H4 EAD Renewal for Expired EAD - Renewal of Permission to accept employment

Hi Anil,

I had H4 EAD valid until last October 2017, and my spouse’s H1B & my H4 extn were approved only in June 2018 with a validity until 2018 Dec. By the time, I received this, my original H4 EAD expired by Oct 2017.

Since I had received only 6 months of validity (Until Dec 2018), we reapplied for extn and got it for 2 more years.

Now, I am planning to renew the H4 EAD, but I am not sure which option to choose.

1.a Initial Permission to accept employment or
1.c. Renewal of my permission to accept employment.


  1. Since my H4 EAD already expired, and I didn’t renew it until now, should I choose the first option (1.a) or I have to choose 1.c?

  2. Which I797 copy I should be attaching with the form? I guess both the extension approval notices previous 6 months and the 2 year one as well.

  3. Both these approval petitions are from different service center EAC and LIN (this is latest). should I choose the lock-box for this while filling out the application?

  4. When my EAD is renewed, will they give validity for next 2 years or only until 2018 Dec period?

Thanks for your help. will wait for your reply.

Renewal of Permission to accept employment

You should choose ‘renewal of permission to accept employment’ as you had possessed H4 EAD earlier.

i797 approval to attach with H4 EAD application

You should attach the MOST recent i797 approval copy ONLY. NO other and older copies are required.

Do NOT confuse USCIS with more than one i797.

Lockbox address

Use the most recent i797 receipt number.

H4 EAD validity

H4 EAD validity will same as H4 extension validity.

My current H4 is valid until Dec 2018 and the newly approved is valid from Jan 2019 - Dec 2020. In that case, don’t we need to submit both the valid documents?

If they process my H4 EAD case prior to Jan 2019 (which is a very remote scenario considering 3 months of time taken for H4 EAD renewal), and I had attached only the newly approved petition which is active from Jan 2019, will there be any issue or is it OK?

There should be no issue.

Since your current H4 EAD is valid till Dec 2018, you should be okay with new H4 EAD renewal starting jan 2019. Isn’t it?


Thanks for the quickly response!

Here is the catch…

My Original H4 EAD validity was until Oct 2017 based on H1B validity period. Since both H1B, and H4 were submitted for extension prior to Oct 2017, and it was in pending state for around 8 months until June and got approved on Jun 2018 with a validity period of Dec 2018. Since, there were only 6 months left, I didn’t renew my H4 EAD at that time, instead worked on resubmitting H1B, H4 extn and now got it approved for 2 years. My spouse’s employer doesn’t allow the submit H4 EAD renewal along with H1B, H4 extensions.So, I didn’t have a chance to apply all those bundled together.

Hence, the questions on application type selection and what documents to be attached with it especially since there are 2 approved petitions in my hand post H4 EAD expiry date.

H4 EAD Expired - Oct 2017

H4 Extn Approved until Dec 2018 - But H4 EAD was not renewed (since it was too late to apply just for 6 months)

H4 Extn Approved until Dec 2020 - Trying to renew H4 EAD now.



Ohh…I got the whole picture now.

As per my opinion, you can only apply for EAD renewal using only one i797 number.
There is no option of writing two numbers as you want to do in your case.

Just apply for it now and you will get H4 EAD approval somewhere around Jan 2019 anyway.

Thanks for the inputs. Quick question though.

Don’t they look for my current valid visa documents that show I am ‘in valid visa’ at the time of applying?

Also, if there are any questions on h4 ead processing, will they raise RFE for more documentation?

They do look for current valid visa status, which you do have currently.

Also, you will be submitting the valid status proof starting Jan 2019 too.

So, you are fine.

Yes, RFE can be issued if USCIS wants more information.

Ok. I asked that since you mentioned not to send them my current visa and the extended visa approval notices which might confuse them. But, as per your recent response, looks like I have to attach current visa h4, h1b as supporting documents + newly extended approval notices for the ead processing.

Is that a fair assumption?

It is your choice as to what to send and what not. You can send any number of documents.

As per the supporting documents list, you have to send H4’s status proof:

  • Copy of H-4 visa holder’s MOST RECENT I-797 Approval . If H4 extension has been done recently, use the extension approval. OR
  • Most recent i-94 copy . If extension approved recently, the NEW i94 would be attached with your H4 extension approval (i797).

So, in this case, you write the details and should send the i797 that has been approved for period starting Jan 2019.
Now, if you want to send both old and new i797, it is entirely your decision. I would not recommend sending the current i797 that has short validity.

Read the complete step by step guidance here for filing H4 EAD here: