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USCIS Issues New Policy For Employment Authorization for Certain H-4,E, and L Dependent Spouses

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is issuing policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual to address automatic extension of employment authorization documents (Form I-766 or EAD), for certain H-4, E, and L nonimmigrant dependent spouses.

Policy Highlights include:


• Provides that certain H-4, E, or L dependent spouses qualify for automatic extension of their existing employment authorization and accompanying EAD if they properly filed an application to renew their H-4, E, or L-based EAD before it expires, and they have an unexpired Form I-94 showing their status as an H-4, E, or L nonimmigrant, as applicable.


• Provides that the automatic extension of the EAD will continue until the earlier of: the end date on Form I-94 showing valid status, the approval or denial of the EAD renewal application, or 180 days from the date of expiration of the previous EAD.

• Provides that the following combination of documents evidence the automatic extension of the previous EAD, and are acceptable to present to employers for Form I-9 purposes: Form I-94 indicating the unexpired nonimmigrant status (H-4, E, or L), Form I-797C for a timely-filed EAD renewal application (Form I-765) stating “Class requested” as “(a)(17),” “(a)(18),” or “(c)(26),” and the facially expired EAD issued under the same category (that is, indicating Category A17, A18, or C26)


• Provides that E and L dependent spouses are employment authorized incident to their status and therefore they are no longer required to request employment authorization by filing Form I-765 but may continue to file Form I-765 if they choose to receive an EAD.4


Please visit USCIS at the following link for more information:

https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/document/policy-manual-updates/20211112-EmploymentAuthorization.pdf

Please call our office if you would like more information about this memorandum and its impact on one’s works eligibility for these employment authorization categories.

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