Converting from H1b to H4 to H1b


I got laid of in February but could not find a job by April so had to apply for my H4 COS within USA.
As the processing for H4 COS was taking a huge amount of time my H4 got approved in November (took almost 8months).

My plan was to work on H1b (as i do not have an option of working on/applying for H4EAD for now) so i want to know my options on how i can change from H4 to H1b (when i was laid off I still had almost 2 years of unused H1b period)

  • Is it possible to do H4- H1b change of status as i did H1b to H4 COS?

  • Or do I have to apply for a fresh h1b when i find a job and wait till April2022 to apply for h1b and start working in October2022 (if picked in lottery and approved)?

If it’s possible to convert H1b-H4-H1b.

  • Do I have to do H1b-H4-H4 change of statuses while living in USA or i can go out of country and still be able to convert from H4 to h1b?

Thanks for your time and help in advance i really appreciate it.

Yes. With premium processing this can be quick.

Once your H1B is approved, you are cap-exempt and don’t have to go through the lottery untill after the 6 years term. While you are in your H1B term and you get I-140 approved, you can get extension beyond 6 years under cap-exempt.

As mentioned above, you can do change of status from H4 to H1B using premium processing and can get approved in 15 days so no need to leave the country.

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  • Do I need a valid H1b stamp on my passport to apply for H4 - H1B COS?

  • My H1b from my ex employer ends in September 2022. Does that mean I cannot file H4 - H1b COS after Sept 2022?

  • I travelled out of the country and got a valid H4 stamp in 2021 on my passport as that’s my current status and I never got a H1b stamp on my passport while I was working on my H1b from 2018-2021.
    will this cause an issue in getting a H1b COS?

  • how many years after converting from h1b to h4 can you apply for h1b COS cap exempt?


You can file H4 to H1B COS while your H4 I-94 is still valid.


No time restriction on recapturing any unused time during the H1B term of 6 years.

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