The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is on the brink of publishing a final rule that will grant the right to work to H-4 dependents, if their H-1B high-skilled visa holder spouses are pursuing legal, permanent resident status via employment.
Effects of H-4 Employment Authorization Regulation
A proposed rule that was released on May 9th, 2014 would give employment authorization papers to the spouses of H-1B visa workers who have had their employment visa petitions approved. There are approximately 97,000 such spouses. In addition, the husbands and wives of H-1B workers who have received visa extensions under AC21, the American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act, will also receive employment authorization papers.
Timeframe is uncertain
USCIS has states that they will publish about the regulation allowing employment authorization for certain H-4 spouses. An exact timeframe is not given, however it will most likely be published in either December 2014 or January 2015.
Current Benefits of the H-4 Visa
The H-4 visa is primarily awarded to spouses of H-1B workers or their children. Individuals who maintain an H-4 status are able to receive certain benefits. Currently, an individual with a H-4 visa is permitted to open a US bank account and may also be allowed to conduct business in the United States.
Additionally, H-4 visa recipients are permitted to request a taxpayer identification number (TIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). In some cases a TIN can be used for the purpose of obtaining a driver’s license. For more detailed information on acquiring an H-4 visa, please visit:
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