November 24, 2021
USCIS announces significant changes to rules relating to employment authorization for certain H-4, E, and L non-immigrant dependent spouses
Pursuant to a legal settlement and corresponding changes to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Policy Manual, which are effective immediately, E and L dependent spouses are considered employment authorized incident to their non-immigrant status. This means that a separate Employment Authorization Document (EAD) will (eventually) no longer be required in order for these foreign nationals to accept employment in the U.S. Furthermore, H-4 dependent spouses are now eligible for automatic extensions of their EADs for up to 180 days, provided that certain conditions are satisfied. Ultimately, these changes will expedite the entry of E and L dependent spouses into the U.S. labor market in addition to reducing and, in some cases, eliminating gaps in employment authorization for H-4 dependent spouses.
A Tax Alert prepared by EY Law LLP, and attached below, provides additional details.