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How to Expedite H4 EAD Application without Premium Processing Request?

Updated: Mar 24

h4 ead expedite request

There is no premium processing service available for the H4 EAD, I-765 application. However, you can submit an Expedite Request. There are situations where we may face time-sensitive situations and need to expedite our H4 EAD application. For instance, an immediate job opportunity may require the EAD as soon as possible to start work, or in a situation where one loses their job and, due to a lapse in the grace period, switches to an H4 visa, expecting to obtain the H4 EAD quickly to resume employment.

Table of Contents: H4 EAD Expedite Request

In these situations, you can speed up your EAD application in a few ways. One of the simplest options is to submit an expedited request with USCIS. If your request is accepted, you can expect faster processing for your H4 EAD application. There is no application fee for expedited requests.

In this blog, I will explain the various ways to speed up your H4 EAD application. While you may not fit into all the scenarios mentioned below, you can decide based on your situation.

H4 EAD with H1B Premium Processing

Suppose you lose your job while on an H1B visa, and your 60-day grace period ends. One option could be switching to an H4 visa if your spouse holds an H1B visa (with an approved I-140) and you intend to obtain an EAD for employment. However, it's important to note that this transition can be a very time-consuming process.

In this case, you can expedite your application by applying for an H1B to H4 change of status and H4 EAD concurrently with the primary H1B premium processing. This option is applicable only when you are filing for an H4 Change of Status (COS) and H4 EAD, along with the primary H1B petition (Form I-129).

Imagine a situation where the primary H1B holder needs to extend or renew their petition, while the dependent needs to transition to an H4 visa through a change of status and simultaneously apply for an H4 EAD. You can read about this process in detail here.

If the primary H1B holder doesn't need to extend or renew their visa anytime soon, it may be more efficient to travel back to their home country and apply for an H4 visa using the DS-160 form. This process tends to be much faster.

Once you obtain the H4 visa, return to the US and apply for the H4 EAD. You can begin looking for a job at this point. After applying for the H4 EAD, you can request expedited processing once you receive the receipt number. In the upcoming section, we will discuss expedited requests in detail.

H1B to B2 back to H1B

In this situation, assuming you have an approved I-140 and are waiting for your priority date to become current, and you don't have the flexibility to switch to an H4 visa, individuals often move to a B1/B2 visa if they can't find a job within the 60-day grace period on their H1B while staying in the country.

In this case, you don't need an EAD, and the expectation is that once you find a job, you will switch back to an H1B. However, the processing time for a pending B1/B2 application is so long, around 6-9 months, that you might find yourself in a tough situation, wondering whether you should leave the country or wait for the B1/B2 COS result first.

  • Some employers make it mandatory to undergo consular processing, which can sometimes result in 221(g) administrative processing, a process with no definitive timeline for the final result.

  • Due to this uncertainty, employers sometimes avoid hiring candidates facing such circumstances and opt for those with work authorization.

  • Additionally, some employers take advantage of this situation by requiring candidates to pay premium processing fees for H1B applications and lawyer fees, typically offering lower compensation.

The good news is that you can file a new H1B petition (change of status) while your B1/B2 application is pending, and it can be processed in premium processing. USCIS states that both the change of status to B1/B2 and the change of status back to H1B will be processed together. You can read about this process in detail in the following blog.

H4 EAD Expedite Request

While USCIS doesn't typically offer expedited processing for H4 EAD applications, in certain circumstances, such as severe financial loss, emergencies, or humanitarian reasons, you can request expedited processing. Examples include financial loss, new job opportunities, emergencies, and humanitarian reasons. Note that the expedited processing is different from premium processing.

When submitting an expedited request for an H4 EAD, having the right documents can make a big difference. Documents like medical bills, house loan papers, auto loan documents, bank statements, and credit card bills can help demonstrate the financial challenges you're facing and why you urgently need to work.

For instance, medical bills prove unexpected expenses, while house and auto loans demonstrate financial commitments. Credit card bills show ongoing expenses that need to be met. Providing these documents strengthens your case and increases the chances of getting approval for the H4 EAD expedited request.

You can dive into more detailed information on this, starting with practical examples and step-by-step instructions on how to initiate the expedited request by visiting the following blog.

Contacting a Congressman

Another option is to reach out to a senator or congressman. While contacting them doesn't guarantee EAD approval, they can certainly assist in expediting your EAD application. To request their assistance, you can visit their official website and search for sections related to visa and immigration help or federal agency assistance.

To support your expedited request, you'll need to provide evidence of financial loss or an emergency. This documentation will serve as the basis for your request and strengthen your case for expedited processing. You can read about this in detail in the following blog.

FAQs on H4 EAD Expedite Request

Can job loss be considered as financial loss for an H4 EAD expedited request?

Yes, job loss can be portrayed as a significant financial setback. By providing documents such as mortgage bills, auto loans, home insurance, and credit card statements, you can demonstrate the immediate financial burdens stemming from unemployment.

These records underscore the pressing need for the EAD to avoid substantial financial losses. Additionally, highlighting potential repercussions like the possibility of selling assets such as the house or car, as well as the potential disruption to children's education mid-session, further emphasizes the urgency of expediting the EAD process.

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