Logo of Techfetch H1B services
All You Need to Know About H4 EAD Category
April 21, 2022
6 mins
Close up view of Employee Authorization Card covered in the US flag

In this article, you will read about:

  • A brief introduction to EAD and category codes
  • Tabulated EAD codes
  • Ways to use H4 EAD codes

Since you are interested to learn H4 EAD category, we recommend you to also read about Various Ways to Raise an H4 EAD Expedite Request.

US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issues a work authorization document called the EAD (Employment Authorization Document) to certain categories of foreign nationals qualified to work in the US. The EAD is sometimes referred to as an identification card or a work permit.

The EAD provision was instituted for certain visa categories like the H4 visa. An H4 status is allotted to dependent spouses of temporary foreign workers and those on H1B status in the US. Many people on H4 visas may have careers they pursue out of interest or necessity. The EAD enables them to continue these pursuits legally in the United States.

In recent years the H4 EAD rule was passed for a two-fold purpose. It allows highly skilled foreign workers to remain in the US and limits business disruption when H1B workers opt to return to their home countries.

H4 EAD Visa - Understanding Associated Category Codes

Eligible applicants for the H4 EAD can initiate their application for employment authorization with the I-765 Form, having their category code clearly specified. In the US Immigration context, this code is referred to as the Employment Authorization Document Code, also called EAD Code. This code is included in the Employment Authorization Document issued by the USCIS.

The USCIS assigns category codes to identify work authorization for a given type of visa. The I-766 EAD is frequently presented to agencies that assess the eligibility of applicants for benefits. The following chart details many of the EAD codes and the corresponding provisions in federal regulations associated with them.

H4 EAD Card Issuance Codes - the Employment Authorization Codes Tabulated

The EAD Code Definition Chart matches foreigner categories or classes of admission (COA) with a particular EAD code. Some EAD code category individuals can continue working after the expiry date if there is evidence that they have filed for the extension before expiry of the current approval.

List of EAD Codes with Automatic Eligibility status for 180 Days

USCIS EAD Code Eligibility Description 180 Day Automatic Extension Eligibility
A02 A person on lawful temporary residency under the INA - sections 245A / 210 No
A03 A Refugee Yes
A04 On parole as a Refugee No
A05 Asylee (an individual who was granted asylum) Yes
A06 K1- a non-immigrant fiancé or fiancée of a US Citizen & K2, a child dependent on K1 No
A07 N-8 The Parent of an employee of an international organization who is a permanent resident & N-9 Dependent Child of an employee of an international organization who was a permanent resident Yes
A08 A Micronesian, the Marshall Islands, or Palau citizen given a non-immigrant status Yes
A09 K-3 non-immigrant spouse who is a dependent of USC & K-4 who is the dependent child of a non-immigrant K-3 No
A10 Individual given Withholding of Removal or Deportation Yes
A12 Temporary Protected Status (TPS) (8 CFR 244.12) Yes
A13 Beneficiary of IMMACT Family Unity (Immigration Act of 1990 - Section 301) No
A14 LIFE Act Family Unity beneficiary
(Legal Immigrant Family Equity (LIFE) Act Amendments - Section 1504)
A15 V-1 Spouse of a Lawful Permanent Resident , V-2 Minor unmarried child of a Lawful Permanent Resident & V-3 Minor unmarried child of V-1 or V-2 No
A16 T-1 non-immigrant (victims of any severe form of trafficking activity) No
A17 Spouse of E-1/E-2 Treaty Trader/Investor & Spouse of E-3 specialty occupation professional from Australia No
A18 L2 spouse of intra-company transfer L1 visa holder No
A19 U1 non-immigrant (victims of certain criminal activity) No
A20 U-2 spouse of U-1 aliens , U-3 children of U-1 aliens , U-4 parents of minor U-1 aliens (16 or under) , U-5 unmarried sibling <18 years of U-1 alien <21 years No
C01 Dependent of foreign government officials on A-1 or A-2 No
C02 Dependent of TECRO (Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office) E-1 Non-immigrant No
C03A F1 visa students on Pre-completion OPT No
C03B F1 visa students on Post-completion OPT No
C03C OPT students in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM) on 24-month period of extension No
C03(ii) F-1 student offered employment off-campus by a sponsoring International Organization that qualifies No
C03(iii) F-1 student facing severe hardship economically seeking off-campus employment No
C04 Unmarried dependent child or spouse of Representative of International Organization and their dependents on G-1, G-3, or G-4 non-immigrant visas No
C05 J-2 minor child or spouse - dependents of a J-1 exchange visitor No
C06 M-1 student applying for practical training on completion of studies No
C07 Dependent of NATO-1 through NATO-7 non-immigrant No
C08 Applicant who filed for asylum (w/ pending asylum application) on or after January 4th, 1995 Yes
C09 Applicant for status adjustment Yes
C10 applicants for a deportation suspension (filed before April 1st, 1997) , applicants for Removal Cancellation , applicants for Cancellation under NACARA Yes
C11 Alien on temporary parole in the U S for emergency or in the interest of the public. No
C12 Spouse of E-2 investor from Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI); eligible for work only in the CNMI. No
C14 Alien on deferred action No
C16 Registry applicant on continuous residency since January 1st, 1972 Yes
C17(i) B1 non-immigrant working as domestic or personal servant of a non-immigrant employer No
C17(ii) Domestic non-immigrant servant of a U.S. citizen on B1 visa No
C17(iii) Non-immigrant employed by foreign airline on B1 visa No
C18 Alien on order of supervision or final order of deportation No
C19 applicant on Temporary Protected Status (8 CFR 244.5) Yes
C20 A special agricultural worker who has submitted a completed legalization application Yes
C21 non-immigrant on S visa No
C22 An alien who has submitted an INA 245A completed legalization application under Yes
C24 LIFE legalization applicant Yes
C25 T-2 spouse of T-1, victim of trafficking , T-3 child of T-1 , T-4 parent of T-1 (if T-1 is under 21) No
C26 Certain H4 Visa spouses of H1B holders who qualify for it. Yes (Conditional Eligibility: 180 days from expiry of prior EAD, or expiry of I-94s, whichever is first)
C27 Spouse of a non-immigrant who has faced abuse No
C28 Abused spouse of E-3 non-immigrant No
C29 Spouse of a G non-immigrant who has been abused No
C30 Spouse of a non-immigrant H who has faced abuse No
C31 The primary applicant of a VAWA self-petition that is approved & Child of an approved VAWA self-petition beneficiary, who qualifies Yes
C33 An alien who was proclaimed a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) No
C35 The primary applicant on an employment-based immigrant petition that is approved who is going through dire circumstances No
C36 Spouse or unmarried child of a primary applicant on an approved employment-based immigrant petition and is going through a compelling situation No


On November 12th, 2021, the USCIS issued a new policy that gave automatic EAD expiry extension rights to dependent spouses in the
E - 1/2/3 categories and L - 2 category status, as well as dependent spouses of H1B holders who are on H4 visas. On November 12th, 2021, the USCIS issued a new policy that gave automatic EAD expiry extension rights to dependent spouses in the E - 1/2/3 categories and L - 2 category status, as well as dependent spouses of H1B holders who are on H4 visas.

H4 EAD Category - How it Works

USCIS has implemented the Automatic Extension of 180 days for certain categories of people, including those who fall under Code C26 of the above table. This applies to certain qualified H4 visa holders under H1B dependence and aims to make up for long processing times for EAD extensions that affect work opportunities for these and many other groups of people.

Also Read:  H4 EAD Automatic Extension

The scenario would work in the following way:
If you hold an H4 US visa and fulfill the eligibility criteria for H4 EAD, you would submit your I-765 application to the USCIS under category C26 as a C26 H4 EAD application. Once your complete H4 EAD application package is submitted, USCIS will begin processing your file and send you a Case Receipt Notice. Once the file has been approved, you will receive an H4 EAD C26 approval notice.


This article has a complete breakdown of EAD Codes with a tabulated list of codes and information on categories eligible for the 180-day automatic extension. Do keep in mind that submitting the right EAD code is important to avoid the issuance of RFE (Request for Evidence) notices.

TechFetch - A Trustworthy Portal for all Your Doubts Regarding H1B Visa

 As you begin your H1B visa pursuit journey, take a right first step by coming to TechFetch H1B. Get adequate details about H4 EAD categories and more related to that.

**Disclaimer: H1B rules and regulations keep changing from time to time. For updated information, always refer to the USCIS official website.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Share in: 

Article by Techfetch H1B team

Copyright © 2024 h1b.techfetch.com | All Rights Reserved.