Since the introduction of Biometrics for I-539 form, there has been significant delays in the processing times for H4 and H4 EAD by USCIS. If we look at H4 + EAD Biometrics Experiences, we can see many have been waiting for months, many have lost jobs as well…USCIS gives an option make an expedite request and they consider everything case by case basis for the same.
Some of our readers like Manasa Veena, Anonymous User and Harish Kumar were successful in expediting their H4 EAD application with USCIS. They were kind enough to do a detail write up, including sample letters, screenshots for community benefit. Thanks a lot to them for taking time to write and share with the community, we really appreciate it ! You can email your experiences as well to redbus2us(at)gmail.com or share in community forum
What is H4 Expedite Request Process ? How does it work ?
USCIS provides Premium processing options for certain forms to get a decision from USCIS within 15 days. But, I-765 form that is used to apply for H4 EAD does not have the premium processing option. USCIS to address such forms that do not have premium processing and need faster processing, provides an option called “Expedite request”.
Anyone can apply for Expedite request based on certain criteria like severe loss to company or person, urgent humanitarian reasons, US govt. interests, or USCIS error. After applicants submit the request, USCIS evaluates them on case by case basis and approves or denies the same request. If approved, USCIS processes the expedite request immediately and you are likely to get a decision on your application within 30 days. Read How to Apply for USCIS Expedite Request, Process, Criteria for complete details.
Now that you have the background, below are experiences shared by users, who were able to expedite H4 EAD processing using various reasons like loss to company, personal loss, etc.
H4 EAD Expedite Request – Loss to Company
Thanks to Anonymous User for sharing the experience.
H4 EAD Expedite Process – Calling USCIS
- Call USCIS Contact Center at : 1-800-375-5283
- Press 1, pause , press 1, pause 2 pause, press 2 pause, then press #
- It took 10-20 mins to get connected to someone on Tier 1 level
- Explain the situation and they will give an Expedite Service Request# number and a follow-up inquiry mail was sent to us and how to send the emails. They will ask for your case number and email.
Tip : Usually wait takes 25 to 40 min, but one user was able to get hold of a agent in 5 min. When you enter the Receipt number in the Interactive Voice Response System Options, it does not let you proceed directly, it will disconnect, if you ask for agent or “speak to agent” . The trick is, change your first question to say “I want to speak about appointment”, then it will get you speak to human faster.
The status of this service request mail was sent after we called make a call, below is the screenshot of the exact email sample.
Sample H4 EAD Expedite Request Email sent from USCIS Customer Service
You need to provide a company letter which should have the request number reference and get it to be signed by company representative.
H4 EAD Expedite Sample Letter Template – Loss to Company
USCIS – California Service Center
P.O. BOX 30111-30115
Laguna Niguel, CA 92607-0111
This letter is with respect to an EAD renewal application for my employee Mrs. xxxxxxx xxxxxxx, which was filed on xxxxxxxxx xxth, xxxx and has been pending adjudication ever since. Her current EAD expires on xxxxxxxx xx,xxx. The company will be unable to let her work in her current capacity without valid employment authorization. Without proper work authorization approved before xxxxxxxx xx,xxx., XXXXXXXX Inc. will require to go on unpaid leave beginning on xxxxxxxx xx,xxx., which will cause a financial hardship for XXXXXXXX and result in critical projects missing key deadlines in 2020.
XXXXXXX has been employed in her current capacity starting on XXXXXXX, as a XXXXXXXXXX>
Her annual salary is currently $XXX,XXX per year, which does not include her additional bonus amount target of $XX,XXX or XX% of her salary. Any time spent out of the office on unpaid leave will result in significant financial hardship for she and her family.
XXXXX, Inc, will also lose credibility with our XXXXX XXXXXX Partners, which will result in significant project delay’s due to her critical role leading multiple multimillion dollar projects with XXXXXX, Inc. XXXXX organization. So kindly request you to PLEASE EXPEDITE processing of her EAD Renewal and ensure that she receives it before xxxxxxxx xx,xxx.. Thanks again for your understanding in this matter.
1-765 RECEIPT #: WACxxxxxxxxx
Expedite Service Request# Txxxxxxxxxxxx
Please do not hesitate to contact me at the number provided below if you require any further information to support the Visa approval.
Cell Phone: xxxxxx, email id: [email protected]
Once you have the Company Letter ready, send the complete document to the listed email in the email from USCIS with Expedite Service Request Number.
As mentioned, you cannot exceed 15 pages and attach them in the form of PDF and send the email. Below is the checklist of documents.
Document Checklist for H4 EAD Expedite Process
Create a single PDF for all the documents and give reference as below in the email.
Supporting Documents attached :
- Exhibit(A) (Page 1,2) – Copy of expedite inquiry
- Exhibit(A) (Page 3) – Expedite request letter from XXXXXX XXX Inc.
- Exhibit(A) (Page 4) – Project milestone delivery timelines and her roles
- Exhibit(A) (Page 5) – XXXXX Offer letter
- Exhibit(A) (Page 8) – Home Loan statement (monthly statement)
- Exhibit(A) (Page 9,10) – XXX Car loans
- Exhibit(A) (Page 11) – Driving license
- Exhibit(A) (Page 12) – Kids Daycare expenses
Processing time for Expedite Request :
Our request was delayed due the Holiday season. When I asked how many days to see the approval, they said normally it would normally take 7 days to respond to expedite request. But due to low number of resources (due to holidays season) it might take up-to 30 working days. Below is our timeline for the entire processing.
Expedite Request Processing Timeline
- Service Center: CSC (California)
- H1+H4+ H4EAD applied in Premium processing
- H1B – WAC19283xxxxx – 8/26 receipt generated
- H4 – WAC19283xxxxx – 8/26 receipt generated
- H4 EAD – WAC1928350xxx – 8/26 receipt generated
- H4 Biometric notice date – 8/30 notice
- H1B – Approved on 9/3
- H4 biometric appointment date – 9/18
- H4 Fingerprint Review Was Completed updated – 9/20
- Expedite Request
– 12/10/2019 (Accepted)
- 38 Days for Processing after Expedite request was accepted.
- H4 EAD Approval – 01/17/2020
H4 EAD Expedite Request using Congressman & Ombudsman
Thanks to Manasa Veena for sharing her experience.
Background of H4 EAD Application :
We applied H4 EAD on Sep 3, 2019 along with my husband’s H1B, went for Biometrics on Sep 30, and then upgraded all together to Premium Processing. Received RFE on Oct 9, RFE answered back on Dec 9, H1B approved on Dec 20, 2019 but no change in H4 or EAD status.
My employer was very worried and they suggested me to reach USCIS and expedite. Below is the process I followed.
Step 1: Called USCIS to Expedite – Standard Expedite request way.
I Called USCIS on Dec 30, 2019 to expedite. They sent me an email to send the supporting docs after 2 hours of my call. They also mentioned to send all supporting docs as a single attachment.
Important Info on Calling : I called Toll free number and almost every time I am on wait time more than 15 mins, but as we are waiting for a big thing we need to be patient. The voice mail clearly says which options to press, we need to follow those, I did not reach tier office anytime before my requests is expedited. After it got expedited I told Customer Service Representative to transfer the call to Tier 2 as I have medical therapy and I need to discontinue if I lose my income, after 3 unsuccessful attempts they finally forwarded. But even that Tier 2 person said you have to wait 10 days after expedite is approved.
H4 EAD Expedite Request Documents Checklist
We attached below documents
- Offer letter
- Employer letter saying financial loss(My employer is a medium sized consulting firm)
- A therapy I am undergoing
- Cost of therapy
- Kids day care expenses(Bill).
We wrote an email in the below format.
Sample Expedite Request Letter to USCIS for H4 EAD Faster Processing
I am writing this email to sincerely request to approve expedited review of my EAD case (bearing Receipt # XXXXXXXX) and approve it before my current EAD expires. This will enable us to support my medical needs.
Please see the supporting documentation in one single document attached to this email.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or any additional information is needed from myself.
I did not receive any update after then though I contacted customer service next 2 days.
Step 2: Reached out to Ombudsman – Expedite Request Denied
- On Jan 2, 2020 I raised an online request for Ombudsman to expedite..
- You can raise your Expedite Request by filling out the form at : https://www.dhs.gov/topic/cis-ombudsman/forms/7001
- I got call back from Ombudsman and I explained my situation they said they will review on Jan 03, 2020.
- On Jan 06, received an email from Ombudsman saying your request is denied as its under processing times.
Step 3 : Expedite Request for H4 EAD using Congressman
Also contacted Congressman online on Jan 02, 2020
Meanwhile I called Local Congressman office(California) on Jan 3, 2020.
I found the local congressman using https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative. The congressman was a House Representative
I did not visit their office, only spoke on phone. The House representative office asked me to sign a waiver and send supporting docs along with waiver to some email id. I did everything same day on Jan 03, 2020. The process can vary by state, so you need to call the Senator or House Rep in your area
A person emailed me from Congressman’s office saying I will work on your case and by EOD he said sent a request to USCIS to expedite your case.
Documents Submitted to Expedite to Congressman.
I sent her the same documents with my offer letter + medical therapy expense(Same one I sent to USCIS). Luckily for my case she is very friendly and elped me in expedition
Expedite Request Status – Reviewing, Approved
After 3 days on Jan 8, 2020 USCIS changed status to we are reviewing your request for expedition and after 6 hours same day another status change saying expedition is approved. Expedite approved on Jan 08, 2020, Card being Produced : Jan 14, 2020
Timelines with Expedite Request Congressman, Ombudsman.
- Service Center: CSC (California)
- H1+H4+ H4 EAD applied – Sep 3rd, 2019
- H4 Biometrics – September 30th, 2019
- Upgraded to Premium Processing after H4 Biometrics
- H1B RFE – Oct 9th, 2019
- H1B RFE Response – Dec 9th, 2019.
- H1B Approved – Dec 20th, 2019 ( No changes to H4 / EAD all along)
- Called USCIS to
expedite H4 EAD – Dec 30th, 2019.
- Sent Documents, attachment same day. No response.
- Ombudsman Expedite
Request – Jan 2nd, 2020.
- Expedite Request Denied, Call back from Obmudsman – Jan 6th, 2020
Expedite Request – Jan 2nd, 2020.
- Documents Sent to Congressman Jan 3rd.
- Jan 8th, 2020 – USCIS Status change – H4 EAD Reviewing your request for expediting
- Jan 8th, 2020 – Same day after 6 hours, it changed to expedite request approved.
- Card being
produced Status for H4 EAD – Jan 14th, 2020.
- 6 Days for H4 EAD Processing after Expedite request was accepted.
What did you tell to convince them to send the documents ? many said they were not given an option to send docs ?
No need to convince USCIS at all, it’s their process, a soon as you call for expedite request they say they will send an email to send documents in 5 days, but for me I got the same day.
Which email to send documents for H4 EAD Expedite Request ?
They clearly give the information in the email to send the documents to this email id: [email protected].
Tips from my Experience of raising Expedite Requests :
In my case Congressman’s office did a very big favour. Mistake I did is as ours is upgraded to premium after Biometrics I assumed my EAD will be approved after 10 days and simply waited. I would have got my approval if I would have done it before without wasting 10 days in between. My suggestion is don’t assume things at least on behalf of USCIS and keep moving with available resources. My suggestion is to apply for EAD renewal as soon as possible, if you cannot because of H1B extension issues first raise the expedition with USCIS(Need to be very patient) and then with Ombudsman or Congressman. My case Ombudsman rejected saying its under processing times but Congressman did a great help.
H4 EAD Expedite Request Experience – USCIS Call, Congresswoman
Thanks to Harish Kumar for sharing her experience.
Step 1 – Called USCIS for H4 EAD Expedite Request
On Jan 6th, I tried to expedite my EAD by calling in the USCIS, tried to explain that I would lose my job and also have financial loss & cannot pay my medical bills if I lose my job. He raised the request as ‘extreme emergency’. Next day it was assigned to an officer and within few hours got a rejection notice.
Step 2 : H4 Expedite using Congressman
On the very same day, Jan 6th I tried to contact my congressman to see if they can help in this case. Used this link to find congressman https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members, this gave me 2 senators and one representative for my address. When you click on this link “official website” of senator / representative, it would redirect to their personal home page where you can raise request on various topics.
I used the representative ‘Watsen Coleman for New Jersey’ https://watsoncoleman.house.gov/ .
This website had an option Services -> Constituent Services -> Help with a Federal Agency.
It opens a form, you just fill out all your personal details, case number / date and the nature of problem -> Click generate request. It would give a printable form of the request which needs to be physically signed. It looks like below.
Consent Waiver Form Submitted on Congresswoman Website
Additionally I also prepared a cover letter and attached few documents like
- Offer letter
- Letter from employer saying that they need the EAD card for me to continue employment
- Few big medical bills which needs to be paid in next few months.
Scanned all the documents and faxed it to the address given on the printable version of the request. [Office of Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, Attn: Constituent Services, 850 Bear Tavern Road, Suite 201, Ewing, NJ 08628].
Processing Timelines with Expedite Request Congresswoman
- I applied for H1+H4+ EAD in premium processing.
- H1+H4+ EAD Filed – 1 Oct
- H1 RFE – 8 Oct
- H4 Fingerprint – 22 Oct
- H1 RFE response – 19 Dec
- H1 approved – 23 Dec
- Expedite EAD – 6 Jan
- EAD Expedite Request rejected – 7 Jan
- Expedite EAD (via congressman) – 7 Jan
- EAD – New card is being produced
– 10 Jan
- H4 EAD approved after 3 days.
Honestly, I am not sure if this request I submitted was even raised with USCIS. I did not receive any notification from congressmen about expedite request. Within 3 days my EAD case was approved and next day H4 case was also approved.
What has been your experience with Expediting H4 EAD with USCIS ? Share your thoughts in comments.