Apply H4-EAD based on pending H4 extension (approved H1B extension) receipt number?

Hi Team,

My employer applied for my H1B extension with H4 last month in premium processing. My H1B extension got approved but H4 extension got stuck into RFE due to a mistake on i539 form.We have already responded RFE.

My wife is leaving US for 3 months in Nov-2018 for vacation, So i want to file her EAD application now so that it gets accepted before she leaves.I have few questions regrading filing i765 form.

My wife’s current i94 is valid till Nov-2018.Can I file her H4EAD(new) while her H4 extension is pending?
For point 29, I will mention my approved i797(i129) (extended) receipt number.Correct?

Where to mention i797c(i539) receipt number for my wife’s pending H4 extension of form?

For point 21 a. Should I mention current i94(valid till Nov-2018) or pending i797c(i539) receipt number or leave it blank?

Please advise.


Hi @pushpen
Your questions have already been answered here:

For i797 number, you can mention your approved H1B extension’s i797 number.

Check the sample H4 EAD form (i765) with instructions here in this article (if you have more questions):

Let me know if you need more information.

Thanks Anil for response.
From your response, My understanding is :

  1. For point 29, I will mention my approved i797(i129) (extended) receipt number.
  2. Point 21 a. I will leave blank.
  3. I will send them copy of pending i797C for H4 extension (i539) and copy approved extended i797 (i129)

I will apply for H4EAD sometime in Sep-2018. My wife is travelling to India on Oct-29-2018.
What will happen in 2 scenarios mentioned below:

  1. H4 extension gets approved before Oct-29-2018 but h4EAD application is still pending and she go to consulate in Nov-2018 for visa stamping based on approved i539.WHat will happen to her H4EAD application?

  2. H4 extension approval is pending on Oct-29-2018 and she goes to US consulate to get her visa stamp based on my approved i797(i129). WHat will happen to her H4 extension and H4EAD application?

Please advise.


H4 Extension is approved before you travel out of country

H4 EAD is a separate application and will use the approved i539 form’s i797 approval notice.
No need to worry here.

H4 Extension is approved after you travel out of country, H4 stamping in US embassy

It is recommended to send application withdrawal letter to USCIS to keep records clean for your H4 extension when you have moved out of country.

You are going to apply for your H4 in US embassy, so you do not need the i539 application anyway.

H4 EAD application may receive an RFE in this case to prove applicant’s H4 status.

Thanks again for your quick response.
What will you suggest? Whether to file H4EAD application now (Sep-2018 end) before my wife leaves for vacation(Oct-29-2018) or File it in Feb-2019 when she returns?

I saw on USCIS website that applicant need to be in US at the time of filling H4EAD application.
She is leaving on Oct-29-2018.How late can we file H4EAD application so that it gets accepted before she leave (I want to wait to see if H4 extension gets approved).I am hoping that USCIS may process H4 RFE quickly as I filed H1B extension in premium processing .Its pending with Nebraska center.

What is your advise looking at my scenario.Thanks again for your help.

File H4 EAD before travel when H4 Extension pending or after return to US?

My advice is to either not travel or file H4 EAD after your spouse has valid H4 status (if she travels out of US).

A valid H4 status is required to get H4 EAD application approved. The status is defined by the i94 when it is stamped at the port of entry or you receive new i94 with h4 extension i797 notice.

So, the chances of H4 EAD RFE are high if she travels.

Its your choice on what you want to do.

H4 extension RFE processing time when H1B filed in premium

The chances of H4 RFE response now in premium are low. Remember, H4 as a separate application is not eligible for premium processing.

USCIS only processes H4 in premium timeline as a courtesy with H1B premium application.
As far as i know, your H4 may not be processed in premium timeline now that your H1B already has received a result.

But, you never know if you get lucky with USCIS!

Thanks Anil for your response.

I will wait till Oct first week to see if H4 extension gets approve and what update USCIS publish on H4EAD.

I think getting RFE in Jan-2019 for H4EAD application filed in Oct-2018 is better than filling fresh application in Feb-2019 because then I have wait for 5 months from Feb-2018.

I will be in US till Dec-25-2018 to answer any RFE and I think by then H4 extension will get approved.

Thanks again for all your help.


Sounds good. All the best.

My h4 extension is in process and my spouse H1b was approved. I applied EAD after my biometrics appointment was done.

Since my i797 and I94 was expired already I didn’t send those documents to USCIS. Do I need to send them even though it was expired? I had attached my h4 797a receipt along with EAD documents.

Hi @AnuSuryey

You do not need to send anything now. If USCIS wants anything, they will send an RFE.

Thanks for the response.

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Hi Anil
Thanks for all your help.
Had a question - will there be major difference in processing timing between submitting H4 EAD application
– concurrently with H1+ H4
– individually once H1 receipt notice comes ?
Reason i am asking is the lawyer is asking for $450 for submitting EAD appl. concurrently even though i prepared it, so I was wondering if it is worth it to wait and submit myself the EAD application once H1 receipt comes. Will that delay the process ?
Please help suggest the best path with your experience.

Hi @V_K

There is no time difference between the two. You can file H4 EAD yourself and save attorney fees.

Thanks Anil,
one last ques -
Lawyers will submit application soon, and if I submit H4 EAD application based on the receipt notice (say it takes 2 weeks for receipt notice ) - will the 5.5 months time be enough to get the EAD I-765 approved via regular processing (without premium on H1) ?
What would you suggest based on experience - will you suggest premium or do you think the current processing time (which I see around 4.5 - 5 months for H4 EAD) be from the date of I-765 submission or will that time start after H1 approval ? (I see currently H1 approvals taking 4 months via regular processing as per uscis).
my h1/h4/ead are expiring in 6 months form now.

H4 EAD will follow its own time from the date of filing i765 form.

I have given suggestions on when to upgrade H1B to premium and get the H4 EAD approval within 15 days here.

Thanks Anil for your time,
I found your suggestion and I think best way forward for me is - I will keep things going in normal processing till 1.5 months before current H1 expiry and if no response by then, will upgrade to premium

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Can we apply for H4 ead while H4 extension is in process?

H1 already approved untill dec 2022

Hi @Shweta20285

Please read the answer above.

Hai Guys,
we filed H1b transfer/h4/h4ead at the same time in premium processing. Shall we get all the together?
or after H1b approval Shall we want to take biometric?

This is the first time we are filling our h4 inside USA. So we don’t know the process about h4 biometric.

Can you tell me when can we get h4/h4 ead. During this COVID how they are scheduling biometric?

Will they schedule biometric first or H1b approval?

Hi @Madhur

I suggest to read these to understand the process: