how to apply ead for h4

How to Apply for EAD for H4 Visa – Application, Documents and Steps

Raghuram Sukumar H4 Visa 375 Comments

Long wait for H4 Visa holders is over. EAD for H4 visa holders effective Date was announced today.

I know you will have lots of questions about this rule. From Fees, to Attorney, Eligibility, I-140, H1B Extension, etc. I’m creating this guide on how to apply for EAD for H4 Visa.

Here’s an excerpt from the DHS EAD H4 News Press Release

USCIS Director León Rodríguez announced today that, effective May 26, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is 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 amended the regulations to allow these H-4 dependent spouses to accept employment in the United States.

What does that mean? Simple –  Up to 179,000 People to Get H4 Work Permit

How to Apply EAD for H4 Visa

Here’s some guidelines given by USCIS on how to apply for EAD for H4 Visa holders.

When can you apply for EAD?

USCIS will begin accepting applications on May 26, 2015. Once USCIS approves the Form I-765 and the H-4 dependent spouse receives an EAD, he or she may begin working in the United States.

How to Apply for EAD for H-4?

Under the rule, eligible H-4 dependent spouses must file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, with supporting evidence and the required $380 fee in order to obtain employment authorization and receive a Form I-766, Employment Authorization Document (EAD).

Required Documents

  • Proof of Your Status – Current I-797 form or I-94
  • Relationship Proof – Copy of Marriage Certificate
  • Work Authorization
    • Approved form I-140 (or)
    • H1B Visa holder AC21 extension ( I-797 or I-94)
    • Passports
    • I-129

Stay tuned for exhaustive list of documents.

Who can Apply for EAD?

Here’s the Eligibility Criteria on certain H4 Visa holders who qualify for EAD . Again, this is OR condition.

ead for h4 eligibility criteria

Watch Immigration Attorney Murali Bashyam talk about  FAQ’s About EAD for H-4 (Video )

Let me know if you have any questions about the how to apply for EAD for H4  and or anything specific to your situation about I-140.

Next Podcast Show :  3 Side Effects of H4 Work Authorization Rule That Nobody Talks About


  1. Hi,

    My husband got approved 1 140 from company A, with which he is working as Full time employee. Unfortunately, his project is ending in March. So his last date is March15th. If he takes opportunity with another company, will the I140 approved from company A still holds good for me to eligible for H4 EAD. Am I still eligible for H4 EAD?


    1. Author

      I don’t know that for sure, but it previous I-140 should be allowed to apply for EAD. I will ask this during Visa Interview.

      1. My understanding is that Yes you would be still able to use that I-140 provided

        1) He is still on H1 through another company without any lapses in status ideally…

        Make ssure you change your H4 to your spouse’s new H1b company petition… and then come May 26th, you should be able to apply for H4 EAD but they will keep your H4 EAD application on hold until your H4 is approved…. If you do H1B and H4 at the same time with your husband’s new H1b with premium processing, you can get the approval quicker… and then apply for EAD on May 26th with new approved H4 and prior approved I-140

        Hope it helps.

        1. Hi Gary

          Just checking if you can help me on this question.

          After going to USICS recent News letter about how to apply EAD , i have question on ID proof section. ‘A government-issued identification document with Photo”.
          Is it enough if we produce any one of below?

          A copy of your last EAD (if any);
          A copy of the biometric page of your passport;
          A birth certificate with photo ID; —- Is this original document or a copy of original works?
          A visa issued by a foreign consulate; or — Is this original document or a copy of original works? ( does H4b visa issued by USA satisfy this condition?
          A national identity document with photo. — Is this original document or a copy of original works?

          If you have answered similar question in earlier discussion , please guide me to that link.
          Thanks a lot for your help.

          1. Author

            Refer H4 EAD self prep guide for addict all details.

          1. Author

            Send me an email via contact form.

          2. Hi Raghu,

            I have below situation, can you please suggest. I had spent 8 years here and currently had I-140 Approved from current employer. Since Employer does not provide approved copy to employees, I can only see I-140 receipt filed with USCIS at our employee visa portal.

            Do I need to reach out to my employer to get this I-140 approved form copy while filing for H4 EAD. Or will I-140 approved form receipt number will do in the form I-765.

            I need to know if I-140 form is mandatory and required document while submission with EAD form.

            Apart from that I have below document ready:
            • Approved I-797 and I-94 document.
            • Marriage certificate and spouse birth certificate.
            • Passport

            Please guide.

  2. Hi Raghu,
    This is sreenivas from London, I m on Tier2 visa here. My fiancé is in student visa in USA. After my 1yr I would like to USA on dependant visa. Am I eligible for EAD visa.

    Kind Regards

    1. Author

      This applies for H1B visa holders who meets one of two criteria’s listed above.

  3. Hai,I have a question.
    What is the education qualifications required to work under h4ead? Is it only for science ,engineering?
    Because Ead means we can take up any job,H1 is only for software guys..I Am a,Mba grad…

    1. There are no specific qualifications to work under EAD. You can get a relevant job based on your qualifications. EAD qualifies you to apply for a job but your qualifications will allow you to get a relevant job. Hope this helps.

    2. H4 EAD is for ‘open market’ job. Means you can work anywhere, there is no qualification defined.hope this helps

  4. It’s a good news!
    I already got an EAD (I-765) based in my husband’s approved I-140. But I haven’t used it yet.

    So this EAD for H4 is the same one as what I have?

  5. Hi Raghu,
    My husband is on h1 and he fulfills all the requirements for his dependents to get EAD. But i changed to F1 a year back and i am currently on OPT. What would be the situation for me to take advantage of the H4 EAD. Please advice me to how can i change status without loosing work authorization.

    1. Author

      From what I read, you have to change to H4 and Apply for H-4. You can file both applications at the same time.

  6. Would the H-4 spouse whose spouse meets one of the two criteria be qualified to pursue self employment as well upon obtaining EAD? Would this EAD be the same as obtained otherwise in the employment based green card process?

      1. Thanks. Other than the infinite waiting time for the PD to become current for the employment based green card applicants from India and China, this ought to be the best rule that could have come into effect.

  7. Hello,

    I am expecting my i 140 to get approved by march-april.But i wanted to change my employer after getting i140 approved .With current rule perm process needs to be reinitiated with new employer but priority date will be saved as i140 got approved

    Wanted to check if in such situation H4 dependent can get EAD in MAy if i change my employer after getting i140 approved

    Lot of people will be in a similar situation so will help if rule is given in detail

  8. Raghu, thanks for all the info you provide through this blog. I find it very helpful and to the point.
    Could you please help me with my questions below:
    My husband and I have approved I140. Unfortunately, my husband’s company is letting go of a number of employees and my husband thinks that he will be affected.
    1) If my husband can’t find a job quickly, by when should he apply for his H4 visa?
    2) Typically how much time does it take for the H4 change of status and his new EAD to arrive?
    3) Since he has an approved I140, will he be able to use that to apply for the I140 EAD (whenever that rule comes into effect)? Or would he need to be on his H1 visa and restart the GC process to apply for the I140 EAD?
    Thanks again,

  9. My Husband is H1b and he was in 8th year of extension and have approved I140, and I’m also working on H1b , I would like to know, whether I was eligible for H4-EAD rule,
    Can I file I-765 directly from H1b and move to status to EAD ,
    or else
    I have to move my status from H1b to H4 and file for I-765.


    1. Author

      Move to H4 and apply for EAD. Both applications can be done at same time.

  10. Hi Thanks for the info,
    i recently changed my jobs and my new company is yet to apply for my GC process. I have approved I-140 from my previous employer. Can i use that to apply for wife’s H4- EAD.
    Where are the rules for H4- EAD. USCIS website did not post them? i could not find them. DO you have a link for the full rules.

    Thanks for briefly writing the information.

  11. My husband got approved for I140 in company A. After that he changed jobs to company B. They started the process from beginning. And his application was selected for audit.

    Will the approved I140 from previous company A hold good for my H4 EAD Application?

  12. Author

    Most of the questions posted here are answered in previous blog posts on EAD for H-4 Visa. Please refer to those.

    I will be doing interview with Immigration Attorney Murali in a day, where I will be able to ask lot of questions that require answers from an Attorney.

    Keep posting your questions. I’m collecting them to Ask during the interview.

  13. We are two months old in US. I am on H1 and my wife is on H4. Is she eligible to apply for EAD process this year and work here. Both of us are engineering graduates?

    If yes, please let us know the procedure ??

    Thanks in advance

  14. Raghu,

    I’m already on H1.
    My husband has an approved I-140 and based on that his H1 is extended for the next 3 year. With the new EAD law for H4 approved I have some questions:

    1. Do I have to convert my H1 to H4 before May 26th?
    2. And if it is converted to H4 can I continue to work while I apply for H4 EAD after May 26th?

    Can you please include them in your interview with the attorney.


    1. Shame on you Abi, why are you manipulating and rigging the system. Why don’t you stay in h1 and don’t affect H4 people. US government has created this rule is for people who are in H4 and who has not worked for a long time, it was for people in need. You wanted to do all your gimmicks and then finally close this shop.

  15. I had an approved I-140 with Company A. I quitted Company A and joined Company B. While joining Company B, I used Company A’s i-140 and got H1 extension for additional 3 years beyond my 6 years H1B limit. After that Company A revoked my i-140
    I do not have an I-140 through Company B still.
    In such a situation will my spouse be eligible for EAD under this rule

  16. Hi, I am on h4 and my husband’s I140 will get approved by Dec 16. My question is do I apply for EAD on my own or a company needs to do it on my behalf? Also can I start my job search from now or wait till Dec 16 for the I140? Tia.

  17. Hi Raghu,

    Thanks for the awesome news.My i140 will be approved in Oct 2015.If I apply for EAD for my spouse(H4) in Oct 2015,will she get EAD soon or there is a yearly bucket (like h1) per year for h4 to EAD conversion which might get over by the end of 2015.

      1. thanks ! thats great, any idea about once the ead application is filed how much time it takes for approval ?

  18. HI ,
    My husband’s company has applied for his GC process in EB2 last year. . I just want to know how long will it take for the Labor Certificate and I-140 to get approved?

    1. Author

      If they applied for GC, then Labor should have been filed. Can you the status of GC application?

      1. They are in the process of advertising his psoition. Then they will file his Labur certificate.

        1. Author

          You are looking at 1 year to get I-140.

          3 to 5 months in recruitment. 5 Months for Labor Approval. Then I-140 premium will be just 15 days. Regular will be like 5 months.

  19. I have finished 3 years on h1b and currently on my 4th year of h1 b .With current employer my h1b is till may 2016 and will get i 140 approved in few weeks..So in may if H4 ead is applied it will be valid only till may 2016?can some shed a light for how long h4 ead will be valid??

    1. Author

      I added your question to the list I’m going to ask Attorney Murali tomorrow.

  20. Hi Raghu,
    Could you please write a post on this, like how is it going to afftect the already F1 students here in USA?

      1. Like these H4 will be open to job market right. Will that decrease jobs for F1 students as competition is increased now

        1. Shame on you sunny…go study well and get a job. If you are talented and have little luck you need not worry about it.

  21. My wife had EAD when I was in L1-B. In 2012 I moved to H1-B and her EAD also got expired. Now does she need to extent her old EAD or file for new EAD(I have approved I-140)?


  22. I have 2 questions:

    1. I have my I-140 approved. So, ideally my wife is eligible to apply for EAD. What will happen if I change my employers? Considering the fact that I-140 can still be ported, but should go through the PERM process. Will I be still eligible to apply for EAD?

    2. My wife came on H4 and changed to F1-student visa. She now has both F1 and H4 stamping on her passport. When we last came to US, we used her F1 visa as an entry point. Does that mean, she is not eligible to apply for EAD, although she has a valid H4 stamping in her passport?

    1. Author

      Did she travel to India after COS to F1 and attended interview to get F1 stamping?

  23. Hello raghu,

    I came to the US as a H4 visa holder but I changed to F-1 student visa. I am currently pursuing my masters at ASU. I will graduate by Dec 2015.
    My husband’s H1 will expire by March next year (the 6 year limit). His employers are currently applying for a GC. My question is:

    I am planning to work on OPT after I graduate. Will this rule be helpful to me after OPT period ends? That is, will I be able to utilize the above rule after changing to H4, without applying for H1? (To escape from the H1-B cap, obviously)

  24. Thanks for the post. Do you know how early in the H-1B timeline the I-140 can get approved? Does this typically happen in the employee’s first year, or year six? Would appreciate any insight you have on this. thanks!

  25. I’m already on H1.
    My husband has an approved I-140 and based on that his H1 is extended for the next 3 year. With the new EAD law for H4 approved I have some questions:

    1. Do I have to convert my H1 to H4 before May 26th?
    2. And if it is converted to H4 can I continue to work while I apply for H4 EAD after May 26th?

    Can you please include them in your interview with the attorney.


    1. Sandy, People like you are the ones who are rigging the system….That’s why this whole green card, h1 all are in jeopardy. US government has proposed this rule to help H4 people get EAD that’s it,. Why you want to change H1 to H4 and corrupt the system and break it. This rule is not meant for manipulation or rigging the system or make it useless.

      1. Author

        Changing H1 to H4 is not corrupting the system. It’s making use of the system.

        1. Hi Raghu,

          I am also on the same situation as sandy mention above.

          1.) Can H1b people apply H4 and EAD together?
          2.) If I will get H4 earlier than EAD then my status would be H4 or H1? and I have to leave the job or I can continue on H1b till I will not get the EAD.
          3.) In my case what document is require to apply H4/EAD together.

          Thanks for your help Raghu.


      2. hiccup,

        I completely disagree with you. I dont understand what made you think I am rigging the system. I am eligible by all means to apply for this.

  26. How long is H4 EAD valid for? What happens to H4EAD in case principal H1B loses job? Does the H4EAD become invalid immediately or is there a certain time frame they can work? Or can they work uptill the end of validity date of H4EAD independent of H1B status.

  27. Hi Raghu,

    My husband has I-140 approved through employer “A”. He moved to employer “B” and is currently on the 4th year of his H1-B. Employer “A” has not revoked or withdrawn his I-140 application. Am I eligible to apply for H4EAD through “I-140” approved rule?


      1. Also please note that husband changed jobs only after previous employer had filed for his H1B extension. He has visa corresponding to the extension stamped and now is with employer “B”. Employer “B” has not re-started GC process yet.

    1. I’m in the same boat. I have I-140 approved from company A. Next month I will be joining company B. Would my wife still be able to apply for EAD in this May?

  28. Hi,

    I am on L1B and will be completing 5 years soon. My husband in on H1B. Will the USCIS let the me file for H4 and EAD together?

    1. Yes, as long as you wait until May 26. But your work authorization won’t go into effect until the application is approved.

  29. Hi,
    I am currently on 6th year of H1B and my H1 is valid until June 30 2015. My company did not file my perm 365 days in advance of June 30th so I can not get any more H1 extension. However my husband is on 7th year H1 extension based on 106(a) and (b). How can I make use of this H4 EAD rule? If I apply for COS to H4 and EAD simultaneously, can I continue working after June 30th while my H4/EAD applications are pending?

  30. Hello Raghu,

    I am currently on OPT ( from F1 visa)and it ends in July. My husband on H1b is expecting his I-140 to be approved by April/May.
    Do we have any clarity on the F1/OPT to H4 EAD process?
    Should I move to H4 and then apply for EAD ?

  31. Do we really need I140 approval copy to apply H4 EAD for my wife?
    Actually, my employer doesn’t want to provide my I140 approved copy.
    Is there any way to force employer? OR any alternate way?

  32. Hey Raghuram,
    Was not able to get information on this, so maybe you can help. I am on an H1B (5th year, expires sept 30th) and have an approved I140 with employer A.
    1. If I move to employer B now, will my wife still be eligible for the H4 EAD, or is it advisable to stick around till she gets the EAD.
    2. Will her EAD be valid only till my H1B is?. In that case I might have to renew my H1B and opt for premium processing in doing so.

    1. I have the similar situation.
      With Company A I have my approved i-140.
      if I join Company B, will my wife(H4) have EAD?

    2. I got my H1b in oct 2014 but I have worked for only 3 months and looking for new job.Since this rule is out and I have no job now(My husband fulfills the critiria)and my passport dosent have any h1b stamping till now
      how can i change my status to h4(through I539 thats fine ) but is it possible that suppose I stay on h1b ,apply for change of status(to h4)
      before May 26th(am I allowed to do that and remain working on h1b even after applying for change of status??

      What is the other option for change of status??Suppose I go to india
      and do not go for H1 b stamping and just come back (without any stamping of h1b or h4)
      Will this be possible that i would be in just h4 without applying anything and by just visiting india and coming back to US?or when i visit to india i need to go to h4 stamping deliberately


    3. I’m in the same boat. I have I-140 approved from company A. Next month I will be joining company B. Would my wife still be able to apply for EAD in this May?

  33. If both husband and wife are in H1-B visa status, would either of the spouse be able to apply for a H4 EAD without having to change the visa status to H4?

    What is the recommended solution for one spouse to get a H4 EAD?
    Is it beneficial to change from H1B to H4 EAD?

    1. Karthik, People like you are the ones who are rigging the system….That’s why this whole green card, h1 all are in jeopardy. US government has proposed this rule to help H4 people get EAD that’s it, it is not meant for manipulation and rigging the system and make it useless.

      1. Author

        If someone wants to change their status to H4 to get EAD, then they should. It’s same as anyone who wants to get H1B to work in the U.S. or anyone getting F-1 to study in the U.S. It’s not rigging the system, it’a making use of opportunities available within the provided law.

      2. not sure whats rigging in this! Its a question, and the answer can be yes or no. No need to be so opinionated on such questions.

        IMO, its even better to utilize this so that genuine H1b slots are available for others instead of using it up when you could be eligible for H4 EAD.

        1. Obama/USICS created this rule with an Intent to get H4 people ability to work period, they did not intend to get all the H1 people convert to H4 and F1 people convert to H4 and we doing this now all of sudden we create a problem where everyone is applying to become H4 from all these other visas and make them (USCIS) feel what a mistake they have done. Guys this is truly to help H4 people, let the geniune H4 people be benefited thats all i am saying. Once they got the help they needed then others can come in if needed. Same thing happend to EB3 to Eb2 porting, everyone who applied for EB2 has to wait because all the people with Eb3 priority date have used this technique and finally perm process is stalled.

          1. Author

            Official Language:

            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.

            In Simple English : DHS allows COS with H-4 EAD application. And COS can be from any current status – F1 or H4 or H1B or others.

          2. Author

            + Are you saying that in future if you had an opportunity to port to EB1 ( with current PD ) you would say “No Thanks, I will wait for the for my turn”.

  34. Hi,

    I had to change my Job after my I-40 was approved, but my previous employer revoked it after I left that company. Is my wife eligible to get EAD?

  35. I am working on L-2 visa with EAD. If I have my I-140 and my husband has H-1B. Will I be able to apply EAD once I will be on H-4?

  36. I have a doubt ,is my wife eligible for EAD for H4 Visa ??
    Currently completed 2 years in USA with H1b visa. I have valid H1b visa valid up to 2016. My company won’t do Green card processing . Is my wife eligible for EAD for H4 Visa ?
    What is the other way to work in USA for my wife ? Kindly advise on these.

  37. Author

    I know I haven’t answered all your comments here for the reason you should know. Time. I have been bombarded with questions in last 24 hours and same question have been asked multiple times in different blog posts.

    I will be doing a webinar ( limited seats) so I can answer all your questions to my knowledge in next couple of days.

    Thanks for your understanding. Please post your questions. Look for Webinar Announcement today in the blog and via news letter.

    P.S. Don’t forget to sign-up for the newsletter to stay updated with latest news.

  38. Hi Raghu,

    My husband is on H1B visa and he got H1 visa on 2012.

    Can i be eligible to apply EAD as per the new rule for May 26, 2015.

    Thank u.

  39. Hi

    Thanks for very informative article.

    I am on H1 which is valid till next year but want to convert to H4.

    My spouse H1 is going to expire in Aug 2015. Can I apply for EAD with valid I-140 only or do I still need to show his valid H1 copy.


  40. I got my H1b in oct 2014 but I have worked for only 3 months and looking for new job.Since this rule is out and I have no job now(My husband fulfills the critiria)and my passport dosent have any h1b stamping till now
    how can i change my status to h4(through I539 thats fine ) but is it possible that suppose I stay on h1b ,apply for change of status(to h4)
    before May 26th(am I allowed to do that and remain working on h1b even after applying for change of status??

    What is the other option for change of status??Suppose I go to india
    and do not go for H1 b stamping and just come back (without any stamping of h1b or h4)
    Will this be possible that i would be in just h4 without applying anything and by just visiting india and coming back to US?or when i visit to india i need to go to h4 stamping deliberately

  41. Author

    Get the latest interview with immigration Attorney – Answers to Over 20 FAQ’s about EAD for H4 Visa. Interview was recorded right after Final rule was approved. Here’s link to gettgn accesss to the Interview –

    1. hi raghu please answer to my query

      I got my H1b in oct 2014 but I have worked for only 3 months and looking for new job.Since this rule is out and I have no job now(My husband fulfills the critiria)and my passport dosent have any h1b stamping till now
      how can i change my status to h4(through I539 thats fine ) but is it possible that suppose I stay on h1b ,apply for change of status(to h4)
      before May 26th(am I allowed to do that and remain working on h1b even after applying for change of status??

      What is the other option for change of status??Suppose I go to india
      and do not go for H1 b stamping and just come back (without any stamping of h1b or h4)
      Will this be possible that i would be in just h4 without applying anything and by just visiting india and coming back to US?or when i visit to india i need to go to h4 stamping deliberately

  42. I have I-140 approved from company A. Next month I will be joining company B. Would my wife still be able to apply for EAD in this May?

  43. Hi,

    I have a doubt on H4 EAD eligibility. My husband came to USA in 2008 and was on H1B till 2010( 1.5 years : september 2008 to april 2010). In 2010, he enrolled into a graduate school and was on F1 for more than a year(april 2010-january 2012). From 2012 till date, he is on H1B(january 2012-january 2015). His i140 was approved from previous employer and his i140 application with current employer is pending. His H1B is valid till february 2017(from the latest employer). So, am I eligible for the 6+ years criteria required for the eligibility fulfillment or does the period from 2008 to 2010 not count because my husband changed his status in between to F1? Could you please clarify the same?

      1. Hi Raghu,

        Currently on H4 and planned to apply H4 EAD. But, also would like to apply H1B. Can i continue with H4 EAD after Oct1st and convert to H1B when required at later point in time?

          1. Safety. If my spouses, GC gets stucked or revoked, then i can COS from H4 to H1B and we can continue staying in US. Your recommendation, pls..

    1. Sunisasidharan, there is no 6-year requirement. Instead, your spouse needs an approved I-140 that hasn’t been revoked, and H-1B status right now. His past time in F-1 is not a relevant factor.

  44. Hi, Would employer be able to sponsor a GC of a person who is on EAD (through this rule. spouse EAD)?
    If yes, please share the process or link. Much appreciated. Thanks

  45. Hi

    Thanks for the details and for answering all our questions. here I have a simple question, please help with it.

    Is there any eligibility criteria like qualification and work experience for an EAD approval , in spite of qualifying the above said conditions.? please explain.

    Thanks in advance
    Harini Ram

  46. hello,
    i am from Nepal how to get h1 visa and criteria for the h1 visa i have completed master degree in medical microbiology and my gre score 284 only and my work experience as a lecture in microbiology for 2/ years

    1. Sita, you have to have a job offer from a U.S. employer who will sponsor your H-1B petition. The opening date for applications in just over a month away, so unless you already have a job offer, it’s unlikely that you will be able to find an H-1B sponsor this year (unless you get a job from a non-profit employer that is not subject to the H-1B cap). If you have just completed a U.S. master’s degree, then you should talk to your international student adviser about getting OPT and an OPT STEM extension. That could bridge you over until you could apply for an H-1B in April of 2016.

  47. Hi,

    Am on an aprroved I-140 awaiting I-485 (pending sept 2007) but expired H1b. Currently working on EAD.

    Planning to get married anytime now to soon to be spouce who is currently on H1B.

    My question is if she will be eligible for the new EAD rule as soon as we are married?

    It will be great to have some information for this perticualr state am in.

    Thank you much,

  48. Hi,

    This is Ramya. I have a query on new EAD rule. Can u clarify ?

    My husband’s green card Perm has been pending with DOL for 1+ year. We are now in our 5th year of H1B and my husband’s employer has requested for H1B extension. As his Perm is more than 1 year, his employer has requested for 3 years of H1B extension . That is 2 years (for H1B max out) plus 1 year under AC21 act. Now if he gets his extension for 3 years, shall I apply for EAD as he is getting H1B extension with reference to AC21 act or i am eligible to apply for EAD in my 7th year
    Please provide your comments.


  49. HI

    I am currently on f1. My husband has a valid I140. i want to convert back to h4 .Can i apply for both h4 visa and EAD same time? Or does it takes each 3 months to get approved?

  50. Hello Raghu,

    My husband i140 will be approved after December 2015. Can I apply for EDA as soon as he get his i140 or May 26 is only date?

    1. Payal,
      May 26 will be the first day that applications are accepted, and then applications will be accepted continuously thereafter. Unlike the H-1B lottery, there is no rush to apply on opening day except if you just want to get your EAD as fast as possible. Since you won’t be eligible on May 26, you will have to wait until your husband’s I-140 comes through (unless you alternatively qualify by him getting an AC21 H-1B extension beyond the normal max out). This should not cause you any problems except feelings of impatience!

  51. I have two queries

    1.My husband’s H1b is expiring in Aug 2015.He has a approved I 140 and has been renewing his h1b post 6 years.The only problem is his visa gets extended for 1 year instead of 3 as in some cases.Now my question is when i apply on May 26 2015 ,my h4 will be valid till mid aug 2015.My husband’s employer will extend his h1b sometime in June 2015.Will i get a h4 ead or will it get rejected because of validity.
    Is there a solution to this.

    2.My second query is the supported evidence.When i read instructions for i765 form it says may required a birth certificate which i dont currently have.I have my other photo id proof like driver licence.

    Thanks in advance for your help.


    1. Trisha,

      If your husband has a valid I-140, you are eligible to apply as of May 26. Yet, without the benefit of seeing how this actually will get handled by USCIS, it seems there is a possibility that you would only get an approval until your husband’s H-1B expires 3 months later (since your EAD is dependent on his H-1B status). It may be better to wait to apply for your EAD together with your husband’s H-1B extension and your H4 application. Why will his employer wait until just 2 months before his H-1B expiration when typical adjudication takes 5 months? Can your husband press to file his extension as soon as possible after May 26 so you can include your H4 EAD application? Also, if he’s gotten 1 year extensions in the past, it’s because they were based on the PERM being filed. But with the I-140 approved, he qualifies for 3-year extensions again.

      You typically don’t need your birth certificate to file for an EAD, but instead just need your passport photo page as ID. However, you should work on locating your birth certificate or having it re-printed because you will need it for your green card application in the future.


  52. Hi,

    I am currently on F1-OPT with my STEM extension expiring in March 2016. My husband has I-140 approved but I am currently not on H4.

    What is the procedure for me to apply for EAD on H4 after my current F1 EAD expires in March 2016? Should I transfer to H4 and then apply or is there a direct way to do this?


  53. Hi ,

    In the I-765 form for Question no. 16, (Who may file form I-765?) what category code should I fill in? I am on H1-B with approved I-140. The instructions form for I-765 does not have any category mentioned for H1-B??? Please advise. Thanks

  54. A scenario that came in my mind
    Say a couple is going for H1b & H4 stamping in India (after May 26th of 2015) and the VO asks the H4 applicant if he/she will be working or trying to find a job in the US, what would be the right answer?
    — The person with H1 has an approved I140 and this is his/her first ever time at a consulate for visa stamping
    — The person applying for an H4 has a degree from the US and was not selected in the lottery/ or has an RFE/ denied for a H1b

    1. Author

      When the law allows H4 spouses to work, there’w no reason to hesitate if you H4 spouse intends to work.

  55. Hi
    My husband has I-140 approved and his H1B got extended beyond 6 yrs.We did not have a stamping of the extended H1B and H4 visas on our passports.So before applying for EAD should we go to India and get it stamped or can I apply for EAD with only the approval notices?

  56. Raghu,

    My wife is going to be on vacation during the May 26th Timeframe. Can I file her H4 EAD using my approved I-140 notice copy and I-797 which is still valid?

  57. Hello, I already have a EAD that I obtained from my husband’s J1 visa and under my own J2 visa. However, we are scheduled to change to an H1B (for him) and the correspondent H4B (for me) during the next two months. Will I be able to renew my EAD with the new H4B? Or are there any restraints for that? Or will I have to request a new EAD? Thank you for your help! God bless!

    1. Hi, Sarah,

      I am in the same situation as you. Did you get any further information? I appreciate your reply. Thanks in advance.


  58. Hello ,
    I am planning to apply for H4 EAD .
    I saw on one of the uscis site where I can apply the i-765 form online.
    Just wanted to check whether there is an option to apply the I-765 form online or is that option only open to few cateogaries.?

    Thank you.

    1. I am applying for H4 EAD and I am from Miami , FLorida.
      To which address do I need to send the documents.?

  59. Hi Raghuram,

    I am currently on H1b and wanted to shift to H4 and apply for my EAD card.
    * Is it possible to file for H4 and EAD card simultaneously?
    * If yes, how much time will it take to process if I file both of them together?
    * Is it safe to do that? (i.e. safe to apply for h4 & EAD while I already had H1b?)

    Thanks in advance!

  60. Hi Raghu,
    My husband did his masters for two years in usa and currently he is on h1b in his fifth year. He hasn’t applied for his green card yet.
    In total he is USA for seven years . I am on h4. Am i eligible for getting EAD?

  61. Hi, I’m currently on H4 and my husband is on H1. His employer applied for his green card in December 2013 and the I-140 has been approved. Recently (April 2015) we received our EAD’s and he also received the AP on his EAD. My questions are,

    1) As an H4 if i use the EAD approved before May 26th, 2015, will i fall out of H4 status or will i still be on H4 status?

    2) If I later lose the job, Will i be able to resume my H4 status?

    3) Will my EAD card be automatically updated after May 26th 2015 or do i have to file for EAD again to be eligible to work and maintain H4?

    4) How much longer will it be to get the green card after this EAD step? My husband’s application is in Eb2 category and the status date is current for our country.

    Kindly let me know! Thank you

    1. Author

      You will be in H4 status. With EAD you work or do nothing. You have to apply for EAD

  62. My husband has approved i140. But last year, my husbands company got took over. He has filed for Successor in Interest, but has not got any update.
    I am on a H4 visa and I would like to know if the I-140 my husband have (from the previous employer (which is acquired by new company)) can be used for my EAD application while the Successor in Interest application is in process?
    or should I wait till the new Successor in Interest is approved?

    Please I need a reply.

      1. Author

        Ryan is offering $100 discount for HSB reader for H4 processing. Use the code HAPPYSCHOOLS at checkout.

  63. Hey you said the required documents include Marriage Certificate so that has to be USA govt’s issued or the Indian Marriage certificate will work??

    What other prrof of relation we can use?

      1. Author

        Ryan is offering $100 discount for HSB reader for H4 processing. Use the code HAPPYSCHOOLS at checkout.

  64. Hi,

    I’m on my 5th year of H1 , my perm is approved on April 2015.
    My spouse has I140 approved.

    Now, I hear that I’m eligible for H4 EAD.
    1.First of all, will H4 EAD is an option for me
    2.If im opting for H4 EAD should I resign from my current company and
    how long should I wait for getting an EAD.
    3. If for some reason USCIS rejects H4 or H4 EOD – can I comeback to H1 status
    4.Is it allowed to change from H1 to H4EAD.

    What are the possible risks of going from H1 to H4 EAD

    Please let me know.


  65. Hi, I am on H4 and my spouse has approved 1-140. We are planning to apply for H4 EAD application. I need to visit India in May, my question is, do I need be in USA while we submit application ?? and do I need to stay in USA all the time while EAD is application is in progress ?? Can I apply and go to India for vacation ?

    1. Other submissions require your physical presence in the US when you file. USCIS hasn’t been super clear on this point for H4 EADs, so my advice is to be cautious and be physically present when you file, although you will likely be fine even if you are not physically present. After that, any travel will not affect anything.

      –Ryan Locke

      1. Author

        Ryan is offering $100 discount for HSB reader for H4 EAD processing. Use the code HAPPYSCHOOLS at checkout.

  66. My H4 is going to expire soon in August 2015 and I am planning to apply for H4 EAD.
    So my question is, EAD will be issued for 3 yrs same as H1 or it will based on spouse’s H1 validity period ?
    My EAD application is in progress and mean while if I get my H4 extension approval , how things will work for me in such situation?
    What will be renewal process?
    Please help

  67. Hello Raghu/Ryan
    My H4 visa is expiring on 30 Sept 2015
    My wife’s company will be extending her H1B for another 3 years only in August.

    Now can I apply for EAD on May 26, given that the H4 visa is only valid for 4 months from May 26th.

    Appreciate your reply.


    1. Author

      You would have to apply concurrent with H1B extension application. Else, you may get EAD only for 4 months.

  68. Hi,
    How is the application fee of $380 is to be paid? Can it be done online? Also, is the entire process online or do documents need to be sent via post?


    1. Author

      No online payment. Use cashiers check. And documents have to be mailed.

  69. Hi Raghu,
    My question is about the number of people getting H4 EAD. Is the number 179000 denotes the total number of eligible candidates that will be getting EAD for sure? or it is the limit set for this year?
    I have approved I-140. Will I get my EAD by the end of august( 3 months) or it may take longer than that? I mean does that depend on number of application they receive?
    Your help is appreciated.


    1. Author

      There’s no limit on EAD. As if today EAD can take longer than 90 days.

      1. Raghu’s correct that there’s no limit. The 90 day thing is how long USCIS predicts it will take them to issue EADs. I think they’ll be issuing quicker when they start receiving applications and then it will stretch out after a few weeks when they have a pretty heavy load.

        –Ryan Locke

        1. Author

          Ryan is offering $100 discount for HSB reader for H4 EAD processing. Use the code HAPPYSCHOOLS at checkout.

    2. Hi Raghu,

      Want to understand the relation between EAD and Visa stamping.. My wife has got approved H4 visa stamp, good upto Sept 2016. I have an approved I140. If we apply for her EAD, do we have to stamp her visa or she doesn’t need one at all. How does it impact her ability to travel to India and Come back?


      1. EAD is just to work in the US. For returning to US she must have a valid H4 visa. If you get EAD you still need to get the visa when it expires to return to US.

    3. You are not qualified for EAD if you have approved i140. Your spouse on “H4” visa is qualified for EAD if the partner is on H1 with approved i140 or AC21.

  70. My wife was on F-1 visa and had an EAD from the OPT. Now she is on H4 dependent visa. Do we have to apply for this EAD as a renewal or as a new EAD?

  71. Hello AUTHOR,

    My wife did not get selected in H1B lottery. I am still waiting for I-140. We plan her to go on H4 visa.

    Is it possible for my wife to apply for H1B visa through a consultant next year?


  72. Our H1 & H4 visa will expire on May 31st, 2015 and applied for regular extension and waiting for approval. Now I am ( H4 visa holder) planning to go to India on May 28th and will return on Aug first week. So, will my travelling plan and ext process impact on EAD application. Appreciate your advise.

    1. Author

      1. You have to be in USA to apply for H4 EAD.
      2. As far as I know you can travel after applying for H4 EAD.
      3. I’m assuming you are goign to apply for H4 EAD after you come back.

  73. I will be applying EAD for H4 once it opens, just not sure, will SSN will come automatically after EAD Approves and comes in hand OR I should file SSN after receiving EAD only.
    Pls advice.

  74. I will be getting the H1B for the first time within the next 2 months and my husband will get his h4, can we begin his process right away?

    1. Author

      First you need to start your Green Card Process ( by your employer). Then comes EAD for H4.

  75. Hi

    I am planning to apply for H4 EAD on 26th may and then travel to India on June 9th and be back on 10 Aug. Can I travel out of country after applying for H4EAD ? I will also be getting the stamping done in India? Can I do these things without any issues?

  76. What kind of jobs can the H4 with EAD person hold? Regular full time 40 hours per week?

    are there any restrictions on the kind of work that the H4 on EAD has to abide by?

      1. After trying to search thru this comment history – I couldn’t still find what kinds of jobs & hours are allowed on this H4 with EAD program. Can you please link to the exact comment?

        Wish this was gathered up as FAQ format than just a chatter of people asking questions. thanks!

        1. Author

          Please sign up for H4 newsletter, i will send you link to attorney video.

  77. Hi,

    Are we to fill the form I-765 currently on USCIS website or is there an updated form which is not yet available?


  78. Hi Raghu,

    I want to know whether we have to send all the original documents for just copy for I-797, passport etc. Also do we have to send both H1 and h4 holders passport or just the H4.
    Thank you.

  79. Hi Raghu/ Ryan,

    I am on H4 visa and it is valid till Sept 2016. I plan to apply for H4 EAD on May 26 2015. [My husband has approved I-140 and all] . I have travel plans to India in Dec 2015 [I hope to get my EAD before that] and will be back by mid of Jan 2016. My question is will my H4 EAD be still valid once I come back ? Does this EAD support multiple entries to US? If I am working then, will I be able to continue my job with this EAD? If not should I apply for a new one and pay the fees again then? Please advice. Thanks in Advance.

    1. Author

      I think you are confusing H4 EAd with EAd that one gets with I-1485 application. H4 visa and EAd with H4 is no different. You just get work authorization and can travel with EAD in hand.

      1. Hi Raghu,

        Thank you for your quick response. Anyway I am looking for some more clarity. I understand I can travel with this EAD. However when I go to India and come back I will get a new I-94. Will this affect the validity of my H4 EAD? Kindly reply.

        1. Author

          Initial EAD validity is based on your spouse;s H1B Validity not on H4.

          1. Hi Raghu,

            From the reply I understand that initial H4 EAD will hold good as long as the spouse’s H1B is valid and in between travels to India and change of I-94 due to the travels won’t affect that. Please confirm if I got you right.

          2. Author

            Yup. you got it right 🙂

            These days you don’t get paper I-94. So, new I-94 will have same validity as your current I-94.

      2. Hi Raghu/Ryan,

        I have I 140 approved and H1B visa valid till Aug192015 and last year we applied for H1 through a consultancy for my spouse(who was on H4 for 5 years) and she is on H1B and valid till Sep 2015. So my question is

        1. Can I apply for H4EAD for my spouse who is holding H1 Visa? and she has H4 I797 and I94 approved document till Aug192015(which is my exp date for my H1).
        2. Do I need to cancel her existing H1 and get her new H4 and then apply for H4EAD?
        3. Or is it advisable to stay with her current H1B or apply for H4EAD?

        Thanking you in advance for your reply

        1. Author

          If current status is H1 then convert to H4 and then get EAD.

          1. My wife and I are in the same situation. Does canceling of her current H1 get her back to H4? Her H4 is approved till sept 2016. Or do I need to file for a status change along with the H4 EAD application?
            Thank you and appreciate the excellent knowledge posted on your site.


          2. Author

            What do you mean by canceling if H1 application.

  80. I-140 is approved with employer A. Switched job from employer A to employer B. H1-B transfer applied and got approved until April 19, 2018.

    H4 is valid until and stamped until Sep 30, 2017. When we will apply for H4-EAD then will it be approved until I-797 approval date which is April 19, 2018 or will it be granted until H4 validity which is Sep 30, 2017 ?

    1. Author

      In theory it will be till 2018. But we don’t know answers to few questions.
      Waiting for clarifications from USCIS.

  81. I am filling the form I-765, Could you please let me know what is the answer of question 16?

    Go to the “Who may file form I-765?” section of the instructions. In the space below, place the letter and number of the eligibility category you selected from the instructions. (for example, (a)(8), (c)(17)(iii), etc.).

    1. Author

      Sorry. I can’t answer question about filing Immigration Forms. But, stay tuned for a professional guide on the same topic 🙂

      1. Hi Raghu
        my name is neha….i have my H4 visa till dec question to you is can i apply for EAD???
        i have approved 140….
        your help will be greatly appreciated…


        1. Author

          Yes, you can apply Neha. But the validity will be till Dec 2015 or till H1B validity period.

    2. Hi, I am looking for same info? Please reply if anyone knows what to fill here

      1. Author

        FYI – Official I765 form is not yet published for H4 EAD.

      1. Author

        Official form is not available. Please don’t submit wrong form.

        1. Official form not available till now. So we have to wait till they publish the form?
          When you expect them to publish?
          Can we even apply on-line on May 26?

          1. Author

            Yes. We have to wait for new form. Not sure when they will publish that.

    3. Answer to Q 16 is in draft for EAD for H4 ( version not sure but it later then aug 2014 ) the Answer is c.(26)

  82. My husband changed employer and is yet waiting on new approved I140. However his previous employer has not revoked his old I140. Can I apply for h4 ead based on old I140?

    1. Yes, you can file H4 EAD based on your husband’s previous I-140 approval.

    2. Hi Currently my wife applied for H4 COS (Change of Status) in 1st week of March. The application got routed to California Service Center and the current COS processing times are about 2 1/2 – 3 months. We are expecting to get her H4 approval before end of this month.

      So is it possible to apply for H4 EAD incase we don’t hear back on the COS before May 26th ?

      1. Author

        You are asking the wrong person 😄 this should go to an Attorney.

  83. Hi Raghu
    I recently filed for h1 transfer thru a another employer and that went into rfe.they would respond to it only in month of June. I am not sure about the previous h1’s status.i got i140 though.

    So can my wife apply for h4 ead?

  84. My wife is in L1B status. I have an approved I140 since 2 years. I have to apply concurrently for a COS to H4 and EAD. Which documents I need for application. You mentioned that the list of supporting documents are coming soon. Since it is time to file now, please let me know.


  85. Hai,
    Can you provide a detailed steps for filing the EAD for H4 ?

  86. Hi,
    My husband is in the 7th year of h1b and his PERM got approved recently and he is still waiting for i140 to get approved. Am I still eligible to apply for h4 ead? Please guide.

    1. Author

      If you already got 7th year H1, you should be eligible.

      1. Hi,
        After receiving H4 EAD,I am planning to work full time for an employer and simultaneously starting up my own I elligible to do both?

  87. Hello
    Re: H4 EAD Effective: May 26, 2015

    I am unable to figure out the eligibility category I can file the form I-765..I don’t see a spouse of h1b or h4 status? Can you please suggest what category do the h4 spouses fall under? Thank you.

    1. Author

      I womb babble to provide guidance on how to fill applications form. But I have something that will be useful for you EAD applicants that’s coming up in next 3 days.

      1. Hey

        raghu ,if you can help me with the category i should file into for a H4 EAD .

  88. Hi,
    My previous employer files labor and I-140. I have I-140 approved. I have joined my current employer last year and my current employer is processing labor now. With this, can i apply for EAD for my wife?


    1. Hi,
      My previous employer filed labor and I-140. I have I-140 approved. I have joined my current employer last year and my current employer is processing labor now. With this, can i apply for EAD for my wife?


    2. Yes, as long as you have all of the required documents and meet the necessary qualifications. Feel free to contact me if you have additional questions or need assistance.

  89. Hi Raghu,

    My husband has approved I-140, His same company has applied for H1B extension but got the RFE.
    Company has responded with RFE response few days back.

    Do we have to wait for RFE decision to come through OR can file H4 EAD application on the basis of approved I-140.

    Please advise.

    1. Author

      This question should be for an Immigration Attorney. Sorry, I can’t help.

      1. It will be available closer to the date on which USCIS begins accepting applications (May 26, 2015).

    2. I m in d same boat. Approve 140 but no h1 extension applied. Current h1 ending on August
      Please let me know if you get any info.

  90. Has USCIS approved/finalized the I-765 form for H4 EAD? If not, when can we expect that?

    1. No, USCIS has not updated the I-765 form yet. I would anticipate the new form will be available closer to the date it will start accepting applications (May 26, 2015).

  91. My question is – For applying H4 EAD , Better we go with an attorney if any issues are raises, they will takecare of it. or we can do it on our own ?
    USCIS generally takes 90days to receive EAD, is there any chances to receive EAD before than that ?
    And for applying EAD , any one Condition meets ,we are eligible right?

    Thanks in advance.

  92. Hi Raghu,
    I am from north carolina, Where can we file the application… is the USCIS going to accept the applications at all centers or at only specific centers ?

    I have approved I-140.

    1. My wife has an H4 and will be eligible to apply foe EAD on May 26th. I on on H1B with approved I-140.

      What category should I put under question 16 of the I-765 form.?

  93. Hi Raghu,
    I live in Maryland. I have an approved I-140 and my case is pretty straight forward.
    my question to you is when will we get the revised I-765 form?
    & where should i file the application?


    1. hi Priya,

      I am on also on the same boat, could you please update me on this ,
      if you find an answer.


  94. Hi Raghu

    I have below questions on I-765 application Any inputs will be appreciated.

    Is current I-765 form is the right one to start filling.?

    11. Have you ever before applied for employment authorization from USCIS?

    We applied in in 2012 and approved for 3 years until 2015.
    however in 2013 my wife went to India and came back on H4 ( visa stamped).
    and 2014 we extended our status( h1 and h4) got approved for 3 years
    2014 – 2017 on basis approved I-140.

    Which USCIS Office.?
    Date ?
    Attach all Documentation – Is approved H1 copy is good enough.?

    16. I read your replies on this , but still trying hard to find the right answer.

  95. USCIS still has not released the official H4 EAD form yet. Will the EAD Self Prep Guide refer to the newly YET-TO-BE-PLUBLISHED H4EAD application form?

    1. Form is not released ? This is not true. You will use the same form with a right category for H4 EAD.
      26 May 2015 is the the date and do you think they would not have form available ?

      1. Author

        Guys – Form is NOT yet RELEASE as of today. Don;t prepare using the existing I-765 form.

        1. Hi Raghu,
          I am interested in your Self Prep Guide. My question to you is “Will the EAD Self Prep Guide refer to the newly YET-TO-BE-PUBLISHED application form?”

          Let me know.

          1. Author

            Yes. Right now, we have recorded the instructions base don new form. If the new form looks different from when published, we will the guide. Let me know if you have any questions.

  96. hi Raghu

    appreciate ur help! kindly guide me in the i-765 form 16. question categories are not clearly giving in the form. i m on H4, my husband i-140 cleared , what is my eligibility criteria?


    1. Author

      You can get the help here –

      25% off Ends Today.

  97. Good morning,

    Have question regarding submitting documents along with I 765 form.

    Do you have to submit I 129 too?


    1. Author

      Hello Reena – Check the link to EAD self prep course. It has complete list of required documents, with instructions on how to mail the applications.

      1. There are so many categories in I129.
        Which category is applicable for H4 Ead?

        1. Author

          Thats why I suggested to buy the Self Prep Guide for answers 🙂

          1. Raghu,
            How will your guide help with the eligibility criteria for a wife’s H4 EAD with spouses I 140 approved, when the new form has not been released yet ?…Are you just trying to just sell the Self Prep guide or this site also helps potential customers with correct advice?
            Can you advise what category to fill up in question 16.

          2. Author

            ​Good question – This product is narrated by Immigration attorney Murlai with close to 20 years of service.

            If what we recorded requires change, new instructions will be added. ​

            Official form is not published but the we have the copy for what will be published. Guide is based on that. If the official form is different from the copy, then new instructions will also be made available.

            I wouldn’t be providing any value if don’t help you file the and fill right info right?

          3. Dear Raghu, Thank you for answering many unknown questions on this….appreciated.

  98. After submitting the EAD form, we may move. what is the procedure for this.

  99. Hi Raghu,

    I thought H4-EAD may look like L2 -EAD once issued by USCIS, but I don’t see any where to submit photographs.

    Do you have any idea how H4 EAD is going to be ?
    like L2-EAD with Photograph ( or ) Some thing like our Approval Notice I-797 .?


    1. Author

      🙂 All this is covered in the Self Prep Guide. Required documents with checklist, including answers to your question.

  100. Is the form for the H4 dependant to apply for EAD ready? If so, can you please share?

    1. Author

      I believe you can update he address using the AR11 form.

  101. HI Frnds,

    i have a Question my wife is eligible for H4 EAD. my question is She dont have Birth Certificate is it mandatory to apply H4 EAD?

    1. Author

      Not required, but you need to get that to file I-485. So, start working on that.

  102. Hi Raghu,
    Currently I am on H4 visa which is valid till 31st Dec,2015. I am planning to apply for H4 EAD on 26th May,2015. I am planning to travel on 20th July,2015 and returning on 10th Sep,2015. Can I travel after applying for H4 EAD? Can I apply for H4 Extension(i-539) after returning? Please answer my question. Appreciate your help.

      1. Hi Raghu,
        In this statement they say “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.”

        And again they contradicted in next line
        “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.”

        So I didn’t understand clearly whether to travel or not. Sorry to trouble you by asking again.

        1. Author

          You got the point. I will get clarification on that from Murali. But, the answers will be posted for H4 EAD self prep guide members.

          It’s not clear what happens if you travel. The word “however” is the key.

  103. hi raghurama,
    I recently got married and moved to US a month back, My husbands Visa H1 B expires at the end of September this year and his employer is working on with its extension, if i file my application for EAD on 26th will it effect the process of my EAD since my spouse’s visa will be in extension process . We are in dilemma whether to submit EAD application , Please suggest your opinion.

  104. 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)?

  105. Hi Raghu
    After going to USICS recent News letter about how to apply EAD , i have question on ID proof section. ‘A government-issued identification document with Photo”.
    Is it enough if we produce any one of below?

    A copy of your last EAD (if any);
    A copy of the biometric page of your passport;
    A birth certificate with photo ID; —- Is this original document or a copy of original works?
    A visa issued by a foreign consulate; or — Is this original document or a copy of original works? ( does H4b visa issued by USA satisfy this condition?
    A national identity document with photo. — Is this original document or a copy of original works?

    If you have answered similar question in earlier discussion , please guide me to that link.
    Thanks a lot for your help.

  106. Can we do the e-filing /apply online if I-140 is approved for H1B ? Appreciate your quick response.

      1. Hi,

        My H4 visa is expiring this Oct. I have applied for H4 extension 3 days ago. Can I apply for EAD now or shall I wait for visa extension & apply later? Please suggest your opinions.

  107. Hi
    im h4 dependent me n my spouse came back to india in 2012 and we have approved 140 and got visa till august 2015 but we are in bad situation as we attended interview on march 2013 s they issued 221g and still not updated any thing. Pls let me know im I applicable for h4 ead and will there be issue if I attended with 2012 I-94.pls let me know…..

    1. Do we have to file I 539 as well for this process? please any one guide me.

  108. hi

    In the form I-765 there is one question

    “Place of Last entry into the US”

    Now, as of some of us might know that those who have transit in Abu Dhabi airport get their immigration process completed there itself. My arrival record on DHS site also shows that my “Port of Entry/Exit” as “MAA – ABU DHABI INTL” as I got my immigration process done in Abu Dhabi itself.

    However, in US I arrived at Washington International airport.

    I am confused as to what should I write the answer for this question.

    It should be Washington DC or Abhu Dhabi ?

    please guide

  109. hi

    In the form I-765 there is one question

    Place of Last entry into the US

    Now, as of some of us might know that those who have transit in Abu Dhabi airport get their immigration process completed there itself. My arrival record on DHS site also shows that my “Port of Entry/Exit” as “MAA – ABU DHABI INTL”. However, in US I arrived at Washington International airport.

    I am confused as to what should I write the answer for this question.

    please guide

  110. I received update saying that the decision made on our case has been revoked and on feb 23 2014 we received a mail to send client letter, we replied with the same but still the case is showing as earlier. ? Pls let me know how long I should wait as they took all his certificates and employment documents.can I withdraw or I should send a mail regarding my case update.

    1. Author

      This should be followed up with your attorney. Nobody can answer case specific questions here or anywhere in forums.

    2. hi raghu,

      do we need husband i94 also to apply EAD…i am on H4 visa..
      ur answer will be greatly appropriated..

  111. Hi Raghu,

    I read one of your responses for Chandu stating that if the spouse doesn’t have birth certificate, it doesn’t matter.
    My question is do we have this confirmed answer by the renowned lawers or legal teams or shall we expect RFE coz of unavailability of Birth Certificate 🙁

  112. Hi,

    My H4 visa is expiring this Oct. I have applied for H4 extension 3 days ago. Can I apply for EAD now or shall I wait for visa extension & apply later? Please suggest your opinions.

  113. Hi, What is the photo requirement for for H4 EAD application? Is ti white or dark background? I see in one website it should be dark background.

  114. Hello,
    I’m on H4 visa, I got an I 94 in the passport, when I first entered USA. but for the second time when I came to USA, I found a different I 94 online in the website . In my case which I 94 should I use in filling I 765 application, the new one or the old one.

    1. Hi,
      I am also on H4 dependent with eligibility,. Did you apply online or sent the paper form?

  115. Hi,
    I have a doubt on applying h4 ead. I read a point on uscis website stating
    “Based on Filing of a Permanent Labor Certification Application. Submit evidence that the H-1B nonimmigrant is the beneficiary of a Permanent Labor Certification Application that was filed at least 365 days prior to the expiration of the six-year limitation of stay. You may show this by submitting a copy of a print out from the Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) website or other correspondence from DOL showing the status of the H-1B nonimmigrant’s Permanent Labor Certification Application. If DOL certified the Permanent Labor Certification, also submit a copy of Form I-797 Notice of Receipt for Form I-140 establishing that the Form I-140 was filed within 180 days of DOL certifying the Permanent Labor Certification”

    My question is, I have a certified PERM and husbands employer DID NOT FILE i140 yet. So am i not eligible to apply?
    pls reply

    1. Author

      Refer to previous articles about eligibility criteria.

    2. Hello VK,

      This is Ravi Karuku. I am exactly in the same scenario. I have got my PERM certified recently and I-140 is not applied yet. Could you please share your experience? Have you proceed to apply for H4 EAD? If you applied, What documents you have submitted for AC21 proof? Did you get any status update for EAD? It would be greatly appreciated if you can throw some light. Thank you. & Good luck.

      1. Hi Ravi, Sorry for the delayed reply. No, actually I didn’t apply for h4 ead as my husband don’t want me to take that risk 😊 . I think employer of my husband shall file i140 in a day or two. May be after that I’m thinking to proceed confidently. Good luck…

  116. hello, I have listened from some people that the approved EAD rule is applicable only for the people with qualifications on technical side. How far is this true ? Because, I am a Life Science Post Graduate. Am i eligible to apply for EAD. My husbands I140, will be expected, to be approved by next month. Please throw some light in this regard.

  117. HI,

    Can I apply EAD by my self or I have to go to Lawyer for applying? If I can apply by myself any pointer?

      1. Hi Raghu,
        I have heard some news that many of them got their EAD ‘s in hand.Is that true?Does anybody get their EAD?

  118. I have my I140 approved right now and planning to apply for H4 EAD for my wife. Only question i had is let us say my wife gets H4 EAD and then i get another job so they reapply for my labour and stuff. Does she need to apply H4 EAD again?

      1. Hi Raghu, can you please let me know where are the video interview you have mentioned.

        1. Author

          It’s in members area about the application and you can search for other free interviews.

  119. My Spouse was out of Country and recently came on H4 . She doesnot have I797 but has I94. I am planning to apply for H4 EAD. I got my I140.

    Please let me know if there will be any issues.

  120. Hi, i am aH4 and currently my spouse is not planning to appy for PR as of now. Will that factor be an issue or delay if i apply for my EAD?

    1. Rephrasing here.
      i hold aH4 and my spouse is not planning to apply for PR as of now.
      will that factor be an issue in delaying the processing of my EAD, if i apply for one?

    2. Author

      How can you apply for EAD if your spouse is not doing PR?

  121. Hi Raghu

    I had a question about I-94 copy to send in H4 EAD documents. I have my last online I-94 from the port of entry. But recently, my H4 got renewed and I got another i94 attached to the approved renewal. The new I-94 is valid till a later date than the last port of entry I-94.

    My question is which I-94 do I need to send in my H4 EAD application ?

  122. I got EAD and SSN says ‘ valid for work only with DHS authorization’ , can I start business now or this is just for job?

    1. Author

      You can do job, start business or do both or do nothing. EAD is flexible.

  123. I have couple of questions regarding I-765 Form for H 4 -EAD .I had applied for OPT and STEM OPT EAD card on F-1 status , followed by H1-B and currently on H 4 status

    On the form I am applying for : Should I select – 1. Permission to accept employment or Renewal of my permission to accept employment ( As H 4- EAD is filed under H-4 category which different from F1, I am not quite sure what should be selected )

    2. On ques 11 -Have you ever applied for employment authorization from USCIS- Should I mention “YES” and give details about OPT EAD , STEM OPT EAD’s and NOT H1-B ( as H1-B is not related to EAD ) .

    — If Yes , then in date section, should I give validity of my OPT period or just when I received the receipt notice ?

    1. Author

      Hey.. that’s why I have H4 EAD Self Prep Guide (created with help from Immigration attorney) – Check it out in Products Page.

    2. I got my approved I-765 today. In the approved 797 it mentions that I-766 will be sent separately to the beneficiary. What is I-766? What are my next steps?

      1. Author

        I-765 is the H4 EAD application form. I-766 is the Actual EAD Card.

    3. Hi Deepthi,

      I am in same situation as yours and had similar queries. Did you finally file for H4EAD? and can you help me out with the answers for the above.

  124. Hi,

    Can I apply for SSN without the Employment Letter? or SSN needs the Employment Letter

    1. Author

      I don’t know the answer. Please post it here when you find one. I don’t think you need Employment letter.

  125. Hi,

    Can you please let me know for filing H4-EAD the I-140 (h1) approval copy should be copy of I-797 A (or) any one (B,C)?

  126. Hello There…

    When a H4 person gets the EAD , can he/she directly join a company or has to work through some placement agency ?

    I mean is this person legally allowed to work like a greencard holder or citizen or he needs some kind of help via some company ? I hope am making sense…

    Shiv Kapur

  127. Can you tell me, can i apply directly? How long does it take? Documents needed? fees?
    Should i needs to be in US for applying?

  128. Hi,
    I am on H4 and my husband is on H1B visa…having I 140…our visa will expire on December 2015..his visa got extended…To apply for EAD do I need to fill I 539 form?

    1. Author

      I-539 is Change of Status form. Check the H4 EAD course (narrated by attorney) to file your EAD.

  129. Hi,

    My wife received her approved EAD. However, we noticed that the category on her approved EAD is given as A16. But the category should have been C26. How to get it fixed? Can she apply for any jobs with this category A16 as her EAD has been already approved?

    1. Author

      Check with Attorney Murali via Ask an Attorney. You can upload the document copy.

    2. Hi Niranjan,

      This is Nuthan here. Congratulations on approved EAD. Can you please let me know whether i cam apply for h4 EAD online or I should apply through any attorny. My husband got I-140 approved. I have all my documents ready but not sure how to apply. Please can you suggest me how to proceed.
      Many Thanks.

      1. Author

        Hey, you have 3 options
        1. Apply on your own
        2. Use Sel-Prep H4 EAD guide (narrated by Attorney Murali)
        3. Use H4 EAD via Ask an Attorney ( typically costs $500 with most attorney’s, but you can do it less than that) via Ask an Attorney.

  130. Dear all,

    Do I need an EAD to apply for a job or attend job interviews in the US ?


    1. Author

      You would need EAD to start working. You can apply for jobs or attend interview while EAD application is under process.

    2. Hi Priya,

      As per my experience, even if you apply for job awaiting your EAD, they will not move ahead untill you have your EAD in hand. So you may shortlist your requirements. But I would still suggest to wait till EAD arrives.

  131. A quick question on how will they process H4 EAD renewal.

    My h1 is valid till march 2016 and the same with H4 and H4 EAD. My employer will start my H1 extension may be some time in Jan 2016.

    1. How will H4 and H4 EAD will be effected?

    2. Should we be applying all at a time?

    3. What is the best way that H4 and H4 EAD are renewed sooner?

  132. Hi,

    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.

  133. I am currently on F1 and have an F1 EAD. I want to apply for H4 COS and H4 EAD concurrently. What are the documents I should attach for H4 EAD . It states Proof of H4 status . If so doing concurrently what is the Proof to be attached?

  134. My H1 and my wifes H4 petitions expires on 09/16/2018.Last week my wifes H4 EAD is approved but on approval notice the expiration date is valid from 11/12/2015 to 11/11/2016 which is not matching my H1B or H4 petition expiration dates.So could you please assist me with few suggestion how to proceed from here.Can i make an infopass and check with USCIS?Thanks

    1. I guess EADs are given for shorter duration than your visa. 90 days before the expiration of EAD, you need to renew it. If everything goes right, it will be extended.

  135. Dear All –

    I am on H4 dependent visa and my husband has approved I-40. I will be filling my EAD soon to get employment authorization. Would be interested in knowing the listing of additional documents, I should need to apply and get it processed on a smooth track.

    Being a Canadian Permanent Resident, Is there any requirement of me being staying in US as my EAD application is in process or I could travel?

    Comments and feedback is highly appreciated

  136. Hi,
    Bryna here master of physical therapist (India) with two years of clinical experience and now here in US on h4 visa in Massachusetts and my spouse is on hb1 visa so is there anything that I can do job from home or in cash rather than sitting simply at home???

      1. Hi,

        1)I had applied for H1B extension in jun 2015 and got the RFE in jan 2016. My employer has responded to RFE on 29 jan 2016.
        2)My husband has I-140 approved and i am planning to apply for the H4-EAD once my RFE clears.

        My question
        1)Can we apply Change of status(h1 to h4) and h4 ead together?
        2)If yes how long does it take and both come together or first cos and then EAD


        1. Author

          Yes, you can apply for COS with H4 EAD. You can use Ask an Attorney if you want an Attorney to apply for you.

          1. Thanks a ton Raghuram for your prompty reply.
            Will talk to attorney.

  137. Hi
    My i-140 is approved and now i am changing my employer, so what will happen to my wife H4-EAD. because my new employer have to file new i-140.

  138. Hi

    My H1 is expiring and i am going to switch over to H4. Can I remain on the payroll as unpaid leave of absence till my visa gets sorted and I get my EAD through my husband? Or does my contract with the company end when my H1 ends as I can no longer legally work and I should not be on the payroll even if I am unpaid.

  139. I have a question. Right now I am on L2 EAD (Spouse L1). Now my spouse’s employer is filling H1B for him and H4 for me. So say if my status gets converted to H4, then when can I start applying for EAD. e.g. say if we are allocated the visa by June 2016 but the activation date is October 1 2016. So can I start my EAD application between June 2016 to Oct 2016 or shall I have to wait till October 1 to start the application.

    Please suggest.

    1. Author

      Refer to the Green Card Steps article. Your spouse have to get I-140 approval.

  140. Hi!

    My current H4 EAD is expired and my renewal is in process and my H4 visa is already approved ..can i continue working when my New EAD is in renewal..if my employer allows

    1. Author

      You should have valid EAD card with you to work. Can’t work with expired EAD.

  141. Hi Raghuram,

    I see that my i-140 is approved as per online USCIS case status. My Spouse will be joining me in few days on H4 Visa. Can we apply for H4 EAD in the first week of he entering USA(H4 visa)? or its good to give it a month or two before one applies for H4 EAD?

    Thanks in Advance,

    1. Hi

      USPS missed H4 EAD delivery. Not able to trace where they lost the card.

      Now, how to get the card

      1. Author

        If the card is lost, then you may have to apply again 🙁

  142. Hi,
    I’m in H4 status. Can we apply EAD by own or it has to be applied via attorney?


  143. Hi, The I-765 forms asks for Alien Registration Number or I-94 Number in one of the column.

    I had EAD based on L2 in year 2011, now we have reentered USA in 2015 – my husband on H1B and I on H4.
    My question is should I write previous Alien Registration Number that is present on my previous EAD card or latest I-94 number?

    Can someone help?

    1. Hi

      I am currently in the same situation, which I94 number did you give when filing?

  144. I am in H1B and my spouse is in H4 . We have not filed for GC . Can i apply H4 EAD for my spouse .

  145. Hi,

    My husband came to USA in January 2016 and i entered USA in July. I am on H4. Do you think its too early to apply for an EAD for me? Is there a rule that says i should have completed these many years in of stay in USA?


  146. My H1B is valid till Dec,2018 with an approved I140. My spouse H1B is also valid till Sep,2017 and she wants to come on H4 EAD
    She is currently working, what is the best way to minimize the employment gap?
    1. When we apply H4 and H4 EAD together, I have noticed that both H4 and H4 EAD are given together. Is this purely on the discretion of USCIS or it always happens like that? In this way, there would be no gap?
    2. Also, is there an option to put future date for H4 (so put future date of Dec 30 start date for H4 when applying on Sep 30). By putting future date and assuming USCIS takes 3 months for processing of H4+HE EAD together, gap can be minimized. Is this true?
    Client would not wait for more than 2 weeks of unpaid vacation
    Any other way to reduce employment gap?

    1. Author

      That’s an interesting way to lower the unemployment days. You should talk to an attorney. I haven’t seen anyone use that strategy.

  147. hi , I am priya Ganga, I have completed my bachelor’s in I.T. I am here in u.s since June 2016. Recently I applied for ead. alongwith it is am doing my masters in india. Through online……..I have experience in lecturer for 3 years….I am yet to find a new job here in u.s……is it easy to get in networking job as a fresher or should I do any course here?

  148. Can anyone help me in urgent question
    1. I got H4 EAD RFE today after 72 days from the date of filing . I will submit docs today and how many days it will take to process? 90 days again?

  149. Hi,
    I am currently on L1 visa and my COS to H4 is pending with USCIS. I want to apply H4 EAD now. Do i need to submit my previous L1 documents like L1 approval notice,SSN etc. Please suggest.

  150. Ask Raghu,

    My husband came to Usa in 2016 Jan and me in may. Can I apply for h4 EAD now and how long will it take. Can you pls let me if it’s $380 or are there any other hidden charges.


  151. Komal

    Hi Raghu,
    I m Komal. I m here with my husband. He is H1b visa holder n I m H4 visa holder. I m B.E.Civil from India. Can I work here???

    Plz help me out.

  152. my english speaking power is not good can i apply for h4 husband is now in usa.

  153. Hi,
    I have one question about my H4 EAD renewal.I have H1B I-797 receipt notice and number and H4 receipt notice.I don’t have H1 and H4 I-797 approval notice.H1 and H4 both are pending can I renew my h4-ead basis of I-797 receipt notice.In I-765 form number 18 can i write I-797 receipt number.Please reply

  154. Hi,

    I’m on H4 visa and my husband is on H1B. I recently applied for I-765. Later i heard that I-485 can be applied on our names if we provide marriage certificate and it is good option instead of H4-EAD.
    So i got confused with H4 – EAD and I485 EAD. could you please clarify me with below things.
    1. what is the difference between H4 EAD and I485 EAD . which is good option?
    2. Can we apply for EAD on I-485 now? how many days will i take to get approval.

    If possible please provide me the web inks.

    Thanks in advance.

  155. Hello,

    My husband got H1 visa approved and myself have H4 visa approved. Currently i am working in india with 5 yrs of experience for IT company. i have to quit my Job and then i will be moving to USA in H4 dependent visa.

    I would like to work in USA. Kindly let me know any possibilities or suggestions please.

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