H-4 Employment Authorization Document

Documentary Requirements to File the H-4 EAD Application

To obtain permission to work, an H-4 spouse of an H-1B visa holder must file an application for employment authorization (Form I-765), along with the proper filing fee. This will have to be accompanied by proof that the applicant holds H-4 status and that the H-1B spouse has maintained valid status. The spouse must also fall within one of the two qualifying categories.

If eligibility is based on the H-1B spouse being the beneficiary of an approved Form I-140, a copy of the I-140 approval notice should be sufficient as primary evidence of fulfilling this requirement. If this is not available, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may consider secondary evidence, such as the receipt number for the approved I-140 and/or evidence that the H-1B worker has been granted an extension of status beyond the six-year limit. Note that if the I-140 was approved, but then withdrawn by the employer, the H-4 spouse may potentially still qualify if the H-1B worker has been approved for an extension of status beyond six years under the applicable provisions of federal law.

If the H-4 spouse is eligible based on the principal spouse's extension of H-1B status, the primary documentary evidence of eligibility is somewhat more flexible. Evidence such as a copy of the H-1B spouse's passport, prior I-94 cards, prior H-1B approval notices, or copies of pay stubs that establish that the H-1B spouse has been granted an extension of status beyond six years may be used as primary evidence.Proof of the basis for the extension (i.e., pending labor certification or a pending I-140) is also necessary.

Speak with an Immigration Attorney About H-4 Employment Authorization Documents

If you’d like to work while your spouse is working in the United States, call Ahmad & Associates for a consultation with an immigration lawyer. From offices in Northern Virginia, we represent people in Virginia, Washington, D.C., Maryland, Pennsylvania, and across the U.S. and the world. We speak Urdu, Spanish, Hindi, French, and Arabic, and can arrange translators for other languages.