Can I apply for H4 EAD for my spouse when I am in the middle of changing employers?

Hi, I am currently on H1b with my I-140 approved.
I am moving to a new employer in a month or 2, can I still go ahead and apply for H4 EAD for my spouse? or do I have to wait until h1b transfer with my new employer is complete and then apply for H4 EAD. Thanks in advance.

Although, you can apply for H4 EAD with your existing H1B approval, but it is better you do it along with your H1B transfer In premium.

H4 EAD processing is taking more than 5 months if filed alone.

On the other hand, if you leave your current H1B employer, they will withdraw your H1B.
So, if you already filed H4 EAD and it has not been approved before they withdraw , the chances of RFE are higher.

My suggestion is to get transfer done and if your employer agress, file H4 extension and H4 EAD together with transfer in premium.
That’s the fastest way to get H4 EAD.

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Anil, thank you for the quick response. So you are suggesting that I do my H1b transfer+H4 transfer+H4 EAD all 3 together in premium processing with my new employer?
As far as I know H4 EAD does not have premium processing, so how do you think this will be handled? Have there been any previous cases where this has worked? Thank you

There is NO premium processing for H4 and H4 EAD. It is ONLY available for H1B.

But, as a courtesy, USCIS does process all 3 in premium timeline if you file all 3 together in same packet.
This is also not guaranteed either. Remember, its USCIS choice to give you the courtesy or not!

But, 90% of cases do get their H4 and H4EAD processed in premium timeline if filed along with H1B.

That is great information. Thank you for sharing it. Appreciate your timely help and suggestions.

You are welcome. All the best.
Do let us know the final result and if it worked.

@rohannag, were you able to get the H4EAD approval quickly on a courtesy basic since your h1 transfer was filed in premium ? Also did your emp A withdraw the I140 after 180 days period while H4EAD application was in progress?

Hi @myusvisa

The courtesy is not granted now after the H4 biometrics after March 2019.

Oh ok thanks Anil !!

So what would be your suggestion, to file new H4 EAD concurrently along with the H1 transfer in premium or it will be better to file separately after tranfer is approved ? Guess regardless of the type of filing the EAD approval takes same amount of time to expedite ?

One more question, can we use approved i140 even it is in withdraw status( after 180 days) from emp A to file new H4EAD along with h1 transfer ?

Hi @myusvisa

It does not matter when you file premium application. H4 and H4 EAD are being processed in regular timeline in either case.

You can try filing H1B extension with withdrawn i140 but chances of acceptance depend on ‘why’ i140 was withdrawn.
I have given my analysis of difference between i140 withdrawn and i140 revoked here.

Thanks Anil !!

Have one more question on H4 EAD concurrent filing with H1B Transfer from A to B

The new employer B is not ready to file H4 extension along with H1 transfer, because H4 is still valid until 2021. Due to this if I file H4 EAD concurrently I believe the card validity will be approved until 2021 (based on current H4 petition) instead of getting until 2022 ( assuming if I get H1 transfer approval for 3 years i.e., 2022 ). Basically the EAD card will get approved for a year shorter.

Is it something I can wait for my H1 transfer petition and then apply EAD separately ? or even in that case the EAD will be approved only based on current H4 petition until 2021 ?

Hi @myusvisa

My suggestion is to wait if your H4 EAD has validity more than 180 days at this time.

You can file it later along with H4 extension.

Thank you !

Actually in my situation H4 EAD is a new application

In that case, i suggest to file H4 EAD now.