H4 EAD Automatic 180 day Extension
H4EAD does not get automatic EAD extension after its expiry.
The automatic 180 day EAD extension that you have heard or read about is NOT allowed for H4 EAD category c(26).
You cannot work until you get the renewed H4 EAD card in your hand.
There are only some types of EAD work permits like i485 (code C09) that are allowed to use the automatic 180 EAD extension but not H4-EAD.
L2 EAD holders whose category code is A(1)(8) cannot work either if their current work permit card has expired and renewal is pending. Similarly, (C05) J-2 spouse or minor child of a J-1 exchange visitor cannot work based on receipt for their EAD extension.
After Expiration of H4 EAD date, Can I continue Work for Some Days?
Many people ask the question if they can keep working based on H4 EAD extension receipt even after current one has expired.
You cannot work after expiration of your H4 EAD card validity. You have to stop working the same day the H4 EAD expires.
There are interim EADs available for many types of work permits given by USCIS but H4 EAD and L2 EAD are not part of it. Interim EAD is given to help the continued employment when USCIS is taking time to approve the EAD renewal application.
Can I work if H4 EAD Renewal is in process?
You cannot work if your existing H4 EAD card has expired and renewal is in process. You cannot remain on paid or un-paid leave either. Ideally, the job should be terminated by employer and you can rejoin once your get H4 EAD work permit.
Many attorney recommend that your employer terminate your employment and I-9 to avoid un-necessary compliance issues later.
Employer has to fill form I-9 to report legal employment to government and IRS and hence cannot keep you on payroll.
It is also for your own benefit to stop working as the status issues might crop up at the time of green card processing, which may hurt more than the couple of days or a month’s salary now.
You can talk to your employer and attorney to check if they are okay with letting you go on leave of absence while your EAD card renewal is pending.
Automatic 180 Day EAD Extension Categories
USCIS only allows some EAD categories to keep working even after EAD expiry if you have filed the extension before the current EAD approval expires.
H4 EAD category is C(26) and it is not part of the automatic EAD extension allowed list: A03, A05, A07, A08, A10, C08, C09, C10, C16, C20, C22, C24, C31 and A12 or C19.
H4 EAD Notice of Action Shows 180 day Automatic Extension
The above shown image is notice of action (i797) sent by USCIS when you apply for any EAD extension including H4 EAD.
It has a generic message about 180 automatic renewal available if your EAD application is pending in same category as the earlier one.
Please note that this is a common message printed on this i797 for all EAD categories. If you look at the allowed category list for automatic extension, H4 EAD (C-26) is not part of the list.
You cannot work on H4 EAD receipt. A physical H4 EAD card is required to work.
You cannot work if your existing H4 EAD card has expired and renewal is in process. You should get the approved H4 EAD card in your hand to re-start work.
For I-765 has a generic message about 180 automatic renewal. H4 EAD is not eligible for it.
H4 EAD can open and LLC and do any business.
There are no restrictions. You can do any type of job like Walmart sales executive, insurance agent, drive Uber or an IT consulting.
You cannot file H4 EAD from India. You have to be physically present in USA to have valid H4 status and then file H4 EAD application.