On February 24, 2015, the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced that effective May 26, 2015, it will begin accepting Employment Authorization Document (EAD) applications from certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants.
USCIS today announced that it is ready to accept the H-4 applications starting from May 26, 2015. It has published a Filing Guidance—a web page dedicated to guiding these applicants determine their eligibility, and useful resources on How to Apply, Where to File and certain Form Filing Tips. Specifically, USCIS reminds that H-4 EAD applicants must wait to file their applications until May 26. USCIS will reject Applications received by it before May 26. To further assist the Applicants, USCIS has published helpful information, including FAQs.
In its FAQs, USCIS helps H-4 EAD applicants answer the following:
- Am I eligible to apply for Employment Authorization?
- How to apply for Employment Authorization?
- How does USCIS adjudicate my H-4 EAD application?
- What steps should I avoid while my EAD application is pending with USCIS?
- What to do upon receiving EAD approval?
Additionally, USCIS has published information in an easy to understand manner the following:
- Eligibility Requirements
- The Evidence required in support of the H-4 EAD application
- Location to file:
- A stand-alone H-4 application
- The H-4 EAD application along with a Form I-539 application
- The H-4 EAD application along with a Form I-129, H-1B petition
While the reader is strongly encouraged to follow the highly helpful information USCIS has provided, below you will find answers to key questions:
When can I file my H-4 EAD Application?
You may submit your H-4 EAD application so that USCIS receives your EAD application no sooner than May 26, 2015. In practical terms, you may courier your application for delivery on May 26, 2015. If you plan to overnight your application, you must ship your package out by Friday, May 22, 2015
What is the USCIS Filing Fee?
The USCIS filing fee is $380.00. The check or money order should be made payable to U.S. Department of Homeland Security (not “USDHS” or “DHS”).
What evidence is required for the filing?
You must submit evidence that is commonly applicable to all H-4 EAD applicants. Specifically, you must submit:
- Two identical photos. These identical photos must be 2 x 2 inch passport-style color photographs.
- Copy of your Marriage Certificate to show your relationship to the H-1B nonimmigrant.
- A government-issued identification document with photo. This may a USCIS-issued previous EAD car; a passport ID page; your Visa page or a similar government document.
- For those currently in H-4 status, a copy of your current H-4 approval notice or your most recent Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record.
- If you are applying for a change of status from another nonimmigrant status, USCIS will approve the H-4 EAD application only upon approving the change of status. USCIS notes,
For your convenience, you may file Form I-765 with Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant status, or with both Form I-539 and the H-1B principal nonimmigrant’s Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker. However, USCIS will not process your Form i-765 (except filing fees) until after USCIS has adjudicated your Form I-539.
- Copy of the I-140 Approval Notice, or evidence that the H-1B nonimmigrant has received an extension of stay under AC21 sections 106(a) and (b).
Where should I File my H-4 EAD?
Because the location of the filing depends on whether the H-4 EAD applications is a standalone application or it is being concurrently filed with an I-539 or an I-129 and an I-539, USCIS instructs all applicants to check the website for the appropriate filing location. You may do so here.
How the Firm can Help You
Applying for an immigrant benefit such as the H-4 EAD, Employment Authorization with USCIS is a complex process. Some applicants realize that the process appears simpler than it is. Paruthipattu Law Firm will be happy to help you with your H-4 EAD Application. Contact us today!