H4 visa stamping in Mexico or Canada while H1B extension is pending

Hello Anil,

My wifes H1 extension is in process. Her I94 expired in January 2019. We are still waiting for approval. She has only 4 months left on H1. Meanwhile could we go to Canada/Mexico for H4 visa stamping and come back and apply for H4 EAD? Is that possible? If not what are the other options?

Thanks in Advance,

Your wife cannot go out of US now as her H1B extension is pending and i94 has already expired. If she goes out, her H1B will be approved without a new i94.
Also, she would need a valid visa to come back to US. If she applies for H4 and by any chance it is denied, she will not be able to enter US unless she has any other visa.

If you want, you can apply for her H4 COS application but that will add complexity as her H1B extension is also pending.

Thanks Anil. Just in case if she goes out of usa, and her H4 gets stamped in passport, will her H1 which is still in process gets revoked automatically? or should we ask her employer to withdraw H1.


You have to explicitly withdraw H1B.

Thanks Anil. One last question, what are the chances of getting H4 stamping without any issues in canada or mexico (since her H1 extension is still in process here and I94 expired).

Which one should we prefer?


The chances are good for H4 stamping. It is your choice as to what you want to do.

I just told you the risks.

Ok. Thanks Anil for the information.

Hi Anil,

There is some confusion for me here. I see that in "out of status visa stamping not allowed " link we should not travel when we are in out of status. Still confused if my wife can travel to Mexico to get her h4 stamped and come back (while her H1 extension is still pending here and I-94 is expired).

Please let us know since we do not have good confidence by reading the article above. Its really tough for us to make a decision and thanks a lot for your help! Hope I am clear.


Hi @ranjit
She can travel to Mexico for H1B to H4 COS visa stamp while her extention is pending and i94 has expired.

But, i do not understand the reason as to why she wants to get H4 if her H1B extention is pending.

Thanks Anil. As I communicated to you on my first post, She wants to apply for H4 EAD (after stamping) as she has only 3 months left on H1B . We will withdraw her H1 once we come back. I have 2 more questions now.

  1. After stamping, what will happen if her H1 gets approved or denied before we withdraw her H1 (which is in process). Will there be any issue?

  2. Before Stamping, if we travel to mexico and if H1 gets approved or denied while we are in Mexico for stamping, will there by any issue?

Hope I am clear.


Technically, USCIS should deny the extension of H1B if your wife travels outside US automatically.

But, in case it does not happen as we have seen in many USCIS decisions, and ff the H1B is approved after your wife enter US on H4 status, she will be automatically moved to H1B again as new i94 would be issued.

You will have to apply for H1B to H4 status again to come back to H4.
Or the other way would be to travel outside USA and enter again using H4 visa.

There is no issue if H1B is denied while you are away in Mexico for H4 visa stamping.

Thanks Anil for the clarification!

1 Like