Most entries below contain actual legal discussions of events directly related to Filipinos in or immigrating to the United States.
Remember- These writings are provided for general information only and do not constitute legal advice, nor do they create any attorney-client relationship. Each person's needs and requirements are different and require a personal evaluation to determine the proper legal course of action.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Filing H-4 EAD On Your Own with an Approved I-140

These instructions ONLY cover how to file your H-4 EAD on your own if your eligibility is based on an approved I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker.   

A much more complicated packet of eligibility evidence is required for H-4 EADs based on a period of stay under §106(a).

I have included some comments that give answers to the basic questions I frequently receive about filing for H-4 EADs.

Sample H-4 EAD Application Packet based on Approved I-140 

1.  $380 Check,Payable to “Department of Homeland Security” 

2.  Two color passport photos 

3.  Form I-765
      “I am Applying for...”.  Only check ‘Renewal’ if your last EAD was an H-4 EAD.
     Q.9:     Social Security Number.  Enter your SSN, or 'None’,  not your ITIN.

     Q.10:   Alien Registration Number.  If you have an A Number, else 'None' 

     Q.11:   Yes, if you have requested an EAD before, in any category.  This does not include prior work visas, such as H-1B or L. 

     Q.14:   Status at last entry.  May be different from current immigration status. 

     Q.15:   Your immigration status on the day you signed the I-765.  For most, it will be ‘H-4’.  Not ‘H-4 Dependent”, there is no such status.

     Q.16:   ( c ) (26) (    ).

     Q.17:   Leave blank. 

     Q.18:   Case number for spouse’s last H-1B approval.  Do not enter the I-140 approval case number.

     Signature:  Sign your name within the limited space provided – do not let your signature flow into the form text above. 

4.  Eligibility Proof:  I-140 Approval Notice

5.  Itentity Document:  Front and back of last EAD, with your face recognizable;  OR, if no prior EAD, a Photo ID (usually passport bio page or US State ID) 

6.  Proof of Current H-4 status:  Your last H-4 Approval Notice, OR current H-4 I-94

7.  Marriage Certificate, with translation if necessary.
8.  Proof Spouse in valid H-1B Status*: 
            Spouse’s last H-1B approval notice or I-94 from last H-1B entry 
            Spouse’s last two paycheck stubs
            [* These three pieces of paper are not required, but recommended for now]

Filing Tips: 

-The above documents are in the order they are assembled for filing. 

-Using a personal check is recommended.  If your case is "lost", the receipt number is written on the back of the check.

-“Duplicate Approval Notices” can be used at all times to show H-4/H-1B status validity dates and for I-140 approvals. 

-All pages sized 8 1/2 x 11.

-Send no original evidence documents – only photocopies. 

-Black and white copies of EAD cards and photo IDs are acceptable.  Be sure your face can be recognized on the photo identification.  

-Before mailing, make a full and complete copy of every piece of the entire filing packet, including photos,check and envelope. Staple this packet and keep for your records.

-Mail the packet to the address designated by USCIS.  

-When it is time to apply for Permanent Residence, it will be necessary to show that all of your employment while holding H-4 status was lawful, so be sure to send a copy of your EAD approval notice to your attorney to keep in your file with your other immigration records.

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  1. Thank you for posting these instructions. Very helpful. One thing missing from this is that the official instructions of I-765 ask you write down the I-94 number on the back of the photos. I just turned in my documents but did not write the i-94 info. on the back of the photo. Do you think it might cause a problem?

  2. Normally, not a problem. The only reason an identifying number (I-94 #,A#, etc)is written on the photo is for those very rare cases when the photo has become separated from the application.