H-4 Visa and Employment Authorization for Dependent Spouses

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Alcorn Immigration Law can help you figure out if you qualify for a work permit if your spouse has H-1B status.  The H-4 Visa is available to spouses and children of an individual who holds a current H-1B temporary worker status. H-4 status permits you to reside in the United States and attend school, but generally, you are not allowed to work.  Read on to figure out if you are an H-4 dependent who is eligible for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), or work permit.

Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for an H-4 work permit, your H-1B spouse must meet one the following two requirements:

  • The H-1B spouse is the principal beneficiary of an approved Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker: or
  • The H-1B spouse has been granted H-1B extensions under AC21, which permits H-1B nonimmigrants to live and work in the US beyond the six-year limit while pursuing employment-based lawful permanent residence.

H-4 EAD Checklist

  1. The H-4 applicant must file Form I-765 with the appropriate filing fee ($380) and signatures.
  2. The H-4 applicant must submit the following evidence:
    • Proof of H-4 Status
    • A government-issued identification document with photo
    • The H-4 dependent’s relationship to the H-1B nonimmigrant
    • The H-4 dependent’s basis for eligibility
    • Photographs of the H-4 dependent for card production

Alcorn Immigration Law can assist you in compiling your personal, employment and immigration data and reporting the information on the appropriate lines of the appropriate forms so you can have the greatest chance of getting your H-4 EAD approved.

More Information

  • Possible USCIS Fees
    • $380: I-765 fee
  • Related Forms
    • Form G-1145: E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance
    • Form G-28: Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Accredited Representative
    • Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization
  • Steps
    • Your H-1B spouse’s I-140 gets approved or your spouse receives a 1-year H-1B extension beyond the initial six-year limit
    • Apply for EAD work permit
    • Your EAD validity will match your period of H-4 status
  • Immigrant intent
    • Immigrant intent: “Dual”
  • OK to simultaneously seek permanent residence (green card)