H4 EAD Visa: The Ultimate Guide

Camino Financial28 Nov 2023
H4 EAD Visa: The Ultimate Guide

The H4 EAD visa is the perfect visa for dependents of people who already have an H-1B visa. It gives work privileges.

In this article, we let you know what this visa is exactly and what makes it so special compared to any other visa. We also describe what the application entails and if you're eligible. Keep reading to learn more about how this visa can help you.

What Is An H4 EAD?

An H4 EAD visa allows the child or spouse of an H-1B visa holder to work in the United States.

#DidYouKnow EAD stands for Employment Authorization Document.

It is only possible to get this visa and work in the United States if your relative has an H-1B visa, as other visas will not give you this added freedom. For example, your relative's possession of H-1B1, H-2A, H-2B, and H-3 visas will not make you eligible for this visa. With this document, you are considered a dependent, but you obtain the ability to start a business or get employed in the United States. Discover the Most Profitable Businesses You Can Start!

H4 EAD Application Process

You must submit various documents to prove your identity, nationality, and other information to apply for this particular visa. The first step you need to take is to fill out the I-765 form. You can find and print this form online from the USCIS website. Unfortunately, you cannot complete this form online as there is no option for an online application yet. When applying with the form, you can choose whether you are renewing your visa or applying for a new one. The form will mainly focus on information concerning you and your identity. For example, you may need to provide your maiden name, your USCIS online account, your Alien Registration number (if you have one), and so on. You will also need to provide your Social Security number in some cases, but if you do not have one, you will have the opportunity to apply for one within the form.

H4 EAD Eligibility

H4 EAD eligibility should be no problem if you understand all the information and requirements. There are two requirements, and H-4 dependents must satisfy at least one to qualify for an EAD application. The requirements are as follows:
  • In order to be eligible, the H-1B visa holder must have an approved Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, or be in the process of getting this form approved.
  • The H-1B visa holder must have a status approved under sections 106(a) and (b) of the American Competitiveness. This act (AC21) allows H-1B visa holders to stay in the US beyond the six-year limit if they seek lawful permanent residence.
Remember that the person with the green card might have filed the I 140 form. If it's not granted, then there are no other options left except obtaining LPR status via Naturalization Campaigns, which could take up to 20 years! As long as this information is in order, you shouldn't have trouble applying for an H4 EAD visa.

H4 EAD Documents

The second part of the application form will ask whether you have lawful permanent residence, a birth certificate, and other information. In particular, it is important to have your I-94 Arrival/Departure Record number. You will also need to disclose the current state of your visa status, such as if you are already on an immigrant visa of another type. In some cases, you may need to obtain Form G-28, but this is only if a lawyer is doing the filing for you. Once you complete the form, you must seal it and send it out. You cannot send out your H4 documents alone. You will also need to send along other important documents such as a check, Form G-1145, and possibly other documentation. Then, you will need to send your application to a USCIS location.

H4 EAD Processing Time

You will need to choose the right USCIS location. You can choose based on your spouse or parent's H1B receipt number. That way, the paperwork will reach the correct destination and will soon be under review. You will get a receipt number after sending out the current and prior forms.

An approved form will warrant a card that will be sent to you soon after your application is approved.

The processing time for this visa will depend on various factors, so don't call citizenship and immigration services if you don't hear a response after a few days or even a week. Often, which USCIS location you send the form to will affect how long the processing time takes. Most applicants can expect to get an answer after 4 or 8 months. Once you are approved, you will get your card. You should be approved without trouble as long as your information is in order and you haven't lied or exaggerated when filling out information for immigration services. Once you have your card, you will be free to seek work and a bank account so you can better cope with the cost of living raises.

H4 EAD Fees

Keep in mind that when you apply, you will need to pay specific fees. In particular, you will need to pay $410 when completing the visa application.

You will need to pay this amount by writing it down on a check when you send out the application and the supporting documents. Specifically, you need to check out the Department of Homeland Security. If you can't send a check for whatever reason, you can also try a money order. Whatever the case, you cannot forget to send this money along with the other supporting evidence and documents.

Considerations for First-Time Applicants

The application process will be slightly different if you have already applied for an H4 EAD visa and it is approved. Instead of opting for a new application form, you should opt for an automatic extension.

This will make the entire visa process much easier for you. Of course, if you have never applied for this visa before, you will need to start from scratch. In addition to the main Form I-765, you will need both Form I-797 and Form I-539 to show that, although you do not have lawful permanent resident status, your eligibility to stay in the United States is longer. You will also need Form I-94 and two pictures of yourself (identical pictures) with "Form I-94" written on the back of each image, preferably with a pencil. You, of course, will need to prove some legal relationship with the H-1B visa holder, whether it be your spouse or parent. A marriage certificate or birth certificate should do the trick. You will also need some forms from the H-1B holder, such as Form I-140, Form I-129, Form I-797, and last but not least, Form I-94. You need copies of these forms and not necessarily the forms themselves. You will also need a copy of your spouse's or parent's passport. Discover the best loan options for immigrants

H4 EAD Renewal Process

The renewal process is relatively simple since you can check "renewal" when filling out Form I-765. You must apply for a renewal at a certain time, usually 180 days before your visa expires. If you are applying for this visa for the first time, you can apply for it anytime. Renewing your visa should be relatively easy because you already know the required information and documents.

H4 EAD Automatic Extension

With salary increases per year and salary inflation adjustments, it makes sense that you would want to stay in the United States to work. An automatic extension for your visa makes this easy. Currently, a current automatic extension allows people with these visas to stay in the country for a total of 540 days. Of course, you must be eligible for renewal before benefiting from this extension. In particular, you will qualify if you still await Form I-765, which you filed before May 4, 2022. This large extension is only temporary and will last between May 4, 2022, and October 26, 2023.

Advantages of Having an H4 Visa

The main benefit of this visa is that you'll be able to stay in the United States as long as your visa is active. While in the United States, you will be free to work or study as you please. With inflation wages in effect, it is certainly a good time to get to work. Besides increasing salary along with inflation and wages, you can also explore many different work options, which we will explore later.

H4 EAD Unemployment Benefits

Keep in mind that there are also H4 EAD unemployment benefits you should also know about. While the rise in salary for many jobs is beneficial, if you cannot work for some reason, you can still earn a certain amount of money. In particular, due to your visa petition, you should be eligible for unemployment as long as you meet all the requirements. This is possible because you can work for jobs in the United States. For that reason, you can also be fired from those jobs or otherwise unable to work. As such, you can apply for unemployment just as United States citizens can. The main benefit of unemployment comes from the fact that you can get a certain amount of money each month from the government.

H4 EAD Jobs

This type of visa is quite flexible when it comes to job options. This is because this visa allows you to get about any employment regardless of the job sector. You can choose whatever kind of employment you want if your visa is active.

You can also work part-time as a contractor, and you can even open up your own business.

Use An H4 EAD To Start Your Own Business

The H4 allows spouses of H-1B visa holders to obtain employment authorization in the United States. This means that if you have this visa, you can start your own business and be your own boss! And there's no better place to do it than with Camino Financial. At Camino Financial, we are dedicated to helping immigrants succeed in business. We offer business loans with competitive interest rates and flexible repayment terms, so you can get the financing you need to get your business off the ground. So if you're ready to take the plunge and start your own business, Camino Financial is here to help you make it happen! Apply For A Startup Business Loan!


How to apply for an H4 EAD?

You will need first to fill out Form I-765. You can print this out from the USCIS website, but you can't fill out the form online.

Which is Better: H-1B or H4 EAD?

The H4 visa is best if you are a dependent, whether you are the child or the spouse of an H-1B visa holder. An H-1B visa may be better if you are not a dependent.

What's the difference between an H-1B and an H-4 Visa?

An H-1B visa allows foreign nationals to temporarily come to the United States to work in a specialty occupation. An H-4 visa is for the spouse and children under 21 years of age of an H-1B visa holder.

When can you apply for an H4 EAD?

You can apply for your visa whenever possible if you have an approved Form I-140 from the correct service center. If you renew the visa, you must apply within 180 days of the expiry date.

How long is an H4 EAD valid?

The visa will be valid for at least three years. However, you can extend it to six years eventually.

What is an Employment Authorization Document?

An Employment Authorization Document (EAD) is a document issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that authorizes a foreign national to work in the United States. The EAD is also colloquially known as a work permit. To be eligible for an EAD, an individual must have a type of immigration status that allows him or her to work in the United States.

What kind of H4 EAD jobs am I allowed to find?

The list of jobs you are allowed to find is quite extensive and can be found on the USCIS website. Some eligible jobs include but are not limited to accountants, architects, engineers, IT professionals, doctors, nurses, and teachers. The H-4 EAD program allows certain spouses of H-1B visa holders to obtain employment authorization in the United States. This program was created as a way to help families maintain their quality of life while their spouse is working in the United States on an H-1B visa.

Is an H4 EAD a Green Card?

This visa is not a green card. However, you can apply for a green card with an H4 visa.

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