The USCIS may soon permit some H-4 spouses to apply for employment authorization. A new regulation that is in progress would allow an H-4 dependent to apply for work authorization if his or her H-1B spouse (1) has an approved Form I-140 petition or (2) at least 365 days have passed since a PERM application or I-140 petition was filed for the H-1B spouse. The H-1B spouse must hold or be seeking an extension of H-1B status beyond the sixth year limit based on the pending permanent residency effort. This new regulation must advance through the federal rulemaking process and will therefore not appear in final form until later this year.
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