Change Kid's H4 dependent from Wife H1B to Husband's H1B

I have an approved I 797 and also my son(6 year old) has approved I797 petition and approved visa stamped on the passport. My son is on H4 where I am the principal account holder(as I am on H1). Couple of queries:

  1. Can I change the principal account holder for my son’s H4 from my H1 to my wife H1(she also has 797 petition and approved visa stamped on the passport with different PED). What is this process called as- H4 Extension or Change of status? What all documents should we submit to USCIS- existing H4 approval, H4 stamped visa, my spouse H1 approval copy, my son Birth certificate, my son passport, I-539 and anything else?

  2. How long shall the above process take place as there is NO PP in this case-correct?

  3. What happens if I change my employer and receive a new H1 while the above process has not yet completed? Will it be an issue for my son?

  4. If my existing employer revokes my existing H1 and my son H4 petition once I change to new employer(I 797 approved with new employer) and my Son’ change/extension of status from my dependent of my H1 to my spouse dependent? will it be an issue even after application is filed?

  5. While this process is carried out for my son, can he travel outside USA?

  6. What are the chances of approval for my Little One H4 extension of Status is applied under current circumstances?

  7. Even if I change my employer and DO NOT extend/change my son’s principal account holder- can he still stay legally in USA- as he has approved visa stamped and petition?

Any pointers and expert advice would bee really helpful.


Hi @gmnikesh

You may add complexity to your son’s visa if you change it from your dependent to your spouse’s H1B. I suggest to keep it same as it is now if there is no emergency.

You should be able to file a normal H4 extension of status using form i539 and use the spouse’s H1B approval receipt number than yours.

You can check the current H4 processing time here.

I suggest to not mix things up by filing multiple applications at the same time. You should wait till once applications gets its result before filign H1B transfer or anything else. You can file but there would be different use cases.

Travel outside USA while H4 extension is pending is not recommended. USCIS will abandon the application automatically on your exit from US.

Your son can stay in US legally as long as he has a valid i94. Visa stamp in passport is only required to enter US. Once you have entered, it is the i94 that governs your stay. You cannot stay in US after i94 expiry.

Thanks for the response. Let’s say- I defer my son’s H4 extension to my wife’s dependent. I go for H1 transfer and once approved for both myself and my son, I can then change him to my wife’s dependent.

Another case is: Only I go for H1 transfer and not for my son- I get H1 transfer approved. Now my son will be on old employer H4 petition and myself with new employer. Can my son stay legally in USA, even if my old employer revokes current petition of myself and my son post my H1 transfer and I start working with new employer? He has valid visa stamped in passport with old employer for another 1-2 years and this is what I am not sure.

Another query- can I file I539 for my kid online?

Hi @gmnikesh

H4 dependent is not tied to any Employer. It is okay even if you do not file H4 transfer with your H1B Transfer.

H4 status stays valid as long as you can maintain H1B and H4 i94 is valid.

You can file H4 i-539 online as per my information.

Sample H4 i539 is available here.