Apply H4/H4 EAD with a future start date?

Hi all

My Spouse has approved i-140 and on H1B with Visa Valid until October 2026.

I am on my F1 Stem Opt valid until December 2025. I am trying for Jobs and lets assume I land into a job this or may be next year.
Can anyone suggest me how I can continue to work legally after December 2025?

I heard one option as try for H1 next year and also heard to Apply for Cos H4 and H4 EAD together with a future start date.

Pls Suggest which would be better way in my Scenario.

Thanks !!

Being on F1 OPT have some limitations, a) you get EAD for post completion OPT for 12 months ( with only 90 days of unemployment allowed) b) if you have a STEM degree you get 24 months STEM extension (with 60 days unemployment allowed), c) you get max of three chances (provided you are eligible for STEM OPT extension) to apply for H1B before you run put of F1 status unless you go back to school for a higher degree to again qualifyfor OPT after course completion, and d) you can only work in the field of your degree
In current scenario where layoffs can come any time, it is better to get on H4 EAD with no limits on job or self employment. While you work on H4 EAD, you can try to get an employer that sponsors H1B and keep trying in cap every year.
Ideally in current scenario, best is that both you and your spouse are on H1B so if one of you lose the job, can fallback on H4 status.

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I am on F1 Stem OPT and currently employed. My expiry date is December 2025.

Can I apply now apply for H4 and H4 EAD with future start date like May 2025.

That way, I can continue my employment till then without loosing my current F1 status and once its Approved, I can continue the same enployment on my H4 EAD as my spouse has H1 Validity till June 2026 with approved i140.

What would be the Best Way to not loose my F1 status?


You can certainly request a future H4 start date but you can’t rely on it.

They may or may not honor that requested H4 start date. Their processes are very vague and the problem is that correction requests also take months and years, which makes it extremely unreliable.