Does USCIS always honor the COS start date on the i539?

Context: I’ll be applying H1B to H4 COS and H4 EAD concurrently with my husband’s H1B extension (approved I140) to be filed in the next 2 weeks with premium processing. All three applications will request a start date of Oct 1, 2023. I really want the H4 COS to be approved effective Oct 1 to maximize the chances of receiving the H4 EAD before the H4 COS start date (Oct 1).

I’m planning to use a cover letter to request that, and I will highly appreciate your insights and suggestions. Thank you!

They may or may not honor the requested start date. It depends on the officer working on your case.

Thanks Anil. Any rough idea of how likely (%) the requested COS start date is generally honored? My H1B expires May 2024 and I will likely switch a job just around that time. Given the concurrent filing opportunity and the EB1 retrogression (my husband’s EB1 PD is 03/2023 and one cannot be sure how long it would take for that to be current plus the time it would take to get the 485 EADs). These are the reasons we thought it made sense to gain the additional flexibility, especially since we will be applying 3.5 months in advance. But given the uncertainty in the effective start date, we are worried if we are making the right choice. So any help in weighing this risk would be highly appreciated, also because this is time-sensitive. Thank you and others providing informed suggestions on this forum!