H4 visa stamping with old and newly approved I129

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 I hope you all have a very happy new year. I have a question about my wife’s H4 visa application. I am on H1B with an approved I-140.


My wife is scheduled to drop off her passport at the Chennai consulate for an H4 visa on the coming Monday. The DS-160 that we submitted for this application mentioned my earlier petition number (let it be P1), which is going to expire by the end of April 2024.


My employer has filed for my “H1B extension” (let the new petition number be P2), and the new I-129 request was approved 2 days ago. The I-797A notice reads the new approval notice is valid from May 01, 2024.


Given that the new petition (i.e., P2) is approved, I would like her to use the new petition, which is valid until April 2027, rather than the old one, mainly for two reasons: 1) if granted, she does not need to worry for the next three years rather than three months, and 2) she can apply for an EAD immediately after she reaches the US.


Now, my questions are:


  • Can she change and resubmit DS-160 without affecting the appointment schedule (8th Jan 2024)? I think I have the answer to this question from the confirmation message issued by the OFC center, and the answer is yes, she can. She needs to carry both confirmation pages. However, your comment is appreciated.


  • The question that I am really struggling to resolve is, assuming the visa is granted (based on the new petition), can she travel now, or does she have to wait until the new petition becomes effective, i.e., May 01, 2024? More seriously, can the Consulate consider the application too early to apply for?


I need the answer by today. Please let me know how I should pay for the consultation fees, if required.


Thanks for your time and kind consideration.




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