Home » US Immigration - Visas » H4 Visa » H4 Visa EAD FAQs – F1 to H4 COS, H1B to H4 COS, I-140 Revoked

H4 Visa EAD FAQs – F1 to H4 COS, H1B to H4 COS, I-140 Revoked

by Emily Neumann, Attorney at Law

In general, H4 visa holders cannot work, but in 2015 DHS passed a rule that enables certain H4 Visa holders to work. You can read H4 EAD – How to apply, Process, FAQs, if you want to know more on the general requirements and process. In this article, we will review some of the common FAQs related to H4 EAD. It is written by Emily, who is a highly qualified immigration attorney practicing only immigration law for over 10 years . Thanks a lot to Emily for her generosity and time to help our readers.

Can some on F1 visa studying apply for COS to H4 and EAD for H4 Simultaneously ?  How does it work ? 

Yes, concurrent filing of a change of status to H-4 or an extension of H4 visa status can be done along with the I-765 application for Employment Authorization. The Federal Register Volume 80, Number 37 published on February 25, 2015 specified that the final rule does allow “H -4 dependent spouses under this rule to concurrently file an Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765) with an Application to Extend/Change Non-immigrant Status (Form I-539).” The processing time for the I-539 is currently 2.5 to 6 months based on the latest USCIS processing time reports for the Vermont and California Service Centers. At the same time, USCIS takes about 3 months to process EAD applications. Since the EAD cannot be approved until the H4 status is approved, the EAD may be put on hold until the H-4 is approved.  You may want to consider filing the change of status to H-4 first in order to avoid a potential delay in the EAD application.

Can someone working on OPT on F1 visa, apply for COS to H4 and then EAD for H4 simultaneously ? Can I continue to work on OPT when I apply for the COS and waiting for the EAD for H4 ?

Yes, the change of status(COS) from F1 to H-4 can be filed along with a new EAD application. Furthermore, as long as you are properly maintaining your F1 status, you can continue your F-1 and OPT until the change of status is approved. Depending on when the OPT expires and when the H-4 EAD is filed, it may be possible to continue working without interruption. If, however, the OPT expires before the new EAD card is issued, you will not be authorized to work during the gap period. Care should be taken to verify processing times and compare them to expiration dates before filing to hopefully avoid any gap in employment authorization.

 Can someone on H1B visa apply for Change of Status (COS) to H4 and apply for EAD for H4 at the same time, if eligible ? If so, Can the H1B holder, who applied for COS to H4 continue to work, after they apply ? 

Yes, concurrently filing of the Change of Status from H1B visa to H4 and the EAD application is allowed. The H4 will not take effect until the change of status is actually approved. Therefore, if the H-1B continues to be properly maintained, you can continue to work on the H-1B while you wait for the H-4 and EAD to be approved.  By “properly maintained” I mean that you must continue working for your H1B visa sponsoring employer in the job that you were sponsored for at the salary indicated on the petition with no material changes in employment.

Would employer be able to sponsor a green card for a person who is on EAD, especially with this new H4 visa spouse EAD.

Yes, an employer could sponsor an H-4EAD holder for the green card by filing a PERM labor certification and I-140 petition on behalf of that person.

What will be validity of the  EAD card given to H4 Visa holders ?  

The final rule indicates that the EAD validity will match the H-4 validity period. This policy is meant to ensure that USCIS does not grant employment authorization to an H4 dependent spouse who is not eligible. Furthermore, it will also likely reduce the number of times that H-4 dependent spouses may need to request renewal of their employment authorization.

I had to change my Job after my I-140 was approved, but my previous employer revoked it after I left that company. Is my wife eligible to get EAD?

Unfortunately, without a valid I-140 approval, your wife will not be eligible for the EAD. You should work with your current employer to ensure that your new labor certification and I-140 are processed as quickly as possible.

I am on H4 visa and my spouse is on H1B visa. My spouse’s Green Card process is yet to start, but one of the employer has sponsored my GC for future employment. My I-140 is approved but I have never been on H1 before. Please advise if the H4- EAD rule benefits me in any way.

Unfortunately, you will not able to able take advantage of the H-4 EAD rule. If you were to change your status to H-1B, your spouse could change to H-4 and obtain an EAD. Otherwise, your spouse should work with his or her employer to start the green card process at the earliest.

I have an approved I-140 under EB2-NIW. Is my spouse eligible for EAD?

Yes, your spouse should be eligible. There is no restriction regarding what classification your I-140 petition is approved under.

Check out the Second part of the series :  H4 Visa EAD FAQs by Immigration Attorney – Part 2 – I-140 Change Employers, L1B, CPT !  Any different questions ? Please leave a comment.

 Thanks again to Emily for kindly helping us answer and writing for us. Immigration can be complex, if you need help with your H4 EAD application, please reach out to using her using her contact info , she is a highly qualified immigration attorney and can help you with your case !

————————————-About the Author————————————–

Emily Neumann practices business immigration law and is a partner in Reddy & Neumann, P.C. in Houston, TX. Neumann writes a blog on immigration law (immigrationgirl.com) and shares updates on Twitter (@immigrationgirl) and her Facebook page to help her clients stay informed of the latest news.


Other Articles


  1. Currently I’m on H1B visa and got my I140 approved. My Fiancee will be applying for Masters in US. We have a question whether to come on F-1 after marriage or come on H4 and then apply for Change of status to F1. My concern is, given that my I140 is approved, will it be problematic to choose H4 and then conversion to F1 path. Please help me with this.

    • Surya,
      Yes, that is logical, it will be hard for F1 COS and stamping, once she goes on to h4 as the intent changes. If you are clear that she would go to school and study on F1, you should go for F1 visa before the wedding and then move. This way, the intent is clear and she would not have any issues with her travel as well.

    • Hi Surya,

      Can you please share your experience. I am in the same situation. What option did you go for? If you went for F1 stamping then did you go for that after your marriage. I am planning to go for F1 stamping after marriage because i would want to show myself (spouse) as a sponsor for her education


  2. My wife and I are both on H1 visa. My i140 is approved. I was wondering if i can apply for my wife’s h4 EAD while she is on H1? Or she will have to first change from H1 to H4 and then only i can apply for H4 EAD?

  3. Hello
    My I 140 was approved 2019. My H1b visa expired and my i94 as well. My company wanted to extended the visa but they delayed in sending the documents and applied for extension after my i94 expired and visa expired. A week before I applied for H4 based on my spouse H1 in case my H1 extension is denied. My company says they are doing it premium and will know as early as possible about H1b extension.
    My questions :
    1: What are chances of getting approved H1b extension after sending it late,is there any hope. How will this affect my green card process in future.
    2: Would my I140 approval be a waste if my H1b extension is denied?
    3: I have already completed my 6 years,if I get a job later next year would I apply for H1b from cap?transfer?extension with new employer?
    4: Provided I get job will it be a new cycle for green card application?

  4. Hi Kumar,

    I am currently on H4 EAD, expiring on Jan 10, 2020.
    I had my H1B picked in lottery this year(2019-2020).
    1)If my EAD approves(its under processing) and H4 is not approved then I can work correct?
    2)If my H1B also approves the same time as its different petition then will I lose my EAD?
    I am asking this question because if I change status from H4 to H1B I will definitely lose my EAD, but here in my case my H4 is not approved yet. So wanted to check what happens?


    • As long as you have filed both of them properly, when you were in status, you are in period of authorised stay. If you get your H4 EAD, then you are technically allowed to work as it is understood that H4 is approved.
      If your H1B was filed as COS, then you will lose your H4 as COS will kick in and then you can work on H1B and need to give up EAD.

    • Hi ,

      My F1 visa STEM EAD Expires mid July and i applied for COS to H4 today on 6/24 using i539 form and instantly received the receipt notice

      Can i stay here in USA on i 539 receipt notice after my F1 grace period ends in September ?

      Or do i need to return to home country if the H4 is not approved till then ?

  5. Hi,
    I am on h4 visa now. My spouse green card process has not been initiated yet. But, I have an approved I140 from my previous employer. Am i eligible for H4 EAD?

    • Hema,
      In general, the primary H1B holders’ I-140 has to be approved. I have not seen any cases like yours. If you move to H1B, then your spouse can. Check with an attorney on this…Do update here for everyone benefit.

  6. My 6 years of H1B recaptured time is getting completed on 20TH feb 2020. My PERM is applied and i have receied an audit on july 9th 2019. I want to know the below.

    1.. As the procesing times with the audit are so slow, should I change me status from H1B to H4 ( My husband has a I 140 approved and i can be his dependant ) ?
    2.. If i change my status how much would it take ?
    3.. Can I apply for H4 EAD while i change my status ?
    4.. How much processing time would it take to apply for H4 and H4 EAD in total ?
    5.. is there a premium processing time for H4 and H4EAD at the same time if i apply ?
    6.. Can I put a future date in my COS application for H4 and H4 ead for 21st Feb 2020?
    7.. If my Perm and I140 gets approved before Feb 2020, then can I revoke my application of H4 and H4EAD ?

    Thank you

    • You may technically apply for COS and apply for H4 EAD, if your spouse has I-140 approved. The COS can take a while depending on where you file with the new Biometrics process for I-539 form. I suggest you speak to your firm that is handling your PERM and H1B and then take informed decision as it can get tricky with your H1B period closing in…

  7. Case: H1,H4 COS and H4 EAD Filed together in PP

    07/02 – USCIS received H1,H4 and H4 EAD (Nebraska).
    07/09 – H1B Approved for my spouse.

    What to do next?
    Option 1: Continue to wait for Biometrics mail and attended biometrics, and so on … As of now, this is about 8-12 months of a process to get H4 EAD extension completed.

    Option 2: This is a suggestion provided by my attorney i.e.
    a) Go to my home country, and get H4 stamped based on my spouses H1B Approval.
    b) Then when I come back, I’ll enter on the new/updated I-94 with new expiry date based on new approval.
    c) Send a withdraw letter to USCIS for I-539 (H4) application
    d) This way, the wait for 4-6 months of H4 Approval is not needed and H4 EAD application can start ASAP, potentially getting H-4 EAD approved in 4-6 months

    Has anyone heard of this Option 2? Do you see any merits/downside of this?

  8. Hello,
    My Partner’s H1B visa is expiring in March 2020. I am going for H4 visa stamping in August 2019 and when I come back I am thinking of applying for H4 EAD. I want to know how EAD start date is defined. I have two options.
    # I apply individually for H4 EAD in August 2019.
    ## We send my partners H1B extension application with my H4 EAD application in premium process in Sept 2019, which will help us get my EAD in 15 days.

    Now I want to know when we apply with #2 Option, when will my H4 EAD start? Would it start immediately or it will start from my partners H1B extension date i.e March 2020? Any help is appreciated.

  9. Hi my husband company applied for premium processing on April22 2019 for H1, H4 , H4 EAD together @ California Service Center

    H1 approved on May 1st 2019.

    Biometrics appointment on May 14th 2019.

    H4 EAd expired on May 5th 2019,

    when will H4 EAD be approved??? Please Adivse..

  10. Hi,

    I am currently on F1 opt ead which expires on feb 2019.I am planning to change my status to h4ead.I want to know if I my COS H4 is approved can I still work on the EAD as I have validity until feb 2019 while waiting for H4ead to be approved? Please help. My attorney was telling no I am not supposed to work that time period. And I am seeing in forums that I can work on my opt ead when my COS h4 is approved while waiting for h4ead.What is my best option?

    Thanks in Advance!!


  11. Hi

    My wife applied for GC in 2009 and labor application was submitted in Nov 2009, I-140 and I-485 showing the priority date 19 Jan 2009, My wife said, that this was a mistake done by USCIS, Actual priority date is dec 2009, when USCIS received the labor application. Please advise what to do ?

  12. I am currently on F1-OPT status and want to change my status to H4. I was employed by a consultancy and got my initial training there. After my training, I was never on a project and did not receive any income from the employer. Should I describe this employment in Part 4 question 19 on i-539 application(Change of Status)?
    – Part 4 question 19, the continuation (page 6), to briefly explain what kind of work you have done in the US, depending on your answer to number 19

  13. Hello,

    My name is Akansha and I am currently on my OPT that expires at the end of January 2018. I want to apply for change of status from F1 to H4. Could someone please tell me what documents do I need and how long would it take for USCIS to process my documents? Would I be out of status if my application is still in process but my OPT expires??


  14. Hello Saurabh

    I am in unique situation, My wife has H1-B till Nov 2018 and I have my H-4 visa stamping done from india that is valid till Nov 2018 as well. I have been on H4-EAD since 2015 and it expired august 28 , 2017. My lawyer applied for I-765 and I-539 during EAD renewal process in may and I have not received EAD yet . Do you think it is necessary to do I-539 renewal even if I have H-4 stamping ? I have not received EAD card yet and USCIS said there is delay in I-539 approval process. Can you please provide some guidance , what should I do at this point ? Should I continue to wait ?

  15. Hello,

    I am on F1 opt and it expires May 2018 and I have my F1 until May 2019. My company applied for H1B this year but my petition was not selected. My husband has his I140 approved. I have few questions:

    1) If I apply for COS to H4 and H4 EAD this year, COS is approved first say (Nov 2017) and EAD is approved – Jan 2018, Would I be allowed to work between Nov 2017 – Jan 2018, since I still have my F1 opt until May 2018?

    2) If I wait until next year , see if my H1B petition gets selected and if not selected, apply for H4 & H4 EAD after May 2018- Should I stop working until my H4 EAD is in hand?

    Can these questions be clarified please?

  16. Hello,

    My name is Suraj. I am currently on work visa H1B filed by my company in 2015. My current H1B work visa expires on September 2018 and I am due for renewal around that time which can be extended for 2-3 more years.

    I am requesting this due to my wife’s Green card has been filed by her employer It’s been almost 6 years since the application has been filed by her employer. She also has her I-140 approved. Her employer extended her work visa last year based on the GC application and is due for renewal in April 2019.

    So my questions are

    – Can my current H1B visa be converted to H4 EAD.

    – If yes, can it be converted now, or does it need to wait till my current H1B visa is up for renewal next year ( before 30th September 2018)

    – Or should I wait for my wife to do her next H1b extension by her employer which will be done in April 2019.
    – Who’s employer/lawyer files the H4 EAD, my employer or my wife’s employer. ??

    – Can I avoid employment gap ??

    Please let me know.

  17. Hello,
    I’m currently in the U.S on an F-2 visa as a dependent of my husband who is on his F-1 OPT. He filed for his H1-B this year, which was picked in the lottery. Along with that, my change of status to H-4 was also filed. It is currently in the processing stage for approval.
    I have applied for my masters for the fall semester this year and got admitted. I would like to change my status to F-1 before I can join college in August by staying in the country itself. My query is that, is it possible to apply to the USCIS by sending the I-539 form for conversion from F-2 to F-1 when my conversion to H-4 is already processing? I got this doubt because I already sent one I-539 for converting to H-4. Kindly assist me in this.

    • Meghana,

      You can apply for COS to F-1 as well. If F-1 COS gets approved first, then contact USCIS to withdraw your H-4 COS. If F-1 COS gets approved later, then your status would be F-1 and you will be all set. Talk to school if they allow you to study on H-4 for sometime and then move to F-1. This would be helpful in case both COS take lot of time to process.

  18. I’m currently on H1B visa and my spouse on H4. My employer has applied for extension for both last month as it’s getting expired in Aug, 2017. My spouse got admission in an university for Fall session this year. She wants to apply COS for from H4 to F1. I would like to get your help to understand if that can be done or not. Is it okay to apply for COS from H4 to F1 while H4-extension is in progress which may take upto 6-7 months to approve?

      • Thanks Saurabh. Latest update is my spouse’s H4 extension has been approved and COS for H4 to F1 is still pending to USCIS. She wants to be on F1. Do we need to do anything right now or need to just wait for F1 approval?

        If COS also gets approved, which status will be valid for her H4 or F1 ?

  19. When filing form i-539 for COS from F1 to H4, do i also need to get enrollment verification from the college or just a copy of my f-1 visa with passport and i-20 will suffice?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Reetika,

      F-1 visa copy and I-20 would be sufficient. However, there is no harm in providing additional document. So if you can get that verification form you should submit it. If not, then skip it.

  20. Hi Saurabh
    I would like explain my scenario.I am on H4 visa and is valid till september 2017.
    I have taken admission to one university in Fall 2016 and now doing my second semester(spring 2017).I am planning to apply for COS from H4 to F1 in first week of march 2017.At the same time one employer is ready to file my H1b for 2017.
    My questions are.

    Can Cos from H4- F1 and H1b can be done in parallel?

    What if my COS gets approved first and then H1B gets selected in lottery what will be my status and the other way round.

    If My H1B gets selected can cancel my approved cos or cos which is in progress

    what will be my status if COS gets RFE and H1B selected in lottory.

    Please guide me on the same.Thanks in advance.
    Neha Dixit

    • Can Cos from H4- F1 and H1b can be done in parallel?
      — Yes this is possible

      What if my COS gets approved first and then H1B gets selected in lottery what will be my status and the other way round.
      — The recent status will be latest status, in above case you will be on H1B. If your case don’t get picked in lottery then F1

      If My H1B gets selected can cancel my approved cos or cos which is in progress
      — Yes once your H1B gets selected your COS will be revoked even if it is approved.

      what will be my status if COS gets RFE and H1B selected in lottory.
      — It all depends on the timeline as per my understanding COS is taking more time these days. In above case latest approval will be considered your current status. Even if you have COS approved then you get H1B approved, your final status will be H1B. Past approval will be revoked or won’t be considered as your current status.

      • Hi,

        I am H4 visa holder and applying for COS to F1 in March 1st week.
        This is my second semester but I have few qusetions.
        1. Can I transfer to other university if My cos is in progress
        2.Can I Transfer to other university if my cos is approved.
        3.Can I transfer to other university if my cos gets RFE or gets rejected.

        Please guide me on the same.Thanking you in advance.


  21. Hello Saurabh,

    I have few questions related to h4 and EAD. First I’ll explain the scenario.

    1. I have H1b stamped and is valid til sep 2018 . Same for my spouse’s h4 visa.
    2. My spouse also has F1 visa which he is currently using.
    3. I changed my employer and H1b petition is approved but I haven’t filed h4 with the new employer.
    4. I-140 is approved with new employer.

    Now we are thinking of getting H4 EAD for my spouse. Wanted to check what are our options.
    1. Do we need to file 1-539 for his H4 COS or he needs to go out of country and get new H4 stamped based on my new petition.
    2. Can he use the already Stamped H4 and file for EAD.

    Any help is highly appreciated!!!


  22. Hi,
    I am working on OPT now and it expires on Apr 19, 2017. As my spouse has I-140 approved, I am planning to apply for H4 and H4-EAD together in Dec 2016. If my H4(COS) gets approved before Apr19(lets say Mar 15) and waiting for EAD approval, can i be able to work in the mean time (Mar15-Apr 19).Kindly clarify.


  23. Hi,
    My wife came to US on her H4 VISA, later I applied for H1B VISA and she got her H1B VISA and after 8 months of job search, she couldn’t find a job, so I moved her to H4 EAD after my I140 is approved. Now she is on H4 EAD.
    We are travelling to India now and because my VISA is expired, I am going for stamping..but I am not sure if my wife has to go for stamping as well (she was on H4 when entered US –> changed to h1B –> Currently on H4 EAD).
    Please do let me know if my wife has to go for stamping? Thank you and appreciate your feedback

  24. Hi Saurabh,

    My fiancee is on F1 (OPT) and I want to apply for her H4. Should I apply for her COS from F1 to H4 here in US(but we will not be able to travel to India in Dec 2016).
    Or apply for H4 visa after getting married in India?Will it be a problem for H4 stamping since she was on F1 here.

  25. Hi Surabh and All,
    Good Day

    I am on H4 and my Spouse’s Green card is in process. Her I 140 is getting filed in the next week. Her H1B visa with a new client is valid till Aug 2017 and same for my H4. For which I have I 797 showing the end date for each of us. On passport our old visas of old client which were stamped long back have expired on Sep 2016.

    I have been in US from last 1 and half year and now want to go to India for 2 weeks and then return back. But I know I have to go for restamping as old visa expired in the passport . I am planning to do my DS 160 and take Councillor appointment and Biometric appointment before booking the ticket so it should not happen that I dont get appointments on the days I stay in India and will have to postponed my stay.
    Is it safe for me to go to India and do H4 restamping and come back. Or there is risk of my H4 getting rejected in any way.

    Rajeev R

    • Rajeev R,

      There is always a risk of stamping getting rejected. However, you will be going for H-4 restamping, which should be trivial (but no 100% guarantee though).

  26. I am on H4 and my Spouse’s Green card is in process. Her I 140 is getting filed in the next week. Her H1B visa with a new client is valid till Aug 2017 and same for my H4. For which I have I 797 showing the end date for each of us. On passport our old visas of old client which were stamped long back have expired on Sep 2016.

    I have been in US from last 1 and half year and now want to go to India for 2 weeks and then return back. But I know I have to go for restamping as old visa expired in the passport . I am planning to do my DS 160 and take Councillor appointment and Biometric appointment before booking the ticket so it should not happen that I dont get appointments on the days I stay in India and will have to postponed my stay.
    Is it safe for me to go to India and do H4 restamping and come back. Or there is risk of my H4 getting rejected in any way.

  27. Hello Emily,

    Thanks for sharing all your knowledge on your blog and with all your posts! It has been very helpful for me. I have a particular case I would like to see if you could help me.

    Right now I am enroll in a Project Management Masters 2-years program with an F1 Visa and CPT to work 40 hours (full-time). I will be changing my legal status at some point next year to H4. I want to know if I am allow to keep studying and working with my CPT.

    Thank you so much,

  28. Hi, Good Day !
    I just got my I-140 approved. My H1B Six year cap will be completed by Jan’2017. H1 Extension has been filed in Premium and will be approved only till January 2017. Once that’s approved, My employer will be filing H1B extension (Beyond 6 years) based on i140 by November 2016 in Normal Processing Mode.
    My Spouse is in H1B and would like to convert to H4 – H4 EAD. Can we file this conversion and EAD –
    1) Right way with approved i140.
    2) Simultaneously with H1B extension (based on approved i140)
    3) only after H1B extension is approved

    • Vibe,

      1. Yes, they can but they would get EAD only until current H-1 petition expiration date.
      2. Yes, that would be best. If applied in PP, H-4 COS and H-4 EAD would also be processed within PP timeline.
      3. Go w/ (2).

  29. My H1B is valid till Dec,2018 with an approved I140. My spouse H1B is also valid till Sep,2017 and she wants to come on H4 EAD
    She is currently working, what is the best way to minimize the employment gap?
    1. When we apply H4 and H4 EAD together, I have noticed that both H4 and H4 EAD are given together. Is this purely on the discretion of USCIS or it always happens like that? In this way, there would be no gap?
    2. Also, there is an option to put future date for H4 (so put future date of Dec 30 start date for H4 when applying on Oct 1). By putting future date and assuming USCIS takes 3 months for processing of H4+HE EAD together, gap can be minimized. Is this true?
    Client would not wait for more than 2 weeks of unpaid vacation
    Any other way to reduce employment gap?

    • Nvedia,

      1. Whatever cases I have read online, they all were issued H-4 and EAD together with no gap (obviously when applied together)

      2. Yes, you can give a future date and hope USCIS to approve it by then.

  30. Hi All,
    I am working on H1B Visa,and it’s already expired and my parent company has already filed for the extension for 3 yrs ,and I have a receipt for it(Status :Case Received).

    So my question is Can I request for H4 Visa for my dependants?


  31. Hi Saurabh,

    Need your suggestion
    I came to US on October 4 2014 thru L&T Infotech on H1.I94 valid till l may2017.

    I initiated transferring H1 in May 2015.Joined XXXX after getting receipt

    Got RFE in Jan 2016 and responded back in April 2016.Afterwards it is denied

    I received denial notice on August 1 2016.

    Denial notice says we can stay until I94 expires but we would be out of status

    My employer has refiled again in premium for consular processing.I need to go to India for stamping

    I am expecting approval in couple of weeks.

    My kids and wife are on H4.

    My wife’s H1 got picked this year and it still pending with uscis.As it is filed as H4 to H1 COS,my employer asked her not to travel to India

    What about my kids?Shall they need to get stamped again from India? Or can they stay here?

    • Vish,

      I assume your previous visa stamp is also valid until May 2017. In that case, no new stamping is required. Once you receive approval notice, you can leave US and return on old visa stamp and new petition and start working for that employer again. You can go for stamping (you should be dropbox eligible) but it is not mandatory.

      As for kids, they are currently out of status, just like you. So they should also travel w/ you outside US and return to get new I-94s. Just like you, no stamping is required but if you want they can appear for dropbox as well.

      IMO, even your wife should leave US and return like you to get updated I-94 and go back in status. There is a possibility that RFE could be issued for her H-4 to H-1 as she is currently out of status.

      In short, you all should leave US ASAP, wait for approval notice and then return to US on the new approved petition. You guys cannot stay inside US as your new petition has been filed in consular processing.

      What the was the reason for denial? Did the employer address that reason when reapplying for H-1?

      • Thanks saurab for clarifying.

        But my lawyer suggested that my wife can stay in US as h1 is pending and cos gets abandoned if she travels out.

        Will check again

        Can you please mask my employer names in my query..dont want to fall into any other issues

        Thanks a lot

        • Vish,

          For COS approval, she needs to be in valid status, which she is not as your H-1 transfer petition was not approved. Instead of taking advice about wife’s H-1 from your current H-1 attorney, you should talk to wife’s H-1 attorney.

          IMO, she would be a bigger trouble if she continues to stay in US while being out-of-status. She can always get another COS applied or enter US on stamped H-1 visa.

          I will mask the employer’s name.

          • He was a F-1 student and got fired out of the university for securing the admission using fake degree certificates from India. since August 2016 he was out of status because his SEVIS was terminated by the University DSO upon verifying his certificates.

            Since August he is hiding in USA and now he got married to H1-b candidate, heard that he filed H4 so that he can stay in USA a legally.

            Will the USCIS approves his H4.? or will they denied based on his record.

  32. Hi,

    My wife is having H4-EAD and got a job offer to work on their W-2. Now what is the process/documents required to start working? Can she submit copy of her H4-EAD card and start working? or are there any additional documents required to be submitted.


    • Ramesh,

      She needs to get SSN. The new employer will be completing I-9 formalities for her. They would need copy of her H-4 EAD and SSN (for payroll) for this. She should be good after that.

  33. I have recently got my extension approved till July 2019 and my spouse recently started her study in one of the university, we are thinking to apply change of Status from H4 to F1 and planning to go for vacation in December 2016.

    Will it be possible to go for F1 Stamping and H4 dropbox during the vacation time. I know F1 will have low chances for Stamping but wanted to have H4 stamped to be at safer side so that she can come back for study. If anyone having the same experience please share and suggestions will be highly appreciated.

    Thank you in advance!

    • H4toF1,

      How can you go for both F-1 and H-4 stamping. Are you asking that you would appear for F-1 first and if denied will then appear for H-4 dropbox? That may not work as you can appear for dropbox only if you haven’t received any visa rejections since last visa approval; and F-1 visa denial would make you ineligible.

      • Thank you very much Saurabh for response!

        I am planning to file F1 next month and expecting approval by Dec 2016, Prior going for vacation I will have dropbox scheduled for early december and if possible then F1 interview date. Not sure if it’s doable since I also don’t have anyone who can suggest and help on this.

        I am thinking to have dropbox first then interview, if F1 rejects then will she be able to come back to US on her H4 stamped?

        • h4tof1,

          Ok, that should be ok. You can appear for H-4 dropbox first and then appear for F-1 visa stamping. If F-1 is denied, you can return on H-4. The only thing to watch out for (slight possibility) is that they can cancel the H-4 visa stamp when processing F-1 visa stamp.

    • Hi Saurabh,

      I’m thinking to apply for change of status (COS) for my wife from F-1 to H-4. She came to USA in July to join university for this Fall, 2016. My H-1B is approved and starts from this October. Currently I’m in F1 cap gap. So my question is can we apply for change of status now? Or should we wait till October to apply? Also will 30/60 day rule apply to her case (immigration intent).

      Another question is once she applies to COS and application receives USCIS can she withdraw from university? She’s already registered as a full time students for 9 credits, so she will be full time student while applying. Thanks much for your help

      • Sandeep,

        If she can remain on F-1 for some more time, that would be helpful. She can remain on F-1 until Oct and then apply COS to H-4. This would also address the 30/60/90 day rule.

        Once she applies for COS and if she withdraws from school, then the only thing to watch out for is COS denial. For some reason if COS is denied then she may found herself out of status.

  34. Hello Saurabh,

    I have two questions.
    1. I am on H1B my visa will expire in one month. I already applied for h4(COS) +EAD together and mentioned h1B expire date. I don’t think i will get my EAD immediately as soon as my H1B expires. how to avoid my employment gap.
    2. Is there any way to extend my H1B?

    • Priya,

      1. Unfortunately, there is not much you can do to expedite the H-4 EAD processing. H-4 COS by itself doesn’t carry any PP option.
      2. If the employer is willing to file H-1 extension, that would allow you to continue working on H-1 even after the petition expires. They can withdraw the H-1 extension petition once H-4 EAD is approved. However, this means loss of all fees related to H-1 extension petition.

      • Thanks for your replay.

        I really appreciate for your response.
        if my employer apply for h1b extension, what will happen to my h4 COS which i already applied for future date?

        • Priya,

          Both will happen in parallel and would result in a race scenario. The application getting approved later would determine your eventual status. Usually this needs to be avoided, but if want continuity of work then this is needs to be done.

          H-4 gets approved first, then revoke the H-1 petition.

          H-1 gets approved first, then let H-4 COS continue and wait for its approval. Your eventual status would still become H-4.

          • Hello sourab,
            My h1b expired on sep 2016 my h4 cos and ead still pending.
            I need o travel india next. Am i allwed to travel while my case is pending?

            Recently i recieved text from uscis for h4 saying ” your name was updated” what does hat mean.

          • Priya,

            That status is little ambiguous. Maybe wait for a week or so and you would receive USCIS letter explaining it in detail.

            You can travel while it is pending. You can get H-4 visa stamped and return on it. I think EAD would be abandoned as H-4 COS would be abandoned as soon as you leave US.

        • One solution to your problem is to get in touch with your local congressman and request that if you don’t get approval soon for H4 EAD – http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

  35. Hi Saurabh,

    I am currently on my H1B with approved I-140 and my spouse is on OPT (currently working) and are trying to apply for H4 and H4 EAD simultaneously. One of the way we are planning to do is through my H1B amendment, my current amendment is still in process and we are planning to expedite (Premium processing) that with the addition of my spouse H4 and H4 EAD.

    Is this something we can do ?
    Do we need to do a new amendment? instead of an existing amendment ?
    What is the processing time once COS H4 is approved and getting H4EAD approved?


    • Chetan,

      I am not 100% sure, but I think what you need to do is file H-1 extension along w/ your H-1 amendment in PP. Then add H-4 extension and H-4 EAD to the same. This way everything will be processed within PP timeframe of 15 calendar days.

  36. Hi,

    Currently me and my spouse are on H-1B visa. My spouse is planning to apply change of status for me so that I can hold H4 visa. My question is, my COS (h1 to h4) and H4 EAD are initiated at the same time while I am in US, I travel to India, stamp H4 visa and come back to US , will my H4 EAD be cancelled in this case?
    I heard that the applicant should be physically present to initiate H4 EAD but not sure if my H4 stamped in India would affect EAD processing that was initiated earlier.
    Thanks in advance!

      • Hi Saurabh,

        I am planning to leave US before EAD approval.

        On I539 form, I have given a future date in October for the H4 effective date. We are planning to initiate EAD now and I will returning to US sometimes November with H4 stamp.


        • Rev,

          If the plan is to leave US, then why did you file I-539? It would be abandoned as soon as you leave US. You need to continuously stay inside US through I-539 processing, in order to get it approved. As H-4 EAD would be accompanied by that COS, it would be denied as well.

          If the travel is urgent, then may be get H-4 visa stamped and then return to US and file H-4 EAD.

  37. Hello Saurab,
    Thanks for answering the questions in the forum, much appreciated.
    My wife is currently in H1b and we would like to apply for her change of status to H4 so that she can get a EAD based on my approved I 140.
    My question is regarding her travel. Can she if her change of status from h1 to h4 is still pending?
    Will that affect her entry back into the US in anyway? Once she leaves the country we are planning to get her H1 b stamped and return back to the US.
    Please let me know your thoughts on this.
    Thank you.

    • Sunny Singh,

      If she leaves US while COS is pending, then the COS would be abandoned. She would enter US on H-1 visa or H-4 visa, and that would determine her new visa status. If she wants to be on H-4, then why does she want to get H-1 visa stamped?

      • Hi Saurabh,
        Thanks for replying to my question. She is currently on H1B and we want H1B stamped because we dont want a discontinuity in her work. But if the COS application gets abandoned if you leave the country while COS is pending then we might have to reconsider about our travel plan.
        We are planning the COS from H1b to H4 to have more flexibility for job.
        If the COS gets approved before the travel will there be a gap between the approval of COS and her H4 EAD? Then if we travel after COS is approved then we will have to get H4 visa stamped when we re-enter.
        Please let me know your thoughts.
        Thank you,

        • Sunny Singh,

          If COS and EAD are applied concurrently, they are processed together. There should be a delay b/w the two.

          She can appear for H-4 visa stamp, return on it and use the previously approved EAD to continue working.

  38. Hi Saurabh
    i just got my I-140 approved . My current H1-B is expiring on March 2017 . My employer is ready to file H1B extension in premium processing on 1st OCT 2016 So i am expecting H1+H4 extension approved in 15 working days . when should i file H4 EAD ?
    1) file EAD along-with my H1+H4 Extension – In that case can i expect EAD to be approved in 15 working days like H1 B + H4 Extension ( since PP )
    2) File EAD after the H1+H4 extension is received ?
    3) File EAD now (before 1 OCT ) and then apply for EAD renewal after H1+H4 extension ? How much in advance we can file EAD renewal before EAD expiry ?

    Thanks !

    • Hemant,

      #1 is the answer. Yes, file EAD along w/ H-4 extension. They should extend PP timelines to EAD when filing concurrently.

      • Hi Saurabh,
        thanks for feedback . since there is no PP for EAD , do you think they can respond on EAD on Priority (lets say 1 month ) if i go with option # 1 ?

        • Hemant,

          Usually when EAD is filed concurrently, it is processed in same timeframe. So EAD by itself doesn’t have PP services, but when applied as part of H-4 extension + PP, it should follow PP timelines.

          Another example is COS. COS itself doesn’t allow PP facility, but when applied w/ H-1 transfer in PP, COS is approved within 15 calendar days.

          Does that make sense?

  39. Hello Saurab,
    I have a question pertaining to H4 EAD. I have an approved I 140 from my current employer. My current H1B is ending on Mar 2017. My employer is recommending me to apply for H4 EAD along with H1B extension to get H4 EAD quickly (Assuming my H1B is processed in premium). My question is what would be the start date of H4 EAD in that case (Concurrent Filing). I read in few forums that start date would be my H1B extension date which would be Mar 2017 instead of the date on which it is approved. Can you suggest please. Thank you.

    • i just got my I-140 approved . My current H1-B is expiring on March 2017 . My employer is ready to file H1B extension in premium processing on 1st OCT 2016 So i am expecting H1+H4 extension approved in 15 working days . when should i file H4 EAD ?
      1) file EAD along-with my H1+H4 Extension – In that case can i expect EAD to be approved in 15 working days like H1 B + H4 Extension ( since PP )
      2) File EAD after the H1+H4 extension is received ?
      3) File EAD now (before 1 OCT ) and then apply for EAD renewal after H1+H4 extension ? How much in advance we can file EAD renewal before EAD expiry ?

  40. Hi,

    I have a question regarding H4 EAD for my Wife. My H1B extension is in process can i file the H4 EAD for her or should i wait for the approval and then file for H4 EAD.

    Thanks !

      • both H4 and H1B extension is in progress and it was filed in first week of July 2016. Yes my I140 was approved last year.

        • Saurabh Baheti,

          It would have been better had EAD been applied along w/ H-4 extension. If you have H-4 receipt number, then you can apply for EAD using that receipt number. It won’t be approved until your H-4 gets approved though.

  41. Hello,

    I am an F-1 OPT student currently employed. My OPT ended on May 19th 2016 and I applied for my STEM OPT Extension on May 17th 2016. My husband has an approved i-140. Keeping in mind the processing time for the STEM OPT extension application, can I apply for a COS from F1 to H4 and simultaneously apply for H4-EAD as well ? Because I do not want to risk this situation and end up not being able to work, while waiting for my STEM OPT extension decision. Please advise.

  42. Hello,
    Thank you for answering all the questions.

    I got my I-140 approved from my current employer and I’m shifting to a new employer in 2 weeks. After shifting to new employer, Can I still be able to apply H4 EAD for my dependent based my I-140 approved copy? or do I need to wait till I get my I-140 approved from my new employer? If that’s the case, can I quickly apply for H4 EAD based on my I-140 approved copy in these 2 weeks and then change to new employer? Will I get the approval or any RFE?

    Please advice,
    Thank you

  43. Hello,
    Thank you for answering all the questions.
    My question is for my wife. She is currently on H1B non-cap and I wish to apply for her H4 EAD based on my approved I140, I know that I will have to apply for H4 EAD along with a change of status form for H1B to H4.
    As far as I understand the process, first her change of status H1B to H4 will be approved and then her H4 EAD application will be processed, so my question here is in between these 2 steps can she still continue to work? or she will have to take a break from work once her change of status is approved and then wait until her H4 ead is approved?
    Please advice,
    Thank you

    • Sunny Singh,

      If you apply for H-4 COS and EAD together, then they are usually processed together and approved together. So less chances of gap being present b/w the two.

  44. Hi,

    I am currently on F1 visa and I am working on CPT. My course is ending next year in 2017. Recently, my husband’s I-140 is approved, can i apply for cos from f1 to h4 and h4 ead simultaneously.

    Also, can i work on CPT until my COS is approved to H4.


  45. Hi all this is RAMAKRISHNA,
    Right now i am in F1 student visa ,my request is i got my EAD on April 22 but at that time I was found a mistake on my card(typographic error),that’s why i spoke with USCIS customer service officers they said like send back your card with I-765 form with supporting documents, that’s why i send back my original card with supporting documents on April 26,i got updated status on June 2 like Correspondence Was Received And USCIS Is Reviewing It .Hear my request is my Employment authorization start date 06-16-2016 to 06-15-2017,till now i didn’t get back my card, i spoke with lot of times customer service officers they simply said like you have to wait . My main problem was without original EAD card social security officers didn’t provide social security Number (SSN), without social security Number (SSN) employer didn’t give job .so please give me the suggestion as soon as possible, really i am scare about my situation.
    Note: My case was already approved.

  46. I have a question. We are in California. I am on H1B visa. My wife is on H4 and H4EAD. We want to go for legal separation. What will be the effect on my wife’s visa status after legal separation?

  47. Hi,

    I’m waiting for my H1B approval(Application is picked in lottery). Meanwhile my H4 visa is expiring. Can I apply for extension of H4? Will it create any issue for H1 approval?

    • Avani,

      H-4 extension needs to be applied if you are inside US. You would have H-1 COS and H-4 EOS in play in parallel. Look-up Last Action Rule. The petition that goes into effect later determines your eventual status.

  48. Saurabh

    My wife received H4 and H4EAD approval notice recently. She is currently working in the USA and planning for a India trip for VISA stamping at the Chennai consulate.
    My question:
    While scheduling online VISA interview should we need to enter H4 approval notice number (I797A notice of action to extend/change non-immigrant status)
    H4EAD approval notice (I797 notice of action for employment authorization)?

    Please advise….thanks and appreciate your help!

    • Kantha,

      AFAIK, she has to enter spouse’s 797 number and not her number. Think about it, if the person has always been in India and appears for H-4 stamping, they won’t have any H-4 797, but would still have H-1 797 through spouse.

  49. Hello, my question is about my wife who is currently on H4 visa. Her employer filled a non-cap H1B and we received an RFE for that petition, the application is currently pending. Just recently I got my NIW I-140 approved. So based on my approved I-140 can she apply for H4 EAD while her own H1B is still pending? Lets say we apply for her H4 EAD and in the meanwhile the H1B gets approved, then what should be the strategy?
    I appreciate your advice on this.
    Thank you,

    • Happy Singh,

      Yes, EAD can be applied while her H-1 is pending. If H-1 gets approved w/ COS, then EAD becomes moot as H-4 status would not exist. If H-1 is not approved or approved w/ consular processing, then EAD would get processed and approved.

      • Hello Saurab,
        Thanks so much for answering my question. So if I can apply for her H4 EAD now, what would be her current status? I am guessing H4 since her H1B is pending. So will I need to file a Change of status from (H1b to H4) application also along with this EAD application? Or not?
        If H1B is approved w/ consular processing! then EAD would get processed, could you please elaborate on this one. Does this mean that if H1B gets approved her EAD would still be processed?
        Thanks so much.

        • Happy Singh,

          You need to apply just EAD and no COS. Here is what will happen:

          1. If H-1 gets approved w/ COS, her H-4 status would become ineffective from Oct 1 or whatever COS effective date is. She can then start working on H-1 from that date.
          2. If H-1 is approved w/o COS or is denied, then she can work on H-4 EAD (once that is approved).

          As her current status is H-4 and not H-1, hence no COS is required. COS would be required only if her H-1 gets approved w/ COS, but she decides to move back to H-4 EAD.


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