If you are an H4 spouse of an H-1B skilled worker currently residing in the US, you might now be eligible for a work permit (Employment Authorization Document, or EAD). This is a great change in policy that will allow many brilliant and qualified spouses to enter the workforce. If your H-1B spouse is trying to become a permanent resident, you could qualify.
If you are H-4 and want a work permit, you must EITHER have a spouse whose Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, was approved, OR, your spouse must have received permission to remain in the US on H-1B nonimmigrant status beyond the six-year limit.
To apply for a work permit as an H-4 spouse, you need to file Form I-765 with the $380 fee and the required supporting evidence. You’ll need to provide evidence of your identity, H4 status, marriage and proof of your spouse’s immigration status, such as a copy of the approval notice of Form I-140 or evidence that your spouse received an extension of stay under AC21 sections 106(a) and (b), as well as two photos. Once it is approved and you receive your EAD, you can start working in the U.S.
This is a wonderful, long-awaited change that will allow some families to be alleviated from the difficulty of having one spouse unable to earn an income.