H1 job change, h4 ead 6 months after I 140 approved

Hello, here is my scenario -

a. I have approved I 140 , priority in early 2021. It has been over 180 days now.
b. I am planning to apply for H4 Ead with non-immigration status change for my spouse from f1 opt to H4.
(Processing time is 6 to 10 months I think)

  1. When H4 status change+H4 EAD application is pending with USCIS, can I switch my job? Also, my employer might/may not withdraw i 140. Would it have any impact? do I need to re-file H4 process again from scratch?

  2. If I don’t have to go with H4 application, what can my previous employer do with I 140 if I plan to switch?

  3. If I plan to switch how long does new employer has to start the PERM process? Can it be done after 2-
    3 years? Is there any time constrain. [ In this situation I don’t have H4 in picture , it is just me].

Thank you!



No need, you can send the copy of primary H1B I-797 with new employer to USCIS center processing H4. Include copy of primary I-797 and H4 receipt with a cover letter explaining the reason for submitting the documents.

Your employer may or may not withdraw I-140 after you leave though most employers will withdraw.

No time constraint. They can start the PERM process the very next day.

Thank you Kalpesh. I wanted to re iterate the situation to see If understood it right.

I140 approved in Aug 2021
Spouse f1 OPT expires in Feb 2023 [did not get h1b lottery 2023]

I can file spouse f1 opt to h4 AND h4 ead application in April 2022. If I switch employer in July/Aug 2022 when h4 is still in progress , all I have to do is send a copy of new I 797, H4 receipt and cover letter explaining why I am sending. There is no impact to h4 application due to the job change

Previous employer will withdraw the I 140 but since 180 passed it won’t matter and new employer can start the process anytime. **Even after 3-4 years is fine. New employer may not need to rush to start the PERM right away. I will still be able to keep extending the H1b based on previous I 140?

As for spouse status change from f1 opt to H4 + h4 ead application( both filed together), would spouse need to leave the US if h4+h4 ead application is pending until feb 2023 and come back only once H4 is granted or how does the status change work?



Spouse can stay in the US till the H4 is approved, even if it is approved after the OPT expires.


Thank you so much. Quick follow up on that. As my spouse missed h1b lottery now and the opt is expiring in feb 2023. I am planning to apply for h4 COS & h4 ead ASAP.

  1. Can application and supporting doc be filed online?
  2. Can h4 COS start date be requested after OPT expiry date i.e. Feb 2023? Because if it gets only COS gets processed in next 5 months and H4 is in affect then spouse need to stop working?
  3. Just in case , If I have an amendment for change of location in H1b in June/Aug 2022[with no change in H1 end date], what would I need to do to make sure H4,H4EAD is processed correctly?

In addition , In case you have any other suggestions please let me know.

Thank you again for your insights.

While you can file H4 extension of status (I-539, Check Your Eligibility to File Form I-539 Online | USCIS) online, H4 EAD (I-765) can’t be filed online. So if you are applying for both, do paper file.

Amendment in H1B will not impact pending H4/EAD applications.