H1 to H4 from India while H1 Transfer is in progress

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I'm currently in India and my wife is in US on H1B visa. I also have an H1B visa but it expired 6 months ago. I'm working in India and I got an offer from a US employer who filed my H1 transfer last month. Now that the premium processing is on hold and when that resumes, I'm not sure if my new employer will be willing to go for it. But my wife needs me there due to health reasons and if H1 transfer is getting delayed, can I go for H4 on my wife's H1 who is already in US? Will that impact my already filed H1 transfer? or vice versa i.e can my H4 application be impacted because of my H1 transfer which is already in progress?

I know that international flights are already suspended due to COVID-19, but I want to be travel-ready as soon as flight operations resume.



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You will need a H4 visa and all consulates are closed right now. 

You can apply for H4 visa at the consulate on the basis of your wife's H1 and apply for a COS to H1 if you find a new employer after coming here. But if your employer files for H1 while you are in India and its pending when you come to US, you will have to either travel to switch over to H1 or do a COS.. 

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In most cases, the H4 should be approved without any issues even if a H1B is pending with the USCIS. Need to be transparent on the visa application form and at the interview. It is also important to know that one is not permitted to work on H4 status (unless one is eligible for H4 EAD). So, if any related questions are raised, at the interview, it should be handled accordingly.  If you wish to discuss your options further, you may feel free to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced Immigration Attorneys by writing to info@murthyindia.com.

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  • 3 weeks later...


Thanks for the response.

My H1 transfer got approved and I was thinking of scheduling a dropbox appointment for stamping as soon as Consulate is opened.

But now with the new proclamation, it appears that H1 visas, as well as H4 are banned and I'm left with no option.

I can't travel on my H1 and I can't travel even on H4 on my wife's H1 who is in the US.

There are only 2 options for me now - 

1. To ask my wife to leave her job, settle everything there, and travel back to India for good. Given her condition, it would be really difficult for her to do all this on her own.

2. I find some way to travel to her. But in this case, I can only think of applying for a B1/B2 visa and stay with her without a job until this year-end and then travel back to India, have my H1 stamped, and then finally travel back to the US on H1/H4.

My question is about my second option. I'm not sure if I have a valid reason for a B1/B2 visa. They need proof that you will come back and in my case, they might think I won't, as my wife is there. Do you think I should try for a B1/B2 visa? Is there any other option?

Please help me find a way out of this situation.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thanks for responding.

Now that there's a new amendment in EO and it appears that the dependent of H1 can have their visas stamped and travel if primary visa holder is in US.

So now,

1. Can I fill DS-160, schedule an appointment for H4 on my wife's H1 who is currently in US and travel? (if consulates open in India).

2. If I do this, will it void my H1 visa which is approved till 2023 but not stamped?


Thanks in advance.

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