H4 Visa dropbox with H1B approval notice?

Need a small informational help. My H1B got approved in premium processing and my spouse H4 extension, H4 EAD renewals are still processing. Both of our existing visa stamps are valid till May 2023. We are planning on travelling to INDIA in March 2023 and I was able to secure a dropbox visa stamping appointment slot for me. If I was able to secure a different drop box slot for my spouse as well, can she get her new visa stamping done via drop box using my new visa stamp? If we get same slot for 2 people, will she also get new visa stamp basing on my H1B approval notice? We are eligible for drop box as we got our last stamp from same country < 24 months.

If she was able to get the new stamp, I am assuming that her pending H4 extension and pending H4 EAD renewal will be abandoned and she will have to a file a new H4 EAD renewal once we are back in USA. Is that assumption correct? If yes, will she be eligible for the 540 day H4 EAD automatic extension? Her current H4 EAD is valid till May 2023.

She just need copy of primary H1B I-797 for H4 stamping.


Not really. H4 extension and EAD applications may keep processing and not impacted by beneficiary traveling outside the US.

Once she enter and get a new I-94 and if the EAD application is still pending, she will be eligible for automatic extension of EAD.
I suggest sending copy of the new I-94 issued by CBP to the USCIS center processing H4 and EAD with a cover letter if both applications are pending after she enters.


Thanks Kalpesh. Do we have to wait till USCIS responds after we send them new i94 upon re-entering? or will her 540 day auto extension automatically start the moment she re-enter back with her new i94?

If in case her EAD was declined because of she travelling out of USA, can she re-apply after coming back with her new i94 and will she then be automatically eligible for 540 day extension as long as she applies before her current EAD expiry?


Yes but as I mentioned, extension and EAD are not considered abandoned on traveling outside the US.


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One more question Kalpesh. If I was able to get my visa stamp and my spouse wasn’t able to get her visa stamped, upon re-entry to USA, will CBP officer update both of our i94 records with my latest visa stamp expiry? My attorney says it is most likely not possible that the CBP officer will extend our i94 because we are re-entering in March 2023 and our current valid visa expires in May 2023 and new visa will be till May 2026. I read lot of online experiences where lot of people shared that their i94s are updated with latest visa stamp even if their current stamp is valid. What are your thoughts on this?

If in case, CBP office does not update our i94 - can we travel to Canada via land and get our i94 updated sometime in the month of April 2023?

Generally CO will annotate current visa stamp with CWP stamp if a new is issued. There are mix experiences with I-94. Many have reported they were issued I-94 till their current I-797 if the new is not already in effect. In such cases, your the I-94 attached to your newly extended I-797 should take effect from the start date.

This may not be needed but follow your attorney’s advice if they say that you are subject to the last action rule.

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I understand this is not required for me since my new i797 will be valid. I am asking to extend my spouse’s i94 and thus her 540 day automatic EAD extension. Can we do that?