H4 EAD is an H4 Employment Authorization Document (EAD) that allows H4 visa holders to work legally in H4 EAD jobs without any employer or location restriction in USA.
Documents required for H4 EAD application
1. H4-EAD FEES check
A check (Personal check or cashier check) for $410 payable to U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Short forms like USCIS not allowed.
2. PHOTO for H4 EAD application
2 Identical photographs (2×2 Inch) clicked within last 30 days. Write your NAME and i94 number (OR SSN OR Alien registration number) on the back of the photograph with a light gray colored pencil.
3. Form G1145 (Optional)
If you want USCIS to send you a SMS or an email once they receive your application, use this form and attach at top of the application package.
Related: DHS is working on H-4 EAD termination rules.
4. Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization
Sample I-765 form for H4-EAD is given below.
5. H4 Status Proof
- Copy of H-4 visa holder’s MOST RECENT I-797 Approval. If H4 extension has been done recently, use the extension approval. OR
- Most recent i-94 copy. If extension approved recently, the NEW i94 would be attached with your H4 extension approval (i797).
6. Government-issued ID document with photo
- Copy of Passport’s front (with Photo) and back pages (with address) OR
- Copy of USA H4 Visa stamp page from Passport OR
- A copy of your last EAD – Both front and back (if any) OR
- A birth certificate with photo ID. Example, Indian (or Chinese) birth certificate will work only if it has photograph on it. OR
- Any other national identity document with photo. US State ID or Driving License are NOT acceptable.
7. Relationship to the H-1B nonimmigrant
Copy of the marriage certificate issued in your country in English.
8. H4 EAD eligibility proof
Source: Official USCIS Document list
H4 EAD Sample form – I765 NEW application
Q 29 on Form I-765 for H4-EAD? Which receipt number should I write? I have two receipt, one is H1B approval and other is i-140 Approval?
Use H1B primary person’s most recent I-797 receipt number. This is NOT the I-140 approval receipt number.
Documents required for H4 EAD RENEWAL application
The document list is same for renewal (or H4 EAD extension) as for new H4-EAD application mentioned above.
USCIS does not allow you to apply earlier than 180 calendar days including weekend and holidays.
Update May 19, 2018: Several users have reported that USCIS is now issuing RFEs if you file for renewal 180 days before expiry. RFE claims that you can file only 120 days before expiry.
Refer comments by users.
Officially, USCIS allows filing renewal 180 days in advance. We recommend people to be careful as the H4 EAD withdrawal is coming soon. We have covered the news and USCIS discrepancy in detail here.
Sample i765 form – H4 EAD Renewal
It is possible that START date for this extension is in future.
If your H4 expires in Sep, and you applied for renewal in Mar, same year, it is possible that your extended H4’s start date is Sep instead of March.
It is on USCIS to give a current start date or future one (that correlates with your current H4’s expiry date).
For the sake of filling up the i-765 form, we would consider the most recent H4 approval irrespective of its start date.
Based on it, your i94 number and primary H1B i797 approval receipt number will be decided while filing i765.
Q 21a: Form i-94 number : Use i94 number on the most recent H4 approval (i797 form). Use this START date even if it is in future without any issue.
What address should the H4-EAD application be sent to?
H4 EAD USCIS and DHS H4 EAD mean the same thing. Application is mailed to USCIS.
|H1B Receipt Number begins with||EAC or LIN||WAC|
|Send application to||Dallas USCIS Lockbox office||USCIS Phoenix Lockbox office|
|Using USPS?||USCIS Attn: H4|
P.O. Box 660921
Dallas, TX 75266
P.O. Box 20400
Phoenix, AZ 85036
|Using FedEx, UPS or DHL?||USCIS Attn: H4|
2501 S. State Hwy. 121 Business
Lewisville, TX 75067
Attn: H4 1820 E. Skyharbor Circle S
Phoenix, AZ 85034
Q 1: Reason for Applying?
Applying H4 EAD for the first time, Choose 1.a.
If you had any kind of EAD before (like L2-EAD), then you can consider H4 EAD as new EAD.
For H4-EAD renewal applications, select 1.c. – renewal.
Q 23: Place of Last Arrival into the US?
Enter name of the Airport (Port of entry like Newark International Airport) in US on your most recent entry.
For some people, this airport might be a non-US airport like Abu Dhabi where they complete the US immigration process at Abu-Dhabi airport itself.
I would suggest to write either the “Port of Entry/Exit” as “MAA – ABU DHABI INTL” or the name of the US airport where you landed first.
For example, if you landed in Washington Airport after completing immigration process at Abu Dhabi airport, your i94 record will show the “MAA – ABU DHABI INTL” as the port of entry.
You can then either write “Washington Airport” or “MAA – ABU DHABI INTL”.
Q 28: Spouse eligibility degree on Form I-765?
For H4-EAD applications, you can write ‘N/A’ or leave blank.
Which color pen for signature on Form I-765?
Only BLACK color ink pen are allowed as USCIS uses computer scanning to read forms.
H4 EAD processing time?
H4 EAD Processing times with USCIS are expected to be at least 90 days from the date of the H-4 EAD application’s receipt, provided that the applicant is already in H-4 status.
They used to have an SLA (service line agreement) of 90 days earlier. It stands cancelled and now there is no official time frame.
Can you start a business on H4 EAD?
Yes, H4 EAD can do any job or even start a business. There are no restriction like the ones for primary H1B holder of filing LCA for a specific technology, location and employer.
SSN questions mandatory in new i-765 form?
If you do not currently have SSN (which most first time EAD filers will not have), just select ‘No’ on Q 13.a. and then select ‘Yes’ on Q 14 and Q 15.
You will have to fill Q 16.a., 16.b. with your (H4’s) father and mother name to get SSN card.
Your SSN card will be automatically generated after your EAD is approved within 3-4 weeks mailed by USPS.
Should we staple all the documents together in application package?
Do NOT staple the documents. Instead, use a paper clip to bind them together. Here is a sample of final documents package.
Can I Travel outside USA during my H4 EAD application is in process?
Well, this is what USCIS says for travel:
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.
In simple terms, I would travel outside if someone in USA (like your husband) can receive the notices from USCIS and respond, if required. In a normal scenario, you do not receive RFE or need to visit application support center. But, if you do, you will have to come back to USA.