H-4 Domestic Violence Survivors and INA § 106 Employment Authorization

U Visa/T Visa/VAWA
Publication Date

Most H-4 spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants are ineligible for employment authorization and thus are financially dependent on the principal visa holder spouse. This dependence can be used as a tool for abuse and control in relationships and exacerbate domestic violence situations. INA § 106 allows survivors of domestic violence who are spouses of certain nonimmigrant visa holders to be eligible for work authorization independent of their spouse. This advisory provides an overview of employment authorization eligibility under INA § 106 for H-4 spouses of H-1B visa holders who are survivors of domestic violence.