Can H4 dependent stay for 1+ year in USA when H1B transfer to another country

Hi Anil,

Currently I am in USA with valid H1B. My employer wants me to transfer to Canada for 1 year to establish a new setup there and then bring back to USA. Can my dependent on H4 continue to stay in USA during that 1 year of my absense? Or they also need to travel with me to Canada?


Once you leave the US for a long-term project, your dependent should also leave as their H4 depends on your H1B status.

There is no fixed timeframe but if it is more than 6-8 weeks, I suggest not taking any risk.

Thanks Anil for your prompt response. One last question, my current I797 is valid till Oct 2023. During my stay in Canada can I do H1B visa stamping and come to USA for short visits (not for work). Or I have to apply and come on visitor visa and only use H1B when I am returning for work?

H1B is strictly for work and your payroll should run every time you enter the US. Your entry can be denied if you do not have a valid work offer while you try to enter the US using an H1B visa. I do not suggest taking this risk as everything is recorded and noted by CBP officers.

I strongly suggest using B1/B2 visa if your ‘intent’ is to visit only for vacation or for non-work purposes.

Thank you Anil. Appreciate your knowledge on this.