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How to Apply for H4 EAD? New, Renewal? Biometrics?

In general, H4 Visa holders, who are dependents of H1B visa holders, cannot work in the US. But that changed with the H4 Visa EAD rule that was effective from May 26, 2015. H4 EAD (Employment Authorization Document) essentially gives H4 visa holders the ability to work in the US, if they qualify based on certain conditions. This article covers requirements for H4 EAD, the step-by-step process to apply, new guidelines on biometrics, and common FAQs.

H4 EAD Requirements – Who can apply for it?

The US Department of Homeland Security(DHS) gives employment authorization (EAD) to work in the US for certain H4 Visa holders, whose spouses on H1B have satisfied one of the below two conditions:

  • Have an approved I-140 form, which is the immigrant petition for foreign citizens to get Green Card or Permanent Residency in the USA.
  • Have H1B visa status extended for the spouse beyond 6 years under AC21 Act, which allows H1B holders seeking Green Card to work and stay in the US beyond 6 years, if their Green Card or Permanent Residency Application is Pending with the USCIS.

You can file for H4 EAD if you satisfy any of the above two conditions. There were some plans in the past to remove H4 EAD, but after the Biden administration took office, they withdrew the regulation that was aimed at H4 EAD removal from their regulatory list. Also, the H4 EAD lawsuit was dismissed in court and DHS won the same. So, you are good to file H4 EAD. Check H4 EAD Rule Removal – Lawsuit, Court Updates 

H4 EAD Documents Checklist

You need the below documents and information with you, to file H4 EAD with USCIS.

  • H4 EAD Fee: H4 EAD Application Fee check for $520 USD payable to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security”.  You can also money order, personal check, or cashier’s check to pay for the fee. If you are filing at a USCIS Lockbox facility, you can use credit as well using the form G-1450 authorizing the credit card transactions. No short forms like USCIS are allowed on the Bank Check, you need to put in the full name of USCIS as specified. The H4 EAD application fee went up from $410 to $520 starting from April 2024. Read more at USCIS Fee increase.
  • EAD Application form:  Completed form I-765, which is the application for Employment Authorization.
  • (Optional)  e-Notification form: If you want to get electronic notifications for your application, you can use form G-1145. You can use this facility only if you are filing your application at a USCIS Lockbox Facility.
  • Copies of H4 Visa holder’s Govt. issued Photo Identity: Not all of the below documents are required, you can submit either one or more.
    • Copy of H4 visa holder’s passport (Front, Back)
    • Copy of H4 Visa Stamp page from passport (if available)
    • (optional) Copy of Birth Certificate with photo in it.
    • If you are applying for H4 Renewal, your previous H4 EAD Card copy – front and back.
    • National identity card from your home country like a Voter card, or Aadhar Card (if you are an Indian)
  • Current H4 Visa Status Proofs
  • H4 EAD Eligibility Documents: You need to submit the H4 EAD eligibility documents of your spouse such as below. Depending on your situation, you need to submit either Option 1 or Option 2 related documents as listed below.
    • Option 1Approved Form I-140: Copy of primary H1B Holder’s I-140 related  I-797 Approval Notice.
    • Option 2 – H1B Received proof under AC21 beyond 6 years:
      • Copy of H1B Holder’s passports and previous I-94s
      • Current and prior copies of Form I-797, Approval Notice of H1B Visa
      • Evidence of H1B Extension of Stay beyond 6 years
        • Proof that your spouse’s PERM was filed at least 365 days before the end of 6 years period.
        • If PERM is not needed, then proof of pending Form I-140 that it was filed 365 days before the end of 6 years.
    • If your employer has not shared any of the above option 1 or option 2 documents, you can use USCIS FOIA to request your I-140 information and attach the same with the H4 EAD application.
  • H4 – H1B Relationship Documents : 
    • You need to submit your marriage certificate to prove the relationship with H1B Holder. If it is not in English, you need to get it translated into English by a certified translator.
  • H1B Spouse Documents: You can submit below additional H1B spouse’s documents as supporting information
    • Copy of my H1B holders passport
  • Photos: 2 color passport photos (2×2 inches passport photos ) taken in the last 30 days. You should write your Name, I-94 number on the back of the photo for identification purposes. If you cannot write properly with a pen, use a pencil.
  • Additional Supporting Documents : 

Translation of Submitted Documents for H4 EAD :

If you submit any documents like a Birth Certificate or National ID as Government-issued photo ID or marriage certificate in a foreign language (other than English), then you need to submit a full English translation along with the translator’s certification that says that the translation is complete and accurate.

Step by Step Guide to Apply for H4 EAD

If you qualify for H4 EAD, you need to follow the below process. All the H4 Visa holders, who qualify for this need to do is :

Step 1: Complete form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization

You should download the latest form I-765 from the USCIS website, along with its instructions, and complete the form. Below are some common application questions, where it is not clear or the user can make mistakes. We do not cover basic questions like Name or Address, rather we cover confusing or error-prone questions only below.

H4 EAD cannot be applied online. There is still no online I-765 form option to file it like F1 OPT for H4 visa holders to file H4 EAD.

  • Part 1. Reason for Applying – New vs Renewal :
    • Question 1: If you are applying for a new application for EAD, you would select ‘1.a.’, if you are applying for renewal of H4 EAD, you would select the corresponding box ‘1.c.’. Check the below screenshots. If you have lost the EAD card, then you select ‘1.b.’
H4 EAD New Application i-765 - Question 1 - Reason for Applying
Selection of Option for New H4 EAD
H4 EAD Renewal Application i-765 - Question 1 - Reason for Applying
H4 EAD Renewal Application
  • Part 2: Information about you
    • Question 2 – Other Names: If you have other names like a different name before marriage or you had different spellings or anything, you should mention it here.
    • Question 8 – A-Number: Usually, most of the H4 EAD applicants do not have an Alien Registration number or A-Number. So, just leave it blank. In certain cases like, if you applied for any other green card or adjustment status application with USCIS, then you may have an A-Number, in such cases, you can fill this field with that number.
    • Question 9  – USCIS Online Account Number for H4 EAD: If you have filed any application with USCIS in the past using their online system or USCIS ELIS system, you would have got a USCIS online account number. In such cases, enter that number here. You can find it on top of your profile page once you login to the USCIS system. In general, for most of the H4 EAD applicants, you would NOT have a USCIS online account number, so just leave it blank.
    • Question 12 – Previously filed form I-765. : If you are applying for H4 EAD renewal or you have filed F1 OPT or other forms of EAD in past using Form I-765, then you need to check this box as ‘Yes’. If not, it would be a ‘No’.
    • Question 13. aSocial Security Number(SSN): Usually, you would have Social Security Number (SSN), if you were to work in the US. If you have had SSN as a student in the past, or on H1B before H4, or for some other reason, you should select ‘Yes’. In general, for first-time H4 EAD applicants, this would be ‘No’. But, if you are filing for an H4 EAD extension, then you would answer this as ‘Yes’.
    • Question 13.b – Enter SSN. If you answered ‘Yes’ to ’13.a’, then you would enter SSN number here.
    • Question 14 – Get SSN Issued: If you never had SSN and want to get one, you should select ‘Yes’ here. For most of the H4 holders, this would be selected as ‘Yes’. It is highly recommended to apply for SSN along with your H4 EAD application as it will help you start work right away after you get your EAD. You need SSN for taxes and other purposes from the employer side.
    • Question 15 – Consent to SSN office: If you selected ‘Yes’ for question 14, then you select ‘Yes’ here for USCIS to share data with SSA Office. It is important to do this.
    • Question 16, 17 – Parent’s Names for SSN Office: You need to fill in H4 holder’s Father and Mother’s names here, if you have checked ‘Yes’ in Question 14, SSA needs your parents’ information.
  • Part 2 : Information about your Last Arrival in US
    • Question 21.a. – I-94 Info: You need to enter your I-94 Arrival/ Departure Record number here. You can get I-94 Online on the DHS website if you arrive via flight or ship. If you arrived by road, then you would have a physical I-94 card and it would have the number on it. Also,  if you have had H4 status extended within the US, then you would have I-94 attached to your H4 approval copy of I797.
    • Question 24 – Last arrival visa type: This is the US Visa type that you used to enter the US most recently. It varies by individual as some arrive on H4, some arrive on F1, some on H1B, etc. So, you need to make sure you enter your status accordingly. This may have changed for some after arrival. e.g : F-1 student, H-4 dependent, H-1B, etc. Your latest I-94 would have the most updated information as well about your status.
    • Question 25 – Current Status: This is your current visa status in the US. For most, it is likely going to be an H4 visa. But, for some who are applying for H4 COS (Change of Status) along with EAD, it would be different like F1 student, H1B Visa, etc.
    • Question 26 – SEVIS Info: SEVIS Number is not applicable to H4 EAD, it is used by the F1 visa students. You will only use it, if you are applying for H4 COS from F1 status to H4 and applying for H4 EAD as well.
  • Part 2: Information about your Eligibility Category
    • Question 27 – EAD Category Code: You need to enter the relevant USCIS EAD category code of eligibility for H-4 visa holders based on the I-765 instructions. It is (C)(26) for H4 visa holders applying for EAD. See the below screenshot on how to fill it. You need to leave the last parenthesis empty as it is for the sub-section field.C26 filling out for question 27 answer on H4 EAD
    • Here is the reference from I-765 Instructions that says it should be (c)(26)H4 EAD Renewal Application i-765 - Question 27 - Eligibility Criteria C26
    • Question 29 – (c)(26) Eligibility Category – H1B Holder Receipt Number: You will need to enter your spouse’s (H1B holder’s) receipt number from form I-797. It looks like  EACXXXX, WACXXX, or IOEXXXX.  It has to be your H1B spouse’s most recent I-797 receipt number. If you are filing H1B Extension and H4 EAD together, it will be the most recent or current approved H1B receipt number.
      • It is NOT the I-140 approval receipt number, so do not be confused.
      • Do NOT enter the H4 holder’s receipt number.
  • Part 3: Applicant’s Statement
    • Question 1.a. – English Language Knowledge: If you understand English and completed the form, you need to check accordingly here, indicating you understand English.
    • Question 1.b – Interpreter Info: If you did not fill out the application, then you need to check this box and enter the details of the interpreter.
    • Question 7.a -Sign form – What color Pen to use to Sign USCIS H4 EAD Form?
      • You need to sign in the box at ‘7.a’ and enter the date in the ‘7.b’ question. You need to use a Black Ink color pen to sign the form as suggested by USCIS in their form-filling tips.

Step 2:  Package your H4 EAD Application with Supporting Documents

Once you have completed filling out the I-765 application form, you need to gather all the documents, as listed in our above documents checklist, and put them together in a package in a certain order as suggested by USCIS (the first one to be the top). Submit only copies, do NOT send originals.

  1. Check or money order (on the top)
  2. Form G-1145 for e-notification (under the check/ money order)
  3. Form G-28, if an attorney is filing (under the e-notification form)
  4. Form I-765 application form completed and signed (under the G-28 form or G-1145, if you are filing it yourself )
  5. Supporting Documentation from the checklist listed in the above section(under the completed  I-765 application form)

Do NOT use any heavy staples to put them together. USCIS recommends that you use paper clips or binder clips.  You can check USCIS form filing tips for complete guidance on how to create your application package and guidance on the same. Below is the screenshot from the USCIS form filing tips.

USCIS Form Filing Tips
USCIS Form Filing Tips

Step 3: Send / Mail H4 EAD Application to correct USCIS Address

Once you have created the application package, you need to mail or post it to the correct USCIS location. The address to send is based on your Spouse’s H1B receipt number and is as listed below.

You should check the USCIS address for I-765 and look under (c)(26) to see verify if the below details have changed to be sure.

H1B Spouse’s Receipt Number

Address to Mail or send Post for H4 EAD
If the receipt number of H1B Spouse’s  most recent H1B Approval Notice (Form I-797A), begins with EAC or LIN or MCT

H1B Approval Notice is given when the employer files the I-129 form. This is NOT the I-140 form.
USCIS Dallas Lockbox
U.S. Postal Service (USPS):
Attn: H4
P.O. Box 660921
Dallas, TX 75266-0921

FedEx, UPS, and DHL deliveries:
Attn: H4 (Box 660921)
2501 S. State Hwy. 121 Business
Suite 400
Lewisville, TX 75067-8003
If the receipt number of H1B Spouse’s  most recent H1B Approval Notice (Form I-797A), begins with WAC or SRC or IOE

H1B Approval Notice is given when the employer files the I-129 form. This is NOT the I-140 form.
USCIS Phoenix Lockbox
U.S. Postal Service (USPS):
Attn: H4
P.O. Box 20400
Phoenix, AZ 85036-0400

FedEx, UPS, and DHL deliveries:
Attn: H4 (Box 20400)
2108 E. Elliot Rd.
Tempe, AZ 85284-1806
Address details on where to send H4 EAD application

Step 4: Get Receipt of H4 EAD, USCIS Processing

Once you send your package to USCIS, you will get a receipt notice confirming the receipt of your H4 EAD application. Check Sample H4 EAD Receipt Notice. On the receipt notice, you would see ‘Receipt Number’. You can use that to check your Case Status on the USCIS website

USCIS will process your H4 EAD application as per the typical processing times for the same form. The application processing times can vary by the location it was filed. Check current & historical H4 EAD processing times at USCIS

USCIS may issue you RFE asking for more information, if something is missing or not clear to them. Keep an eye on the mails, they will send you a copy of what is required.

Step 5: Decision from USCIS, Receive H4 EAD Card

Once USCIS completes processing and approves EAD,  they will send the actual H4 EAD Card. The card will have C26 Category listed on the card. It is also called an I-766 form or EAD Card.

Below is a sample H4 EAD Card. Read the meaning of all the fields on H4 EAD Card, Sample for more info.

Does H4 EAD need Biometrics? Should you include Biometrics fee?

In general, in the past, the Biometric requirement was for H4 visa holders applying for H4 Extensions or other visa holders applying for H4 Change of Status(COS) using the I-539 form. H4 EAD application on its own does not need biometrics. There is no requirement from USCIS to give Biometrics, if you apply for H4 EAD alone using Form I-765.

In the past, before October 1st, 2023, if you were filing for H4 EAD along with H4 Visa Extension or Change of Status(COS) concurrently with form I-539 form in the same package, then USCIS would have needed Biometrics to adjudicate the H4 EAD. But, starting from October 1st, 2023, there is no need for giving biometrics( for most of the applicants) as per USCIS policy change. Also, you do not have to pay the fee as well for Biometrics.

In the past, they could not approve H4 EAD without approval of underlying H4 Application that had Biometrics requirments. So, it was dependent on Biometrics related to H4 Visa Extension or COS. Check I-539 Form Biometrics Requirements for H4 Holders

Update: USCIS suspended the Biometrics requirement for H4 Visa Extensions and Change of Status(COS) starting from May 17th, 2021 as part of a lawsuit settlement. It was suspended until September 30th, 2023. Read USCIS Suspends H4 Biometrics requirement until Sep 2023. Eventually, in Septmber 2023 USCIS announced that they are removing biometrics and its fee for most applicants starting from October 1st, 2023. Read more at USCIS removes Biometris and its Fee from Oct 1st, 2023.

H4 Biometrics Fee: You do not need to include the Biometrics fee, if you are filing H4 EAD application standalone using form I-765.

H4 EAD Premium Processing – Effective date, News

As of now, there is no USCIS premium processing option available for H4 EAD Applications. US Congress passed HR 8337 Bill that added the provision to give premium processing for various forms like I-539, including I-765 form for EAD.

On March 30th, 2022, DHS published a final rule to implement premium processing for H4 and H4 EAD holders. As per the regulation, they plan to implement the premium processing option by 2025. There is no exact date given yet. See below Check H4 EAD Premium Processing Option News updates for more info.

540 Days automatic Extension for H4 EAD extensions

USCIS announced in March 2022 its goal to streamline the overall processing times and reduce the backlogs for all types of applications by end of FY 2023. As part of that initiative, USCIS published a temporary final rule in the federal register that increased the automatic extension duration for H4 EAD Applicants from 180 days to up to 540 days. You can read the full details at USCIS EAD Automatic Extension 540 Days Rule

Regulation Text - Increase of Automatic Extension for EADs from 180 to 540
Regulation Text – Increase of Automatic Extension for EADs from 180 to 540

Common FAQs on H4 EAD 

 When can you start working on EAD for H4 visa holders?

The H4 Visa holder can start working only after their I-765 form is approved by USCIS and they receive the EAD Card. You can check out many of the common  H4 Visa EAD FAQs – F1 to H4 COS, H1B to H4 COS, I-140 Revoked

Travel outside of the US with H4 EAD pending?

Yes, you can technically travel outside of the US to any country, after filing your H4 EAD application, but USCIS recommends not to travel to handle the RFE, Receipt notices, any requests to visit application centers, etc. They say that the process could get delayed if you get an RFE, or if they need something from you. It will just delay and you will have to come back for the same. If there is no RFE or anything, you should be fine to get the H4 EAD card to your address in the mail.

Travel outside of the US with H4 EAD along with H4 Change of Status (COS) Pending?

Well, this is a tricky situation, and not usually recommended to travel outside of the US.  The reason is that USCIS will abandon your H4 Change of Status (COS) application as your I-94 details change, subsequently USCIS may also deny  H4 EAD. The recommended approach, if you have to travel is to get your H4 COS done first, then apply for H4 EAD and maybe travel after that as it is less risky and has more logistics issues to deal with.

Where can I get Passport Photos for H4 EAD in the US? Which stores?

You can get them at Costco, Walgreens, or any of the passport photo location for H4 EAD. It costs 9.99$ at Costco for 4 photos and at Walgreens, it costs 14.75$ for 2 photos.

Do I need to give Biometrics for the H4 EAD Application?

No need. In general, giving biometrics was only required for H4 application and not for H4 EAD. Starting from Oct 1st, 2023, that is even removed for H4 applications.

Is ITIN Mandatory for applying for H4 EAD?


Can I apply for H4 EAD for my under 21 Children?

No, H4 EAD is only for Spouses, children are not eligible.

Can I apply for H4 EAD, back from my home country?

No, you need to be in the US and on H4 visa status to apply for EAD application.

How soon can you apply for H4 EAD Renewal?

You can apply only 180 days before the expiry of your current EAD document. There are some cases, where some were able to apply before 180 days for H4 EAD and were successful. The reason they did that was considering the long processing times of the H4 application extension or COS.

Can my H4 EAD be filed with a future effective date?

Yes, you can apply for renewal anytime during the 180 days before your expiry of H4 EAD with a future date example, if let’s say your expiry is in July, you can apply in February for the same to have an effective date for renewal in July. Your Validity of the H4 EAD will be tied to the H4 validity and H1B of your Spouse.

What is the Fee for EAD Application for H4 Visa holders? Whom to Pay to?

The H4 EAD filing fee is $520 USD. The fee went up from $410, starting from April 2024. You can submit a check or money order that is drawn on a bank that is located in the USA and payable in USD. The check or money order should be payable to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security”. DO NOT use short forms like DHS or USDHS.

Can I apply for H4 EAD Online on the USCIS website?

No, you cannot apply for H4 EAD online. You can only do it using paper-based forms.

Official USCIS Steps and Process Published from the past

USCIS published some of their guidance on how to apply, including the most commonly asked FAQs, when they originally published the rule to be effective. Check out the key highlights and important points of the publication from USCIS at Summary of Guide to Apply EAD for H4 Holders, FAQs by USCIS 

If you are filing H4 EAD, we’ve built a tracker for your case to help you and everyone get overall insights from others. It is fully anonymous and has analytics. Please add your case to  H4 Visa EAD Tracker 

What was your experience filing H4 EAD? Any  questions?  Share your thoughts, experiences.

References :


Other Articles


  1. Hello, I am an H4 visa holder applying at the same time for I-485 and I-765. In this case, which one is my eligibility category, c9 or c26?? Thank you!

  2. Hi, I got my H1B approved and we drove down to mexico to re-validate my wife’s i94. Which is good now. Can I apply for standalone EAD or should I still need to apply for h4 extn with it? We have an updated i94 for next 3 years.


    • PK,
      As long as she is in valid status and I-94 reflects the same, she can just go for EAD. Just double check with an attorney to be sure as well.

  3. Hi,

    I need to convert from H1 to H4 as my H1B is maxing out and my PERM is getting delayed.

    I had my H4 EAD which expired on 12/31/2021. Now, Assume, I get H4 stamping from India and apply H4 EAD renewal (I765), can I avail 540 days EAD auto extension rule which was published by DHS on 05/04/2022?

    DHS Link –> https://www.uscis.gov/eadautoextend#:~:text=Effective%20May%204%2C%202022%2C%20DHS,employment%20authorization%20and%2For%20EAD.

  4. Hello,

    My last H1B approval notice expiring Apr’23 (I-797A) start with ‘EAC’ but my recent H1B extension receipt number (I-797C) starts with ‘IOE’. Wondering which location I should send H4-EAD renewal documents?

  5. Hi,

    My spouse’s latest i797 starts with SRC. So we posted the EAD documents to USCIS Phoenix location and I dont see any service center or processing times of Phoenix location.

    Can someone help me understand how the EAD packets route to the service centers?

    • Lakshmi,
      It is a lockbox location, where it will be further distributed later. Wait for the receipt notice, it will tell the service center. You can use that to track the processing time.

  6. Hi Kumar how are you? thanks for the info.

    Quick question man, so If I recieved an offer for a job with H1B visa and convince my employer to fill the form I-140 for me right away. That allow my wife the possibiility to fill the i-765 to get the EAD right? Do employers can fill the I-140 right away ? or do I have to wait some time?

    We are in the currently in the US but with a visa J1 and J2 (Been here for 4 years), but there is a high chance that I will received and offer with the H1B, so in order to my wife to work we need the I-140 , do you think that is possible?

    Thanks man

    • Francisco,
      It depends on what kind of EB category you plan to apply green card in. If you apply for EB categories, that do not need PERM processing, they can apply right away.
      Discuss with your attorney, what EB category you would qualify for and then plan for it.

  7. I have planned to submit my spouse H4 EAD .Filling fee, i got cashiers check from my bank to payable us.Homeland …but the remitters name they mentioned my name .
    will it be an issue ?
    please let me know any issues .

  8. Hi,
    I have an approved I-140 and an approval receipt of by H1b extension(hard copy is not yet received). My Wife’s H4 visa as well as her I-94 is expired. We have applied for her H4 extension and have a receipt number in hand. Can I apply for an EAD for her?

  9. Hello Friends
    Does any one know where to send the H4 EAD application, in case the H1-B approval receipt number starts with ‘IOE’ ?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Raj, I’m on same stage. Did you sent to Dallas or Phoenix lock box ?. In IOE receipt, we have service center details at the bottom. I’m thinking whether to file based on that.
      If you already got answer. please advice.

    • I read in someplace that approval notice will have which center processed ur case for IOE so based on it u can send I think… Confirm with someone who done it

    • IOE cases , bottom 797 approval copy has info of which center processed so maybe u can send it to that. Just confirm with some one who did it… I read this on some group chat

    • (26) – H-4 spouse of an H-1B nonimmigrant, and the receipt number of your H-1B principal spouse’s most recent Form I-797, Notice of Action, for Form I-129 begins with WAC or SRC or IOE
      USCIS Phoenix Lockbox

      U.S. Postal Service (USPS):

      Attn: H4
      P.O. Box 20400
      Phoenix, AZ 85036-0400

      FedEx, UPS, and DHL deliveries:

      Attn: H4 (Box 20400)
      1820 E. Skyharbor Circle S
      Suite 100
      Phoenix, AZ 85034-4850

  10. HI
    My i140 and H1B are approved but my wife’s H4 application is still in progress (bio-metrics were done). Can I still go ahead and apply for EAD for her?

    • Sandeep,
      You can go for it. They may ask for the approval of H4 when it gets to processing, but does not hurt to apply early. Attach the receipt notice of H4 application and submit it.

  11. Hello,

    Wanted to check regarding H4 EAD RFE.
    I applied for my wife’s H4 EAD through an attorney and we received an RFE for – “Basis for Work Authorization”. Seems like we need to submit my I-140 copy for this RFE.

    Wanted to check if anyone have responded to this kind of RFE and what all documents they shared. Also since initially i applied it via attorney, can i respond to the RFE directly as the attorney takes a lot of time in responding, so though to check if anyone is aware around the process or have done like this in the past.


  12. HI,
    1.I got my h4 extension last year, i want to apply for H4-EAD. we are shifting to a new home in 2 months. I need to enter the new address or old address. pls help

    2.My husband receipt number starts with LIN so i need to send to Dallas address right


  13. The documentation is great overall but is ambiguous at one location:

    As per the document, the mailing location depends on H1B spouse’s most recent I797 approval receipt number. Does this refer to I797 Approval notice for I-129 (H1B petition for non-Immigrant) or I-140 (Perm petition for immigrant). I have ‘WAC'(Pheonix) on I797 for I-129 and ‘LIN'(Dallas) on I797 for I-140.
    As per the USCIS site, it says ‘I797 Approval notice for I-129’.

      • Hi Kumar,

        For the H4 – EAD application (I-765). USCIS mentions to fill blank spaces with N/A or None. In the whole checklist mentioned above you do not mention anything about N/A or None but you say Blank Spaces are fine.

        Is it okay to have “Blank Spaces” for items not applicable to you.

        Can you please confirm.

  14. i have a situation ,

    My h1b extension (premium) and H4 extension for my spouse has been filed in april 2021.

    received approval for H1b , H4 Biometrics completed on May 3rd,2021 (no approval yet)

    im trying to apply H4 ead for my spouse (her i 94 shows expired already) , where can i give the H4 extension number , or can i just attach the i-797 C stamped page for biometrics

  15. Hi,
    Is there a change in fee by USCIS for EAD foe (c)(26) categories?
    I just referred to this from uscis site only..


    Page 4 fee change for Non-DACA, from 410 to 550, is that correct?

  16. I just want to say – Thank you! This is very helpful and probably the ONLY document out there helping out applications for H4 EAD. Appreciate time and resources spent on creating it.

  17. Hello,

    My husband got a recent I-140 approved. I am planning to apply for H4-EAD. Is it online or paper based currently ?

  18. Hi,

    My husband’s company has applied for his H1-B and my H4 extension as it expires August 2021. I’m going to apply for H4-EAD. Will I-765 form be enough or should I fill I-539 form as well?

  19. Hi,
    I am filing the I-765 for my wife H4-EAD. Need help in clarifying one question.

    Part 1: Reason for Applying
    As my wife already had the L2-EAD in the past, what should I choose
    1a. Initial Permission to accept the Employment?
    (As this is first time H4-EAD)
    1c. Renewal of my permission to accept employment?
    (As she already had L2-EAD)

    Thanks for your help in advance!

  20. Hi,
    I have a situation where my H1B extension is pending with Old employer(Normal process) and approved with new Employer(premium).

    My wife H4 Extension is pending from old employer and not yet filed for H4 Extension based on new H1B approvals.

    I am planning to apply for H4 EAD. Please suggest me on whether i can file my H4 EAD based on my old employer H1B petion number (in process) or latest approved from new employer?

  21. Hello,
    We filed for my H4 renewal on 28/03/2021 and so far i have only received the receipt number on 04/05/20201 for the same( H4 is expiring in Aug 2021). I am confused if i can file H4 EAD renewal with the receipt number or should i wait for my approval notice?


    • My wife’s H4 renewal was applied on 08/01/2021 and she had he biometrics done on 02/25/2021 and today she got a notification from uscis that her H4 is approved but it will probably take 3-4 days to get the I797A in hand. So it took 3 months form biometrics to get the H4 extension approved. Now I am planning to apply for her EAD. I heard even if you apply without approval and just with receipt notice, uscis will come back with a RFE although I am not sure if it delays or improves the time.

  22. Hi, I am a H1B holder and have approved I140 which states Consular Processing instead of Adjustment of Status. I have completed 4 years in my first H1B VISA. Can I apply for EAD for my spouse who is on valid H4 status.

  23. I am now in F1 expiring by May 2022 and my Stem ead expiring by june2022. My last chance of h1b lottery is 2022 my spouse is with h1b I 140 approved I don’t know whether I can wait for the lottery or go for COS from F1 to H4 Ead together I am working now please intimate when to proceed for H4 Ead and suppose if I get H1b picked in 2022 what can be done

  24. Hi,
    I am currently starting renewal process of H4 EAD (Standalone EAD). is online submission better or paper based submission advisable? also I see that the location of the application is based on the category now. does that mean that then it will decide which processing center it will go for processing? (Vermont, Nebraska, California etc)?

    Appreciate any response.

    Thank you

  25. My wife got H4 visa, and she is in India and planning to come next month. I am in USA , We would like to apply H4 EAD. Do I need to wait until she come to USA or I can apply H4 EAD now.

  26. Hello Kumar, my current H4 and I-94 is valid until March 2022. My H4 EAD is valid until August 2021. Do I need to file i-765 in order to extend my EAD till March 2022? Or is there any other way to ask for extension as my visa is valid until March of 2022?
    Thank you.

  27. Hi,
    I have a query regarding the H4 EAD filing. I have initially filed for EAD around Sept. 2020 and haven’t received the card yet. And the expiry of visa was in May 2021 when initiated. Now my husband’s H1B got the approval and i have to file a new H4 EAD application and H4 extension is in processing. What do i say in question 12? Yes/ No when asked that did i file any other I-765 previously? And what are the documents needed to be attached apart from for the old visa and I-94? Do i have to attach the given I-797 C number of H4 extension?

  28. Hi,
    I am renewing my wife’s H-4 to EAD card, when i am preparing for the document i found out that i lost the old (already expired EAD card).
    What will be the process now?
    In the check list old EAD card copy is needed.
    Please suggest?

  29. Hello Ram,

    My wife’s H4 visa and EAD got approved today (online status). Based on this can she start working in couple of days? OR
    1. does she need to wait until she receives the approval notice?
    2. does she need to wait until she receives the EAD Card?

    Thanks for your help as always.

    • AV,
      Technically, you need the EAD card in hand to start working. Now, sometimes, with some exceptions you may be able to work with actual approval notice. This was given as guidance during COVID-19. So, does not apply all the times. Read https://redbus2us.com/uscis-i-9-verification-ead-production-delays-use-approval-notice/

  30. This article is really helpful to self-file H4 EAD. But, is there any recommendation to file H4 EAD through an attorney ?

    Can we change our address after filing for H4 EAD ? If so, how shall we notify USCIS about the address change ?

    • Kalyan,
      Yes, you can do everything on your own. Well, if you want to spend money, go for it. Your attorney will anyways ask you to give all that info that you fill on your own, so it is kind of pointless. Anyways, your discretion.

  31. Hi,
    My H4 Visa expires Sept 2021.
    But my I 94 and H4 EAD has a June 2021 expiration date.
    I am planning to go to the CBP office to ask if they can extend the date on my I 94 to match the Visa expiration.
    How should I get my EAD to extend after that?
    Apply I 765 again for those 3 months?

    • Dhrithi,
      You may, but it is too short of time. I would suggest, you apply for H4 EAD renewal based on your spouse H1B extension in March or so.

    • Hello,
      What did you end up doing at the end? I’m in a similar situation now and it would be great if you can share what you did.
      Thank you

  32. Hi,

    I’m currently on H1B and my wife is on H4. We were planning to apply for her H4 EAD. Since she is born in the middle-east, we were also planning to file i485(AOS) based on cross-country chargeability.

    Can you please advise if we should apply for the standalone H4 EAD or apply for EAD along with the AOS application ?


    • Seb,
      This is slightly tricky decision. It all depends on the PERM and other merits of the GC application related to your spouse. Only an attorney can tell which is best by looking at the overall situation. once you use your EAD tied to AOS, you would be basically on AOS related status and any denial in future would put your status at risk…so, check with attorney.

      If you want to be in current situation and maintain your status quo, then you can go for H4 EAD

  33. Hello,
    I have sent the H4 EAD extension package on Oct 27th which has been delivered Phoenix Center on Oct 29th as per UPS tracking. But I am NOT yet received the receipt which is almost 3 weeks by now. Fee Check is also not deducted yet from my bank account. May I know how long its taking now a days to get the receipt? and how to/when to contact if my case unusual? Please advice. Thanks.

  34. Hello,

    My wife has been filling her H4 EAD application and I had some questions about how to fill First Name, Middle Name and Surname in the i765 application form, given they are all printed differently in all of the below mentioned documents.

    Can I fill the I765 as follows ?
    Last Name: SSSS
    Given (First) Name: FFFF
    Middle Name: MMMM

    Her Passport has :
    Given Name: FFFF MMMM SSSS

    Her US Visa has:
    Surname: SSSS
    Given Name: FFFF MMMM

    Her i94 has:
    Surname: LNU
    First (Given) Name: FFFF MMMM SSSS

    • Seb,
      Unfortunately, the Visa was printed wrong. Your details on passport are different from the US Visa…It should have been FNU or LNU…You should try to use the base details on your passport as those are your primary documents. You do not have last name as per your passport, so you should put in FNU for first name and put your entire name in Last Name section…. Or get your passport corrected and then apply properly.

  35. Hi, my H1B is valid until 10/2021 and my job with current employer is going to end in sept 2020. I am I-140 approved With my former employer. Now my new employer filed for my H1B transfer, but they did not file the H4 transfer for my wife yet. Lawyer said once my H1 gets approved they will file for H4 transfer. My wife has H4 EAD but has expired in sept 2018. That time We did not renew her H4 EAD since she was not supposed to work for couple of years. Now we are thinking to apply for her H4 EAD extension. Question is
    1. Is she applicable for H4 EAD renewal at this moment ?
    2. If yes then should we wait for her new H4 transfer with new employer to be approved ?
    3. Does H1B’s I-140 need to be approved with new employer or approval with old employer will work for H4 EAD renewal?

    • Rak,
      You can apply for H4 EAD using her current H4 that is valid…But, it is better to wait and do it with current employer approval, if you plan to move out the previous company.
      No, you can use the old employer I-140 approval for H4 EAD.

  36. A little confusion here. As you state that “The biometric requirement is not for the H4 EAD application. If you plan to apply for EAD alone based on eligibility, you do not need to do any biometrics. But, if you are filing for H1B Extension, along with that if you are filing your H4 Extension using I-539 form and also, you are concurrently filing your H4 EAD application in the same package, then you will need to do the biometrics as per new process.”

    I am trying to understand what would be an example where only EAD is requested? Generally one would need EAD extension when EAD is expiring and that is the date when H1B (or H4) is expiring. IN that case one would always be needed to file H4 extension when requesting EAD. Am I missing something?

    • Sandeep,
      Many are not keen on working due to family commitments with kids…So, never applied for EAD. But, suddenly they want to start a company or work now, then they will apply for EAD. Now, the dates are out of sync, so next time they will only renew H4 as there will be time on EAD, so these are situations where EAD will be applied separately all the time.

  37. How long does it take to take h4EAD receipt? I sent G-1145 form for text confirmation as well. My packet was received on August 17th but I have not got any update yet.
    It was as stand alone H4EAD sent to Phoenix address. Any help will be appreciated.

  38. Hi Kumar,

    I am in the process of applying H4 EAD for my spouse and having some query on that , Appreciate if you can provide your advice on this area

    – My current H1b approval is till 10/2021 , however my wife’s passport validity is till 06/2021 , considering passport validity lesser than H1b validity , do you see any impact here apart from EAD upon approval can be reduced till 06/2021 ( to match with passport expiry date)
    – considering current delay in H4 EAD processing , incase the H4 EAD application will be picked for adjudication towards end of this year or beginning 2021 , whether that will be a problem for approval as by then the passport validity will be less than 6 month


    • Ajay,
      Well, I am not sure how they would process the EAD. In general, for H4 related I-94 you would get until end of the passport expiration. If you can renew your passport now and then send new details, it would be ideal…

  39. Hello,
    my wife’s H4 EAD expired in 20 January 2020, around 4 months back. We could not file for her H4 EAD renewal due to some reason and also she was not working at that point of time. Now we want to file for her H4 EAD.. will I need to file it as a renewal or New application for employment?

      • thanks Kumar – one follow-up question. I am submitting form I765 and it has 7 pages. There is nothing to fill from page 5 to page 7. Do we still have to print them and include them in our package?

  40. Online form on USICS website show Expires 05/31/2020, https://www.uscis.gov/i-765

    Can we use this Form or wait for New Forms?

  41. Hi Kumar,

    In Page 7, first name and last name columns (1a and 1b) in Part 6 in the form i765 get filled automatically when we fill first name and last name in (1a and 1b) in Part 2. Since the names get filled automatically in Part 6, I am unable to remove them.

    Is it okay to leave it as it is and send or do I need to separately print an empty page of page 7 and send that?


    • Deep,
      Don’t worry, it is fine. It is meant to work like that. It is fine to leave it like that. The intention for them to give it, if you have to fill more additional information you can use the same copies of page 7. In your case, there is no need. Just ignore and attach the empty one with your name on it.

      • Thank you, Kumar.

        I also have one more question. In my case H1 extension got approved, but the associated H4 extension is still pending due to suspension of biometrics. I am filing a stand alone H4 EAD application now.

        Do I need call out the pending H4 extension and the associated receipt number anywhere in i765? Like mention that in Part 6 as an additional information for question 21a where we specify i94 with some description like ‘Extension of H4 status pending with this receipt number – EACxxx’, I am also planning to attach the receipt of H4 extension with the application.

        I am bit worried that if pending H4 extension is not mentioned anywhere in i765, USCIS may not automatically link it to the pending H4 application and might issue RFE asking for H4 approval to proceed further. Off late, USCIS seems to be interested in delaying H4 EAD applications by all possible means.

        • Deep,
          Yes, you should indicate that and attach the H4 Receipt notice. This will definitely help them adjudicate the case.
          Usually, if they cannot find the case, they will issue RFE to attach the H4 approval. Do not worry.
          USCIS has been delaying this for over a year now, I have seen many lose jobs due to delays…it is sad..

  42. Thank you for all great information. I have a question as below

    My H1B and wife’s H4 is pending for extension already. My I140 recently got approved, so planning to file H4 EAD for my wife.

    Is it fine to file H4 EAD while H1 and H4 in pending state or should I wait to get it approve?

  43. Hi, Could you please advice,
    I’m preparing I-485 documents under the category EB3 other countries.
    Last month is says current and today says 01JAN19.
    can I still submit my application or have to wait?

    • Syam,
      SRC is the Texas Service Center. Older name for it was Southern Regional Center. You may send it to them. But, I suggest you call customer service and validate it before you send to be sure.

    • Hi Syam,
      I’m also in same situation. My Spouse H1B receipt number starts with SRC. What is the address to send EAD application if the H1-B receipt number starts with “SRC”? – I hope you must get an answer at this time. Please share it with us.

  44. Hello, Thanks for providing great information.
    I am on H1b and filing for extension. My wife on H4 and has EAD which also needs renewed. I have my i-140 approved. I know we can file all forms i-129, i-539, i-765 together.
    My question is for Q29 of i-765, do we just just enter the same i-797 receipt number as in our last i-765 form as it has not changed since then?



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