Current H4 EAD timeline if transiting from H1B to H4, and applying H4 and H4 EAD together with H1B


I’m planning to transit from a cap-exempt H1B to H4, as my spouse’s employer is filing cap-exempt H1B extension with premium processing soon (start date: Oct 1). History: I came to the US on H4 (stamped) and transited to my current H1B, but never had an H4 EAD before. I am worried if there are any risks with this transition (want to minimize the risk of an employment gap).

Specific questions:

  1. Is it correct that the H1B, H4, and H4 EAD applications are being approved at once if filed appropriately? Example source of information: United States | USCIS agrees to “bundle” concurrently filed H-4, L-2 applications - B A L | Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP_

  2. If the H4 is approved simultaneously, how long (approximately) is it currently taking to receive the H4 EAD card? If my spouse’s H1B extension is approved by the end of June, there would be three months until the requested start date. Does that allow enough time to receive the EAD?

  3. Is it beneficial in my case to request a different future date (lets say Dec 1 compared to Oct 1) to allow even more time to receive the H4 EAD, or does that add to confusion and could jeopardize if USCIS overlooks the request in either H4 or H4 EAD? If this is recommended, I reckon one could only request a date within 6 months for H4.

  4. Is there a realistic threat to continuation of H4 EAD after approval (heard that government time-to-time considers revoking H4 EAD privilege? My husband’s EB1 PD is March 2023 and we should receive a green card EAD within the next 2 years, so would probably not require another EAD. I’m inclined to change the status as that allows more independence in terms of industrial jobs.

Any suggestions would be highly appreciated. Thank you!


This depends on the processing time with the USCIS center processing your application however as your H4 and EAD is being applied with H1B in premium processing, your EAD should also be approved almost at the same time albeit with a start date of 1st October.

Chances are less as it has to go through rule making process.

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Thanks Kalpesh for your quick answers; highly appreciate that! We are a bit worried on seeing some applications being separately adjudicated. This is why we are wondering if 3 months is enough in that worst case, or if allowing additional couple of months for that adjudication would be better by requesting a different start date (which perhaps may complicate things in another direction). Obviously, this will be our personal decision, so just asking what can be suggested from previous knowledge on this topic.