H-4 Visa Holders – Your Dream to work in the U.S. is not too far off!

We are almost there! Yes! I am talking about the EAD (work permit) for H-4 Visa Holders. We are not too far off from having the rule passed for the H-4 Visa Holders able to work in the United States.  This Rule has been submitted by the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) and DHS (Department of Homeland Security) last year and this has now been moved forward and is now under review.

Check out our previous post on Options for H-4 Visa Holders

EAD for H-4 Holders - Eligibility Criteria

This rule would fall a little short of giving EAD’s for all the H4 Visa Holders. But those H-4 spouses of H-1B non-immigrants who have their green card process in progress might be able to avail this opportunity.

The abstract of the Rule, RIN: 1615-AB92 states that:

The Department of Homeland Security proposes to amend its regulations by extending the availability of employment authorization to H-4 dependent spouses of principal H-1B non-immigrants who have begun the process of seeking lawful permanent resident status through employment and have extended their authorized period of admission or “stay” in the U.S. under section 104(c) or 106(a) of Public Law 106-313, also known as the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act of 2000 (AC21). Allowing the eligible class of H-4 dependent spouses to work encourages professionals with high demand skills to remain in the country and help spur the innovation and growth of U.S. companies. 

Current Status

The Rule details from the Office of Regulatory Review are accessible here. Below is the rule summary, Pending EO 12866 Regulatory Review having the current status on this proposed rule, updated on the 10th of December 2012:

What Next?

This proposed rule is now pending review and final Rule making process. This rule is not immediately effective, but after it completes the rule making process, it is submitted to the white house for approval. We are not too far away. This process should be done and we should have some news with in the next 6 months hopefully.

Hopefully this new rule would fulfill the dreams of those H-4 Visa Holders who have been waiting to get to start working in the United States. Do send us your questions, suggestions and share your experiences by writing to us at admin@h1bwiki.com

  • Ramya

    Cant wait for this thanks for a wonderful update!!

  • ksns

    What about F2 visa holders?? Is this rule applied to them too?? can someone post some options about F2 visa holders…Tell me some options to change of status from f2 visa to any other ..

    • kiran

      No, this proposal is only for H-1B people who has started their green card processing. This is just a proposal. Still a long way to go.

      • ksns

        oh thnq for ur reply….

  • Viman

    So H-4s of those H1-B who have their green card application started get work authorization or only those who have filled the I-485 form (Third stage of green card processing) ?

    • Amol

      Same question I have..

    • Ramesh

      If this proposal is approved, I think those who have started the green card processing is eligible for this.

  • jenn

    what stage of green card they can work?

  • ThinkBeyond

    I have a big doubt. Won’t this go to House and Senate for approval before it can become a law. How can USCIS and DHS decide what they want to do. Any rule or law has to be passed in house/senate before it can be applied. And that means, it can take years and years. Right?

  • Kumar

    No this rule is only applicable to those who are entering into 7th year of extension of H1b on I-140 approval..

    • ANZI

      Actually it is either with labor or I-140 approval and those entering into 7th year and beyond..

  • Samarsh

    It would be a blessing to have this law implemented.

  • anny

    This means nothing !!! One has to be in the US more than six years before becoming eligible for an EAD. Almost all other visa categories for non-immigrants, the wives/husbands can start working right away. And the same goes for the over one million permanent immigrants that are admitted every year.

    Believe someone who has become an H-4 for life: if you cannot start working in the US in the first year after arriving here, the chances that you will work become very small. Employers see someone who has not worked for six (!) years as damaged material and will not hire these people, exceptions excluded of course.

    I waited for eight years for my green card – and when I tried to land a job after all that time I was laughed at…. So now I am in this country for 18 years and I have never been allowed/able to work.

    Consequently I have no right voor SS or Medicare.

    So our dream is still far far off. And why is it called a dream ? Being allowed to do productive work should be a human right.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003620567670 John Rock

      hey dummy, this is a new rule. What u went through is according to the old rule.

      New rule states that, H4 dependents can work, either as soon as the green card application is submitted or H1B after 6 yrs is extended

    • Nana

      What’s your profession?

    • Legalexpert john

      check out this blog for a good perspective.. http://www.h4ead.blogspot.com

  • manisha

    Hi, I am a H4 visa holder. so i have to wait for 6 years to get my husband green card process to get EAD?

  • Nana

    I got interviews and received an offer from an employer that sponsors H1B in the first month I arrived in the US, so I believe there are no restrictions to apply for jobs and search for an H1B sponsor. The only restrictions are the H1B timelines and caps. In my case, the cap was exceeded this year, so they’ve ran a lottery to select petitions to process and I was not selected. :/

    I’m not sure how the EAD for H4 will work, but I hope it will be more flexible: no timeline restrictions and caps…

  • Martin

    How about dependent kids of a H1-B visa who possesses H4 visas more than 6 years who are in high school, can they get green cards too?

  • barman

    is there a progress on the rule?

  • Arun

    Hi, I have H4 visa with I140 approved. have prior US experience on L1 A visa & have SSN. Let me know what all the possibilities of getting a work visa? Help will be very much appreciated. Thanks in

  • Suresh K. Volam

    Thanks for the detailed information. Do we have any update on this rule? When can we exepct it to become a law?

  • Legalexpert john

    Dream or Illogical Dream..Pls checkout this good blog… http://www.h4ead.blogspot.com

  • Legalexpert john

    check out this blog..to get a good perspective.. http://www.h4ead.blogspot.com

  • drprashams

    Any updates on this amendment yet? i came to US about 3 years back and it’s been two years since my green card process started, if this amendment gets approved at white house, can my wife start working right away or wait for 6 years to complete?