H1--H4 to H1B( COS from h4 to h1b applied)- H4 extension pending

I have a situation and its tricky. Any kind of help is really appreciated.
I have applied for my H4 extension in Sept 2020. Its still under process. Meanwhile I have got a job offer and the company sponsored for my H1B(I am CAP exempt and had my H1B approved in past. Changed my status to H4 as I lost my job). They applied for my H1B COS. Now I got a RFE to submit my H4 extension approval.
It is taking 5-12 months for a H4 extension to be approved these days! so my questions are

  1. Can I go out of country and get H4 stamped and come back to submit this approval for my RFE?
  2. What happens to the time from Sept 2020(I94 expired)- till I leave country to get H4 stamped? Am I considered Out of status for that period of time
  3. What happens to my H1B extension which is filed here? Is it going to be abandoned/ invalid?
  4. Can I ask the attorney to reply to RFE asking to file in Consular process?

Please help me with this situation.

Thanks Much!!

You can go out and get H4 visa stamped and then submit the approved H4 visa stamp and new i94 we with RFE.

It depends on USCIS officer and the chances are good that they will approve H1B without asking for consular processing.

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I am in the same boat. Filed H4 extension+EAD renewal along-with husband’s H1B extension in May 2021. My current EAD is valid till June 21. Current employer agreed to transfer my cap exempted H1B petition (as I worked earlier on H1B and will file in premium processing). My question is :

  1. If I change status from H4 to H1, what will happen to my H4 extionsion application?
  2. Will my EAD renewal application will keep processing or uscis will cancel it?
  3. if we don’t cancel H4 extension and EAD renewal applications, and they get approved later on after changing status to H1 visa, will last action rule apply and I will again be in H4 visa?

Thank you!

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I am in the same situation and my attorney told if you dont withdraw H4 the last action rule will take precedence (H4)

Thank you for replying and confirming!!

Hi Sindhuja,

I am in the same boat but 6 months later and India in a worse condition than when you asked this question. What did you end up doing?

I live in the U.S. but getting an H-4 stamp seems next to impossible at this time!

Eager to learn about your experience :slight_smile:

H4 petition was denied for me

Hi Tiru! After how many days of filing did you get the final response from the USCIS?

HI Sinduja! My wife is in a similar situation as yours. It’s extremely nerve-wrecking tbh. Could you please shed some more light on what happened further? Did you go out to get H4 stamped? Which country did you go to? Did you get H4 extension approval?

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Hi there, sorry for the delayed response. I totally understand how stressful it is. I had a valid H1B stamp on my passport, so I was able to leave the country and return back immediately to get a new I-94 based on my approved I-797B. I withdrew my H4 COS application with USCIS as soon as I returned.

Hello Amit,

My Wife had H1B and worked until 2018 as a Full Timer From an Indian based MNC , Her Visa Denied during her Second Extension in RFE and since her I94 already expired , she had to travel back to India immediately. Later she came to US on H4 after 6 months as a dependent. She has a break for 2 years with all COVID stuffs. Now she planned to try a job in USA. If she gets a sponsorship for her unused H1B, Is there any challenges ? Our understanding since She had an already approved H1B and she is CAP Exempt and She can convert her H4 to H1B in a premium processing ? We think this is similar to a H1 Transfer scenario.

But getting confused with H4 to H1B COS process, few says H4 to H1B COS cannot be done in premium and will take more time. It would be helpful if we get some clarity.

As per the website:

H4 to H1B Transfer Processing Time

If you already had an approved H1B and applying for H4 to H1B COS transfer, then processing time is the time it takes for USCIS to process your H4 to H1B transfer.
If H4 to H1B is done via premium processing, you can get approval with few weeks than few months.

Thank you.

You can file H4 to H1B in premium processing and get result within 15 days. Don’t worry.

Thank you Anil for the quick response. Really Appreciated.

Does the process involves Change of Status to H1B from H4 or will it be considered like a H1B transfer ?
So once H1B approved , what happens to H4 - does it get automatically VOID or any separate action needed?
Any challenges in this process other than getting a right sponsorship. The person can work immediately after the H1B is approved from USCIA (via Premium Processing)

Thank you.

H1B transfer with change of status.