At long last, USCIS has published a final rule implementing the ability of certain H-4 spouses to apply for work authorization. It will go into effect on May 26, 2015, more than a year after the initial proposed rule came out.
It covers those individuals present in the U.S. under H-4 visa status whose H-1B spouse is the beneficiary of an approved Form I-140 immigrant visa petition by a U.S. employer, or an approved extension of H-1B status after the 6th year, under the lengthy-adjudications provisions of AC21 (the American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act).
In order to permit the H-4 spouse to file a Form I-765 application for Employment Authorization under this new rule, the H-1B and H-4 spouses must still be married to each other, present in the United States, and maintaining valid visa status.
Break out the confetti!