Monday, April 6, 2015

What are the advantages of being on H4 work permit rather than other work permits.

The long awaited H4 work permit is going to be here as from May 26, 2015. As such as from May 26, 2015, H4 visa holders or those changing to H4 visa under certain conditions, will be able to apply for an H4 visa work authorization (EAD). While some are rejoiced by this news, others are still quite confused whether they should apply or not. For example, those who are on OPT and student visas are still wondering whether they should shift to an H4 status and use the work permit. I will recommend talking to a lawyer before you make the move.
Depending on your situation, the H4 work authorization can either be a blessing or not such a blessing. Nonetheless, the H4 EAD is going to be very helpful because:
  1. The H4 EAD unlike OPT EAD does not come with any restrictions based on the number of limited days someone can be “unemployed” under regular OPT and additionally under STEM OPT extension the position must be a paid position. However, the H4 EAD, is dependent on the H1B spouse status, therefore any loss of status on H1 status will result to a loss of status of H4 and the employment authorization. So be careful when handling your H1B transfer and H1B extension.
  2. The H4 EAD will allow flexibility for those who want to open a business. As we were arguing for the change of the law, many will call us and explain that they have many ideas of opening their own companies and the H4 was previously a bar to this dream. Now with the H4 EAD new rule, an H4 EAD can actually open his or her own business.
  3. If both spouses have an H1B and their significant other qualifies for the H4 EAD, that is, has an approved form I-140 or under 6th year AC 21 extension, the parties can then choose to alternate between H4 EAD and H1B status.
  4. The H4 work permit has no limits except it must be reviewed every time it is expired unless other EADs especially on OPT. So you can use it anytime you want.
  5. There are no prevailing wage determination or labor condition application which require a certain amount to be paid to the H4 EAD except those prescribed under the regular federal minimum wages. This means many companies will be more willing to hire an H4 EAD rather than someone on H1B.
Some Tips on Applying for the H4 Work Permit can be found here

The above are only few things you can do with an H4 work authorization or few advantages of using the H4 EAD rather than an OPT or an H1B. However, depending on the circumstances, it might still be advisable for someone to continue on an OPT or an H1B visa. We recommend you call us at 510 742 5887, and visit for more information on the matter.

Information provided above is for educational purposes only. One should not act or refrain to act solely based on the information provided. You should consult an attorney to assess your case before proceeding.

Shah Peerally is an attorney licensed in California practicing immigration law anddebt settlement. He has featured as an expert legal analyst for many TV networks such as NDTV, Times Now and Sitarree TV. Articles about Shah Peerally and his work have appeared on newspapers such as San Jose Mercury News, Oakland Tribune, US Fiji Times, Mauritius Le Quotidien, Movers & Shakers and other prominent international newspapers. His work has been commended by Congress women Nancy Pelosi and Barbara Lee. He has a weekly radio show on KLOK 1170AM and frequently participates in legal clinics in churches, temples and mosques. His law group, Shah Peerally Law Group, has represented clients all over the United States constantly dealing with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS),mmigration and Custom Enforcement(ICE) and CBP (Customs Border Patrol (CBP) under he Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This department was formerly known as the Immigration and Nationality Services (INS).

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