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I am in the USA on H-4 visa (family member of a H-1B visa holder which is an employee visa), waiting for my Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Can I conduct independent research and publish a paper?

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    Welcome to Academia SE. Please mention which country you are talking about and explain what the abbreviations H4 and EAD mean. That would help you get meaningful answers.
    – Tripartio
    May 1, 2018 at 1:50

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If by independent research, you mean that you are not being paid by anyone and are doing it on your time, then in principle it should be allowed regardless of your visa type. Whatever "hobby" you do in your personal free time is your own prerogative.

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