Frequently Asked Questions - EAD

Employment Authorization Document is a general term describing the documentation which evidences a person's right to work. EAD's are given during many statuses and processes such as A , E, F-1 visa, G, J-2, K, L-2 etc. and adjustment of status.

  1. Employment Authorization Document (EAD)
  2. Change of status from L-2 to H-4
  3. L-2 visa and EAD processing
  4. L-2 Visa without EAD
  5. Can I apply for H4 visa for spouse while on EAD?
  6. AOS interview next week, mother in India on AP
  7. NPTE license
  8. H1B extension or EAD
  9. Self Employed while on EAD
  10. With I-485 pending can I be an investor ?
  11. Lost old EAD card for another OPT application
  12. EAD-AC21-Self Porting
  13. L2 EAD Renewal based on I -94
  14. L2 visa and EAD
  15. When can I apply for EAD?
  16. Pending I-485 and marraige
  17. F1 and OPT Expired but 60 days not up
  18. AOS and EAD
  19. EAD restriction for 245i
  20. EAD - Job title change on the same job
  21. Working for Two Employers on EAD
  22. Starting Business on I-485 EAD
  23. Transfer from H-1 (with I-140 approved) to H-4 EAD
  24. Compelling Circumstances EAD
  25. Extending H-1/H-4EAD; working while extension pending
  26. Is it legal to work for a foreign based company in the USA?
  27. Changing employers after 6 years of H-1 are over
  28. "Retroactive" effect of the new regulations; would H-4 EAD remain valid if I-140 is withdrawn
  29. Compelling circumstances EAD
  30. EAD on the Basis of Approved I-140
  31. J-1 Physician applying for following to join after waiver
  32. Changing Employers With An Approved I-140 After January 17 2017
  33. How do we keep up with the rumors and changes in the laws
  34. Automatic EAD extension; I-485 EAD
  35. Regarding Form G-884 (Returns of original documents)
  36. H-4 EAD - Starting business
  37. H-4 EAD COS pending; File green card while on H-4
  38. H-4 EAD Rule FAQ's
  39. Considerations for AC21 job portability
  40. Green card through two employers and future employer
  41. Status of the H-4 EAD regulations
  42. H-4 EAD Rule
  43. Obama's Immigration Action EAD At I-140 Stage
Employment Authorization Document (EAD)
What is an EAD?

What is an EAD?  

Certain aliens who are temporarily in the United States may file a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, to request an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), which authorizes them to work legally in the U.S. during the time the EAD is valid.  

Why does my new EAD look different than my prior one 

Change of status from L-2 to H-4
I was on L-2 visa till present. I got my EAD few months back, which expires in April 2013. But I had to Adjust my Status to H-4 as my spouse's visa got changed to H-1.Can I work with my EAD as it has got validity till 2013? Is there any other way that I can work in this country?

H-4 holders can not use the EAD they received while on L-2. If you can, change to H-1.

L-2 visa and EAD processing
I am in USA on L2 visa and I intend to start interviewing/ working immediately. For the EAD application, do I have to apply it before I interview or does the employer apply on my behalf once they make an offer? What are the processing times for EAD? I still haven't got my SSN but have scheduled the appointment for SSN. Should I apply for EAD after the SSN is approved or soon after SSN application?

You should apply (not the employer) for the EAD ASAP. Processing times are on USCIS web site.

L-2 Visa without EAD
I have come here with my husband who is on L-1 visa. I have L-2 visa. What work opportunities are there if I have no EAD. Second,I have gone to the office to get SSN. But the lady there told me that I don't require that and they refused to give me.What could be the reason I didn't get that. Can I apply for EAD if I don't have SSN? I'm here in US for 6 months. I want to work as I have done my MBA.
Can I apply for H4 visa for spouse while on EAD?
My I -485 is pending since 2007, on EB3. My I-140 approved in Nov 2007. I did not for I-485 for my spouse and dependents as they were not in USA. I am working on EAD and I do not have H1B. My Question is can I apply for H4 visa for my spouse, as I am legally working on EAD? I heard that people on student visa can bring their spouse on dependent visa.

You can have them apply for H-4 only if you go to an H-1 (you can). An F-1 is difficult if you have an AOS pending.

AOS interview next week, mother in India on AP
I am a US citizen, had applied for my parents GC in October 2009. Mom underwent fingerprinting three times here, but did not get her AOS done in time. End of last year my father (who got his EAD and AOS smoothly) had emergency heary bypass here, and then they had to leave back for India for more tests. Mom left on AP. Subsequently I wrote a letter to NBC, MO to ask them to expedite my mothers case. Yesterday I received a letter stating that she has go to Philadelphia USCIS office next week for "Completion of application to register for Perm residence." Mom is in India now.

You need to contact USCIS customer service for guidance. Definitely put something down in writing that you are requesting a rescheduling. Maybe asking your Congressman's assistance is the best way to go for rescheduling.

NPTE license
After clearing the NPTE license exam do we need to go for health care worker screening or with EAD we can work?

If you already have an EAD, for instance as a derivative beneficiary, you only need to fulfill the State licensing requirements.

H1B extension or EAD
I am currently on my H1B extension and my employer filed a petition,I-140 under EB3 category which was approved. I cannot file for an adjustment of status at the moment so if my H1 B visa expires before I can file for the AOS in that case does my employer have to file for an extension for H1b or is it the EAD. I am confused if they are two diffrent things or one and the same. Please advise.

EAD and H-1 are two different things. You will get your EAD only after you file the 485.

Self Employed while on EAD
I am employed with H1-B and EAD. My wife has EAD through my petition. She is looking into working as an Independent Consultant (Self Employed). Is she allowed to be IC under EAD?

I see no issues at all with the derivative beneficiary being self-employed on EAD.

With I-485 pending can I be an investor ?
My 485 is pending and I am on advance parole and EAD, my employment based GC priority date date was June 2006. I want to be an investor in my friends start up company. I wont be leaving my current job but only investing in it. Should that be an issue If I dont have my GC?

I see no problem with it, especially, if you are a passive investor who takes no action to manage or conduct the business of the entity invested in.

Lost old EAD card for another OPT application
I am currently a PhD student and preparing for application for OPT. Previously in 2004 upon earning BS degree, I got OPT and worked for a summer. In preparation for a new OPT, I realized that I need to provide copy of front and back of the previous EAD card. However, I cannot find the card. I just found copy of I-765, I-94, and I-20 for the previous OPT.If I submit without copy of the previous EAD card, will I be likely to be denied for the new OPT? Also, what is the safest way to deal with this situation.

First, discuss the possible solutions with your international students office. Second, call USCIS customer service and ask for solutions. Third, provide whatever you have with a full explanation to USCIS when filing the new OPT.

EAD-AC21-Self Porting
I have EAD/Pending AOS. I ported to employer B based on AC21 in 2008. Now i am considering a great opportunity: -Joining S corporation in Florida _I will receive similar hourly rate as prior employer -similar job -i will receive 40% of profits on top of salary -the new corporation will be my fututre full time job Does the new corporation have to be huge with lot of finances for me to use the AC21? I have valid EAD can I join as a partner in the S corporation in Florida? Any thoughts things i,ve to carefull with?

Very little is clear about self-porting. Read the Yates Memo of May 2005. It seems you should be fine as long as the jobs are same or similar, but like I said, not much is known about this issue.

L2 EAD Renewal based on I -94
Below are the validity dates of my L2 Visa,I-94& EAD: L2 Visa Expiration Date: 18JUL2010 I-94 : 06MAY2011 EAD expiration date: 02OCT2010 I would like to apply for EAD renewal on June 4th, 2010 [120 days before EAD expiration] Since I & my husband have I-94 valid till May 2011, my husband's company is planning to extend L1/L2 visas next year. Will my EAD renewal process have an impact with L2validity? As per my understanding, since I would remain on valid L2 visa after 18 July,2010 for 7 months[till I-94 expiration] can I renew my EAD without necessarily extending my L2visa.
L2 visa and EAD
My husband's employer are busy with a L1 / L2 application for our family. My husband will go to the US (in June) on his L1 visa, 2 months before me and the children, since I have to wait for them to finish their school year in July. We will join him end of July. When he goes over in June … Can he 1) apply for my SS number 2) hand in the forms for my EAD without me being in the country, or does that have to wait till August when I arrive?

As far as I know, you will have to be here. Nothing can be done before that.

When can I apply for EAD?
May be a newbie question, I'm from india and I just got my I-140 approved in EB2, Can i file my I-485 as pending or do i need to wait for the date to be current. Is there any way to get EAD so that my spouse can also work?

This is a newbie question. :-) I-485 cannot be filed till PD is current and EAD cannot be obtained until I-485 is filed. H-1 is one obvious way for her to work.

Pending I-485 and marraige
Currently My I-485 is pending and I-140 is approved last Year (2009) january My PD 05/29/2007. I am working using my EAD and change my job last year I don't have my H1B. I filed my I-485 as single, but I will get married to my Girlfriend (Germany). She come here Last November with waiver visa (stay up 90days), Now she is thinking to come back using F1 visa a students instead re-entry using waiver visa which she can't change her status anyway). If I get married, can I put her name under my petition (file I-485 for her) ? and apply EAD also with her Travel documents ?

If your priority date is current, you can file her AOS as long as she is legally in the US. I just have an issue with using F-1 visa to accomplish this purpose. Please consult with a lawyer about the details.

F1 and OPT Expired but 60 days not up
I have a Bachelors degree and a Masters degree from the US. My EAD from my masters degree recently expired and the 60 days is almost up. I dont want to go back to school or go back to my home country. If i do find an employer willing to file for a green card based on EB2, will have to go back to school to maintain my status while the green card is in process or will my status change once the paper work is turned in?

This is a common misunderstanding. Starting a PERM-based green card does not give you the right to stay in USA.

I have been in AOS since Sep 2007. I have a EAD and now a new opportunity hit the door to move to another company, same functions but much better pay, arounf a 40% increase. I also got married to a US citizen. My dilema now is should I take the job? my actual employeer may get angry, so could he do something to screw my case? should I re-apply through a spouse? is something the new employer can do so I can be safe? I don't want to bother new employer, but could he eventually at least help so I can keep my actual status until AOS is approved.

It looks like you have several options. Once 180 days of AOS pendency are over after I-140 approval, usually employers cannot hurt you. Speak with a lawyer.

EAD restriction for 245i
I applied for GC through 245i. I currently have a valid EAD. I140 approved. and I485 pending. Its for future employment. Can I work for a non related (not related to my labour) until my 485 is approved?

Theoretically, there is nothing wrong with that, but speak with your lawyers. In my view, not working for the future employer raises issues like is there a job, do you really want to work for this employer, etc.

EAD - Job title change on the same job
My wife and I am on EAD and also both have H1B (I am in my 8th year of H1B and wife is in 5th year as teacher). Our EAD is based upon my job in EB3 category in IT as System Analyst/Administrator, my priority date Aug'2003. Last year I have completed MBA in Finance and can now work as a Project manager within the same company. Can I change my title to Project Manager or IT Manager and also can I change my profile now to work in Investment Company or any other non-IT field in the same company I am already working. As these delay of getting green card are actually causing problem in my career.

If you change your field/job description, it is very likely that you have to start your green card all over again. You should be able to carry the same priority date, but the PERM/I-140 may have to be done again.

Working for Two Employers on EAD
What is the likelihood that because of working in a dis-similar job, for a different employer, on EAD , my I-485 ( and the GC ) could be denied?
Starting Business on I-485 EAD
1. Am I allowed to open a corporation and run a business on GC-EAD? 2. If no, can I still work on a 1099 and file my taxes or do I have to be on a W-2 for an employer?

Watch the Video on this FAQ: Starting business on I-485 EAD

Video Trascript

1. Sure you can. You can work for yourself, you can do multiple jobs as long as you have an EAD.

Transfer from H-1 (with I-140 approved) to H-4 EAD
I have approved I-140 with company A and my wife has her I-140 approved or over 2 years. I'm planning to move to H4 EAD. Can I file for H4 and H4 EAD concurrently? What would happen to my earlier I-140 and also to the GC process if I am on H4?

You can most definitely file H-4 and EAD together. Your green card process can continue even though you have changed your status.

Compelling Circumstances EAD
I am on a H-1B Visa for past 9 years and have EB3 I-140 (2008 Priority Date) from Company A and EB3 I-140 from Company B (2014 Priority Date). I am now with Company C. I am Heart Patient and was operated for Heart By-Pass Surgery in 2013 and since then taking my regular Medicines (for my entire Life). I feel stressed on continually working for 40 hours a week and feel getting a EAD will be a god's gift and I can use this EAD to work at my convenience.
Extending H-1/H-4EAD; working while extension pending
I am on H1 Visa, my H1, wife's H4 and H4 EAD expires on 7/18/2017. I will be completing my 6 years by 7/18/2017. My I-140 is approved. I have a question 1. Should I file for H4 EAD extension along with my H1 and H4 extension 2. Can my spouse (H4-EAD) work while her extension in progress?

Watch the Video on this FAQ: Extending H-1/H-4EAD; working while extension pending

Video Transcript

1. Yes, you should. 

2. No. Once the current H-4 expires and EAD expires and you are waiting for the new EAD to arrive she has to stop working. More...



Is it legal to work for a foreign based company in the USA?
My wife has received her L-2 visa. She plans to continue with her US branch of her India employer once she lands in the US and gets her EAD. However for the period while she is US waiting for her EAD to come in, can she continue to be employed with her employer in India and keep receiving paychecks in India, while technically not working for any US based employer prior to getting her EAD?
Changing employers after 6 years of H-1 are over
1. With my approved I-140 from Company B can Company C use that to file my extension for 3 years. I have a copy of approved I-140. Is it safe to change companies in the 6th year. 2. Using the approved I-140, I have filed H4-EAD for my spouse in Feb 2017 and is yet to receive the EAD approval. If I get it will be only valid till Nov 2017 based on current I-797 validity. So, if H1-B is approved for Company C, can I file extension of H4-EAD 120 days before validity based on that approval. If EAD is provided, it is going to expire on Nov 2017 based on the H1-B's current I-797.
"Retroactive" effect of the new regulations; would H-4 EAD remain valid if I-140 is withdrawn
My I-140 got approved in Oct 2016, after this rule is passed do I have to wait for 180 days after Jan 17 or will it be applied from Oct 2016 itself?
Compelling circumstances EAD
I have approved I-140 from 2010. I read that if I apply for I-140 EAD (due to compelling circumstances ) it will revoke my H1B status and then I would not be able to adjust the status through I-485 without going outside the country and getting back on H1 which is extremely risky. The other option is Consular Processing which is also waiting outside US. Is that right? What status would a person be in US if on I-140 EAD due to a compelling circumstance? Is there a way to switch to H-1B so as to continue with Green Card through Adjustment of Status ( with same priority date) while within US?
EAD on the Basis of Approved I-140
I have an approved I-140. My priority date is April 2011. Can I file for EAD on the basis of approved I-140?

No. The only EAD possible is a compelling circumstances EAD. This would not be a routine EAD. See the graphic on my blog.

J-1 Physician applying for following to join after waiver
I am a physician currently in H-1B undergoing 3 years of J-1 waiver program which is set to be completed on July end of this year. My husband got his greencard through E-B2 category (rest of the world) in early 2013 When I was still in J-1. My name was included in I-140 but could not file I-485 due to my J-1 visa. I have been married since 2006 and came to the US initially on H-4 visa before getting residency in J-1 visa. Is there a possibility of filing my I-485 directly without waiting for the long I-130 approval process? Or is there any exceptions for a situation like mine such that spouse happened to be in J1 and could not apply for a change of status at the time primary applicant applied for I-485?
Changing Employers With An Approved I-140 After January 17 2017
I have approved 140, Green card EAD/AP card in EB2 from company-A and passed more that 180 days. I have maintained H-1B status since last 9 years instead of using EAD/AP as the need to go India for marriage so my future wife gets H-4 easily. Just transferred my H-1B to company-B. Company-A will revoke my I-140 in March 2017 due to company policy. I have following questions to ask you. 1. Shall I get H-1B extension (beyond 6 yr) in future with company-B after I-140 revoke from my previous employer? 2. I have EAD/AP card from my previous employer. Is it required to start GC process like labor and I-140 application again with company-B if my previous employer revokes my I-140?

You can continue to extend your H-1 even after I-140 is revoked by the employer, IF, the revocation was sent more than 180 days after I-140 approval.

Under AC21, you do not have to start a new green card if:

1. Your I-140 is approved;

2. Your I-485 has been pending for 180 days or more;

3. You will take an employment same as or similar to your green card job; and

4. You file Supplement J.

How do we keep up with the rumors and changes in the laws
How do we keep up with the rumors and changes in the laws? My I-140 is approved in 2013 and priority date is on 2013. Do you have any inside on country quota elimination bill?
Automatic EAD extension; I-485 EAD
I am in I-485 pending status based on EB2 and have been working on EAD since 2012. Under the new rules effective January 2017, I understand that I can file for EAD extension 180 days prior to expiration. Will EAD be considered extended automatically if the approval doesn't come before the expiration of my current EAD?
Regarding Form G-884 (Returns of original documents)
I got I-140 approved and also got EAD with EB2 category in April 2012. I need to change my employer but my employer did not give me my green card paper like I-140 approval copy, labor code etc. I have only receipt copy of I-140 and I-485. I heard about USCIS form G-884 (Returns of original documents) which use to get all green card documents from USCIS. I have following questions to ask you. Based on G-884, can I get my all green card documents from USCIS without knowing my employer?

Form G-884 is used to request return of documents YOU had sent to USCIS (e.g., your college degrees and diplomas). Use FOIA for the purpose you are considering.

H-4 EAD - Starting business
1.Can we own our business? 2. Do we have to run own payroll?

See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question. 

FAQ Transcript:

1. Yes you can.

2. You do not.

H-4 EAD COS pending; File green card while on H-4
1. Can I apply for H-4-EAD on May 26 2015 even if my H-4 COS is still pending ? Or I will have to wait till it get approved ? 2. My employer already filed my PERM and they are OK to come back with them on H-4 EAD. Can I apply for I-140 after H-4 EAD is approved ? Is it ok if I will stay on H-4 EAD to continue processing of my GC ?

See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question.

FAQ Transcript:

H-4 EAD Rule FAQ's
1. Is there any time frame within which H-4 should have job offer after getting H-4 EAD? 2. Why is an adjustment of status I-539 needed? What status is being adjusted (H-4 to H-4?)? I get the other form for application of EAD. What if someone is on F-1? Could they file I-539 (To go from F-1 to H-1?) and I-765 concurrently? 3. I am currently on OPT ( from F-1- visa) and it ends in Dec. My husband on H-1B and I-140 to be approved 2009 PD in "ABC" company and he moved "XYZ" company .The XYZ company process my new I-140 Do we have any clarity on the F-1/OPT to H-4 EAD process? Should I move to H-4 and then apply for EAD ? 4. I know there is no clear picture that there will be a change in law for all candidates with I-140 approved can register for I-485, so that they can get EAD/AP. If that really happens, there is no use of this H-4 EAD regulation anymore it is just obsolete, any person with approved I-140 can apply for I-485. The H-4 EAD process took one calendar year from starting to beginning for approval which will become a waste of process, effort, wait time, expenses for the Government. If it really happens, it is a miracle or my guess is they might keep a condition that the person should be waiting at least 3-4-5 years with a approved I-140. My question is it that easy task for USCIS/GOVT/EO just amend the process for I-485 pre registering ? 5. Can H-4 EAD can do business ? 6. I am in USA on H1B and running my 5th year. but recently I have got H1 extension from USCIS to 7th year. (This is because my labor is pending with DOL now for more than 1 year). So based on these conditions, is my spouse eligible for EAD?. Can your firm help me in filing the EAD for my spouse? 7. a. After the H-4 EAD, if the candidate is not willing to work or doesn't have a job and visited India, does she have to go for visa stamping while coming back? b. Can she enter on approval EAD (without working) if she doesn't have H-4 visa stamped? 8. 1. I am planning to apply for H-4 EAD for my wife, what happens to her EAD if I change my current employer maintaining my H-1B status? 2. My wife has found a job which can apply for her H-1B, can we file for her H-4 EAD before actually knowing if her application is selected in lottery process? (In short have both H1B application and EAD application open at same time) 9. I am on H-1 B and my husband on H-4 working in India. Can I apply H-4 EAD while he is in India or he has to come here before applying? 10. a. If my H-1B petition is not selected in lottery, I will apply for H-4 COS and EAD simultaneously. Is it advisable to apply for H-4 COS/EAD on my own or through my wife's employer? b. While my H-4 COS/EAD petitions are under USCIS’ review, can my ongoing STEM extended OPT EAD be further extended (under cap-gap extension policy or similar) to allow me continue working after 9-June-2015 (the day my OPT EAD expires) till I receive the decision on H-4 work authorization petition? c. If YES, how long is this ‘grace period’ for OPT cap-gap extension? - If NOT, will I be considered out of status (and have to leave USA) during the time period between the day my OPT EAD expires and H-4 EAD is approved/effective (assuming a positive outcome)?

1. Is there any time frame within which H-4 should have job offer after getting H-4 EAD?

Considerations for AC21 job portability
My I-485 (based on EB-1) is pending more than 180 days. If I decide to change jobs under AC 21 rule - (1) Does the new job description should be same as by definition of EB-1 or should it match my current job description based on which I applied for GC in EB-1B? (2) Do you advise to change using EAD or transferring H-1B? (3) Based on your experience, will you advise to change jobs under AC 21 or stay in the present job until GC is approved?

See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question.

FAQ Transcript

Green card through two employers and future employer
I am in a very difficult/complex situation, the situation is as below: Have been on H-1 for 3 + 3 + 3 + 1 years (last 4 years extended based on approved I140). Have approved I-140 with priority date of June 2010 in EB-2 category. H-1 extension was denied last year hence had to leave employer A, now I am on H-4 and will be soon filing H-1 with employer B. I have following questions on which I am requesting your opinion. Q1. When my priority date becomes current and if I am still with employer B, can employer A still file my I-485 and that way I can then get the EAD and join him on EAD? : Q2. Further, do I have to be working with employer A on an active H-1 visa to be eligible to file EAD when my priority date becomes current? : Q3. If question 1 approach works, can I then continue to work with employer B and employer A can process my green card in parallel. : Q4. What are the risks in working for employer B when my I140 is with employer A. Note that employer A is willing to preserve my I-140 and process green card eventually without me working for him, because he is unable to find me any projects? : Q5. I do plan to file for a new GC with employer B but worry is the priority date is likely to become current before I complete GC process with B. : Q6. Do I need to be with employer A for my wife to apply H-4 EAD based on my I-140 with A (note that currently I am with employer B).

See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question. 


FAQ Transcript

Status of the H-4 EAD regulations
Status of the H-4 EAD regulations

See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question.

FAQ Transcript:

This FAQ is about H-1 quota, how does H-1 quota work?

I think this is an issue important for many people.

Question: I am on L-1 A, If I get H-1B this April, is it mandatory to work from October 1st. Can I continue on L-1A and then change to H-1B when I like.

H-4 EAD Rule
My spouse and I are living in different sates due to obvious work reasons. I am currently on H-1B Visa with my I-140 approved. My wife is on H-1b working as a full time employee to XYZ company. Now, with Obama's executive action particularly with H-4 EAD my wife is planning to change her visa status from H-1B to H-4 so that she can get opportunities at the place where I live (at this point of time all the companies at my place are asking her for Either Green Card or Proper Work permit without any sponsorship in order to hire her). In this regards I have 2 questions 1. Would you suggest us to get H-4 approval in advance before H-4-EAD rule comes into effect or would you suggest we can file them concurrently? 2. If she applies for H-4 when can she quit the job - Is it on the day of notice of application receipt from USCIS or from the day of H-4 approval? P.S: I am aware that no rule has been published yet but just wanted to get your thoughts/suggestions on this issue.

See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question.

Obama's Immigration Action EAD At I-140 Stage
I am on H-1B Visa, got my I-140 approved in EB-2 Category and waiting for the dates to get current. Based on Executive Action, shall I be given any EAD ? Or at least any other forms so that I can travel and need not go for Visa Stamping and all the additional paper work.

I have heard that there is a proposal to allow filing of I-485