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
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.
EAD fees can be paid by credit card.
2 identical 2×2 inch 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.
Do not send old photo with I-765 application as it increases change of RFE.
#3 Form G1145 (Optional but recommended)
Use 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.
#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 is required to prove H4 dependent’s relationship to primary H1B.
#8 H4 EAD eligibility proof
#9 Current H4-EAD copy
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.
i765 Sample form for New H4 EAD
Open link in new window.
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.
Sample H4 EAD Renewal i765 form
Open link in new window.
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.
Current H4 EAD processing time is 2 to 7 months. It changes every month with each USCIS service center.
H4 EAD Eligibility category code is C(26).
You will receive your EAD card within 1-7 working days after New Card is Being Produced case status.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
You can write ‘N/A’ or leave blank for H4 EAD applications.
You can travel while H4 EAD is pending. There are some risks associated with travel though.
H4 EAD cannot work if current card has expired and extension is pending.
Automatic 180 day EAD extension is not allowed for H4 EAD.
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.
H4 EAD USCIS Mailing Address
Check the USCIS address to mail H4 EAD application using H1B’s receipt number.
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.