On May 27, USCIS posted for comment on the Federal Register draft versions of Form I-765V, Application for Employment Authorization for Abused Nonimmigrant Spouse and its instructions. Under section 106 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, abused spouses of certain nonimmigrants are eligible for employment authorization: i.e., the spouses of foreign nationals in the following nonimmigrant categories:

  • A-1, A-2, and A-3 (foreign government diplomats and officials and their immediate family members, attendants, servants, and personal employees);
  • E-3 (Australian specialty occupation workers);
  • G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, and G-5 (employees of foreign governments and international organizations and their immediate family members, attendants, servants, and personal employees);
  • and H-1B, H-1B1, H-2A, H-2B, H-3, and H-4 (specialty occupation workers, Free Trade Agreement professionals from Chile and Singapore, temporary agricultural and non-agricultural workers, trainees and special education exchange visitors, and immediate family members of specialty occupation workers).

Earlier this year, March 8, 2016, USCIS released a Policy Memorandum regarding the eligibility of such applicants. Pursuant to the memo, along with the Form I-765V EAD application, credible evidence should be presented to prove various eligibility factors, including that the applicant resides in the United States, that the applicant is or was (under specific circumstances) married to the qualifying principal nonimmigrant spouse, that the applicant was last admitted to the United States in nonimmigrant status, and that the applicant or the applicant’s child was abused or subject to extreme cruelty by the principal nonimmigrant spouse. If approved, the EAD should be granted for two years. Supporting documentation should include copies of the marriage certificate, evidence of the abuse, and I-94 records and biographical identification documents of both the applicant and the principal spouse.

The draft EAD application Form for abused nonimmigrant spouses is six pages, while the regular Form I-765 used by applicants eligible for employment authorization under other bases is only one page. Form I-765V requests information not only on the applicant’s immigration status, but also on biographical physical features including ethnicity, race, height, weight, and eye and hair color. Form I-765V also allows for information to be completed regarding a safe mailing address and an interpreter. Further, the draft Form requests an Applicant’s Certification regarding the authenticity of documents and release of information. USCIS estimates that completing the application Form and preparing the documentation will take three hours per response.

USCIS encourages comments on the draft Form I-765V. Specifically, USCIS seeks feedback regarding whether the proposed collection of information on the form is necessary, the burden on the applicants to compete the form, the accuracy of USCIS’ estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, and the clarity, quality, and utility of the information to be collected. Comments will be accepted for 60 days, until July 26, 2016. All comments should reference OMB Control number 1615-NEW and Docket ID USCIS-2016-0004. Comments can be made online, by email, or by mail.