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No Automatic Extensions for Spousal Visa Work Permits: Judge (1)

Nov. 4, 2020, 4:24 PMUpdated: Nov. 4, 2020, 4:38 PM

Spouses of specialty-occupation visa holders aren’t owed an automatic extension of their work authorization permits despite processing delays at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a federal judge has ruled.

Magistrate Judge Jacqueline S. Corley for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ruled Tuesday that H-4 nonimmigrant status doesn’t automatically confer eligibility for employment authorization.

The H-4 visa program grants work permits, or employment authorization documents, to the spouses of H-1B specialty-occupation workers who are waiting for green cards to become available. More than 120,000 people—most of them women from India—have applied for spousal employment authorization documents. ...