H4 to H1 Change of status - start date


I had a new H1b in 2016 and visa stamped. For personal reasons did not travel to usa and first 2.5 years of H1b expired in 2019.

Moved to USA in H4 visa in 2020. Offered to work through consulting company and they filed COS request from H4 to H1b with USCIS. I have queries on the following dates.

As per offer letter, work start date is 16-Dec-2020.
Consulting company filed new H1b under CAP exempt on 6-Dec-2020.

As per offer, i reported to work on 16-Dec-2020.

USCIS approved the H1b & notified me on 28-Jan-2021 with I-797 / I-94 start date of 16-Dec-2020.

So is this actual work start date of 16-Dec-2020 is legal even though it matches I-797 start date,
but the glitch is USCIS approved it only on 28-Jan-2021 with back date of 16-Dec-2020??

You are good as the start date in I-797 match your actual start date for the H1B job. Date of approval of petition doesn’t matter as much as what is on I-797/I-94. These are the two documents that govern your H1B status, not the petition approval date.

Thank you very much Kalpesh, but the I-797 has a field “Notice date” which has 28-Jan-2021 apart from
start date of 16-Dec-2020.

is that fine?

Yes, that’s totally fine.

Thank you very much kalpesh! :slight_smile:

Why this doubt is it is NOT legal to start working unless Change Of Status from H4 to H1b is approved
unlike others like H1b amendment/ extension/transfer where you can start working upon having receipt and well before approval.