H4 Travel while extension in progress

I’ve applied H4 visa extension for my family 2 months back along with my H1B extension in premium,
My H1B extension got approved in 15 days and my family attended Bio-metric (16-Jun-19) as part of the new procedure, after Bio-metric, my family, went to India and planning to will come back first week of September, and their current Visa valid until 01-Nov-2019.

As H4 is going in normal processing times, not sure when we get approval for them,
Will there be any problem, if they come back with Old visa?
And is there any problem at port of entry (Seattle) as they traveled while extension in progress.

Your response is highly appreciated!

Hi @srinivas.rkb

H4 extention might be denied or may get an RFE as your dependent has travelled while it was pending.

The whole purpose of filing H4 extention with USCIS is to get extended i94 when H4 does not want to travel outside USA. You did the exact opposite and the whole purpose is lost.

There is no issue in entering US with existing H4 visa stamp though.

If you get an RFE, you will most probably be asked to submit new i94 to prove H4 status. Your dependent will get new i94 when they enter US again.

Husband is in US with H1-B approved and stamped. My H4 extension is pending, with receipt date 27 March and biometrics done on 22 April. I had to travel to India for family need. When can I expect H4 extension approved. Can I go for drop box using my husband’s H1-B ? Application center is Nebraska. I have booked my return ticket for Sep 28

Hi @Smita

I moved your question on this page as i have already answered the same situation above.

You can go for H4 visa stamping in India using H1B’s approved i797.

Thank you Mr. Gupta. I read your reply above for a similar situation. So is my understanding correct that my H4 extension will be denied since I travelled to India while it was pending?

By the way, my H4 visa expired on 8th August, and 10 day grace expires on 18th. I am in India since 1st August.

Hope as you said, I will still be apply for H4 visa stamping using approved H1B’s I797.

Hi @Smita

H4 visa stamping is completely different than extention and has no bearing on each other.

Even if you had got H4 extention approved in US and then traveled, you would still need the H4 visa stamp.

So, basically you have wasted your money by filing H4 extention. It was not required at all if you had travel plans.

Thank you so much for clearing the doubts. I had to make emergency travel plan for family.


Did your wife get H4 visa stamped based on your H1B approval? After she travelled while the extension was pending, was her H4 extension denied or RFE requested.

Hello Smitha, not yet. As per my company, my family H4 extension date applied as the same as expiry date of their current Visa, so my employer clearly told, do not expect extension approval before the expiry of the current visa, so they will travel back to US on the current Visa only.

Thank you for the reply, Krish. Yes, processing times are longer than before. All the best for the visa approval process.

Hi @Anil.Gupta,
Sorry for delaying the mail. I got approval on September 2019. still waiting for h4 approval. there is no update on h4 stll status showing as “Case was Recived” .
My dependent existing visa expired on April 30 2019 and received h4 extension receipt on April 15th.
Here are two things i did not clarity, i checked with few friends and my employer.

  1. 240 Rule is not applicable for H4 dependent ? How many days they can stay here without receiving status?
  2. In case we travel to india and get stamping for h1 and h4 extension, while return we need to show the approval letter and I 94 detach form, . Still case was in progress. its a issue to return to USA without approval ?
    Thanks in advance.
    Waiting for your reply.

Here is my earlier answer above for your question:

You do not need H4 i797 at the time of entering US. You will need valid h4 visa stamp in passport.

Thank you Anil , appreciated your help.

Hi @Anil.Gupta,

I heard from one of my colleague , they told me like till h1b stamping is required for 2 extension, is it true.? Its mandatory to go get stamping in India.

I landed here in 2016 with less visa, 2 extensions got approved, but not traveled to India. I am planning on Next year, not finalized.
Thanks in advance

Hi @Lavanya_Kumari

I do not understand your question.

H1B visa stamping in passport is only required if you are going out of US and want to re-enter. If you do not travel, there is no need for H1B or H4 visa stamping in passport.

Hi @Anil.Gupta,
H1B person need to attend stamping from India at lease one time? For example in my case my two extension are approved, but i did not travel to India, next year end i need to go for another extension.
that’s my third extension. India stamping is required to apply another another extension on next time.

I do not know of any such stamping requirement. You can stay in US as long as you want without going out and without stamping.

If your H1B is approved specifically with ‘consular processing’, then you would need to get stamping. Otherwise, i don’t think there is any requirement to get it.

Thank you @Anil.Gupta. Finally my dependent h4 was approved today, it took 7 months time to process.

@Anil.Gupta i am also in same boat with @srinivas.rkb
I am also in the same situation.
my H1B with new Employer is valid till 03/2021. but my wife H4 and EAD is with my previous employer and is valid till 03/19/20.
I filed for H4 and EAD extension in Oct 14th 2019.

we have a travel plan to INDIA from FEB 15 2020 to March 15, 2020.

will her H4 and EAD gets abandend???

Hi @naveenmatur

I have explained risks of travel while H4 EAD is pending here.