We have investigated the effect of postgrowth thermal annealing on the electron emission from InAs quantum dots (QDs) containing a misfit-related defect state induced by strain relaxation. Additional carrier depletion in the GaAs bottom layer near the QD, caused by the defect state, can effectively suppress electron tunneling from the QD, leading to the observation of a thermal emission from the QD electron ground state to the GaAs conduction band with a large emission energy of 213 meV, in contrast to defect-free nonrelaxed QDs in which an emission of 58 meV from the QD electron ground state to first excited state is observed. The emission energy is reduced to 193 meV and to 164 meV after annealing at 650 and 700 °C for 1 min, respectively. This emission energy reduction is correlated with the photoluminescence blueshift which is attributed to the interdiffusion of atoms across the QD interface. The electron emission from the QD first excited and ground states is found to be a thermal emission at high temperatures and a tunneling emission at low temperatures. The tunneling energy barrier is found to be comparable to the thermal emission energy, supporting a thermal emission to the GaAs conduction band. This study illustrates a significant effect of a defect state on the electron-emission process in the QDs, suggesting the possibility of modifying the electron emission time of the QDs by purposely introducing a deep defect state.