Employment Authorization for Dependent Spouses with H-4 Visas
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) gives H-4 status to an H-1B visa holder’s spouse and dependent children. An H-4 visa allows a spouse and children to live and attend school in the U.S., but it does not permit a spouse to work.
Some H-4 spouses may be eligible to get a work permit, or Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
To apply for a work permit, H-4 visa holders must show his/her spouse has either:
- An approved Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker or
- Permission to remain in the U.S. with an H-1B nonimmigrant status beyond the six-year limit.
To apply for a work permit, an H-4 spouse must:
- Show H-4 status.
- Provide a government-issued photo identification.
- Show her/his H-4 dependent relationship to the H-1B nonimmigrant.
- Submit photographs of the H-4 dependent for card production.
What Happens Next?
USCIS will notify you in writing of its decision. Once USCIS approves your EAD, you may start working in the U.S.
- $410 filing fee for Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization)
- Related Forms
- Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization)
- USCIS Processing Time
- About 3 months
- Immigrant Intent
- You intend to live permanently in the U.S.
- Who Qualifies
- An H-4 visa holder whose spouse is a permanent resident in the U.S. or has an H-1B status beyond six years.
- Period of Validity
- One or two years, at the discretion of USCIS.