H4 EAD unemployment benefits in Coronavirus job Loss

Hi Team,

Currently I am on H1B visa and my wife is on H4 EAD,recently she lost job due to ongoing covid-19 issue.
Can she claim for unemployment insurance benefits?
Will it effect GC processing in future?

Please clarify

Thank you

H4 EAD is eligible for unemployment insurance benefits from state but I suggest to not apply for as it may affect green card in future.

See what attorneys have suggested for H1B and H4EAD unemployment benefits.

Rest is your choice.

H4 EAD is eligible to apply for unemployment benefits as per immigration lawyers. However, H1B is not eligible.

I don’t suggest the H4 EAD’s to also apply for them even though they are eligible.

Hello Anil,
Thanks for the information. I am really in a confused situation right now. I got my current job on July 9 2019 after 7 months of job hunting. Unfortunately because of this pandemic situation,I was temporarily laid off from work from March second week. I live in NJ and I saw that 18 month of work background is necessary for eligibility of unemployment insurance, so I didn’t apply for . It in that situation New program called Pandemic assistance was added in NJ website and eligibility was waived for it , still for that program it says that application should be filled through NJ unemployment website
The HR told me I can apply for unemployment insurance since my office is planning to open around June end or July. I applied for it two days back and claim still shows its pending.
I didn’t do much research as my CPA also told too apply and see . Today only I saw this forum and really confused now. Please help me.

Hi @sherya

I have already suggested to not apply for it. You can legally apply for it but nobody knows what effect it can have on future visa applications.

Though, it will not be counted as ‘public charge’ but it is better to stay away from it.

Rest is your choice.

I would say that unless you are really not able to manage household expenses without this unemployment money, i suggest to stay away.

That’s my personal opinion.

Hello Anil

I agree With your point Anil, as I said, I saw this forum only after applying to the benefit. The claim is still pending, and I think that there are chances for denial as I have no working history for 18 months. Again, if it gets approved,

if I am not applying to weekly benefit, will it be okay? As it can automatically pull me out. is it okay?

I did my masters here, and it has a significant toll. That’s why I applied for the benefits. I will keep you posted on this forum. Thank you for your time!


Hi shreya,
I have same question for you. I am not fulfilling this condition like 18 months employment. I also joined on 20th of july 2019.Should i apply for this ?
Did you get the money or not ?

Hi Ekta,

Still my claim is pending. Yes you can try, though. I was told by HR that I can avail Pandemic assistance program, that’s why I applied for the same.

Thanks shreya. One more question, should i inform my owner of the company regarding this like i am filing for the unemployment benefits.I checked while filing the details, one question is there , whether your hr has given a return date or not ? What should i fill there ? We can rejoin but how can they give date in this situation.

Yes you should contact the HR. If they have some tentative date you can add it. Thanks

Hi shreya,
This is last question.The company I work in has a 2 days program. This is like part time but they deduct everything like state tax and federal tax. Can i apply for unemployment benefits?

Yes, you can legally. I don’t mind you asking me more questions. But in this forum it is said it may affect green card process. So I don’t know. I have applied to it though . Will update you.Thank you

Hi sherya,
Hope you are doing gud!
I applied and my application is showing processes. What is its meaning ?

They are reviewing the application. It will take at lest 3 weeks. Thanks

Hi sherya,
I login my account i got the summary detail like minimum or maximum benefit per week. What is the next step ? Should i wait any email from their side or apply for weekly benefits ?

I believe you cannot apply for weekly benefits unless your claim is approved. I may be wrong but this is what I know.

Hey Shreya ,
Looks like i am in the same situation.can you update what happened to your application.
Did you withdraw your claim or proceeded with it?

can you update what happened to your application?
Did you withdraw your claim or proceeded with it?

They are still reviewing. I might go back to work from June second week.