Navigating EAD Based on Compelling Circumstances

If you have been laid off in the U.S. while holding an H-1B visa, maintaining your legal status can be challenging. One of the most effective solutions during such unforeseen circumstances is applying for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) based on compelling circumstances. The Ahluwalia Firm, your trusted San Jose immigration lawyer, is here to guide you through this complex process.

Understanding EAD Based on Compelling Circumstances

An EAD based on compelling circumstances provides temporary authorization to work in the United States for up to one year, with the possibility of extension if the compelling circumstances persist. This option can be particularly advantageous for H-1B visa holders facing layoffs, allowing them to maintain their ability to work while seeking new employment or exploring other legal immigration pathways.

Why Choose an EAD Over a Change of Status?

Switching to a B-2 (Visitor for Pleasure) visa may only provide a temporary stay of up to six months without work authorization. In contrast, an EAD under compelling circumstances offers the ability to continue working legally in the U.S. for a longer period, thereby providing greater stability and flexibility during your job search.

Eligibility for EAD Based on Compelling Circumstances

To be eligible for an EAD based on compelling circumstances, you must demonstrate:

  • Compelling circumstances that justify the need for employment authorization, such as severe financial loss, significant disruption to your family, or urgent humanitarian reasons.
  • Evidence of a valid nonimmigrant status at the time of applying for the EAD.
  • Approved I-140 petition if you are seeking an EAD based on pending permanent residency.

Request for USCIS to Adjudicate Based on Totality of Circumstances

When applying for an EAD based on compelling circumstances, it is important to request that USCIS adjudicate your application based on the Totality of Circumstances. While applicants are not required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that substantial harm will befall them, they must illustrate that given the totality of circumstances, substantial harm would occur but for the approval of the EAD. USCIS recognizes numerous factors that elevate the applicant’s situation from mere inconvenience to a compelling reality.

Circumstances Outside the Applicant’s Control

If you have been laid off or face other circumstances beyond your control, obtaining an EAD based on compelling circumstances can provide you the opportunity to finalize your affairs and/or find another employer to sponsor you for immigrant or nonimmigrant status. This provision ensures you have the necessary time and legal status to secure your future in the U.S.

Victim of Employer Retaliation

If you are a victim of employer retaliation and are currently engaged in arbitration or litigation of claims against your former employer, you have the right to stay in the United States and be approved for an EAD. This protection allows you to continue residing in the U.S. while seeking justice and ensures you are not further disadvantaged by losing your legal status.

Why Work with a San Jose Immigration Lawyer?

Navigating the application process for an EAD based on compelling circumstances requires detailed knowledge of immigration laws and meticulous preparation. Working with an experienced San Jose immigration attorney can provide several advantages:

  1. Expert Guidance: Our team has extensive experience with the intricacies of U.S. immigration laws and USCIS procedures.
  2. Personalized Service: We offer tailored advice and strategies based on your unique situation to maximize your chances of approval.
  3. Comprehensive Support: From gathering necessary documentation to preparing your application and representing you in any legal proceedings, we ensure you are fully supported throughout the process.

Steps to Apply for an EAD Based on Compelling Circumstances

  1. Consultation: Schedule an initial consultation with our expert San Jose immigration lawyer to assess your eligibility and understand the specific circumstances of your case.
  2. Documentation: Collect and organize all necessary documentation to support your application, including evidence of compelling circumstances and proof of your current immigration status.
  3. Application Preparation: We will help you accurately complete Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, and compile a persuasive application package.
  4. Submission and Follow-Up: Submit your application to USCIS and monitor the progress, providing additional information or responses to USCIS inquiries as needed.

Secure Your Future with The Ahluwalia Firm

At The Ahluwalia Firm, we are committed to helping you navigate the complexities of U.S. immigration laws during difficult times. Our experienced San Jose immigration lawyers are dedicated to providing compassionate and effective legal assistance, ensuring you can continue working and living in the United States with confidence.

Contact us today to schedule a detailed consultation and take the first step towards securing your employment authorization and future in the United States.


Dear Mr. Ahluwalia, I would like to thank you for all your help with Dr. xxx case. She and I were very impressed with your services and the professionalism that you showed both of us. I am referring you to a very good friend of mine who is opening a manufacturing plant and wants to bring his brother in as a partner/investor/employee from Italy. I am forwarding your information for xxxx to contact you and make arrangements accordingly. Thank you for all your help.

Dr. F.

Inderjit, thank you so very much. I sincerely appreciate all the effort you took to get this approved and your incredible patience. As xxx mentioned, we will only work with you for all our future H1's. Thanks once again.


Inderjit handled our immigration matter in reference to my parents. We approached him and found him extremely pleasant to work with. In addition to his knowledge of the law, he guided us very well throughout the process. I would recommend him very strongly to anyone in matter of immigration.

Ajay (Avvo Reviewer)


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