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H4 Visa EAD FAQ

Application

Q: If I apply for H-4 visa EAD, do I also need to apply for Advance Parole (AP)?
A: No, unlike I-485 (Adjustment of Status) based EAD, you don’t have to apply for Advance Parole (AP) at all. In fact, EAD is not related to Advance Parole at all. It is instead related to pending I-485. Therefore, the question of Advance Parole is not even applicable in H4 EAD.

Q: I am currently on H-1B visa. Can I apply for H-4 visa EAD, along with change of status from H-1B to H-4?
A: Yes, you can.

Q: If I apply for Change of Status to H-4 or Extension of Status for H4, when does the 90-day clock for H4 EAD approval start?
A: After the approval of your Change of Status to H4, or Extension of Status for H4.

Q: If I have an application for Change of Status to H4 pending, can I apply for H4 visa EAD on that basis?
A: Yes, you can. However, please make sure to wait to get the receipt notice for Change of Status to H4 pending.

Q: Can we apply for H-1B and H4 extension and H4 EAD concurrently?
A: Yes, you can. However, H-1B and H4 extension would have to be approved first before H4 EAD can be processed and approved.

Q: Can my wife apply for H4 EAD if my I-140 was approved earlier but then withdrawn by the employer, but I have been approved for an extension of status beyond six years under AC21 rule?
A: Yes.

Q: I was earlier on student visa (F-1 visa) and had received an EAD during the OPT. I am now on H4 visa. Do I apply for the renewal EAD or new EAD?
A: New EAD.

Q: I had an EAD earlier while I was on L2 visa. I am now on H4 visa. Do I apply for the renewal EAD or new EAD?
A: New EAD.

Q: Do I have to apply for H4 visa EAD on May 26, 2015 or can I apply few months later?
A: You can apply for H4 visa EAD at any time starting May 26, 2015. There is no rush for the application. You can apply whenever you are eligible and it is convenient for you.

Q: Do I need to apply for H4 visa EAD through an attorney, or can I do this on my own?
A: Just like any other immigration petition, you don’t have to go through an attorney, and you can do it yourself.

Q: Why can’t I apply for H4 EAD online?
A: Even if you could, you would have to send the fee and the documents by mail anyway. Therefore, it is just easier to mail everything anyway.

Q: When I apply for H4 visa based EAD, do I have to go through fingerprinting?
A: Yes.

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Eligibility

Q: Can the children on H-4 visa work?
A: No. H-4 EAD rule is only for spouse. Minor children on H-4 visa cannot work even if they are old enough to work.

Q: I received an extension of status on H4 visa. However, my H-4 visa stamp has expired. Do I need new H-4 visa stamping before I can apply for an EAD?
A: H-4 visa stamp is needed only to travel into the US. Therefore, as long as you have a valid H-4 visa status and meet all other eligibility requirements, a valid H-4 visa stamp is not required to apply for H4 EAD.

Q: Can H-1B primary person apply for an EAD if they have an approved I-140?
A: No. Only the spouse on H-4 visa can.

Q: Can I apply for H4 EAD while I am outside the US?
A: No. You must be physically present in the US when you apply for H4 EAD.

Q: My husband spent two years in the US doing his master’s degree, and 3 more years doing his PhD. He has been on H-1B visa for 2 years. His employer has not yet applied for his green card, but he has been in the US for a total of 7 years which is more than 6 years. Can I apply for H4 visa EAD?
A: No.

Q: When we go for H-1B and H4 visa stamping at the consulate abroad, what if the visa officer asks my wife whether she plans to work in the US on H4 visa?
A: As long as your wife is eligible for H4 visa EAD, she applies for the same and works on it, there is no problem. In other words, if something is legally allowed, there is no problem in doing so.

Q: Do I have to show economic necessity to apply for H4 based EAD?
A: No.

Q: Do I need to show any qualification and/or work experience in order to apply for H4 visa based EAD?
A: No.

Q: My wife and I are both on H-1B status. Can both of us apply for EAD based on the other spouse’s H-1B status without changing the status to H4?
A: No.

Q: Is there any country based quota for H4 visa EAD?
A: No. However, H4 visa is for the spouse of H-1B visa holder. Therefore, practically the H4 visa and H4 visa EAD demographics will be similar to H-1B visa demographics.

Q: Is there any limit regarding how many times I can apply for H4 visa based EAD?
A: No.

Q: Is there a quota for H4 EAD?
A: No, there is no quota for H4 visa EAD. However, since the number of new H-1B visas are limited, and the H-4 visa is a dependent visa, there wouldn’t be an unlimited number of H4 visa holders who would qualify.

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Employment

Q: When can I start working on EAD?
A: You can start working on EAD once it is approved.

Q: Can I get the social security number after filing EAD?
A: No. You can get social security number only after your EAD is approved.

Q: Can I start working after my EAD is approved but before I get my social security number?
A: Technically, yes but practically, no. Whenever you work for an employer, they would need your social security number, as they need to deduct the payroll taxes from your pay.

Q: Can H4 visa EAD holder start the business?
A: Yes. However, once the current EAD expires, and even if your application for renewal of EAD is pending, you can’t work for that company until the renewal EAD is approved. Therefore, in order to avoid the disruption of business, if suitable, you should consider getting a business partner who is either a green card holder or US citizen.

Q: Can H4 visa EAD holder make H-1B spouse partner of the business he/she starts?
A: Yes. However, H-1B spouse can not actively participate in that business unless he also has an EAD through other means, such as through pending I-485 (Adjustment of Status). In any case, such things are not advisable because if the H-1B spouse loses his/her H-1B status, you would lose everything and may have to leave the country immediately.


Travel

Q: Can I travel overseas and come back after applying for EAD?
A: Yes, as long as you have valid H-4 visa. Applying for EAD does not change anything regarding your H-4 visa status or visa stamp requirements.

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H1-B Spouse

Q: Will my H-1B spouse’s green card application be faster if I apply for H4 visa EAD?
A: H4 visa EAD has no affect on the green card processing.

Q: If my H-1B spouse loses the job, what will happen to my H4 visa EAD?
A: Your H4 visa and your H4 visa based EAD will be invalid, too.

Q: I am on H4, and my husband is on H-1B visa. Does my husband’s employer have to pay for my H4 visa EAD petition?
A: No.

Q: My H-1B spouse has a pending I-485 (Adjustment of Status) and they have also obtained EAD and Advance Parole. They have used their EAD. Can I apply for H4 visa EAD?
A: As they are no longer in H-1B status, you are not in H4 status, and therefore, you can’t apply for H4 visa based EAD. However, if they get back into H-1B status (such as by employer applying for their H-1B extension), and you can be back on H4 (by filing your H4 extension), you can apply for EAD at that time.

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