaining a green card through employment.
H-1B principal nonimmigrants who are considered to be “in the process of obtaining a green card through employment” are those who have an approved I-140 petition, or have been granted an extension of their stay in the United States under the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act of 2000 (AC21).
The purpose of this proposal is to relieve the financial burden of H-1B principal nonimmigrants while they are awaiting for their green cards through employment since under current law H-4 dependent spouses are not allowed to work in the United States. The Department of Homeland Security believes such proposal would further their goal of attracting and retaining highly skilled foreign workers in the United States.