My I-94 and H-4 EAD are both going to expire next week. My H-4 and H-4 EAD extensions are both pending. I understand that I cannot work based on the pending EAD renewal. While waiting for the new EAD to be issued, do I have to resign from my position, or can I take an unpaid leave?


There does not appear to be a definitive answer to this. Immigration law generally prohibits an H-4 spouse from working without a valid EAD. And, from the employer’s perspective, there are certain requirements (e.g., form I-9 employment eligibility verification) that must be adhered to. But immigration law does not specifically prohibit an H-4 dependent spouse from being on unpaid leave while waiting for an EAD renewal to be approved.

In practice, it seems unlikely that the USCIS would view this as a form of unauthorized employment. However, until the USCIS provides clear guidance, we cannot say there is zero risk. (24.Nov.2021)

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