H4 Visa

EAD for H4 Visa Rule Implemented – Process, Event & Timeline 2012 to 2015

Yay!. EAD for H4 Visa Rule was Approved (published) on Feb 24, 2105. It went into effect on May 26, 2015. But the H4 EAD Lawsuit stayed on. New Rule is proposed in Federal Register to Revoke H4 EAD. You can find the latest H4 EAD Lawsuit and Rule making to remove H4 EAD below.

EAD for H4 Visa rule was proposed to provide work authorization EAD for H4 Visa holders in certain conditions  and they are

  1. Approved I-140 pf H1B Spouse
  2. H1B Visa period is extended beyond 6 years limits via AC 21 Law.

Some key terms to know

  • EAD – Employment Authorization Document or Work Permit
  • H4 Visa Work Permit –  H4 is issued for dependents of H1B visa holders
  • Not all H4 Visa spouses will qualify for work permit. (“certain spouses”).
  • DHS – Department of Homeland Security.
  • USCIS – US Citizenship and Immigration Services

EAD for H4 Updates Tracker

Remember this : EAD for H4 Visa was published as a Rule not a Law.  Which means, if you are new to this whole process of U.S. Laws, you need to read  Rule Making Process for EAD for H4 Visa.

  • Dec 2017 – Rule Proposed in Federal Register to Remove H4 EAD.
  • Sep 29, 2017 – Trump Administration asked for 2 months extension
  • April 2017 – Trump Administration asked for 6 months extension
  • Feb 2017 – Trump Administration asked 60 days extension
  • Sep 28, 2016 – New challenge filed against DC Court Ruling
  • Sep 27, 2016 – Lawsuit was dismissed in the District Court
  • April 2016 – New Lawsuit filed to Challenge the Rule in district court (by Save Jobs USA)
  • My 26, 2015 – UCSIS will accept applications for ED for H-4 Visa
  • Feb 24, 2015 – Effective Date will be May 26, 2015
  • Feb 6, 2015 – USCIS Submitted Final rule for White House OMB approval
  • Nov 22, 2014 – Final Rule set to be published in Dec 2014.
  • Nov 20, 2014 – President Obama  unveils Executive Action
  • August 9, 2014 – When Rule can be published?
  • July 12, 2014 – Public Comment Period is Over. Next USCIS will review comment.
  • May 6, 2014 – DHS announces the criteria for qualified H4 Visa for EAD
  • April 8, 2014 – White House Announced Fact sheet to allow certain H4 visa holders to get EAD. Details below.
  • Feb, 2014 – USCIS haven’t implemented this rule or made any progress. It’s still listed in their Rule Making Agenda.
  • March, 2013 – Review Extended by OMB.
  • Feb, 2012 – This Rule was proposed in Feb of 2012.

This effort will help retain talented professionals who are valued by U.S. employers and who seek to contribute to our economy.

Dec 2017 – Rule to Remove H4 EAD

Title: Removing H-4 Dependent Spouses from the Class of Aliens Eligible for Employment Authorization
Abstract:On February 25, 2015, DHS published a final rule extending eligibility for employment authorization to certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants who are seeking employment-based lawful permanent resident (LPR) status.  DHS is publishing this notice of proposed rulemaking to amend that 2015 final rule.  DHS is proposing to remove from its regulations certain H-4 spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants as a class of aliens eligible for employment authorization.

Feb 24, 2015

Feb 6, 2015

ead for h4 rule omb review

Nov 22, 2014

Nov 20, 2014

August 9, 2014

I learned additional information about this rule and what to expect next.

  • Final Rule – Will not be drastically different than proposed.
  • USCIS – Reviews comments and Publish Final Rule.
  • OMB Review – It can take upto 90 more days of review. No minimum Review period.
  • After Final Review – Rule can be published.
  • Effective Date – 30 to 60 Days Delayed Effective Date.
  • It’s August 2014 : Based on Above Math, rule will not be effective until January 2015, if  reviews started by end of August.

July 12, 2014

  • Public Comment Period is Over.
  • USCIS will review the comments
  • Finalize the Draft of Interim Rule.
  • Submit the Rule to OMB for further Review ( 30 to 90 days)
  • Then White House have to Approve the Rule before publishing in Federal Register.
  • So, how long to wait? Few more months.

May 6, 2014

  • Department of Homeland Security announced the criteria “certain” H4 Visa spouses to get EAD.
  • Several  H4 Visa holders will not be eligible to work, about 100,000 in first year of this rule becoming effective.
  • See updates from this USCIS News here –  97,000 qualified spouses in H4 can get EAD.
  • As you can see 97,000 is later increased to 179,000 ( as of Feb 24, 2015 when Rule was published ).

April 2014

Attracting the World’s Best and Brightest: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will soon publish several proposed rules that will make the United States more attractive to talented foreign entrepreneurs and other high-skill immigrants who will contribute substantially to the U.S. economy, create jobs, and enhance American innovative competitiveness.  These proposed regulations include rules authorizing employment for spouses of certain high-skill workers on H-1B visas, as well as enhancing opportunities for outstanding professors and researchers. These measures build on continuing DHS efforts to streamline, eliminate inefficiency, and increase the transparency of the existing immigration system, such as by the launch of Entrepreneur Pathways, an online resource center that gives immigrant entrepreneurs an intuitive way to navigate opportunities to start and grow a business in the United States.

Above statement was part of new fact sheet released by White House. Hope this will result in some progress from USCIS on new rule making agenda. We have to wait for exact language from White House or DHS to know who would qualify for “certain” H4 spouse as per April 2014 update.

March 2013

Previous update us listed below – Status update as of March/9/2013 – Rule Review Extended. In order for the this rule to be implemented, there is a process that DHS, they have to complete review via OMB. This work authorization for H4 rule was received by OMB on Dec/10/2012. Typical Time taken for PMB to review the Rule is 90 days. 90 Days have come and gone. OMB has extended the EAD for H4 visa holders rule review.

h4 ead rule extended

I don’t know how long the extended review will last.

Looks like if the Rule is classified as Economically Significant, then this rule could have been reviewed faster.

I know several H4 visa holders are hoping for this new EAD for H4 rules to pass, so they can start working. I personally know several H4 Visa holders who are highly qualified, talented are spending time as home makers.

EAD for H4 Visa : 2012 – 2013

Updated ( 2014) : Following section applies to Rule when it was  introduced back in 2013 and 2013 time frame. New proposed rule is improver version of this section.  This section is still here, so you can learn about original proposal. This is part of initiative to Attract And Retain Highly Skilled Immigrants.

  • Provide work authorization for spouses (H4 Visa) of certain H1B holders.

This proposed change to the current DHS regulation would allow certain spouses of H-1B visa holders to legally work while their visa holder spouse waits for his or her adjustment of status application to be adjudicated.

Here is more detailed information on who will be qualified under new proposed H4  work option rule

  • This means that if the H4 Visa souse’s whose principal H1B Visa holder have spent less than 6 years in H1B cannot get EAD.

At  a minimum, a PERM labor certification or I-140 would have to have been filed, and even approved to qualify for the 3 year H1B extension, if less than 365 days had elapsed since submission.

Who qualifies for EAD for H4? For instance,  a person named John, who is working on H1B in USA for 1 year, gets married. Wife Anita, get H4 visa and comes to USA. Anita (H4 spouse) will not be eligible to get EAD under this new rule right away. In order for Anita to get EAD for H4 Visa, she must wait for John to complete 5 more years in H1B for a total of 6 years.

EAD for H4 Visa : 2014

You can read the latest information about this Work Permit for H4 Visa spouse in this article – 97,000 qualified spouses in H4 can get EAD. In short, following H-4 visa holders will qualify

  • H1B visa holder should have approved I-140 application  (and/ or)
  • H1B visa worker got H1B extension beyond 6 years using AC 21.

If you are new to green process, then you can read this article – Green Card Process Steps for  EB2 and EB3 Stay tuned for more updates on this new proposed EAD for H4 visa rules.

We have been waiting for long time for this rule to be implemented right? Questions? Let me know if you have any questions about this Work Permit or about USCIS implementation of this rule.

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  1. Can I renewal my H4 EAD based on H1B and H4 receipt notice.My spouse H1B and my H4 is pending.Please reply.Thanks

  2. Hi,
    Can I renewal my H4 EAD based on H1B and H4 receipt notice? My spouse H1B and my H4 is pending.Please reply.Thanks

    1. As far I know, you should have submitted H4 EAD along with H1B petition. You should wait for H1B and H4 to be approved and then apply for H4 EAD renewal.

  3. Hi Raghu,

    Hope you are doing good.

    I have query regarding H4 dependent work permit. We moved to USA on 15th Jne 2017 and i was on H4 visa and am looking for a job in IT industry. Could you please let me know am i eligible to apply for EAD now? If not , Please help me what can i do for getting a job here. Thanks in Advance !

    Waiting for your reply 🙂


  4. Please guide anyone out there. Please.

    Below is my situation;

    >We are here in US from past 10+ years. I was on H4 for 4 Years. We have got multiple extensions of H1b, H4 since then.
    > From 2010 I was on H1-B for 5 Years (Due to some personal reason had to leave job). My husband had an approved 140 from old employer but he changed his employer in last quarter of 2013. His new h1b visa valid till Oct 2016.
    > Not sure what happened or what employer did to 140 (Most likely its gone)
    > Right now I am on H4 and my husband Labor certificate is not approved (Audit/RFE), But his labor was filed in March 2015.

    I know that audit will take time, probably another 6 months.

    My husband Labor was filed 365 days before his h1b expiry. but in a few days it will be pending from 365 days?
    His H1b extension will be filed sometime later in April-May of this year 2016. So there is no AC21 or whatever is that 106(a) or (b) right now.

    Am I eligible for H4-EAD? Is there any case like this listed anywhere?

    Any guidance is very much appreciated.
    Though I have my 1 year remaining on H1b; Instead of going on H1b again, I was thinking if H4-Ead is possible for me?

    Please reply.

  5. Hello Mr.Raghu
    My wife is in H1B and I’m in H4, we live in Charlotte NC. I ‘ve more than 10 years of experience in the Hospitality industry. Its been already a year for me sitting idle at home as I’m in H4. I couldn’t find someone who can sponsor or process H1B for me as i’m with the hospitatlity background. would you please help me out with your valuable advice to proceed forward over my obstacles.

    1. I doubt;t you can get H1B in Hospitality field. H1B is speciality occupation and you may have to switch fields.

  6. Hi Raghu

    My Employer will process H1 in April this year. But I wanted to convert to H4 EAD before that due to some recent immigration changes. if i file for H4 now and get my EAD, the moment H1 is approved my H4 and EAD will they be void or can i continue to work on H4 till October.

    will my h4 EAD valid depends on the kind of H1 processing done(counselor processing or COS)?

  7. Hi,

    I have a question reg the H4 dependents work permit. Am working in a MNC and my company is processing H1B visa for me. My spouse also working in MNC and am asking to process visa for him too in my company( H4 dependent visa). Will he able to get work permit immediately there?

    –My spouse needs to get a new job there.

    1. Hi Karthika,

      I also have the similar question that my wife has got the H1B Visa now and I am working in some other company. Am I eligible to get the workpermit immediately there via H4 dependent VISA?

  8. Hi Raghu,

    I filed for H4 EAD on the 27th May using the old i 765 form which doesnt have question 18 (which asks for H1b i 129 receipt number) , I received my receipt notice yesterday. I had included a copy of my spouse’s H1 – i 797 for Form I-129 and i 797 for i 140 . Should I resend the new application to USCIS? Please advise.

    1. Sorry, I can’t help with you. Not my area of expertise. Reach out to Murali @Bashyam Spiro. That’s the reason, I launched the Self-Prep H4 EAD Guide and asked folks to file via an Attorney if you DON’T know what you are doing.

      I’m expecting several applicants to report issue’s like this.

      Most likely, USCIS will return your application after couple of months and you have to do it again. Essentially, you lost few months.

  9. Hi,
    I have a doubt regarding my eligibility for applying h4 ead. My husband is in the 7th year extension of h1b and got it his PERM approved. But , his employer did not file i140 yet. My question is, should i wait for his employer to file i140 and then apply? or can i apply based on his PERM approval ? Please guide. Thanks

      1. Thank you so much for your quick reply!! It would be really helpful if you can provide me the list of supporting documents as I am quite confused with this?

        Thnx again.

        I have asked the same question in almost every blog regarding my h4 ead eligibility. But, none answered. At last i found the right one 🙂

  10. My passport was expiring in August 2015. I have already renewed my passport last month.

    I haven’t left the USA after 2013. My I-94 card shows expiration date ‘August 2015’ as per the old passport and My wife’s I-94 card expiration date is ‘August 2016’

    – Do I need to renew my I-94 card?
    – Can I renew it after May 26th?
    – What is the procedure for the I-94 renewal?

    1. Your legal status is determined by validity of I-94 for H4 or H1B. Your employer’s attorney should be able to help you what to do if I-94 is expiring in August.

      1. Hello Raghu,

        Thanks for your reply on my previous query.

        I have submitted H4 EAD application to the USCIS. My application status shows that ‘ Your name has been updated for form I-765’.

        Is this the normal process followed by the USCIS?

          1. It says ” On June 22, 2015, we updated your name for your Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization”

  11. Dear Mr. Raghuram;

    I have a situation:

    I have an accepted I-140 from an employer. I have been offered a new job. My question is, if I take the new job and get my H1b transferred can I still apply for an EAD for my wife? Please help.

      1. Regarding Ramkus situation,I dont think he can apply for EAD for his wife .. Though his i140 is not revoked by his previous employer he has to file new i 140 through his new employer. after receipt of his new i140 then he cn apply EAD for his wife.

        Hi Ramku have you changed your job? did you apply EAD for your wife.

    1. Regarding Ramkus situation,I dont think he can apply for EAD for his wife .. Though his i140 is not revoked by his previous employer he has to file new i 140 through his new employer. after receipt of his new i140 then he cn apply EAD for his wife.

      Hi Ramku have you changed your job? did you apply EAD for your wife.

  12. Hi Raghuram,

    I am eligible for the H4 EAD and currently on my OPT .I have a few questions regarding applying for H4-EAD:

    1.Can i apply for H4 and H4-EAD together on May – 26 ? If this is possible , it will save 3 months for a lot of folks.
    2.I am working right now and not in a situation to quit.If i apply for my H4 EAD on May 26 , incase my OPT expires while i am still waiting to hear from USCIS, do i get a Cap-Gap option the way H1B applicants get Cap-gap till October ? Or do i have to stop working and wait for my H4-EAD ?
    3.Incase the spouse runs into trouble during his/her H1B stamping – what happens to the dependent’s H4-EAD -does it get cancelled or is it independent of the H1-B?

    Please Advice.
    Thank You and Regards!

    1. 1. F1 to H4 = 3 months. Then add 3 more months for EAD process ( so, its about 6 months). Hopefully they will make to just 3 months.
      2. There’s no cap-gap for this. You may get 3 months break in your work.
      3. H4 eAD is tied to H1B. If H1b spouse visa is affected ( job loss or stamping), then H4 eAD is also affected.

      1. Hi Raghuram,

        Thank You so much for the response! This helps me make a lot of decisions.

        Thanks Again,

      2. HI RAGHU,
        my son is working in sfa for past 11years, hehas applied for gc and is under EAD. he wants to get married a indian girl. after marriaging the girl from india can she get ead visa after h4, after marriage from india sothat she can work inusa or can she apply for h4 visa from india itself immediately after marriage.can you pl send a reply.

        1. I’m not sure how EAD woek when he’s on EAD based on pending I485. He should consult and attorney.

          1. Hi Raghu ,

            My H1B validity is till Sept 2015,I have approved I140 ,Do you think I can file H4 EAD..?
            As EAD validity will be based on H1 Visa validity ..Can you please advise .. If its a correct time to file H4EAD as it takes 3 month to process and the validity of EAD is based on H1B

            Please advise

            Thanks !

          2. Sunny, I asked the same question to Attorney Murali. Once he responds, I will add it to the Self Prep guide for H4 EAD.

          3. Hi Raghu,

            Do you have any updates for this

            My H1B validity is till Sept 2015,I have approved I140 ,Do you think I can file H4 EAD..?
            As EAD validity will be based on H1 Visa validity ..Can you please advise .. If its a correct time to file H4EAD as it takes 3 month to process and the validity of EAD is based on H1B

            Please advise

  13. Spouse has approved I-140 with 3 years extension ,on 9 years
    i m travelling to india on May 12 coming back in august and the process is starting May 26 , can i come back and then apply ? will i be late if i do that , is there a cap for H4 EAD or i can apply anytime of the year, also do i need to be present at the time of application n process Thanks

      1. Hi Raghu,

        Please share a recorded version of the webinar if possible.

        Also, if I am currently on F1 and want to apply for EAD on May 26, should I apply for change of status to H4 right away or wait for something (say the rule is put on hold)?

        Between the time my H4 approval is in process, should I take all mandatory credits / quarter to maintain F1 status? I am asking this since I want to take lower number of credits / quarter on H4. I might even drop the course altogether.

  14. I have an approved I140 and is in 8th year on my H1B visa. But late last year I changed my job (got a new 3 year extension on H1B) based on an approved I140 from my previous employer. My new employer has not started my green card application yet.

    Is it possible for me to apply my wife’s H4 EAD using my approved I140 (from previous employer) and my valid H1B extension.

    Help appreciated.


    1. Even if you have changed jobs, if your approved I-140 is still valid and has not been withdrawn or revoked, and you are currently in H-1B status, your spouse can qualify for H-4 work authorization.

    1. Sachi, the government will start accepting applications for H-4 work authorization on May 26, 2015.

  15. I have I-140 approved in EB-3 from employer a.
    I am working for employer b.
    If employer b ports my GC filing from EB-3 to EB-2
    can my husband H4 is valid for this program when my GC (from employer b) is still in process or shall he need to wait till I-140 gets approved from employer b

    1. Laxmi,
      As long as you have a valid I-140 and you are still in H-1B status, even if you no longer work for the company that sponsored your I-140, your husband can qualify for H-4 work authorization. You don’t need to wait for your second I-140 to be approved.

  16. I am on L1B , and My wife currently have EAD.
    Also My 1-140 is approved.

    Since L1B allows Maximum 5 Years, Is this new rule have any changes which will make L1B (with I-140 approved) stay beyond 5 years.


  17. Hi Raghu,
    I have labor & i 140 from Employer A ( Priority Date : Nov 2008)
    In between i switched job and currently working for Employer C.

    Employer C is going to start GC process Soon..
    so are we eligible for ?

    Thanks for your time and comment..

    1. Less Likely. This rule have come so far and it’s part of President’s Executive Action. OMB is an office within President’s Executive branch (not controlled by congress). Let’s hope there’s no other super power to stop this from happening :). Mark your calendar. 60 Days.

  18. Hi Raghu,
    I got Approved I140 and and to get my wife EAD , we need to satisfy both the criteria’s or any one criteria is fine.

    Criterai 1: Approved 140
    Criteria2: H1B visa extended beyond 6 yrs

    I comes under Criteria1, but not criteria 2 , can you please tell me whether my wife will get the EAD


    1. Raghu if possible can you provide the link to the answers as for my case I aslo fall under Criterion 1 and not in 2

  19. Hi,
    I have an approved I-140 but still have a few months left on my second H1B. Will my spouse (who is on H4) be eligible?


  20. Hi,

    I’m is going to apply H1B this year through an employer.
    In this case my wife is eligible for H4-EAD?
    My brother, who’s a US Citizen already applied for my Green card 3 years back and not sure my brother’s application is approved or not.
    If its approved, is my wife eligible for H4-EAD?

    Can you please get me some insight on how my wife can get H4-EAD?

  21. This is just eye wash… it is Jan 2015 … and it was supposed to be
    passed in 2014….. The fact remains that USA wants to attract the best
    and the brightest by saying come to USA. Fill our universities – pay 4
    times the normal fees (this fees we use improve research and development
    and improve our facilities).. AND you can have a great future…

    FACT remains … please (No Indians and Chinese allowed) written in *
    conditions apply. because if your from India – or China … you do not
    have a future … because it will take you ages – 20 – 30 years to
    become a permanent resident and for that period of time …. you can
    continue contributing taxes …. etc and work as a slave… with no
    prospects of settling down in life…

    To counter this fact the dog
    has been thrown an imaginary bone… (imaginary because there has been
    talk about this going on since 2009. h4 work authorization … was
    supposed to be done in 2014.. but then you have teleconference … blah
    blah blah talk talk talk and continue the BS…. and keep the soap

    If you are a sensible Indian or Chinese … your last
    priority should be USA… if you the brightest in IT, Medicine and
    Science Tech… Stay away from USA…. May be Canada or Australia or India itself …where you can start a new company like flipkart or something that can give the American Facebook a run for its money…

  22. Hi Raghu,

    I just read the news about The House overturning Obama’s Executive action. Do you think it will have any affect on processing of H4 EAD?


      1. Hi Raghu,

        I dont have Bachelor Degree , Am i eligible go get H4 visa and can work in U.S.??can you please suggest ??

  23. Hi Raghu – any updates on this rule ? Looks like there has been no progress after Nov 20 announcement from the President

  24. Hello , I am on my H1b ( 5 + years ) with approved I-140 . My wife is currently on her H1b and she is having difficult time changing here employer . If this rule gets implemented can you please recommend me the best route.
    Does she have to change status from H1b to H4 before she gets EAD , or can she directly get EAD from H1b ?

      1. I am on H1 B and my husband has his I140 approved. I am not able to accept job offers from companies that do not process H1. Do I still have to convert to H4 to apply for EAD? I heard EAD takes around 2 to 3 months to get approved. If that is the case, do I have to take a break from work for 2-3 months until it gets approved? Please clarify.

  25. Hello , I am on my H1b ( 5 years completer ) with approved I-140 . My wife is currently on her H1b and she is having difficult time changing here employer . If this rule gets implemented can you please recommend me the best route.
    Does she have to change status from H1b to H4 before she gets EAD , or can she directly get EAD from H1b ?

  26. Hi Raghu,

    Thanks for all your updates and efforts…

    Am not clear with this point…

    So anyone who comes in now ,with fresh H1B and principal applicant’s GC gets started and reach to I140 stage in 1-1.5 yr, for this H4 spouse EAD will not be given and only thos H4 candidates will be eligible whose primary applicant got extension after 6th yr? Different comments related to this…please clarify me on this regard. It will be really a great help



  27. I am finding different answers for this one which makes it very confusing. Very basic point of clarity needed: For H4 EAD, principle H1B needs to have I140 approved AND 6 years on H1B or any OR just I140 approved is good enough??

    1. It’s either/or. If your H-1B employer does your PERM and gets your I-140 approved really quickly, your spouse won’t have to wait nearly as long to qualify for H-4 work authorization as if your employer waits 4-5 years to get started with the PERM.

  28. H4 visa spouse vs H4 visa holder : Just wondering if author meant both these to be same when they aren’t.

  29. Looks like the executive action on Immigration may be delayed by Obama, up to Mid Term elections. Though this pertains to illegal immigrants, any idea how would this affect H4 EAD?

    1. I hope, EAD for H4 is not tied to Executive actions and gets delayed. Close to 13,000 comments were received by USCIS. They should do the review and publish the final rule ASAP 🙂

      Till then… we have to wait.

      1. hi ….does F1 Visa requir TOFEL scorecard or no a was applied for a university on USA but yet i dont have any scorecard will i reject or no? thanks

  30. Hi, Im Shabeer working as Networking Eng. My wife is travelling US next month. I’m eligible to travel along with H4 visa but i got to know that I wouldn’t be able to work in this visa. Do i have to wait to apply H1B in next April 2015 slot and then only look for job on approva. Is there any possible ways that we provide eligibility towork in US

  31. HI Raghu,
    My husband is in US from past 6 years. he went to US for his higher education on F1, later on to OPT to H1 now. now I want to apply for H4 visa…I heard we need to submit 6 months pay slip but we have only three months will it work? please help me

  32. Hello , my wife’s employer has started Green Card processing now .She was on L-1B Visa for first 3 years and now she is no H-1B from October 2013. By the time we expect I-140 gets approved I am expecting she will complete 5 years but wont exhaust all 6 years. so am I eligible for EAD as H4 dependent as soon as she gets approved i-140 ? or we will need to wait until She will have to exhaust all 6 years and then apply for extension ?

  33. If this rule gets implemented, how long will it take to get dad once applied? I heard that the wait time for green card is around 2 months. If an h4 spouse with ead is eligible for h1 , can they apply for it?

  34. It is sad that uscis is not providing proper updates about rule progress.No information about review process at all!

  35. hi,
    i m Gargi.. I am going to USA as H4 visa holder. My husbad got H1B visa approved…
    Can i get work permit There??

  36. I have an unique situation, I came to USA in L1b in 2011 and will complete 5 years in early 2016. My employer filed for my green card and will get my
    I-140 in few months. My wife is in H1b.. so my question is if i don’t get the H1b lottery next year, can i get some advantage of this new immigration rule ??

  37. Hi
    i came to US on 9th sep 2011 and have been staying here since then and my husband has completed six years jan 2013 and have also got extention till 2016. he has approved i 140? am an MBA graduate, will i be eligible to get EAD if this rule is implemented?


  38. Hello,
    Just wondering once this rule is approved and my spouse gets EAD. Can she start her own business and work for that business?

  39. So is there any update on this matter? The comments period of 60 days was over on 11th July. What’s going to happen next? How early or late can this rule become effective? Thanks.

    1. USCIS will now review the comments. Then hopefully publish interim rule. Then submit again to OMB for review. That review can take few months. My guess is 2 to 3 months. Then White House have to approve it.

      So, we have few more months to go. But, WH can choose to make it faster as well 🙂

      1. My I140 got approved but I have switched my employer. If the rule passed, can my wife apply for EAD with the previously approved I140?

  40. Need quick help. I am on H1B. I have my I-140 approved in 2012. The priority date is July 2012. I will complete 6 yrs on H1 in September 2014, and have already gotten the 3rd extension approved for next 3 years. My question is as follows: I have a job offer from other company, who is willing to transfer my H1 & apply for my green-card. I understand, I my lose my priority date or may be able to carry forward once the new I-140 is approved. And it may take another 12-24 months to get new I-140.
    if I change job now, would my wife be able to apply for EAD if this rule is passed? (I am sure existing compmy will revoke my current GC application and new one will be in process to get labor n PERM approval)
    Please help, I have to make a quick decision about this new job offer.
    -many thanks.

  41. I am on H4 visa since last 7 years. I finished my M.Ed. degree 2 years back. I am frustrated simply being homemaker. I am eagerly waiting for this rule to come.

  42. Hi
    If EID is approved is it only for doing IT specialization jobs ? Can you give clarity regarding this.

  43. Having an income has been my top priority ever since i was a kid. I support this movement 100% and hope the new rule will be successfully passed.

  44. Hi! I just want to clarify something. If this rule be implemented can H4 visa holders apply for any job or same with the H1B visa holder that they can only work for the company that sponsors them.

  45. >>”either the beneficiaries of an approved Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker (Form I-140) or who have been granted an extension of their authorized period of admission in the United States under the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act of 2000 (AC21), as amended by the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act”
    I don’t understand OR part.
    does it mean, even if you have a approved 140, had a H1B extension, and then you changed to new employer, at the time you haven’t gotten your new 140 approve, you can still apply a H4 EAD for your spouse?

  46. Hii Raghu,

    Can we provide our contact details on the comments website on regulations.gov wen site or choose to comment as third party?? please advice on how you guys are commenting

    Also I want to forward that link to many many people so that it can get maximum participation . I really wish this rule comes into action and benefit all fellow H4.

    Please reply.

  47. My Husband came to USA in 2007 .His I-140 is approved in 2008 .unfortunately in 2009 he moved to different company and his current company I-140 is not yet filed.still can i eligible for EAD with old I-140.

  48. My Husband came to USA in 2007 .His I-140 is approved in 2008 .unfortunately in 2009 he moved to different company and his current company I-140 is not yet filed.still can i eligible for EAD with old I-140.

  49. My Husband came to USA in 2007 .His I-140 is approved in 2008 .unfortunately after that he moved to another company and his new company I-140 is not yet filed.still can i eligible for EAD with old I-140.

  50. Latha

    Thanks a lot for posting that link. Guys can all represent your views in that federal register.If more no of people respond to it,higher chances of approving H4 EAD.

    If this rule gets approved then H4 visa holders need not apply H1B and thus no of petition in H1B can reduce significantly(almost 94,000 roughly)

  51. The new rule for h4 spouses announced in april 2014..Is this applicable only to h1b visa holder sppouses with green card wait or to all h1b visa holder spouses?? Pls clarify, is their is any hope for H4 visa(without GC)

      1. my husband is in us for just 2 years in H1b visa.his I-140 is in process.if its approved can i get EAD

  52. You do not explain how can it increase the number of frauds by allowing H4s who had approved i-140 meaning they are close enough to become citizens of this country can increase fraud, while increasing H1B cap would not ??? spouses with H4 is linked to H1b, so they have limited options in finding a H1B sponsor , because they cannot move beyond the location their spouse is present. you might find a job in new york while your spouse is in michigan, that is the problem. with EAD the options would increase, they can basically work anywhere or even start a business.

    1. I agree wit mattr. Well noted point.
      L2 visa holders can work, but H4 visa holders cant work i dont understand that the logic.

  53. Great news Its important for highly qualified to work and contreibute towards the nation rather than doing nothing .. Use one’s skill set and make best of it ..

  54. Purpose of this rule is to retain people already on H1B visa by giving EAD’s to spouses so there is less disruption to US businesses.

    So what you should do is either
    1) Get a H1b visa
    2) Marry H1b
    3) Marry someone with GC 🙂

  55. Under existing regulations, DHS does not extend employment authorization to dependents (also known as H-4 nonimmigrants) of H-1B nonimmigrant workers. The change proposed by DHS, would allow H-4 dependent spouses of certain H-1B nonimmigrant workers to request employment authorization, as long as the H-1B worker has already started the process of seeking lawful permanent residence through employment.

  56. Hi,
    I am on H1B and completed 6 years with I 140 approved.My wife is also on H1B from last year.Can she switch back to H4 and apply for EAD.?

    1. under this new rule no need to switch from H1B to H4 because anyone with H1B extended beyond 6yrs can now get an EAD instead of the old yearly renewal, that is costing lot of money for the employer. so if this passess both of you can get an ead until you can file for adjustament.

          1. I am in a similar situation as Vinay. Would i be able to get an EAD. I am currently on H1B. My husbands I-140 is approved.

  57. i’m a filipino also waiting for my priority date (May 2009) and even this site seems to be predominantly from India, i couldnt do anything but to sympathize… we’re in the same boat and i hope this could be implemented asap. But kudos to obama?? i guess the processing of green card jumps dramatically fast. i just hate that people thinks and even some of my fellow filipino thinks that having a green card is that easy to get here in the US and will cheat and declare high wages while working in NY just to qualify to eb2..(smh) its their employer”s & lawyers fault too. Good luck to everyone

  58. I was on L2 visa for 4 years in US. However i could not land into any job as my area of interest was biotechnology. I was able to work for the last 1 year in my L2 status then my spouse was transferred to H1 by his company so that he can continue working. Also his LC is approved so he can apply for extensions in H1. Well, he is going to complete 6 years soon, but he was in L1 for 5 years and I was wondering if he needs to be in H1 for 6 more years for me to get an EAD. I could have got H1 sponsorship for an IT job, but i do not want to work in that field.

      1. what I do not understand is, if you do not have approved I 140 you cannot extend H1B beyond 6yrs, so, I think this part is still not clear.

  59. I hope this law does not pass. It will lead to an increase of frauds, and it will be redundancy with the current system. It will also be unfair to many h1b applicants, especially to those who didn’t win the lottery. If the spouse is skilled and highly qualified immigrants, she or he should not have a problem getting a h1b sponsor and must go through the same rules as everybody else! I think increasing the h1b cap would be more fair for every immigrants.

    1. It is very hard to get h1 sponsorship. If you are single you can leave the country. If you are h4 you are leaving your spouse and perhaps children behind!!!!!!!!!!!! EADs for all spouses!!

  60. I am a H4 visa holder and my husband is on H1B but has just completed 3 years on it..but his university where he is working filed his green card. am i allowed to work as per new rules. By profession i am a civil engineer, and completed my M Tech in “Environmental Science”.

    1. You have to have approved i-140, most likely you will get that approval by the time this new rule change takes effect.

  61. “This means that if the H4 Visa souse’s whose principal H1B Visa holder have spent less than 6 years in H1B cannot get EAD.”
    This makes absolutely no sense – 6 years is the *maximum* allowed time on any single H-1B (except for when applying for a Green Card while on H status and getting an extension). Any one who reaches the 6-year mark needs to leave the US for at least 1 year, then apply again.

    1. So basically, only once the full 6 years of H1B have passed and a greencard petition is in the works, then the spouse can apply for EAD. Pointless.

  62. I came to USA on Sep 2009 as L1B Visa Holder. My employer filed H1B and got H1B visa approved from Oct 2011 and Expired Sep 2014. I have applied my H1B extension already in order to continue stay and work here in USA. Also My employer is going to submit LC for Green Card Process on July 2014. Is my spouse eligible to apply EAD after I apply LC? Is that Do I need to have H1B 6 years or can I have L1B + H1B total 6 Years? Please clarify me on this.

  63. The new rule for h4 spouses announced in april 2014..Is this applicable only to h1b visa holder sppouses with green card wait or to all h1b visa holder spouses?? Pls clarify

  64. The new rule for h4 spouses announced in april 2014..Is this applicable only to h1b visa holder sppouses with green card wait or to all h1b visa holder spouses??Pls clarify

  65. Please pass this bill. We also want to work. to sitting idle at home is really waste of time and our study. Please give us the opportunity to work .

  66. What the hell? What about highly skilled MBA spouses who have been working in MNCs in India and now because of this bloody system are doing dishes and household chores in America? Why aren’t those spouses being considered here? I have seen a lot of Indian spouses in America who work in companies like Oracle, Microsoft, Tata.. They cannot speak proper English and do not have US degrees. How are these people getting visas and jobs? While it’s a sucidal situation for the well deserved ones!

    1. If they are on H4, they can get EAD and work. You blame some guy without the ability to speak english working here, while you are commenting without having any knowledge about the rule we are talking about.

      This is not just for IT people.

      lastly you do not need to speak english a lot, 1) If you are a chef,
      2) If you are a software coder 3) A technician who has no interaction with people.

  67. I had to re-read the aeticle to allow myself to believe this. Definitely good news for some of us and totally fair too , considering that EB2 and EB3 wait is very long.

    Also, my husband is in the exact same situation(6+ years of H-1, I-140 approved andn ow waiting). I am on F-1 status. Can I change my status to H-4 if this rule takes implementation so that I may be eligible to apply for EAD?

  68. My spouse has completed 4 years on H1 and his I 140 is done. His H1 is till 2015 and then it gets revnewal. I am on H4. Am i eligible for this new rule as I 140 is done.

  69. Dear Friends,
    I request you to join http://www.facebook.com/groups/H4Visa/. As you all know that USCIS has proposed a rule to give EAD to H4 visa holders.
    After two months they will open it for public comments as well. Lot of activities are going on the page to get this rule passed asap.
    DHS’s historical data suggests that the rules approved pretty fast. I think it would take at least 6 months to for the law to be changed 2 months comment period,1 to 2 months for rule making, 2 months for USCIS to prepare internally before they can accept applications. Please, spread the word to get H4 curse end for good.

    1. Dear Friends,
      I request you to join http://www.facebook.com/groups/H4Visa/. As you all know that USCIS has proposed a rule to give EAD to H4 visa holders.
      After two months they will open it for public comments as well. Lot of activities are going on the page to get this rule passed asap.
      DHS’s historical data suggests that the rules approved pretty fast. I think it would take at least 6 months to for the law to be changed 2 months comment period,1 to 2 months for rule making, 2 months for USCIS to prepare internally before they can accept applications. Please, spread the word to get H4 curse end for good.

  70. Hey raghu is that rule passed or not
    I have a question my husband staying in us since 6yrs his I140 got approved but he is on EB3 if that rule passed am i eligible for EAD

  71. My husband is on H1 from last 5 years. he is changing his job and the next employer says that they will file for green card in next 6 months. can anybody tell that how long it usually takes to get an EAD after the company has sponsored the green card?

    P.S i am more concerned about my ead as i am on a H4 house wife.


      1. 4- 6 years is a pretty long time.

        can you tell me something about I140 and I485? is there something that can help us in getting our EAD’s as early as possible.

        Thanks for ur earlier response.

  72. Hello HSB,
    My Husband came to US on 2005 and he applied for green card on June 2007. we got married on 2008. I came on H4 dependent Visa. His I140 is approved and he is working in the same company.
    Here is my Question,
    Am I eligible for applying an EAD?
    I need clarification on this thing
    My husband spend more than 7 years on H1b visa and he renewed his EAD twice. But its been only 5 years since he applied for a permanent residents (his priority date is June 2007).
    Somewhere I read that the Principal H1B Visa holder have spent at least 6 years in H1B from the priority date and then H4 Visa dependent can get EAD.

    May I get an EAD?

    Thanks in advance!

  73. Hi.
    My wife is travelling US on H1. I have H4 visa stamped.
    Also i got my H1 visa filed from India through a employer in US.
    Now my question is – should i wait in India till i get visa approval and stamping or should i travel US on H4 and then apply for H4 to H1 transfer. Which way has more chances to get H1 and also let me know the pros and cons of either process.

    1. hi Narsing,
      I have question for you, My wife is travelling US on H1B, I have applied for H4, Can we keep any paper for my working company (leave letter or our designation etc.), can you guide me plz.

  74. From the link HSB gave on Feb 12 I get a feeling that EAD for h4 doesn’t seem to be forthcoming across the board but only on a selective basis depending upon the capacity of principal h1 holder.
    But even it happens so, it is a good beginning!!!!

    1. Yes, there will be restriction on qualified H1 (not sure if 6 years completion or I-140 have to be approved, etc).

  75. Sir,

    Please let me know as one of the senator is opposing for this rule? still hopes are alive for this rule to be intiated in mar2012 ?? waiting for the rule H4 can get EAD after spouse completion of 6 yrs stay in US

    Fingers crossed for this rule !!

  76. What is the basis of this article? I could not find any us covet website announcing then same. Appreciate your help.

  77. We stayed in us for 3 yes from 2006 to 2009 in l1 n l2 visa and our I – 140 is cleared. Now my hubby has got h1 visa and I will join him as h2. Is there a chance for me to get EAD ?

  78. Hello,

    So from your post I can see that, H4 will be eligible for EAD only if primary H1 B has completed 6 years stay in USA and have applied or has approved I 140

    In my case, I will be completing 6 years stay in 2014 but I have applied for my labor. So as per your blog my dependent cannot get an EAD? what options do you think I have for my dependent to have EAD if this rule is implemented?

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