USCIS is painfully slow when it comes to processing applications that do not have premium processing. When it comes to H4 or L2 EAD requests, there have been instances where some people have had to wait for 12-14 months depending upon their processing centers.
In such cases it is advisable to at least raise an expedite request for your application with the USCIS. This Guide will help you with the process of raising a H4 EAD expedite request for your application with the USCIS and a sample letter for the same.
Criteria for raising an Expedite Request
USCIS may consider an H4 EAD expedite request in very specific scenarios.
Below are the USCIS Expedite Criteria:
Severe financial loss to a company or person:
Provided that the need for urgent action is not the result of the petitioner’s or applicant’s failure to:
Timely file the benefit request, or
Timely respond to any requests for additional evidence
Instances under this could be that you may lose your job if your renewal doesn’t arrive on time or that you won’t be able to pay your mortgage as a result of losing your job due to the delay.
Another important and good reason could be that you won’t be able to support your American born child if you lose your job due to the delay.
Emergencies and urgent humanitarian reasons:
This is a broad category and there could be a variety of reasons that the USCIS can consider under this statement. For example, you are in need of an emergency medical treatment or someone in your family needs immediate medical treatment and without your job, the family won’t be able to get the funds for the treatment.
U.S. government interests:
This may include urgent cases for federal agencies such as the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Labor, DHS, or other public safety or national security interests. For example, during the peak of COVID many people who worked in the health care industry were successfully able to expedite their EAD processing.
Clear USCIS error:
The chances of USCIS approving an EAD Expedite request in case they’ve made an error on their part is way higher. For example, say you’d received your EAD but there was a spelling mistake. In this case, USCIS will accept your EAD expedite request.
However, it is important to keep in mind that for any of the reasons that you mention, you need to back it up with solid proof else it is bound to be rejected.
Supporting Documents required to raise an EAD Expedite Request:
USCIS case receipt number
Letter from employer that you can’t continue without an EAD and that they will face a loss if your EAD is delayed
Job Offer Letter
Medical Documents of the person needing medical assistance
Child support documents
Proof of error on USCIS’ part
Proof that your work is important from a US government standpoint. This could mean that you might need a letter from your employer about the kind of work you do and why it is important for the company and the government that you don’t lose your job.
Also keep in mind that your H4 EAD Expedite request or L2 EAD Expedite Request may be denied if your original application falls within normal processing times. Ideally, it is a safe bet to file an EAD expedite request after 90-120 days of filing your original application. Post that, you can file an expedite request once every 30 days.
Do check the current EAD processing times for each USCIS center - here
Process of raising an H4 EAD Expedite Request with USCIS
Now that you have all the information, let’s go through the process of actually raising the request.
There are 3 ways to raise an expedite request:
1) Call USCIS (or visit an USCIS field office with an appointment)
2) Through your local Congressmen
3) Through Ombudsmen
Keep your Receipt number handy before you call the USCIS helpline.
Call the USCIS helpline. It can be easily done by calling at 1-800-375-5283 (or 1-800-767-1833 for TTY disability call). The operator will then forward you to an office that has jurisdiction over your case.
You can also call the number above and press 1 – 1 – 2 – 2 (or 1-2-6-1-1) and then the call will go to a representative. Of course, the options might change.
Then, you need to hit the option that takes you to hear your case status. An automated machine will read the same status that you see on the website. After the message runs to the end, you will be asked if you want to expedite the case. If you do, you will have to wait between 15 and 40 minutes until you can talk to an operator.
Once the operator speaks to you, they will ask your reason to raise an expedite request. You need to explain them the reason articulately (it helps having written it down previously so that you do not mumble on the call). Tell them that you are ready to provide proof if necessary or required to prove your situation.
Towards the end of the call, Information such as email id, receipt number, and others will be taken from you. Afterward, you’ll get an Expedite Service Request Number from the Customer service. It will help you track your expedite request.
Within a couple of days, you may or may not get an email to submit the necessary document required to prove your case. This email will also have the email id you need to send your documents to. Make sure that you submit all the necessary documents in a single email address. They should be in a PDF file, and no more than 15 pages should be used.
Within a week you will get a decision of approval or denial of your expedite request.
USCIS H4 EAD Expedite Request through a Member of Congress
For this, you need to reach out to your local Member of Congress. First find out who is it entering your zip code here. Once you have their name, find their office details and their working hours. You can call them or send them an email. Please do not hesitate to call them.
They are here to serve you and your interests as a tax payer in this country.
If you’re able to get hold of their office over a phone call, tell them that you want to raise an expedite request with help of the congress person. They will ask you questions regarding the nature of your request and share all the information. Towards the end of the call, they will ask for your email id and send across a form to be filled asking for all the information and supporting documents to be sent to them.
Once you’ve done that, wait for a response either from USCIS or from your Member of Congress with the decision on your request.
If you’re sending an email, share all the information in the email itself and they will in most cases end you a form to be filled (as in the case of the phone call).
USCIS H4 EAD expedite request through an Ombudsmen
Another option would be trying Ombudsman for expedite requests. Keep in mind that you first need to try and raise multiple requests with the USCIS and only then approach the Ombusmen.
Keep this option as a last resort and even then, do not expect much out of it. Reaching out to them can be done by filling out the Ombudsman Office Webpage Request. Again, you will need supporting documentation for this.
Approving or rejecting an EAD expedite request is solely the discretion of USCIS and we can only try our best to explore all the options that are available to us.
We hope that this is Guide was helpful to you. Please do not forget to Subscribe to our email so that you can get notified every time we post a new Guide. Below, we are attaching some sample letters that may come in handy while raising your own expedite request.
H4 EAD Expedite Request Sample Letters
Request to Expedite H4 EAD Approval
I, xxxxxxxxxx, request you to expedite my case for H4 EAD approval (Receipt No: -------------) due the Emergency Reason – “Financial Loss to my Company”.
With this letter you will find enclosed, a document signed by the CEO & Co-Founder of my company that explains the role I play and why my absence will have a significant financial impact on its running.
Please let me know in case you need any other document, and I will try to provide it at the earliest.
Thank you for taking time to review my case and I look forward to hearing from you soon with a positive reply.
H4 EAD Expedite Request Sample Letter – Loss to Company
Company Logo or Company name (Company Letterhead)
USCIS – California Service Center EAD Department P.O. BOX 30111-30115
This letter is with respect to a H4-EAD application (Receipt No: -----------) for my employee xxxxxxxxx, which was received on (Mention Date) and has been pending adjudication since.
His/her current EAD expires on (date) and the company has to let go off him/her without valid employment authorization.
Without proper work authorization approved at the earliest, we will have to bear a significant loss in revenues owing the loss of accounts that were managed by xxxxxxx. Our company has only xxx employees in our New York office and with xxxxxxxx gone, not only will we lose a dedicated and important resource, but our operations, current and future revenues will also be considerably impacted.
Company Name, will also lose credibility with our key Partners, which will result in significant project delay’s due to his critical role leading multiple high value projects.
In brief mention the role that you play in the company and how it impacts revenues or anything else within the company
With the above information in mind, I kindly request you to PLEASE EXPEDITE processing of their EAD Renewal and ensure that s/he receives it at the earliest. Thanks again for your understanding in this matter.
1-765 RECEIPT #: --------------------
Please do not hesitate to contact me at the number provided below if you require any further information to support the Visa and EAD approval.