H4, H4EAD extension or H4 to H1B

Hi Anil,

Thank you for answering all questions on this forum and for various blogs on the site. Information/updates have been very helpful. I am writing this to get some genuine advice.
I am on H4/EAD which is valid through Jan '23. My husband’s H1 extension is in process and was filed on Sept’22. H4 and H4-EAD extensions are not filled yet. Visa stamp on the passport (for h1 and h4) has expired on March 2020.

H4/EAD extension taking 5 to 6.5 months, my confusion is what is the best way that I can keep working.

Option-1. Try to get dropbox appointment in India near November end → H1 approval should be in by mid November so travel to India a few days before the dropbox appointment → Return to USA in December → on return try to get i-94 stamp based on H1b’s extended i-797 → file h4/EAD extension after returning back.


  • I will have to drop documents for visa stamping on my visit to India. When I submit H1-b’s extended i-797, will my(H4) visa stamp be based on H1-b’s new i-797 or H4’s i-797?
  • Do H1b need to accompany in India trip?
  • If H1b is not accompanying in India trip, should I carry his original i-797?
  • If H1b is not accompanying, will CBP officer at USA POE consider H1b’s i-797 or will they stamp i-94 based on my visa stamp i.e. Jan '23.
  • Basically, what are the chances that I won’t get i-94 with new validity based on h1b’s extension.

Option-2: Try Canada border (Detroit would be the closest for me) for i-94 stamping based on H1B’s i-797. I read there are 50-50 chances. I do not know anyone personally or on blog who has had success and pleasant experience. I am skeptical about this.

Option-3: I worked in the USA on H1-b for around 2 years. And then COS to H4. So I believe my H1b is cap-exempted. My current employer does not sponsor H1b. But I can find a new job/employer who can sponsor H1-b and help me H1-b sponsorship/COS.


  • How long will I need to wait to start work in the case of H4 to H1b transfer. I believe premium processing is available for i-129 but there is no pp for change-of-status.
  • Should I still file H4/H4 EAD extension now?
  • If I file H4/EAD extension now, and I get H1 transfer first and then H4 extension; what would be my status?

Thank you for reading this and time you take to reply! :raised_hands:

Going out of US and getting H4 visa is faster but the real challenge is getting an appointment.

Visiting border is worth a try.