Wife laid off while on H1B. Visa journey has been H4->F1-H1B-> [H4]

  1. I am currently in the U.S. on an H1-B visa with an approved I-140. My visa stamp expired in October 2023, but I possess an approved I-797 from my current employer and have an upcoming visa interview (dropbox appointment) scheduled for December 2023.
  2. My wife initially came to the U.S. on an H4 visa. Subsequently, we applied for a Change of Status (COS) from H4 to F1 to enable her to pursue her studies. After completing her studies, she secured her first job and began working on F1-OPT. Her employer submitted an H1-B application on her behalf, which was selected, and she also holds an approved I-140 with the same employer. Unfortunately, she was laid off in September 2023 and has a need to travel to India for personal reasons. Given her situation, we decided to apply for an H4 visa for her while in India.

Here are my questions:

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Question 1:
Will my H1-B dropbox appointment for an extension with the same employer impact my wife’s H4 visa interview/stamping?

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Question 2: Must we wait for my wife to return to the U.S. on her H4 visa before applying for her Employment Authorization Document (EAD) so that she can commence a new job upon its approval?

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Question 3: Can her status as an H4 visa holder be repurposed in any manner, or does it not affect her situation?I’m on H1-B with approved I-140.
My current visa stamp expired in Oct 2023, but I have an approved I-797 with my current employer and have a dropbox in Dec 2023.

I dont think so.

The applicant must be in the US to apply for EAD.

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