Concurrent H4 and H4 EAD timelines with Change of Status from H-1B

My wife is currently under the H-1B Visa program and is approaching the end of her fifth year, with the six-year limit set for September 30, 2025. She previously worked for the same company under an H4-EAD from 2017 to 2019 before transitioning to H-1B status from October 2019 to the present.

We are contemplating switching her status to H4 and obtaining an H4-EAD to ensure continuity in her employment without any interruptions. We aim to initiate the Change of Status process before her H-1B expiration to facilitate a seamless transition.

Could someone please offer guidance on the earliest feasible timeline for initiating the Change of Status to H4 and obtaining an H4-EAD with a future effective date to ensure uninterrupted employment before the H-1B expires on September 30, 2025?

How soon we can start applying for change of status to H4 and H4-EAD? Is there a timelimit to apply the COS before the expiry of a visa?

There is no easy way to do H4 COS with EAD without employment interruption.

Most probably, you will have to digest about 3-4 months on unemployment.

You can apply COS with future start date but then it is not guaranteed to be assigned. Also, they usually do not approve both H4 and EAD together. So, there will be a gap. Be prepared.

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Thank you, Anil!

Is there a restriction from USCIS that prevents me from applying for a Change of Status (COS) significantly in advance, such as a year before, and selecting a future start date for activating my H4 visa and EAD? For example, if I apply in January and request a start date of October 1, 2025, considering my H-1B expiration on September 30, 2025, do you think it’s viable to complete the process within nine months?

Thanks in advance!