H4 EAD Documents, Sample Form I-765 for New, Renewal Application

H4 EAD sample I765 form, document checklist, fees $410. Renew 180 days before expiry. H1B primary i129 - I797 receipt required. Processing time 2-7 month.

Written by Anil Gupta
  By Anil Gupta          Updated  21 Jan, 20


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.

Check if you are eligible to apply H4 EAD.

Documents for H4 EAD Application

#1 H4-EAD Fees

H4 EAD fees check for $410 payable to ‘U.S. Department of Homeland Security‘. Short forms like USCIS not allowed on personal or cashier or money order.

Personal check from your checking or savings account in Bank of America, Chase etc. is allowed. Certified check is not required.

H4 EAD application check
H4 EAD application check

EAD fees can be paid by credit card too.

Do not add biometric fees to H4 EAD check as it does not require biometric. If you send wrong fees amount, USCIS will reject your application and send it back.

#2 Photo

Two identical 2×2 inch photographs clicked within last 30 days are required for H4 EAD application.

Write your name and i94 number (OR SSN OR Alien registration number) on the back of the photograph with a light gray colored pencil.

Do not send old photo with I-765 application as USCIS will send RFE to submit new photos. This will increase your H4 EAD processing time.

#3 Form I-765

Fill up USCIS Application for Employment Authorization (form i765).

You can use this sample i765 form for first time H4-EAD application:

Open link in new window.

Use this sample i765 for filing H4 EAD extension or renewal:

Open link in new window.

#4 H4 Status Proof

  • Copy of H-4 visa holder’s most recent I-797 Approval. If an H4 extension has been approved recently, use the extension approval. OR
  • Most recent H4 i-94 copy. If an H4 extension was approved recently, the new i94 would be attached with your H4 extension approval (i797) notice.

#5 Government-issued Photo ID Document

  • 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 a photograph on it. OR
  • Any other national identity document with photo. US State ID or Driving License is NOT acceptable.

#6 H4’s Relationship with H-1B

Copy of your marriage certificate in English is required to prove H4 dependent’s relationship to primary H1B.

#7 H4 EAD Eligibility Proof

Primary H1B spouse’s I-140 i797c approval notice is required to prove H4 EAD eligibility.

If your employer has not shared I-140 approval copy with you, use USCIS FOIA request to get I-140 details.

#8 Current H4-EAD copy for Renewal

Existing EAD copy is required only if you already have H4 EAD and you are applying for renew or extension.

Only black color ink pen is allowed as USCIS uses computer scanning to read forms.

Do NOT staple the documents. Use a paper clip to bind them together.

#9 Form G1145 (Optional but recommended)

Use form G1145 to let USCIS send you an SMS or an email once they receive your application. Attach this form at top of the EAD application package.

H4 EAD application package
H4 EAD application package

H1B, H4, H4 EAD Concurrent Filing

If you are filing H1B, H4 and H4 EAd applications concurrently at same time in same package, you can write this in the question 29 on form i765:

  • “Filed Concurrently” OR
  • Leave Blank OR
  • Write current approved H1B receipt number

All three options have been tried and tested and all of them work fine. Our recommendation is to write “Filed concurrently” in Q29.

Don’t worry about limited space to write it. You can just write with free hand writing.

Documents for H4-EAD Renewal Application

The document list is the same for H4 EAD renewal or extension as for new H4-EAD application mentioned above.

It is possible that the start date for H4 EAD 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.

What is H4 EAD Processing Time?

Current H4 EAD processing time is 2 to 7 months. It changes every month with each USCIS service center.

What is H4 EAD eligibility Category?

H4 EAD Eligibility category code is C(26).

How Much Time It Takes To get EAD Card After ‘new Card is Being Produced’ Status?

You will receive your EAD card within 1-7 working days after New Card is Being Produced case status.

Which Receipt Number to Write in Question 29 on H4 EAD form?

Write H1B primary’s most recent I-797 receipt number on H4 EAD application form I-765 question 29.
This is not the I-140 approval receipt number.

Which i94 Number Should Be Written On H4 EAD form?

You should write i94 number from the most recent H4 approval (i797 form) on H4 EAD application form Question 21a.
Use this start date even if it is in the future without any issue.

What is Reason of Applying H4 EAD?

Choose option 1.a. for Question 1 on H4 EAD form if you are applying EAD for the first time.
For H4-EAD renewal applications, choose renewal option as 1.c.
If you had any kind of EAD before (like L2-EAD), then you can consider H4 EAD as new EAD.

When can We Apply for H4 EAD Renewal?

You can apply for H4 EAD renewal 180 days before current EAD card expiry.
USCIS allows to file H4 EAD with H1B Amendment and H1B transfer applications even if the current card is valid for more than 180 days.

What is Place of Last Arrival into the US in Question 23 on form I-765?

You should write the name of the Airport or border that you used to enter US.
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 writing 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 the 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”.

What is Question 28 for Spouse Eligibility Degree On Form I-765 for H4 EAD?

You can write ‘N/A’ or leave blank for H4 EAD applications.

Can I file H4 EAD while H4 Extension is Pending?

You can file H4 EAD while H4 Extension is pending.

Can I travel While H4 EAD is Pending?

You can travel while H4 EAD is pending. There are some risks associated with travel though.

Can H4 EAD Work if Current Card Expired and Extension Is Pending?

H4 EAD cannot work if current card has expired and extension is pending.
Automatic 180 day EAD extension is not allowed for H4 EAD.

Can H4 EAD Start a Business?

H4 EAD allows you to open a business with no restrictions.
Many people take franchise option. A small business insurance is highly recommended if you want to protect your investment.

What address should I Mail H4 EAD Application?

Check the USCIS address to mail H4 EAD application using H1B’s receipt number.
The first three letters of H1B application number like EAC, LIN, SRC, WAC decides the mailing address.

What USCIS mailing address should be used for H4 and H4 EAD applications?

You should use the H4 extension filing address for form i539 if you are filing H4 and H4 EAD together.

SSN with i-765 Form

If you do not currently have SSN, 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.


Recent discussion on forum

  1. mvb

    Regarding Q 21a., should we use the i-94 number on i-794(H-4) approval or the latest i94 which was updated after passport renewal? They both are different numbers and I am attaching H4 approval notice (instead of latest i94)hence the confusion.

  2. venkat5121

    Are your both I94s have future expiry date?
    I would enter the latest, i.e. after passport renewal, and enclose it with the application.

  3. mvb

    Yes, both have same future date. Related Q would be should if latest i94 number is entered does it make more sense to attach latest i-94 instead of H4 i-797 approval copy? Or that doesn’t matter?
    Please confirm

  4. venkat5121

    I think they will look arrival record only from latest I94
    but your legal status from the H4 I797 copy.

    IMO both documents are necessary.

  5. mvb

    Thanks Anil and Venkat, you guys had been great help resolving queries.

Comments are closed. Ask question on Forum (we answer in 1-24 hour)

19 more replies

  419 Useful Questions & Answers

  1. Vino
    Vino 9 May, 16 at 1:49 pm

    Hi Anil,

    For the basis for eligibility USCIS site and your blog says that we have to attach “Form I-797 approval notice for Form I-140”. I am not sure what this means. I have an approved I-140. I don’t see I-797 written anywhere on that document. Does this mean I should attach I-140 and the I-797A of the Principal applicant as well?

    Thanks a lot in advance for your help.

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 9 May, 16 at 1:56 pm

      You will see I 797 written on top right corner of the i140 approval.

      • Vino
        Vino 9 May, 16 at 2:34 pm

        Thank you Anil. I now understand why I was confused. The scanned copy that my employer provided me did not have the header section that shows ‘I-797, Notice of Action’. Just the top half inch is missing. Everything under ‘I-797, Notice of Action’ is visible in the scanned copy. Do you think it will be a problem if attach this doc?

        • Anil Gupta
          Anil Gupta 9 May, 16 at 4:48 pm

          It should not, but i can’t really say how the guy who works on your case would really take it.
          I would suggest to get the full scanned copy from your employer to avoid wasting to-and-fro with government resources.

          If they decide to give RFE, it would really be a long process…so, its better to get it from employer.

          • Vino
            Vino 10 May, 16 at 5:14 am

            Thanks Anil. I have requested a full scanned copy from my employer.

  2. Vino
    Vino 8 May, 16 at 11:57 am

    My sincere thanks to the author of this article. It is written in simple English and answers all the key questions. I have found this very helpful.

    I have a question regarding the cheque. Can i use a friend’s cheque to pay the fees (ensuring he maintain’s funds) as I have run out of cheques and it will take some time for my cheques to arrive and I don’t want to lose time waiting for the cheques

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 8 May, 16 at 11:59 am

      Yes, you can use your friend’s cheque. It does not matter. You can even send a cashier’s cheque or money order, if you can’t arrange a personal cheque.

      • Vino
        Vino 8 May, 16 at 12:05 pm

        Awesome. That was really quick. 🙂 Thank you.

  3. andy
    andy 21 Apr, 16 at 1:41 pm

    I am doing application for H4-EAD renewal, so what should I write in question#11? I think, yes and address is the Lewisville, TX where I have applied before. What about date, if you don’t remember exact date.

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 21 Apr, 16 at 1:57 pm

      If you don’t remember the application date, you can write the EAD application approval date (or EAD start date).

  4. Arushi
    Arushi 19 Apr, 16 at 7:58 pm

    Hi Anil,

    I was on H1b until 6 months ago and at present on h4. I want to apply for EAD through my husband’s i140. However i renewed my passport a month ago and have changed my name to take my husband’s last name as my last name (My previous last name is my middle name on my new passport) . This change is not reflected on my h4 or my ssn and driving license. Shall i apply for EAD with the new name and provide both passport copies. Or is it better to apply with the old name and include driving license as my National id( that too has the old name)
    intial name: arushi sharma. new name: arushi sharma patel

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 19 Apr, 16 at 8:40 pm

      It is better to apply with new name. There is a question in EAD form (q no 2) which asks you to provide your other names ( that you may have used earlier). Use this question to share your old name.
      Also provide both passport copies as supporting documents.

      There should be no issue in it.

      • Arushi
        Arushi 19 Apr, 16 at 9:38 pm

        Thanks Anil. I will apply per your advise. Do you also recommend adding an explainatory letter along with it? I will be changing name on other documents as well, but it will take time. It won’t be changed by the time EAD is processed.

        • Anil Gupta
          Anil Gupta 19 Apr, 16 at 9:40 pm

          I don’t think there is any need to add any extra explanation letter.

          • Arushi
            Arushi 19 Apr, 16 at 9:44 pm

            Ok. Thanks Anil! This is very helpful.

          • Arushi
            Arushi 20 Apr, 16 at 1:12 pm

            Hi Anil,

            I am wondering if they will issue me a EAD with the new name, when my H-4 shows the old name. I will be updating the H-4 as well, but i do want to receive my EAD soon without having to wait to update H-4. Do you think they will issue the EAD?

            • Anil Gupta
              Anil Gupta 20 Apr, 16 at 1:15 pm

              They should. I don’t see a problem.
              But, I am not an attorney and you may want to consult one, if you have doubts.

  5. Akhil
    Akhil 24 Mar, 16 at 11:17 am

    Can I submit copy of H4 visa & Driving license copy instead of Biometric pages of the passport?

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 24 Mar, 16 at 11:52 am

      Yes, you can.

  6. swati
    swati 4 Mar, 16 at 11:00 am

    Hi Anil,

    Thanks for this forum.
    Is biometrics required for H-4 EAD new applicant?
    Did you submit paystubs of h1-b applicant?

    Thanks in advance

  7. andy
    andy 21 Nov, 15 at 6:36 am

    Thank you very much for you tips. I just got approval within 20 days. Really appreciated.

  8. Vish
    Vish 8 Sep, 15 at 1:14 pm

    My wife worked on H1B & now changed to H4, have few questions about applying for H4-EAD,
    1.she has SSN, should SSN be provided on I-765?
    2. She has a renewed passport, should she provide copies of both the passports?
    3. What is –765 work sheet?

    Your response is appreciated !


    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 8 Sep, 15 at 3:08 pm

      Hi Vish,
      1. Yes, you should provide SSN.
      2. Yes, you should include copies of both passport to avoid any issues.
      3. i765 worksheet is not applicable for your case since you would be filing this application under category (C)(26).

      Let me know if you need more information.

      • Vish
        Vish 9 Sep, 15 at 7:40 am

        Thanks Anil !
        One more thing, we talked to one attorney to file for H4 -EAD, he is asking $550 towards attorney fee & filing fee is separate. Can we do it on our own, only thing to worry is about any RFE’s if we go without attorney.

        Any thoughts ? !!

        • Anil Gupta
          Anil Gupta 9 Sep, 15 at 7:49 am

          Attorney will charge what they want to charge. It is up to you if you can afford it or not.

          I would fill it myself and apply for it.
          We have given all the details above and it is pretty easy.

          If there is an RFE, I am sure you know all about your case and can certainly give RFE response or involve an attorney if you find it difficult at that time.

          I can safely say that 95% of people in and around my reliable circle have applied it themselves using above mentioned details and they have got it without any RFE.
          Rest 5% have used an attorney’s service.

          Let me know if you need more information.

          • Vish
            Vish 9 Sep, 15 at 9:04 am

            I agree..
            Thanks for your quick response, Anil !!!!
            We are planning to do it ourselves.

          • Vish
            Vish 23 Sep, 15 at 9:18 am

            Thanks Anil,

            This is a great work you have done here, just followed everything step by step, as it is mentioned here. we prepared all documents ourselves & applied for H4 EAD last week, just got the application accepted text & email from USCIS.

            FYI .. for the fellow applicants, we sent the personal check & it was accepted.

            • Anil Gupta
              Anil Gupta 23 Sep, 15 at 9:40 am

              You are welcome Vish.

              • Vish
                Vish 9 Oct, 15 at 3:25 pm

                Hi Anil,

                My wife received her EAD card, today. She has an SSN( while she was on H1B), can she use the same SSN or does she has to apply for new one?

                • Anil Gupta
                  Anil Gupta 9 Oct, 15 at 3:33 pm

                  SSN is only issued once for an individual. You should use the existing one.
                  There is no need to apply for a new one.

  9. prasanthi
    prasanthi 2 Aug, 15 at 10:43 pm

    how can we track h4 ead application status

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 3 Aug, 15 at 7:03 am

      If you have received your receipt number (USCIS issues one, after receiving your application, and sends you a paper mail), then you can track its status on their website here:

      if you had used For G1145, as mentioned in above post, you would have received an email with your receipt number.

      If they have not yet received the receipt number, your only tracking option is the mail service’s tracking.

  10. Mohan Dora
    Mohan Dora 31 May, 15 at 9:06 am

    Hi Anil,

    Thanks for the information. Glad to find you post on H4 EAD Filling instructions.

    –In SSN field should we fill ITIN or None.
    –Can the Check be anyone’s if the applicant doesnt have bank A/c.

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 31 May, 15 at 9:14 am

      Hi Mohan,
      1. If you don’t have SSN, write ‘N/A’. Do NOT write ITIN number.

      2. Check can be made with anyone’s bank account. In most cases, the H4 spouse would not have his/her own bank account. So, most of them would be paying through the primary H1b holder’s bank account check.