H4 and H4 EAD Processing

Hi Anil,

My husband’s H1B extension is filed in regular processing and waiting for approval. They have applied for my H4, H4 EAD along with my husband’s H1B.

My current h4 and h4 EAD is valid till September 2022. I have little hope that my extension will be approved before my H4 expiration. Also not very hopeful that premium processing will start that soon.

I do not want to lose my job. I want to know if I have any options to get my H4 and H4 EAD approved soon once my husband gets his approval. Any suggestions would be very helpful. We are hoping my husband’s H1B will be extended within 2 months (by June 2022). Please advise to go with an H1B premium if that would make sense.

I can even travel to the CBP land border to get my i94 stamped. Is that the best option to travel outside the USA to get my i94 stamped? Because , what will happen to my pending H4 & H4 EAD application if I travel outside the USA ?And, Which is the less riskier to visit (Mexico Or Canada)? Please share some links to check on these.

is there any risk in visiting outside US when my H4 extension is pending with USCIS. Are there chances of getting my H4 extension denied due to the reason i am travelling outside the US to get my i94 stamped.

Or is it better to wait for USCIS to start the H4 premium processing?

I am in lot of mental stress thinking about all these delays. Please help me with your suggestions.

Thanks,

Sailaja Prakash

Yes.

They can keep processing.

Both works.

Thanks Kalpesh, But are there chances of getting H4 denial or RFE to my H4 due to travelling outside US or no. Sorry to ask you again. Just trying to understand.

Once you get the I-94 extended, you can send that to USCIS so that they can approve your EAD.

Ok, so there is no rule that i cannot travel outside US when my H4 extension is in pending with USCIS. Am i correct?
I am little scared about all these before taking any decision. I do not want my H4 to get denied.

You can travel while your extension of status is pending but if it is change of status, it will get denied if you travel.

Thanks Kalpesh.

One last thing which i missed to mention.

All our i94 in our passports (mine, husband and kids) expired long back in (2016). But i have my I797 valid through 2022 Sep. Is it ok to travel Mexico or Canada with my passport and my husband’s approved I797 copy(assuming it will be approved until 2025) to get my I94 stamped?
Should my husband need to travel along to mexico to get his i94 stamped in order to get my i94 or just me travelling alone would suffice?

Yes, just make sure you travel while your current I-94 is still valid. CBP will use AVR to admit you if your visa is already expired.

Alone or together should be okay.

Thanks Kalpesh, so do i have check my H4 petition status before i travel to Mexico for my i94 renewal? Only if it is in “pending” status then i can travel. Am i correct?
I am clear that Once i get my I -94 i will send that to USCIS to get my H4 EAD for (180 days extension).
I am not clear, Once i get my I-94, What action should i take with regards to my H4 extension petition which will be pending with USCIS.
Could you please help me understand this part as well?
Thanks,
Sailaja Prakash

Kalpesh, please can you help me understand the above alone? Appreciate your help and inputs.

Yes, otherwise you don’t need I-94 extension at CBP.

You can send the updated I-94 so if your H4 is approved, it will have same I-94 #.

@Kalpesh_Dalwadi If H-4 visa is expired, can I still travel to Mexico or Canada to get H-4 I-94 extended based on H1 I-94?

Yes, CBP will use AVR to enter you back. Note that you may need a tourist permit for Mexico in case your US visa is expired.

@Kalpesh_Dalwadi, Thanks! When I travel in this scenario, Will my H-4 application is denied?

If it is extension of status, it won’t be denied.

@Kalpesh_Dalwadi Thanks Kalpesh, Yes, it is extension. Is there an official rule, that they shouldn’t deny extension of pending H-4 app when crossing borders?

Hi are you planning to get H4 stamping and I-94? If yes, could you please share the steps? Because our I-94 was expired long back and thinking of crossing border for stamping and I-94?
Any recommendation for stamping and I-94 (canada or mexico). Pls share your inputs.

Hi Kalpesh,

I am thinking of flying to Canada to get my I-94 renewal. Please share your thoughts which would be the best place to fly (Canada or Mexico).
My I-94 expired long back (2016). So, with no recent stamping, i would like to use AVR option. I will carry the copy of my husband’s I-797 approval copy. I am not sure what other documents is needed other than this.
Please share any link where i can find those details.

Thanks,
Sailaja Prakash

What do you mean by expired long back? Don’t you currently have a valid I-94, the one that is attached with the H4 I-797?

Documents:
Copy of primary H1B I-797
Copy of last three pay stubs for primary H1B
Employment verification letter for H1B
US address proof (any one of these: driver’s license, EAD card, utility bill, lease agreement)
All past H4 I-94/I-797, including current I-797 and most recent I-94 entry record.
All passport for H4
Marriage certificate/registration.

Sorry for the confusion. I meant stamping in my passport expired long back. I do have I94 attached with h4 I-797.