On January 25, 2021, the Trump-era proposed regulation, “Removing H-4 Dependent Spouses from the classes of Aliens Eligible for Employment Authorization” was withdrawn. It is important to note that litigation remains pending in federal court challenging the DHS final rule promulgated in February 2015 that extends eligibility for employment authorization to certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants.
On January 20, President Biden announced an immigration bill, which would include a provision to provide work authorization to certain spouses of H-1B visa holders, along with addressing related issues like clearing the employment-based immigrant visa backlog, recapturing unused visas, reducing lengthy wait times, and eliminating the per-country visa caps. Although the bill has not yet been introduced in Congress and the text has not yet been released, the legislative proposal attempts to establish H-4 work authorization for dependents of H-1B visa holders as law.
Akula & Associates, PC will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available.