H4 to H1 to H4 Change of Status (in USA)

a) Used to be working on H-4 EAD earlier and it is valid till 2020 June.

b) My spouse recently changed his company & while doing H1-B transfer he applied for H-4 transfer as well as EAD renewal as well. Both H4 Transfer/Extension and H4-EAD Extension applications are in progress currently.

c) This year my employer also applied fresh H1 petition & its Approved last week. Based on the my status may now have been changed to H1 from H4.

Due to personal/location constraints i would like to change back to H4 and H4 EAD and i have these following questions.

  1. what should be done to change my status back to H-4. Since H4 Transfer extension is already in progress via my spouse transfer, Can that be used to convert back to H4 from current H1 status by USCIS (or) fresh H-4 COS need to applied ?

  2. In case if i have to apply for H4 COS and get it approved , for H4 EAD related - Do i need to apply for H4 EAD again or if any of the below two options works for me ?

    Using the existing H-4 EAD which is valid till June 2020 ? (or)
    Using the approval of H4 EAD extension applied via my spouse H1 transfer

  3. In future , if h4 ead is terminated , can i file Out of Cap/Cap Exempt H1 (or) Do i need to have h1 stamped atleast once , to be eligible for Cap Exempt H1 ?

  4. I only understand that Out of Cap/Cap exempt H1 can be applied for underused H1 duration of 6 yrs and away from country. Can we file being in the country as well with existing different status ?

You can use your current H4 EAD card (if its valid) if you can get on to H4 status.

My suggestion is to file H4 COS application separately as there is no guarantee that your H4 transfer will be approved. This is because your status has changed to H1B if change of status was approved.

You can file H1B cap exempt application in future.

Hi Anil , Thanks for prompt response. I didn’t understood the above sentence. Do you mean status has not changed to H4 , if change of status to H1 was approved ?

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Sorry. Wrongly wrote ‘not’. Corrected now.

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Thank you.

Just to double confirm - like you mentioned after COS to H4 , current H4 EAD can still be used if it has valid duration and no need to apply again ?

I heard from a friend that when status gets changed to H1 , both underlying H4 and EAD will be invalidated. So got confused.

Only H4 gets invalidated. The H4 EAD card stays valid but can only be used if you are on H4 status.

I applied to my h4 visa and gave fingerprints on Sep 6th. I got approval for first time h1b, I sent an h4 withdraw notice to USCIS on oct 2nd. I only have h4 receipt number and I don’t get any receipt number for withdrawal

  1. Can I travel to Canada to get h1b stamping?
  2. If I go outside country my h4 application will withdraw automatically?
  3. can I call uscis or email them asking about my withdraw the application? Does it help to get my h4 withdraw
  4. I only have fedex tracking proof that I applied for withdrawal. If I got my h4 approved can I leave the country immediately and come back with h1b stamping?
    Thank you for answering all the questions and appreciate your help.

Hi @sai11

There is no way to track the withdraw application status.

You can go to Canada, get H1b visa stamp and come back to US. No issues.

Travelling usually abandons pending H4 application but is not guaranteed.

Hi Anil , for first time H1 approvals , is it necessary to go home country to have the first stamp or we can go canada/mexico as well to have stamped ?

I have explained the stamping in Mexico/ Canada here for first time stamping.

Please read.

@Anil.Gupta Thank you for this info. I think that might help in my case as well.

  • I am on the same boat as well. Would really appreciate any help or insights on the bellow matter:

I was on H4EAD and worked full time for the past two years. In 2019, my employer filed the petition for H1B and got approved. But, now due to location/employee constraints, I would like my status to move back to H4/H4EAD.


  1. Should I need to get the stamping done for H1 before applying for H4/EAD to be eligible for Cap Exempt H1?

Thank you for reading!

Hi @pkalra86

H1B stamping is not required if your ‘change of status’ was approved.

You need to file H1B to H4 COS to get back to H4 or go out and get H4 visa stamp.

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Thanks, @Anil.Gupta for your prompt response. Much appreciated!

Last time I filed my H4/H4EAD with my spouse H-1B extension in the premium process and everything came together i.e. H-1B and my H4/EAD.

But I heard this time they are not doing premium processing of H4/H4-EAD if filled with premium H-1B extension? That might be an issue if my H4 approves first and my EAD comes in 90 days. As I don’t want to take a break in my employment.

I saw this article: H1B, H4, H4 EAD Approval after Biometrics in Premium 15 Days - AM22 Tech
What are your thoughts about the process This might work :slight_smile:

Thanks once again!!!

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Hi @pkalra86

The article you have referred has been written by me. My views have already been shared there.

Asking below question on behalf of my friend : She is in the same boat as per first question.
Need clarification on one question : if she want to file H1 to H4 COS then will she need to do fingerprints again as she just did couple of months back for H4 & H4-EAD extension.
And her H1B was in process that time and it approved after that, currently she is working on H1B but wants to go back to H4 as having valid H4EAD which she got after H1B approval.
Second question : How long does it take for COS?

Hi @NeedAnswer

Yes, H4 biometric will be required again. Basically, every time you file an application using form i539, you have to give biometrics.

H4 COS usually takes about 8+ months and there is no premium processing available.

Ok thanks for the response Anil.

  1. But change of status & extend h4 both process the same way as I know. She got h4 extension with in 2.5 months so I think COS should follow the same duration but not sure?

  2. if while COS in progress, if she will go India during that time and get H4 stamping done, will it work? instead of waiting for long duration. As heard now a days COS takes -2-5 months.

  3. Her employer is holding her original H1B approval notice and saying she will get it when she will plan India trip for stamping. How to get original receipt any suggestions?

She can go to India and get H4 visa stamped to move things faster. You would be super lucky if you can get H4 COS approved within 3 months.

Employer should be able to share the original H1B i797 if you request it for H1B visa stamping.

yes. but as heard employer should give you original H1B I797 once they received it or when employee asks them , there is no reason to hold it till employee wants to visit for visa stamping right? As it is employee’s document and needs to be with him/her not with employer/lawyer right?

It varies by each Company policy. H1B is an employer document as per my information.