H4 EAD Sample Form I-765, Documents Required

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  9 Dec, 19


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 Photo

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

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.

#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

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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

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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.

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.

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.

Forms USA

Recent discussion on forum

  1. mvb

    Hi Anil,
    Recently updated i94 after passport renewal by visiting San Diego border. For section ‘Information about your last arrival’ in i-765 form, I have entered the latest i94 number and mentioned ‘San Ysirdo’ as ‘Last arrival in U.S.’. Would that work? If not, do we have any specific code for land PoE like the airports?

  2. venkat5121

    this is what I entered, hope it helps…

  3. mvb

    Thanks, that helps. Need to confirm since the sample form had place(city name) entered as oppose to PoE code.

  4. 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

  5. mvb

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

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39 more replies

  439 Useful Questions & Answers

  1. Deepa Anand
    Deepa Anand 22 Jun, 17 at 3:17 pm

    Hi Anil,

    I applied for H4 EAD this week and only today realized I forgot to write my name and alien registration number on the back of my photos. Will this be a problem?


    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 22 Jun, 17 at 3:55 pm

      If there is any problem, USCIS has the option of sending your application back or go ahead with it.
      If they decide it is a problem for them, they will send it back and you would need to re-send it again with corrections.

      Other than that, you can’t do anything.

  2. Naresh
    Naresh 7 Feb, 17 at 2:24 pm

    Hi may i know c 26 belongs which category….

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 7 Feb, 17 at 3:54 pm

      C 26 category is specifically for H4-EAD.

  3. visainfo
    visainfo 27 Dec, 16 at 10:40 pm

    Hi All, My spouse is currently on H4. An employer applied her H1 (in COS) but it got RFE, response has not yet been submitted. In the mean time, my I140 got approved and I am planning to apply for her H4 EAD. Can someone please clarify following If my spouse’s H1 RFE response and her H4 EAD application are applied/submitted at the same time and H1 gets approved before H4 EAD, what happens to H4 EAD application. Will that be valid?

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 27 Dec, 16 at 10:48 pm

      Both are two different things and are not related.
      It does not make any difference to H4 EAD if the H1B gets approved for your wife.
      The H4 EAD will have its own result.
      Later, when your wife wants to work, she has to choose what status (h1b or H4 EAD) she wants to use to work.

      • visainfo
        visainfo 27 Dec, 16 at 11:00 pm

        Thank you Anil.

        Since H1B is filed in change of status request, so if it gets approved before H4 EAD, status of my spouse will be H1 and not H4.

        Will it impact her H4 EAD application result or will that be a problem in future H4 EAD applications.

        • Anil Gupta
          Anil Gupta 27 Dec, 16 at 11:04 pm

          I don’t think there should be any issue as such.
          I believe change of status happens only when you do it explicitly.
          You may want to take attorneys advice but as far as I know, merely filing for H1b application does not change your status ( even after its approval). You have to use it to work or enter the country with that status.
          If she had entered US with H4 stamp, the her status would remain same u less she explicitly applies to change it.

          • visainfo
            visainfo 27 Dec, 16 at 11:54 pm

            This was a great help.

            Thank you Anil for your advice and prompt response.

  4. Reddy Raam
    Reddy Raam 27 Sep, 16 at 11:29 am

    Hello Anil,

    I have clarification related to i765 for questions 16, 17 and 18. Please explain me about these questions?

    My H1 B Amendment is in process and received receipt number and it’s pending with USCIS, so do you want me to wait to approval of amendment?

    If apply H4-EAD can use new i797 receipt number which is not approved yet or the old i797 approval notice receipt number?


    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 27 Sep, 16 at 12:02 pm

      1. It does not matter if you wait or not. The H4-EAD process time will start ONLY after your current H1B amendment is approved. So, it is up-to you if you want to wait for approval and then apply or want to apply using amendment’s receipt number now. Both are going to same time.
      2. You can use old i797 number IF IT HAS A GOOD amount of validity available. As per my information, your H4-EAD’s (if approved) will carry the same end date as this i797 date. You will have to apply for renewal then.

      • Reddy Raam
        Reddy Raam 29 Sep, 16 at 5:49 pm

        Anil, I have one more question?
        Have you ever before applied for employment authorization from USCIS? for this question, if H4 previously on h1b visa and converted to H4, then what option we need to chooses?

        is H1b also employment authorization??

        • Anil Gupta
          Anil Gupta 29 Sep, 16 at 6:35 pm

          This is specifically for EAD. If you have never applied for EAD before, then answer is NO.

          • Reddy Raam
            Reddy Raam 3 Oct, 16 at 2:40 pm

            Hi Anil, after applying H4-EAD with some address, if you move to different address, so what is the process to update address to USCIS?

  5. sravanthi t
    sravanthi t 21 Sep, 16 at 2:56 pm

    Hi Anil,
    Thanks for article, it was great help, my question is- My husband staying from 6+ years, and his I-140 applied before 6 years, and been approved, but husband employer is changed now, so his old employer who applied I-140 revoked it, still I can apply for H4-EAD right? based on under AC21 rule? If so do we need to submit any extra documents? We are kind of confused, please help. Thank you.

  6. Vasu
    Vasu 13 Sep, 16 at 8:58 am

    Hello Anil,

    To which address i need to send the H4-EAD documents packet, my I-797 petition filed in Vermont center, its starting with EAC.

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 13 Sep, 16 at 9:04 am

      You should send it to USCIS Dallas LockBox.

      They will internally route it to other centers (may be Vermont in your case).
      But, you SHOULD send it to DALLAS. Check the link above or on USCIS website for correct address.

      • Vasu
        Vasu 13 Sep, 16 at 9:52 am

        Thanks , that works.

  7. Angel Com
    Angel Com 13 Aug, 16 at 11:49 am

    So in my case i should update “Concurrent” or I797 new Receipt number? or both

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 14 Aug, 16 at 5:10 am

      Hi Angel,
      If you are filing concurrently, how will you get the new i797 number, even before filing?

      Not sure how you are planning to do it, but the EAD application has to go in same packet as your h1b extension for concurrent filing.
      And you would get receipt number only when it reaches USCIS.

      As per my information, it should be ‘concurrent’ in i765 form.

  8. MG
    MG 13 Jun, 16 at 9:49 am

    Hey AJ,
    Can you please let me know all the documentation you provided regarding EAC? I am guessing front and back copies of OPT cards, all H1 approval notices. Did you also submit the I-94 card front and back when you were on F1 and visa stamp pages (for F1 and H1)?

    • AJ
      AJ 13 Jun, 16 at 9:52 am

      I submitted everything you listed above. Thought it wiser to err on the side of more than get an RFE.

      • MG
        MG 13 Jun, 16 at 10:09 am

        Thanks AJ. My F1 visa stamps are on an old passport. I am wondering if i should send the biometric pages of that passport too?

        • AJ
          AJ 13 Jun, 16 at 10:16 am

          i was in the same bucket. But I did not send biometrics for the old passport. Thats just what I decided to do after scourging the internet for information. You may want to ask some expert on this forum if you prefer otherwise.

          • MG
            MG 13 Jun, 16 at 10:18 am

            Did you application get accepted? Better yet, approved :)?

  9. melanie
    melanie 30 May, 16 at 3:57 am

    Dear Anil,
    My husband’s EAD is due for renewal in the next few months. He was issued an EAD under c9 category based on my approved I140 but renewed it under c26 was the H4-EAD became available. I am thinking that he should apply for his EAD renewal under c26 category again. Will this pose any problem?

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 31 May, 16 at 7:32 am

      There should be no issue in renewing it under (C)(26) again. Do you see any problem?

  10. Ivan
    Ivan 11 May, 16 at 8:08 pm

    Hi Anil. Your blog says that we have to attach “Form I-797 approval notice for Form I-140”, but I have NOA for Form I-129. Can my wife get approve for H4 EAD? Thank you.

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 12 May, 16 at 8:03 am

      Hi Ivan,
      Is your i140 approved? If not, then your spouse is not eligible to apply for H4-EAD.