H4 to H1 Change of Status - Latest I94 Mandatory ?


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Hi...I am currently in US on H1B visa which expired in Dec 2016. My wife was with me to and her H4 expired in Dec 2016 as well. My employer filed an extension for me and my dependents in Sep 2016 and I am awaiting for extension approval. For a family emergency my wife has to travel back to India in Jan 2017, while I am still waiting for mine and my dependents extension approval.

I am planning to apply for H1 Cap for the year 2017 for my wife via a sponsor. I am getting mixed replies that my wife has to be in US before filing H4 to H1 COS as they need her I94 to process further. I am getting mixed replies that for Change of status from H4 to H1 my wife has to be in US and need her I94 and some say she doesn't need to be in US and I94 is not mandatory for H4 to H1 change of status.

Either case they will plan to travel back to US after stamping done in India once my extension has been approved.

Could you please clarify on this asap ??


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