Can H4, L2 EAD Work on Receipt (180 Day Extension?)

H4, L2 EAD cannot work while extension pending & card expired. Automatic 180 day extension not allowed by USCIS. Unpaid leave vs termination, I-9 issues.

Written by AM22Tech Team
  AM22Tech Team    Updated 9 Nov, 20

H4EAD and L2 EAD do 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 the H4 EAD category c(26).

You cannot work until you get the renewed EAD card in your hand.

H4 EAD card sample
H4 EAD card sample

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.

Interim EAD – Work for Some Days?

Many people ask the question if they can keep working based on the H4 EAD extension receipt even after the current one has expired for a couple of days?

The answer is that you cannot work after the expiration of your EAD card validity. You have to stop working the same day the EAD expires.

i765 Notice of Action

The i765 notice of action (i797) sent by USCIS has a general language that you are allowed to keep working for up to 180 days.

Many people have reported that USCIS call center agents also suggest them to keep working on H4 or L2 EAD when they have called to clear this confusion.

H4 EAD notice says 180 day automatic extension is not valid for H4 EAD
H4 EAD notice says 180 day automatic extension is not valid for H4 EAD

Note that this is a generic message about 180 automatic renewal available if your EAD application is pending in the category allowed by USCIS.

If you look at the allowed category list for an automatic extension, H4 EAD (C-26) is not part of it.

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.

Unpaid Leaves or Termination

Some employers and attorneys suggest to go on ‘unpaid leave’ and return to work once you have got your new EAD card.

As per our opinion, the job should be terminated by the employer and you can rejoin once your get H4 EAD work permit.

  • Many attorneys recommend that your employer terminate your employment and I-9 to avoid un-necessary compliance issues later.
  • The employer has to fill form I-9 to report legal employment to government and IRS and hence cannot keep you on the 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 a 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 a 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.


Can I work on H4 EAD receipt?

You cannot work on the H4 EAD receipt or an approval status on the USCIS website.

A physical H4 EAD card is required to work.

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 should get the approved H4 EAD card in your hand to re-start the work.

Is 180 automatic extension notice on I-765 form valid?

I-765 has a generic message about 180 automatic renewal.

H4 EAD and L2 EADs are not eligible for it.

Can H4 EAD open LLC and do business?

H4 EAD can open and LLC and do any business.

Are there any restrictions on H4 EAD job?

There are no restrictions on the H4 EAD job.

You can do any type of job like Walmart sales executive, insurance agent, drive Uber, or IT consulting.

Can we file EAD from India?

You cannot file EAD from India.

You have to be physically present in the USA to have valid H4 or L2 status and then file the EAD application.


Written by AM22Tech Team
  AM22Tech Team     

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