H4 EAD Sample Form, Documents Required – New, Renewal

Anil Gupta  19 Mar, 19      718  Forms USA

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 for H4 EAD application

  1. H4-EAD FEES check – A check (Personal or cashier) or money order for $410 payable to ‘U.S. Department of Homeland Security‘. Short forms like USCIS not allowed. Credit card payment is also accepted.
  2. PHOTO – 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 an 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 an 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 a photograph on it. OR
    • Any other national identity document with photo. US State ID or Driving License is 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 – Primary H1B spouse’s I-140 i797c approval notice. If your employer has not shared I-140 approval copy with you, use USCIS FOIA request to get I-140 details.

    H4 EAD card sample
    H4 EAD card sample

Related: USCIS RFE Response Review Processing Time: 80+ days

H4 EAD Sample form – I765 NEW application

Related: USCIS Sample Application Letter to Withdraw H4-EAD request

Q 29 on Form I-765 for H4-EAD? Which receipt number should I write? I have two receipts, 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 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.

USCIS does not allow you to apply earlier than 180 calendar days including weekend and holidays.

Note that 180 Automatic EAD extension is not available for H4 EAD.

Sample H4 EAD Renewal i765 form

It is possible that the 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 the future without any issue.

USCIS Address for H4-EAD Application

Check the USCIS address to mail H4 EAD application using H1B’s receipt number.

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 the name of the Airport (Port of entry like Newark International Airport) in the 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 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”.

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 is 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 canceled and now there is no official time frame.

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.

H4 EAD application bundle
H4 EAD application bundle

Travel outside USA while H4 EAD under process?

You can travel while H4 EAD is pending but with some restrictions.

   Read all 718 Q & A

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  1. Hi Anil, If I’m filing the H4 extension along with h1 extension, do I need to put the I797 number? (in Information About Your Eligibility Category, 29)

    • Anil Gupta   5 Mar, 19 at 3:36 pm

      You can leave it blank if you are filing H1B and H4 extension concurrently.

  2. Hello Anil, For H4 and H4-EAD concurrent application – is it required to send two copies of documents (two separate sets) in the same package? Thank you so much for your help.

    • Anil Gupta   5 Mar, 19 at 7:40 am

      Yes, proofs are required separately for each application i. e. H4 and H4EAD.

  3. Sridhar Rao   4 Mar, 19 at 1:34 pm

    Hi Anil, I appreciate you for help. I have I-140 which was approved in June, 2018 and my wife has H-4 EAD. My H-1B and her H-4 EAD will expire in September this year. I have an offer from another employer who will file for my H1B transfer and extension. What will happen to my wife’s H-4 EAD? Can we apply for an extension based on current employers I-140 or do we have to wait till we get I-140 from the new employer? What happens if my current employer withdraws my I-140 petition?
    Thank you so much for your help!!

    • Anil Gupta   4 Mar, 19 at 1:34 pm

      You can apply for your wife’s using approved i140.

      If the i140 is revoked by your employer, then you won’t be able to use it for H1B 6th year extension of file H4EAD.Your new employer will have to file a new i140 if your old one is revoked.

      • Sridhar Rao   4 Mar, 19 at 2:08 pm

        Thank you so much for a quick response. Can the new employer apply for her H-4 EAD extension with my H1-B transfer application?

        • Anil Gupta   4 Mar, 19 at 2:53 pm

          Yes, both H1B extension and H1B Transfer can be filed at same time.

          • Anil, Is it the question about the H4 EAD extension? Sorry I’m confused.

            • Anil Gupta   13 Mar, 19 at 8:21 pm

              Ohh yes, sorry. I mistakenly typed the H1B extension instead of H4 EAD. You are right.
              In can’t edit the comment now though.
              Thanks for the tip.

      • “then you won’t be able to use it for H1B 6th year extension of file H4EAD” May I know what it means for H1B 3rd year extension? Should I wait for the new employer to file for i140 to extend the H4 EAD?

        • Anil Gupta   13 Mar, 19 at 8:21 pm

          You are not eligible to file H4 EAD if you do not have i140 approved.

  4. Hi, What does concurrent filing mean exactly for H4 and H4 EAD – Is it just submitting both I-539 and I-765 forms together with all required documents? Do I have to send two separate checks for fees?
    Thank you very much for all you help!

    • Anil Gupta   1 Mar, 19 at 5:31 pm

      Concurrent filing of H4 and H4 EAD means that sending all applications in same package to USCIS so that they know the applications are connected.

      Fees check will be made separately for each application though.

  5. Hi Anil,
    1. Does H4 EAD validity also depend on Spouse (Principal H1B) Passport expiry date? The Spouse (Principal H1B) Passport expires on Feb/2020, My colleague was telling it affects as this date is closer, Can you please tell does it affect?
    2. Can we choose the service center while filing H4 EAD application and decide which service center it will be processed?

    Many thanks for helping out the community by answering these questions.

    • Anil Gupta   27 Feb, 19 at 9:13 am

      The H4 EAD validity does not depend on primary H1B;s passport expiry.
      H4 EAD validity depends on the primary H1B’s i797 validity period.

      You cannot choose a service center by your choice. The H4EAD application has to be sent to the address based H1B’s receipt number.

      • Thanks for the reply Anil, Appreciate it.
        So while we send the H4 EAD application to Arizona based on H1B receipt, can we choose which service center it will processed such as California Service Center or Vermont or NEBRASKA service center?

        • Anil Gupta   27 Feb, 19 at 4:28 pm

          As I already said, you cannot choose the USCIS service center. It is decided by USCIS once they receive your application.

  6. Is Biometrics needed for H4-EAD?

  7. vasanth rajendran   24 Feb, 19 at 7:24 pm

    Hi Anil,
    My wife got her H4-ead last week. She is yet to get the SSN. I’m planning to apply for my transfer this week and file h4-ead along with it, If i dont get my ssn by this week can i still apply for H4-ead renewal along with transfer.

    • Anil Gupta   24 Feb, 19 at 8:21 pm

      Not sure why you want to file H4 EAD when you just got it last week!
      Anyways, you can apply for H4 EAD with H1B transfer without waiting for SSN. SSN will come within 4-5 weeks anyway.

      • vasanth rajendran   24 Feb, 19 at 8:37 pm

        Because i got it only till aug 25th 2019, based on my h1b extension end date. Hope i get it for longer duration this time.
        Thanks. In that case i need to select, i need ssn option?

        • Anil Gupta   24 Feb, 19 at 8:51 pm

          Do NOT select ‘Need SSN’ for H4 EAD renewal as one SSB application is already under process for your case.

          • vasanth rajendran   24 Feb, 19 at 8:51 pm

            Thanks. Then should i leave 13b (provide ssn details section) empty?

            • Yes, leave SSN question 13b blank.

            • vasanth rajendran   24 Feb, 19 at 10:45 pm

              Thank a ton anil!! One other question, When applying with H1b transfer, Do we need to attach the current employer’s H4 and H1 approval notice?

            • Please check the list of documents as mentioned above.

  8. Tejas Raval   23 Feb, 19 at 5:26 pm

    Hi, My H1B transfer and my wife’s H4 petition is still pending with my RFE and my wife’s H4 EAD is expiring on July 7th, 2019. I am preparing for her H4EAD renewal. Can I link H4EAD application with current pending application? I yes, then what is the procedure to link with existing application. Furthermore, her I-94 is expired due to her passport renewal on 3rd Feb, 2019 and now we have a renewed passport. Do we need to renew her I-94 before submitting the H4 EAD application using old visa stamp? Thank you for your help.

    • Anil Gupta   23 Feb, 19 at 6:25 pm

      I have answered the question: How to Apply H4-EAD based on pending H1B/H4 extension receipt number here?

      You should absolutely immediately renew her i94 after passport renewal. Your wife CANNOT stay in USA with expired i94.

      Valid i94 is required for H4 EAD application.

      • Tejas Raval   23 Feb, 19 at 10:41 pm

        Hi, I was told by my attorney that my wife can stay due to pending petition and don’t need to renew I94 for now.

        • If her H4 extension was filed before her current i94 expiry, then she is fine.
          You did not mention this fact earlier in your question and hence, i flagged it.

          • Tejas Raval   25 Feb, 19 at 9:34 pm

            Hi, My H1B and H4 petition is still pending and I am sending H4 EAD application now. I am going to include pending petition receipt along with the application. Do I need to still include my older approved I797 notice from previous employer along with the EAD application package along with the pending receipt or just the new pending receipt is good enough? My wife got a new renewed passport recently so do we need to include passport pages along with application in addition to older EAD copy? or older EAD copy is good enough? Thank you very much for your help.

            • As per my information, the pending H1B receipt should be fine.
              Copy of last H4 EAD should be enough.

  9. Hi Anil,

    Thank you for answering my questions before. I really appreciate it. I have a question related to “Initial Permission to accept employment” (vs “Renewal”). My wife was employed before on OPT. Then she converted to H-4, and now as part of my H1-B extension, I am doing a concurrent filing for H4-Ext and H4-EAD (Would be the first time on H4-Ead).

    On I-765 should I mark it as “Initial Permission” (Since this is first time for H4-Ead), or “Renewal to accept employment” (Since she was employed before on OPT) ?
    The Alien Registration Number: I have populated it with the A Number found on the previous OPT-EAD card. Is that correct?

    Its amazing how every case is individual, and the I-765 instructions published by USCIS is not clear!!

    Appreciate your help! Thank you.

  10. Lokesh Naidu   22 Feb, 19 at 7:00 pm

    Hi Anil, My H1 B is approved. My wife’s H4(I539) is in pending now. Planning to apply for H4 EAD renewal. What are the documents I have to submit for H4 legal status? There is no way that I provide the I 539 receipt number.
    Copy of receipt notice should be included ?

      • Lokesh Naidu   22 Feb, 19 at 7:25 pm

        Sorry, where do I have to provide the receipt number. I see there is no way to provide the receipt number in application.
        I don’t have copy of receipt notice. Do I need to get copy from attorney and then only apply for EAD extension.

        • Anil Gupta   22 Feb, 19 at 7:25 pm

          Did you check the link that I shared?

          • Lokesh Naidu   22 Feb, 19 at 7:48 pm

            Yes I do checked. I see no need to enter H4 (I539) pending receipt number in application.
            Let me put my question in other way. How does USCIS know the filed H4 extension is approved or not.
            Since there is no way of specifying the receipt number.
            Sorry its confusing for me 🙂

            • Lokesh Naidu   22 Feb, 19 at 7:48 pm

              also what docs needs to apply for H4 legal status ?

            • Anil Gupta   22 Feb, 19 at 7:59 pm

              Documents are mentioned in above article.

            • Lokesh Naidu   22 Feb, 19 at 9:42 pm

              Thanks, In this case , I don’t have to attach anything for H4 legal status ? since we have only expiring I 94 and H4 Visa stamping.
              correct me if I’m wrong.

              Thanks a lot for your help @spot_anil_gupta:disqus

            • Anil Gupta   22 Feb, 19 at 9:42 pm

              You should attach the i94.

            • Lokesh Naidu   22 Feb, 19 at 9:54 pm

              ok thanks . I will attach old expiring I94.

              Thanks @spot_anil_gupta:disqus

            • Anil Gupta   22 Feb, 19 at 7:59 pm

              They use the primary H1B receipt number to connect.

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