Effective May 26, 2015, certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants will become eligible for their own employment eligibility. 

Eligible individuals include spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants who:

  1. Are the principal beneficiaries of an approved Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker; or
  2. Have been granted H-1B status beyond the usual 6-year maximum period of stay based on an application for labor certification (PERM application) that has been pending for 365 days or more, or is a beneficiary of a Form I-140 that has been pending for 365 days or more.

Eligible H-4 spouses can obtain work authorization by filing Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, with supporting evidence and the required $380 filing fee.  USCIS will begin accepting applications on May 26, 2015.  Once USCIS approves the Form I-765 and the H-4 spouse receives an Employment Authorization Document, he or she may begin working in the United States.