I have heard some news today that got me all worked up! Apparently the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is proposing to extend the availability of employment authorization to certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1Bs. You can check the rule here: http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eAgendaViewRule?pubId=201210&RIN=1615-AB92
But basically it is as follows: “The proposed group of H-4 spouses who would be eligible for work authorization are those whose H-1B spouses are in the process of seeking lawful permanent resident status through employment and have extended their H-1B status beyond six years on that basis. Thus, under the proposed terms, an H-4 spouse whose H-1B spouse has not extended his/her H-1B status beyond 6 years based on an employment-based green card process will not be eligible to apply for an employment authorization document (EAD).”
Although it is still not the ideal situation, I’m glad that some changes are taking place (hopefully this rule will be accepted sometime soon) and that it is understood that “The benefits of this rule are retaining highly-skilled persons who intend to adjust to lawful permanent resident status. This is important when considering the contributions of these individuals to the U.S. economy, including advances in entrepreneurial and research and development endeavors, which are highly correlated with overall economic growth and job creation. In addition, the proposed amendments would bring U.S. immigration laws more in line with other countries that seek to attract skilled foreign workers.” (as included in the Anticipated Costs and Benefits of the Rule).
So, although not all H4s would be eligible, some certainly are. And the rest of us (yeah, it doesn’t apply to me yet) have to keep waiting for it to happen. While we are at it, we may as well do something useful with our time. Remember to keep busy and healthy. One day it will be your turn! 😉