H1B Visa to H4 EAD


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Hi  - Wish you all a very Happy New Year.

I have a H1B Visa which is expiring in Jan 2018 after my 6 year term (might have an additional 2 months added based on my time outside the country). My husband has a H1B visa with I140 approved. I am thinking of applying for a H4 Visa and EAD. I have a couple of questions, so that I can understand this a little better. 

  1. Can I apply for my H4 transfer and EAD at the same time?
  2. Can I have an effective start date (say 6-8 months into the future) for H4 and EAD? That way, I can continue to work without any gap in employment with my current employer (assuming i would get both the EAD within that time and the H4 start date would be based on what I gave)?
  3. Is it possible for USCIS to NOT honor a requested H4 start date i.e., the H4 approved and starts before a requested date, in which case, one is forced to discontinue employment until the EAD is received? In such cases, whats the average time to receive the EAD, after H4 is received? Any thoughts?
  4. Although my H1B is valid until January 2018, lets say I chose to start the H4/ EAD process now considering that it takes roughly 6+ months to process (also with an effective start date 6 months into the future). If I get a new offer with a different employer in the next 2-3 months and if I haven't received my EAD yet, can I start a new H1B process so that I can continue employment soon, or wait for the H4/ EAD to be complete and approved before starting with the new employer? If yes (for a new H1B, even though that will be valid only until Mar 2018), will that have any impact on my H4 EAD process that is underway? 

Would be great if you get assist me at your earliest. Thanks in advance


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