H4 Visa

[News Flash] FAQ’s for H4 EAD Application is Now Available. Ready to File H4 EAD?

We have been waiting for Frequently Asked questions about applying for H4 EAD and how USCIS would process I-765 application and tons of several questions about

  • Processing time of H4 EAD
  • Travel while H4 EAD application is in process
  • Applying for H4 EAD from outside USA
  • Change of Status and break in  employment
  • What if I-140 is revoked?

Now, we have answers to those questions. USCIS released the guidelines for filing H4 EAD application and FAQ’s about submitting the application.

[alert type=”warning”] P.S. New updated form I-765 is not yet published at time of this writing. [/alert]

I’m including some of most frequently asked questions and highlighted the sentences that have the most impact below.


[accordion_item title=”Do I need to be in the United States to apply for employment authorization based on my H-4 status?” open=”true”] Yes, you must be in the United States to apply for employment authorization. You must be in H-4 status to be eligible for employment authorization, and an individual outside of the United States cannot be in H-4 status.[/accordion_item]



[accordion_item title=”Am I eligible for employment authorization if USCIS revoked my H-1B spouse’s approved Form I-140 petition?”] If USCIS revokes the Form I-140 petition, your H-1B spouse is no longer  the beneficiary of an approved Form I-140. Therefore, you would not qualify for EAD based on that eligibility criterion. You may still qualify for employment authorization if your H-1B spouse has received an extension of stay under sections 106(a) or (b) of AC21.[/accordion_item]


[accordion_item title=”My H-1B spouse’s approved Form I-140 was filed by a previous employer. Am I eligible for employment authorization?”]USCIS does not require that the approved Form I-140 be filed by your spouse’s current employer or by the same employer who filed your H-1B spouse’s Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker.[/accordion_item]


[accordion_item title=”Can I travel while my Form I-765 is pending?”] You may travel if you are in valid H-4 status and meet all the admission requirements, including having a valid H-4 nonimmigrant visa.  However, traveling outside of the United States could cause delays in your case. While you are outside of the United States, we may need additional information to make a decision on your Form I-765 or we may issue a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) with an opportunity to respond. If you do not respond on time to a Request for Evidence (RFE) or to the NOID, we may deny your case as abandoned. Additionally, travel outside of the United States may also cause possible delays if we need to reschedule your appointment at an Application Support Center.[/accordion_item]


[accordion_item title=”What happens if I travel after concurrently submitting COS and I-765 form?”]If you file Form I-765 concurrently with Form I-539 requesting a change to H-4 status from a different nonimmigrant classification, we will deny your Form I-539 as abandoned if you travel abroad while your Form I-539 is pending. In this case, we would also deny your Form I-765.[/accordion_item]


[accordion_item title=”How long will it take USCIS to adjudicate my Form I-765?”] The timeline will vary from case-to-case. Currently, the processing time for Form I-765 is 90 days (3 months). Please note that if you file a Form I-765 based on your H-4 nonimmigrant status  concurrently with a Form I-129 and Form I-539, the processing timeline will not begin until we have made a decision on your spouse’s eligibility for H-1B status and/or your eligibility for H-4 status. Processing may also be delayed if the evidence included with these benefit requests does not establish eligibility and we need to issue an RFE or NOID.[/accordion_item]


Questions About H4 EAD application Guidelines

I read the guide and some parts are not clear or it would require an attorney to explain in plan simple English. If you think some of the answers require more explanation, then let me know. I can do another video interview with Immigration Attorney.

One of most asked question is Travel while H4 EAD is pending. And they answer is “May Travel”. For people with travel plans in summer, this may not be a welcome news.

Another not so good news is processing time with COS. Looks like it may  take full 6 months or so.

This is breaking news update. Stay tuned for more details.

Next – 3 Reasons Why USCIS haven’t Published H4 EAD form I-765 Yet.

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    1. PV-
      If you don’t mind me asking, which service center was yours? and what was the receipt date on your application?

  1. My wife got EAD when she was on L2 vissa (2010 to 2012). After that her vissa converted to H4, so haven’t applied for reneval EAD. So now I got I140 approved and she is on H4. now she can apply EAD (I 765) …my question is that in application what option we should select.. 1.Permission to accept employement or Renewal of my permission to accept employement.

  2. Hi Raghu,

    I have applied for H1B this year and got the RFE. my employer has responded to RFE on last month (OCT-20). and it seems my RFE response will take for another 3-4 months based on the predictions. now recently my husband recieved I-140 approved. and i am planning to apply for the H4-EAD.

    my question here, hence both the petitions (H1 RFE, H4 EAD) are coming into the same timeline, what will be the effect on each other, for any possible reasons my H1 RFE will be rejected or queried because i am applying for the H4-EAD petition or both of them will be rejected.

    please suggest me.

  3. hi raghu

    in our marriage certificate my wife surname b4 her parents and after my surname and in her passport same as her b4 name when we apply EAD this will be any problem ??

    thanks in advance

  4. Hi Raghu,

    I am on L1B visa and my wife is on L2 EAD and working. My L1B is expiring in November and my employer filed for H1B and i got selected in the lottery and waiting for the approval. In between my I-140 got approved last week . My question is what could be the earliest option we can apply for my wife’s H4 EAD? Should we wait till October 1, to change our status from L to H? Thanks!

  5. Had a qstn about my EAD. I have applied for H4 EAD on July 1st. I have my h4 visa expiring on September 30th. And also applied for h4 extension. My husbands h1 is till 2018, it was done in premium but his employer didn’t file mine with his H1b. So it’s applied in normal processing. So now my question is will I get EAD? If so how many days? And if not do I need to travel out of US and get stamped so that my h4 can be done fastly?? Plz answer my question. Thanks.

      1. Hello Raghuram, I got my H4ead last week. But there is a small box for finger print on the card which I never gave.(so the box says finger print not available ) My question is do we have to submit our finger print for the H4 ead card.

      2. Hello Raghuram,
        I have a question and I hope you’d be able to answer it for me. I’m working using my F1- OPT right now. I’ve initiated change of status to H4 and H4-EAD application concurrently along with my husband’s H1B amendment. It has been 2 months since the applications were received and right now I’m in a bit of a rush to get the EAD as soon as possible. Would it help if we upgraded the concurrent filing to premium processing?

        1. H1B Extension is taking like 7 months in Vermont Service Center.

          As far my understanding goes here’s your timeline:

          1. H1B Extension Approval – 7 months
          2. H4 EAD Clock starts after H1B approval – 3 months

          So, you are looking at 10 months to get your H4 EAD. In some instances, H4 EAd was approved along with H1B Extension. But, that’s not always the case.

          If you do Premium processing, then your timeline would be like this.

          1. Premium H1B Approval – 15 Days ( max)
          2. H4 EAD 3 months clock starts

          Even then you are looking at 3 more months for EAD. If you are lucky, they may approve your EAD with H1B Extension with Premium, but don’t bet on that. There’s is nothing you can do to speed up the H4 EAD approval time.

  6. HI,
    Just to double confirm, can I file online I-765 or will have to send mail/courier ? I’ve got approved I-140 and more than 6 years and my wife is on valid H4 till 2027. Thanks in advance.


  7. Hi,
    I have my current h4 ead valid till 15th august 2015 with recipt number WAC-xxxxxx. Also i got extension of my h4 ead with reciept number EACXXXXX till august 2016. My question is should i send both i539 notice of approval for my h4 ead application and to which drop box ?

  8. Hi ,

    I need clarification 10, 12 & 13 on I-765 form, my last entry into US Dec 2013 and i got extension on Dec 2014, so i have new i-94 with me
    1) Which i-94 number i need to enter in the form
    2) Date of last entry was the US entered date or new i -94 from date
    3) what is the place of entered date?

  9. Hi,
    My Spouse was on F-1(Student) before 2 years. Currently she is on H4. In I-765 form there is a question “Have you ever applied to Employment Authorization ? if yes then provide some details and attached documents”.

    She had applied to “OPT EAD” when she was on F-1. but this EAD we are applying first time with category(Spouse for H1b not immigrants).

    Do I need to select Yes or NO ? if yes, what documents needs to attach ?


  10. So, I got an RFE and the USCIS website says it received RFE response on 15th, meanwhile my current project got over and I joined another client. Am i at a risk? Also, I didn’t get a response until now. It is a PP/AD.
    On May 15, 2015, we received your response to our Request for Evidence for your Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Receipt Number EACXXXXXXXXX. Our Vermont Service Center office will begin working on your case again. We will mail you a decision or notify you if we need something from you. You should receive a decision or case update by July 14, 2015, unless fingerprinting or an interview are needed.

    Does this mean even though mine is a Premium petition, i’ll have to wait until July 14?


  11. So, I got an RFE and the USCIS website says it received RFE response on 15th, meanwhile my current project got over and I joined another client. Am i at a risk? Also, I didn’t get a response until now. It is a PP/AD.
    On May 15, 2015, we received your response to our Request for Evidence for your Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Receipt Number EACXXXXXXXXX. Our Vermont Service Center office will begin working on your case again. We will mail you a decision or notify you if we need something from you. You should receive a decision or case update by July 14, 2015, unless fingerprinting or an interview are needed

    Does this mean even though mine is a Premium petition, i’ll have to wait until July 14?


  12. Raghu,

    My wife is inida. she will be back on july 25, 2015. Can I apply h4 ead for her. I will ask her to sign the form and send it in post.

    1. You dont need to do that actually. You can apply it on behalf of her. If you see the application form at the bottom there is a signature option other than the applicant. So you can put your name and signature.

        1. I have already mailed my application so while filling that application I am sure that I saw an option for other to sign ( which means others can apply on be half of your wife). And you are also correct in the way there is no question of where your wife is currently. But the only concern is I94. If you submit your wife’s past I94 it may be invalid and a new I94 will be issued when your wife returns back from India. So now think about I94 rather than who can apply.

      1. So we can’t apply until My wife is back. But in the I-765 form there is no question about where we are present

  13. Hi Raghu,

    I have applied for an extension of my h4 status on may 1st since my husband changed jobs. His h1 has been transferred , however my h4 transfer in still pending. My existing h4(his previous company’s) is valid till may 2016. I have a few doubts regarding when and how to file I-765
    -Do I wait for I-539 to get processed before applying for the EAD?
    -Or do I file I-765 with old h4 details and give my new I-539 receipt number whIle filing? In this case will they grant me an EAD upto May 2016 or the new h4 end date?
    -Also can I file I-765 on my own or do I need to file via a law firm?

      1. Thanks a lot navy for your response..I have a doubt in I 765 form question no 2..In my passport my last name is my husband’s last name. In my marriage certificate my maiden name is mentioned, so should I write my maiden name in question 2 ..if yes then should I need to submit any affidavit for change of last name???

        1. Hi Geetha, even in my marriage certificate my last name is different(my husband’s last name). But in my passport my last name is my parent’s. Dont bother about that. Always consider the passport name.

  14. Hai,
    Can anyone answer the question# 16 in I-765 form for h4 visa? And while submitting the Goverment issued id documents, is it necessary to submit the Birth certificate (India)?

    1. Birth certificate is not required as per the list published. Filing instructions are available in H4 EAD Self Prep guide.

  15. Hi Raghu,

    Here is the content from USCIS site for Concurrent Filings. Does this means we can file 140 & EAD together. My husband is about to submit his I-140. Should i file I765 along with it. Also, on receiving EAC number for EAD can we start working or should we wait until we receive physical card. You reply will help me much. Thank you.

    Concurrent Filings

    A couple of commenters requested that DHS allow eligible H-4 dependent spouses to file the Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765) concurrently with an Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker (Form I-140) or an Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status (Form I-539). For the reasons that follow, DHS agrees to allow Form I-765 to be concurrently filed with Form I-539, but not with Form I-140.

      1. Thank you for clarification. On receiving EAC number for EAD can we start working or should i wait until we receive physical card.

  16. I seek your help about my 2008 H1B approved petition.

    I have 2008 H1B approved petition with me. But I never H1B stamped in my passport.

    Can I eligible now to apply H1B without lottery or can I transfer this petition to my current employer?.

    Kindly let me know about my current eligibility about 2008 Approved Petition.

  17. Can you please explain What does the term I-140 Approved means? Has it been related to the priority date becomes current?

  18. This is about the eligibility for H4 EAD and I will greatly appreciate your feedback.

    My H1-B is expiring in Aug 2015 and so is my spouses H4. I have requested my employer to apply for premium processing for H1-B extension and tag along the H4 visa extension as well. Looks like USCIS have very unfortunately stopped H1-B premium processing till end of July because of this H4- EAD. Now H4-EAD has become a curse in my case 🙂
    So the question is, with the H4 expiring in Aug 2015 and with an approved I-140 in hand with the current employer, if we apply for H4-EAD for my spouse, how long can we expect the EAD eligibility to be? Will it be only until Aug 2015 or will it depend first on the H4-Renewal and then the EAD allotment?
    It will be great if you can share any known information in this regard.

    Thanks in advance,


    1. I think you may have to wait till you get H1b/h4 extended or apply for H1B, H4 and H4 EAD after May 26.

  19. So @Raghu, the first post says that if you move to a different employer after your I-140 has been approved, the EAD for your spouse will still hold good.

    Please confirm . Thanks

  20. Hi Raghu,

    After getting approved I 140 and changing in the employer will have an impact on Spouse EAD or no.

    The moment the I move to a different employer, I 140 may be revoked. Also even I understand that if is revoked in case of AC 21 then EAD is still valid so help me understand that If I am on 3rd or 4th year on my H1B visa with approved I140 then I am eligible to file for this AC 21 (Get extended for 3 years) or this can be done only in the 6th year of H1B.

    Kindly advise whether this is addressed in the current FAQ or not.

    Thanks in advance

    1. Your understanding is correct. Even if I-140 is revoked, AC21 is applies will qualify your wife.

      But, I don’t know if AC21 will apply if H1B is not extended beyond 6 years.

      Send me an email [email protected] with your question, I will forward it to Murali and copy you.

  21. Hello,
    If my 140 is approved, and i decided to change my employer. That means my priority date will be same. But my new employer needs to start from labor and then 140. So, in the mean time can i apply EAD for spouse as I have an approved 140 (or) do i need to wait till my new 140 is approved from my new employer.

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