How to file H4 Change of status & EAD filing together in Coronavirus Closures

Hello Anil Ji,

BACKGROUND—I am on H1B Visa which was valid until 03/25/2020 (my 6th year ending on H1B). My attorney has filed my H1B extension until 04/04/2020 (after my recapture time as my PERM is pending with DOL)
so my attorney has advised me to change the status from H1B to H4 if i want to stay in USA.
So to maintain my status i have to file H4 Visa:

My question to you is:

  1. since USCIS is closed because of COVID-19, can i file i-539 (h4 visa) by attaching I-765(EAD) as the additional document?
  2. how should I attach 765 to my current 539(h4 visa) application?


You need to send paper application to USCIS. Their offices are open and accepting applications.

You cannot file H4 EAD application online. Only H4 COS i539 can be filed online at this time.

Thanks so much for your instant response.

As mentioned in the above question,
I am on my H1B (6th year ended on 03/25) recapture time is just 10 days (from 03/25 to 04/04)
My PERM is pending with DOL which was filed on Nov-5, 2019.
so meanwhile my H1B recapture time is 04/04, i am not on any status but i am still working with my current employer till 04/04
Question 1: Is this legal to work till 04/04 as my H1B is still pending
Question 2: If I file both H4 change of status (online) and EAD 765 paper, then will it delay getting
EAD but on the other hand if i file together then i can start working sooner.
Question 3: If my PERM gets approved and my employer files I-140 and H1B , so can i switch back to H1B if that gets approved , in this case, i am not sure which one can i expect to get my work authorization back (H4 EAD or H1 B extension)
Its a big financial loss for me and my family please suggest a best way out for me


You can work only until your last day of 6 year completion including recapture time.

You cannot start working until your both H4 and EAD are approved.

You can file H1B extension only if your i140 is approved or PERM was filed 365 days ago.

Thanks Anil ji,

Since I can’t file the change of status with the 765 together online.

So if I apply 539 change of status online and 765 separately as paper, will that add any delay in getting me the EAD? Or

in the above case, do I need to wait for my h4 to be approved and then start EAD?

Could you pls suggest a faster approach looking At the current scenario?

Please suggest !!

Appreciate your patience and responses.


You can apply H4 EAD while H4 extension is pending.

You would need to wait for the H4 extension receipt number and that, of course, will add extra time.

Note that a simple H4 extension normally gets approval faster than the H4 COS application. As per current timelines, expect about 8-12 months of waiting for H4 COS to get approved.

H4 EAD cannot be approved until you have got H4 COS approval.