H4-EAD with I-140 receipt number, approved but without the I797 approval notice

I am on valid H4 status and want to apply for H4-EAD. There are 2 scenarios that we want to ask here

Case 1
My spouse’s I-140 got approved but we haven’t received the I-797 approval notice for I-140 yet.

The email sent by Service Center with the Receipt Number and stating that I-140 was approved is available though.

Case 2
My spouse’s I-140 was approved with an old employer and they are not giving us the original I-797 notice of approval.


Case 1:

  1. How much time it could take for the approval notice to come after I-140 approval?

  2. Should we wait for approval notice of I-140 to file my H4-EAD form I-765?

  3. We have the I-140 Receipt number and the status on the USCIS website also shows as Case Approved with Receipt Number. Can we use it to file for H4-EAD OR should we wait for approval notice of I-140 to file my H4-EAD form I-765? What all documents can we provide in case the I-140 approval notice does not come in the next few days.

Case 2

  1. What proof can we use if we cannot get the original I-797 copy of I-140 approval from the employer? They have it but are not ready to give it.

My answers:

Case 1

  1. It normally takes 2-3 weeks for the approval notice to arrive by mail.

  2. It is strongly advised to wait for the original I-797 hard copy to arrive before you file your H4-EAD application.

  3. The website status and receipt number for I-140 can be used to file H4-EAD but in a scenario where you CANNOT procure the I-797 notice. I would strongly recommend to not use this option as it is meant for rare cases.

Case 2

  1. As mentioned in above case 1C, you do have the option of using the I-140 receipt number as the proof for filing your H4-EAD, but it meant to be used in rare cases.
    In this case, since you are not able to procure the original I-797, you can file with just the approved i-140’s receipt number.

Here is the information from USCIS website directly:

Examples of Secondary Evidence. If you do not have any evidence relating to the H-1B nonimmigrant as described in “a” or “b” above, you may ask USCIS to consider secondary evidence in support of your application for work authorization as an H-4 spouse. For example, such information may include the receipt number of the most current Form I-129 extension of stay request filed for the H-1B nonimmigrant or the receipt number of the approved Form I-140 petition filed for the H-1B nonimmigrant. Failure to provide necessary information about the H-1B nonimmigrant may result in a delay in the adjudication or denial of your application for employment authorization.

Source: USCIS

1 Like