H4 application process with covid restrictions


I have applied for COS to H4 visa from an F-1 visa in September 2020. But the expected ETA for an H4 visa currently is 14-18 months for the California center.

I am considering the following options as I want to start working asap. Can you let me know if it makes sense or share your comments on this approach?

  1. Since conversion with in the US is taking a long time, and I am planning to go to India and apply for H4 through the consulate (try for an emergency appointment)
  2. Wait till the appointment is confirmed
  3. Reach US on H4
  4. Apply for H4 EAD

Since the EAD has a 90-day restriction to get the card (after having H4), I may have a better chance of starting the job sooner by this approach. Please let me know what you think about this.


The plan is good as long as you can get H4 visa appointment.

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Thanks Anil.

I have one last question. Do my days in US accumulate towards the 180 days out-of-status if I abandon my pending i-539 and go to India ?


It should not as you filed extension before i94 expiry.

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I am here in USA on valid H1B visa, but both my wife and 6 year old son are in India.
We applied for their H4 visa last year and got the appointment on 10 March 2021.
Now their appointment has been canceled.
What other option do we have to reunite with my family in USA.
Both my wife and son are living alone in Noida and this separation is affecting my wife’s health and my son is also not comfortable there.
Could this be a vlid reason for their emergency visa application?
Please advice.