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Travel out of US with H4 Extension, COS or H4 EAD Pending – Options?

Since the introduction of New I-539 form, Biometrics Process by USCIS, earlier this year, it has been a long wait for many of the H4 visa holders, who are waiting for their H4 extensions and H4 EAD approvals. Previously, when H4 extensions and H4 EAD were filed along with H1B petition in premium processing, as a courtesy USCIS was giving approvals of H4 and H4 EAD along with H1B within 15 days, but this has changed with the new biometric process. Many of our users shared their experiences of H4 Extensions, with EAD and Biometrics Processing, where they are waiting for over a month since their biometrics for the approvals.  Some of them have planned travels and not sure, how the whole thing would pan out. In this article, we will review various scenarios and options tied to travel with H4 Extension, H4 Change of Status (COS) or H4 EAD pending.

Travel is something that can be inevitable at times and first thing we need to understand is, can you travel out of US, if so, what are the consequences. Sometimes you may have travel after applying H4 Extensions or COS, sometimes you may have to travel after applying for H4 EAD only. Let’s look at all of the combinations.

Can you Travel out of US, when your H4 Change of Status (COS) is pending?

Yes, you can travel out of US, when your H4 Change of Status is pending. But, the most important thing to understand is that your H4 COS application filed with USCIS using Form I-539 would be considered abandoned and subsequently denied, if you leave US when it is pending.

Can you Travel out of US, when your H4 Extension is pending? I-94 Mismatch.

Yes, you can travel out of US, when your H4 Extension is pending. There is no official reference given by USCIS on how they will handle extension petitions with travel, but based on experiences shared by users, H4 Extension have not been abandoned and continued to be processed. The key thing is, when you re-enter US and go through Port of Entry Procedures the CBP officer will give you new I-94 and that number would be different from the H4 extension that you received with USCIS. You may have issues with the I-94 mismatch at DMV when trying to renew license or other things as it uses SAVE Database. You will be considered in status and everything will be fine, but the only issue is with I-94 mismatch. You may need to travel again and re-enter to fix this issue. We had few users report that their H4 was processed even though they left the country and it was adjudicated, but the I-94 number was different.

I am on H4 Status in US and filed H4 EAD only. Can I travel out of US, when my H4 EAD filed with form I-765 is pending?

Yes, you can travel out of US with your H4 EAD in pending status, provided you meet all the H4 visa requirements to re-enter US.  But, traveling outside of US may delay your H4 EAD processing…Let’s say, if USCIS requests for more information regarding your EAD application and issues an RFE or a Notice of Intent to Deny(NOID) and if you do not respond on time for RFE or NOID with the required information requested by USCIS, they may deny your H4 EAD by considering that it is abandoned.  Check below screenshot from USCIS website regarding the same.

Travel with H4 EAD Pending

Can I travel outside of US when H4 Change of Status (COS) filed along with H4 EAD is pending with USCIS? ( H4 COS + H4 EAD )

Yes, you can still travel out of US, but your H4 Change of Status will be considered abandoned and subsequently denied. As your H4 COS is denied, your H4 EAD application will also be denied.    Check below exact official text from USCIS website.

H4 Extension or COS Filed with H4 EAD Pending with US Travel outside of US

Can I travel outside of US when H4 Extension filed along with H4 EAD is pending with USCIS? ( H4 Extension + H4 EAD )

Yes, you can travel out of US, but the only issue is with the I-94 number mismatch. There is no official reference to this, but based on users’ experiences, we had few users report that their H4 extension was continued with processing and also their H4 EAD was also processed and it was delivered to them, when they were back in US. But, the issue was with the I-94 number mismatch. As mentioned above, when you re-enter US and go through Port of Entry Procedures the CBP officer will give you new I-94 and that number would be different from the H4 extension that you received with USCIS. You may have issues with the I-94 mismatch at DMV when trying to renew license or other things as it uses SAVE Database. You will be considered in status and everything will be fine, but the only issue is with I-94 mismatch and you may need to do another trip to fix the issue

Travel with H4 COS + H4 EAD pending with USCIS, but re-entered US on H4, will my EAD application be approved ?  

Also, let’s say you file for H4 COS + H4 EAD together, but you exited before the approval from USCIS and re-entered US on H4. In such cases, even you are on H4 status after you entered US, USCIS will deny your H4 EAD application that was filed before as it was filed by you with a different I-94 and in different status ( see below screenshot). You need to re-file form I-765 for your H4 EAD with USCIS.  Also, you should withdraw your previously filed H4 EAD application with USCIS, if that is pending when you file your New H4 EAD application  

Applied COS - exit and re-entry on H4 - EAD Application Denied Info

USCIS Recommendation when you Travel out of US with H4 Extension or COS pending with them

If you travel out of US with your H4 Extension/ COS, which is filed using Form I-539, pending with USCIS, they recommend that you keep a copy the extension or COS application and the copy of receipt notice to be showed to the immigration inspector, when you go arrive in US and go through Port of Entry Procedures to ensure that you did not overstay. Also, I suggest you check, and print copy of the I-94 online , US Travel History during your exit and have it handy a additional proof. Below is screenshot from USCIS website on the same.

What if I leave US with my I539 Extension or COS Pending with USCIS

What is the general guidance for filing H4 or H4 EAD with Travel plans ?

  • Planned Travel : If you know ahead of time that you plan to travel outside of US within a short period of time, then do not file any H4 Extension/ COS application with US, including H4 EAD application. Just get done with your travel, re-enter US and then file for H4 COS along with H4 EAD.
  • Unknown Emergency Travel : If you have an emergency and have to leave US with H4 COS or Extension and H4 EAD Pending, don’t worry too much about all of these, just leave, get your H4 Stamping done, if needed and then re-enter on H4, file a new H4 EAD application ias needed. 
  • Planned Non-Emergency Travel : If you have planned travel and have filed H4 COS/ Extension + H4 EAD together, if you can delay your planned travel, wait for the H4 COS / Extension to be approved and then you may travel with H4 EAD Pending. In such cases, make sure you have someone to receive your H4 EAD related mail from USCIS for you to know if there is any RFE or NOID and you need to respond to the same.
  • Emergency Travel with H4 EAD pending : If you on H4 in US and filed for H4 EAD only, and have to leave US on emergency, then make arrangements so that someone can collect mails from USCIS, so that you do not miss out any RFE or NOID kind of letters from USCIS. Once you receive any such RFE, make sure you come back to US and take care of them and send relevant information to US on-time.  If you do not respond on time, then they will consider your application as abandoned and deny the same.
Can I go for H4 Dropbox, with H4 Extension Pending ?

Yes, if you are eligible for general Visa Dropbox requirements, then you can go for H4 stamping using Dropbox. Having pending H4 extension does not matter. All you need is H1B approval for it.

Did you travel with H4 or H4 EAD Pending ? Share your thoughts

Reference : USCIS H4 EAD FAQs


Other Articles


  1. Hi Kumar,

    Below is my timeline for F1 to H4 COS & EAD application (California Service Center)

    August 6th 2019 – Filled H4 COS (I-539)
    August 30th 2019 – Biometric done
    Oct. 14th 2019 – Filled (I-765) after spouse’s I-140 approval
    Jan 14th 2020 – Raised expedite request, denied.
    Feb 4th 2020 – Raised expedite request again, approved
    Feb 20th 2020 – H4 Approved (I-539), I-765 still pending.

    F1 EAD end date was Jan 26th. I have lost my job already.

    My question is can I travel to India now? With COS approved but EAD still pending with jeopardizing my EAD application?

    • Mani,
      Technically, it should not really jeopardize it…..Having said that, unless there is compelling need to travel, try to stay in US. Only reason I say that is, when you filed for H4 EAD, your H4 was not there for you, it was filed seperately and your status was your old status…so, trying to be safe, in case USCIS does something weird…Discuss with an attorney and take a call, if you want to leave.

  2. Hi,

    I am planning to travel to India and my current H4 stamping is valid till Sept 2020 whereas my husband’s extension was done till June 2021. My H4 extension is pending to be filed. Can I travel to India before Sept 2020 and re-enter US while my extension is under process? Or can I travel in Oct 2020 and get the stamping done on the basis of my husband’s extension? Does it affect my extension process?

    • Singhvi,
      No point in filing H4 now, if you are planning to travel to India. best thing to do is to travel to India in September or before and then apply for H4 dropbox stamping using your spouse’s H1B approval, you will get approval until the end date of H1B.

  3. Hi Kumar,

    I received my Previous H1 Extension till 2019 September 24 and I got the extension letter form USCIS but my dependents H4 Extension got approved on 2020 Feb 11 and i have already filed a new H1 extension with dependents (H4) om 2019 September 28, now this extension still with USCIS and not got approved.
    My question is : My dependents wants to visit India now but as i said their extension is still pending with USCIS and their previous extension was received this week…so is their any problem for them to travel outside US with said situation?

    • Rony,
      It is fine to travel…The only thing as we wrote in above article is the I-94 mismatch issue, that can arise, when they exit and re-enter…Based on users experiences, the h4 is continued to be processed, if it was filed as extension and not COS.

  4. Hi Kumar,

    my H1B with new Employer is valid till 03/2021. but my wife H4 and EAD is with my previous employer and is valid till 03/19/2020.

    I filed for H4 and EAD extension in Oct 14th 2019.

    we have a travel plan to INDIA from FEB 20 2020 to March 20, 2020.

    will her H4 and EAD gets abandend???

    if she get her H4 stamping in india and come back to US will her EAD gets abandend??

    please adivse

    • Naveen,
      So far, many users have reported that their H4 EAD and H4 were not abandoned, the reason is that H4 was filed as extension. If it is COS, then it would get abandoned. But again, this is based on users feedback, USCIS does not explicitly tell that they will continue processing or abandon. They have only given guidance for COS that it will be abandoned. Do update either way, if you travel here for community benefit.

        • @ Kumar.

          Here is my case: Filed H4 COS + EAD on August 30th, 2018. I left US on Jan 18 and today my case status shows as ” New card being produced”. Please let me know how should I move forward. I want to make sure there is no issue later

          • Deepa,
            Nothing, make sure, someone can collect your mail at home. You should get the H4 EAD card soon in a week or so…plan for that.

          • @Kumar,

            As I left to India while my H4 COS and H4 EAD was in process. Based on what I read, the application will be invalid and I was expecting that UCIS will deny my application. However, I am happy to see my change of status & H4 EAD is approved. When I came to India, I went for H4 stamping with my husband. With my stamping and H4 COS approved, will there be I94 Mismatch? Do I need to request UCIS to withdraw my H4 COS upon my return to US ( next week).? Also, do I need to reapply for H4 EAD. I am very confused.

          • Deepa,
            As you are still in India, then it should not matter. There will not be any mismatch. The reason is that, the I-94 mismatch occurs only when you are in US and you get a New I-94. As you have not yet entered US, you will get a new I-94 at Port of entry and that will be your valid I-94. The I-94 given by USCIS does not matter now.

  5. Hi Kumar,

    I have my H1B extension due along with H4 ,H4EAD for wife.
    My wife works as a Flight Attendant. Is it okay for her to travel outside US while her H4 and H4 EAD application is pending.

    Would you recommend that she gets H4 stamping from India using my approved H1B extension and then apply H4 EAD in US. In this case , can she keep working while her H4EAD is pending?

    Thank you for all your help

    • Nikhil,
      Well, she can travel out and come back, the only trick is the I-94 mismatch thing that the article talks about. Technically, getting stamping in India using Dropbox is a great idea, so that she can enter and exit freely without issues. Yes, your idea sounds good…but, there is no guarantee that H4 EAD will be processed faster though…It is your discretion…

  6. Hi
    My husbands H1 is valid untill June 2020 and so is my H4 and EAD. We are filing for H1 and H4 EAD extension. We sent all H1 and H4 extension and EAD paperwork for immigration attorney to review and file it. Suddenly I am being required in India while my mom is being worked up for Cancer recurrence.
    I dnt know what’s best way to manage travel and filing H4 EAD extension.
    Can I do it from you Embassy in India? What’s best way to handle all this ?

    • Sudha,
      Sorry to hear about your situation. Unfortunately, you cannot file H4 EAD in India. What you could consider doing, if you have time, is to file for H4 EAD extension right now separately before you leave…so that, even if query comes, your spouse can submit any other details as needed in US.

  7. Hi-
    I’m reading here traveling when h4 & H4EAd extension is pending is not a big deal with approved h1b. I’m in the same situation my husband’s h1b is approved my h4& H4EAd is still pending..if I travel I know I ll get my h4 done immediately and chances are there my H4EAd can get the but does it anyway expedite my H4EAd approval faster? Plz advise if so I’m willing to travel.

    • Poornima,
      It may or may not expedite the processing of EAD, if you travel out. If you have already submitted them, all you can do is wait now…The reason is, again you need to send the H4 approval stamping to USCIS and that may or may not help with the slow processing times of USCIS…

  8. Hi,
    Instead of filing h4 extension within US, since we have travel plan to India, can my wife go to India and get h4 stamping along with h1-b stamping with my h1-b extension approval? Will that extend h4 visa as well?

    Thanks for your help!

    • Mustafa,
      Yes, that is a much better idea, if you plan to travel. If you get H4 stamping done in India, there is no need for the approval notice from USCIS to enter US. Your spouse will only show the visa stamped in passport and provide copy of spouse’s H1B approval notice.

  9. Hello ,

    While my H4 & H4 EAD extension was pending i decided to move onto my H1 Counsular processing. I went to INDIA for my first H1 visa stamping. We as well applied for H4 cancellation. I came back to US on H1 status and got my Drivers licence. After 3 weeks of my arrival today i got approved H4 -I797C .
    I am not sure what status i am on , do i need to renter the country to use My H1.
    I have been working on this job with H4 EAD status and H1 status.

    • Kala,
      USCIS works on the last action rule….so, your status has probably moved to H4 now…I suggest you talk to your attorney and act immediately. It may be better to exit and re-enter as that will put you back on H1B status.

  10. Hi Kumar

    We have applied for H1-Transfer and H4, I have got H1 Approved. We have Travelled Outside USA and Came back in Dec-2019.

    I have got my I-94 till May 2022 but Immigration Officer didn’t give I-94 till May 2022 to my wife. He has just given her till Oct-2020 ( Till her Visa Validity )

    On USCIS Website , H4 Case still show Fingerprints Taken.

    Is there any possible way to Find if H4 Application is withdrawn Automatically ? In case H4 still in Process and If it is Denied , She need to Travel Back Immediately ? Please correct.

    She is planning to go in June-2020 for a New H4 Stamping.

    • Gaurav,
      You can check the status just like normal, there is no special status check for withdraw. If her H4 transfer is denied, then she needs to leave… Don’t worry, it will be fine.
      processing takes time, so just wait…It should be fine to go for stamping in June 2020.

  11. First of all thanks for bringing this into the portal… This is so far the best article I found on web…

    My H1 and spouse’s H4 and H4EAD extension filed together in August.

    H1 processed on Premium later and approved on Dec end. While H4 and H4EAD still pending.

    My H1 Transfer initiated and status pending.

    I have to travel India soon due to emergency.


    1. What if I join new employer and get the new H1 stamped and do the stamping for my spouse only if the pending H4 is approved by then. Otherwise planning to reenter with H4 receipt notice. I guess H4 and H4EAD will continue to process and should not have any issue traveling?

    2. If H4 is approved while in India, can we go for stamping without original approval notice? Will there be any issue because of my employer change but her H4 will be from my last employer?

    3. If she goes for new H4 stamping from new employer (not filed yet) the existing H4EAD would still valid irrespective that is approved or pending by then?

    Thank you.

    • Raj,
      If H4 visa is expired, they need H4 visa to re-enter, so definitely need stamping. They can use H1B approval to get stamping. It does not matter, which one you want to use. Ensure you use the one that the spouse plan to work for, so that the I-94 dates will be in sync and visa dates as well. Yes, she can go with the transfer company, if the H1B is approved for the same.

      • As per USCIS, she can reenter without stamping and with the pending receipt notice… Is not that the case?

        Assuming my transferred H1 would be approved by then, I will H1 Stamp with my new employer but Can she plan for H4 stamping (if existing H4 is approved) filed by my current employer? There would definitely a mismatch on our I94 dates… but I’m not much concerned on that. Planning to stamp with the existing H4 as the EAD also filed with that.

        If she goes for new H4 – What will happen to pending/approved H4EAD filed with old H4 extension? That will still be valid or need to refile? Thanks.

        • Raj,
          In general, you need valid visa stamp to re-enter US, unless you are using Automatic Revalidation option, when you travel to Mexico or Canada.
          She can use H1B approval for stamping, no need to wait for H4 approval.
          Her H4 and EAD would very likely be continued to be processed as it was not COS.

          • Hi Kumar,Raj,

            I am in a similar situation and called the Customs and Border Patrol (1877-227-5511) to get a clarification on I-94 mismatch. They have told me that – “There wont be two i-94’s – once H4 extension gets approved in India, the H4 extension filed in USA will get automatically abonded”. I am concerned if my H4 EAD will get abonded too as it is based on my H4 extension filed in USA.

            Thanks in Advance

  12. Hi Kumar,
    While my wife is still waiting for H4 approval, she will submit another petition of H4 extension. For the new petition, she is asked to renew her passport.

    So the question is whether her current petition will not be disturbed? Should we update her new passport to USCIS?


    • Daniel,
      It should not be disturbed…If there is an RFE or something, then you may send a copy of the new passport to them. In the new one, you can put in a letter saying you renewed her passport recently and also put in a copy of old passport.

  13. Hi,

    I had COS from L1 to H1B approved by USCIS on Dec 4th , 2019. Now my H1B is approved until 2022. However my spouse has valid L2 stamping until May 2020 and H4 is still pending with USCIS (biometrics done).
    What is my dependent legal status now ? Can my spouse is legally allow to stay in US until H4 decision is pending?
    Please let me know there are any other advice.


  14. Hi Kumar,

    Travelled out of the country while H1B extension (04/01/2020 to 03/01/2023) is approved but H4/H4 EAD Extension are pending with biometrics completed, got visa stamped in India until 2023 but I94 is issued till 04/01/2020 based on the previous H1B saying i94 cannot be given based on the extended H1B as that is valid from 04/01/2020, Do i have to file new H4,H4EAD to get the I94 corrected or any chances of my H4/H4EAD being processed by the USCIS

  15. Hello,

    My name is Rohela, my h4 visa went for extension on 14 May 2019, got my Biometrix done on 16th July 2019 and applied for my Ead in August 2019. Its December but still haven’t heard anything back from USCIS. Can you suggest?

  16. I think this may have been asked but i am still confused.

    Can my partner who is on H4, apply for EAD(no COS or extension just EAD) and then travel to India ? And it won’t affect the processing if someone is here taking care of any RFE or requests from USCIS?

  17. My spouse is on h4 extension while her H4 EAD is also nearing renewal. Can she travel and get her visa stamped and then renter. Will she then need to wait for h4 extension? If she wait for her h4 extension say 4 months and then applied for h4 EAD it will take 4-6 months. Instead if she travels to India and get her visa stamped, she can file for H4 -EAD as soon she returns back to US. Is that a correct understanding. Will her travel impact her H4 decision? Since she will already have her VISA stamped can she have any troubled since her H4 extension will be denied.

    • Tin,
      If it is COS, it will be abandoned & denied. But, otherwise, it will be fine. In either case, going out and getting stamping should be fine…

      • Hi
        Instead of h4 extension filing, can my wife go to India and get h4 stamping done just like a new h4 stamping?
        Just simply go to India and file for h4 visa stamping. Will that extend h4 visa as well?

  18. Hi,

    – Both mine and my spouse visa (L1 & L2 visa) were valid until Feb 2022.
    –Our PED was around 31Sep2019.
    –My Company applied for L1 ext (premium) and L2 in Aug 2019
    – My spouse received his I797 with L1 extension valid for 3 years from Sep 2019 to Sep 2022.
    – My L2 extension (filled with L1 above) is under process with bio-metric completed in July 2019, now awaiting my I797C arrival.

    I have travel plans scheduled for India in Dec 2019 – returning back in Mar 2020.
    Can I travel to India in such circumstances and get my L2 stamping with my spouse’s L1A extension?
    Do i need to visit consulate or i need to only present my spouse’s L1 A extension.
    will there be any issue with I94 when i return in Mar 2020?


    • Shobha,
      Yes, you can do that. Your case is just like H4 case and all use the same form. You do not have to wait…Hoping it gets approved by the time you return, it should not have any I-94 issue.

      • Hi Kumar,
        I have a question regarding my spouse’s pending h4 extension and EAD. We have applied for H1 + H4 + EAD in normal processing on Aug 9th 2019. Got done with the biometrics on sep 7th. After that we upgraded to premium processing on oct 9th. Got my h1 approval but my spouse’s H4 and ead are still pending. Now we have a travel planned for dec 28th. Do you know what would happen to pending H4 & EAD applications when we travel out of U.S? Is it better for my spouse to wait in India until the existing h4 & EAD gets processed and then come back to us?

        • SKS,
          The same thing is addressed above, read again. No, use H1B stamping and get H4 stamping done and return back to US. no need to wait.

          • Thanks for your reply Kumar! Appreciate all your efforts! Yes, we are going for Dropbox for h4 stamping.So basically it’s ok to travel while applications are pending right? There are other websites which say h4 extension will abandoned once you travel out of the country. My concern is more for the EAD that we applied concurrently with h4. Does abandoned h4 has any implications on EAD? Or will the h4 extension be abandoned in the first place when we travel out of country?

          • SKS,
            Yes, it is ok for extensions. Yes, it will be abandoned, if it is a COS, we also wrote the same, read above article again. Even if it is COS and abandoned, it does not matter as long you get H4 stamping done in home country. The key is to get stamping based on H1B approval.

  19. I am extending H1B and my wife is extending H4, which will be valid until March 2020.
    The reason for a short-term extension is to make a job transition of mine. Then I will get a new H1B from the other worksite together with my wife’s new H4 again.

    My concern is what if her extension will not be completed before the new visa process. My wife can just stay in US and process both of the visa applications?

    • Daniel,
      Yes, she can file for both. When you file the second one, make sure you send the first one’s receipt notice and then write up a letter indicating you are waiting for the approval. All they care is maintaining of the status.

      • Thank you, Kumar.

        An additional question is whether her status will be fine in the following situation:

        (1) Application of H1B extension (for me) and H4 extension (for her) will be submitted before the end of visa.
        (2) My H1B and my wife’s H-4 will not be approved before the end of visa.

        I understand that my staying will be legal until receiving the approval; but how about her staying in US?

  20. Hi,

    My H1B extension approved till Jul 2022 and my spouse and kid H4 visa valid til Dec 2019 and their I-539 pending with USCIS and bio-metric also not completed. We are planning to travel India in Jan 2020. We had last stamping on passport Dec-2017 because we are traveling to India after 3 years. In that case, me & my dependent will go for stamping.
    Can dependents get stamping on the basis of my H1B extension while their I-539 pending?
    What will happen with their pending I-539?

    • Raj,
      yes, they can get stamping. They would probably get abandoned as no biometrics are given.
      The best thing to do is to send a withdrawal letter to USCIS indicating the travel, when you exit the country so that you have that taken care.

  21. Hi,

    – Both mine and my spouse visa (H4 & H1B visa stamps) were valid until Sep 2019.
    – Applied for my H4 ext with spouse H1 ext (premium) in June 2019.
    – My spouse received his I797 with H1 extension valid for 3 years from Sep 2019 to Sep 2022.
    – My H4 extension (filled with H1 above) is under process with bio-metric completed in July 2019, now awaiting my I539 arrival.

    We have travel plans scheduled for India in Dec 2019 – returning back in Jan 2020.
    Can I travel to India in such circumstances and get my H4 stamping with my spouse’s H1B extension stamping in India durning this trip? Will this solve the I94 mismatch problem that you refer in the above article?


    • KM,
      Yes, you can get stamping…regarding I-94 issue, it depends on when you enter US. If you do not have H4 approved by USCIS when you enter US, then you will get I-94 problem as USCIS still has your old I-94 in their system.

    • Hi,

      I have h4 status till March 2020 with valid i 797 and i-94. I have an h4 extension pending with USCIS.
      I have an expired F1 visa stamp on an expired passport and have since renewed my passport.
      I am planning to travel to Canada for 3 days and not get a visa stamp in my new passport.

      1) Am i eligible for automatic visa revalidation
      2) what happens to existing h4 visa application (with regards to i-94)
      3) what happens if my h4 gets approved while i am in canada.

      I called up Customs and border protection and they told me i was ineligible for automatic revalidation. However, i have heard other folks get visa revalidation in similiar situations.
      I am confused because of contradicting answers. Any help is appreciated.


      • SK,
        1. yes.
        2. it will continue to be processed with the same I-94, as your I-94 does not change with Automatic visa revalidation as you continue to use the same I-94
        3. Well, nothing will happen, you will get the same I-94 number extended to a different date, so it should be fine.
        Did they give any reason, why you are not eligible ? Yes, many have tried the AVR route for your situation and posted on our forum too.
        Nevertheless, I would suggest you check with an attorney on this and also speak to another CBP office or email them so that you carry proof, if needed before you travel. It is better to be safe than sorry later…Also, do update your status here for community benefit.

  22. hello Kumar,

    My husband’s visa got expired by may 2019 (i-94 expired), and currently under extension process , i am going india to change my visa from h4 to f1 during extension ,is it going to be a problem .

    Thanks for the help

  23. Hi Kumar,

    Filed H1, H4 extension & H4 EAD in PP. H1B approved waiting for H4 biometric appointment.
    We now have to travel to India due to an emergency. Will my spouse H4 & H4 EAD application be abandoned due to travel outside before biometrics completed?

    Please advise.

    • Well, Biometrics is required for H4 approval. So, they may not process the H4, without that… Try to walk-in to any application service center and see, if you can give Biometrics using the receipt notice itself, without the letter. Some had success. They maybe able to take biometrics. Explain your situation. Other option is to have someone mail you. Alternatively, you can try to give it in India as well, while no one has done it. The guide tells it can be given out of the country…. Worst case scenario, just get H4 stamping in India and after you arrive in US, send a letter indicating your exit and new stamping and request for withdraw of the H4 and re-apply H4 EAD. Discuss with your attorney as well on this…. Do post your update here for everyone benefit.

  24. Hi Kumar,

    I recently applied (Oct 15th) H4 ead for my wife with the existing h1b approval of mine (I 797) valid till March 2020. Received receipt number for Vermont service center. My spouse already have the H4 stamping on her passport until march 2020. Will she get the H4 EAD approval on priority basis. Any idea when can expect H4 EAD. Appreciate your response.

    kumar sri

    • kumar,
      I do not think, there will be any priority for H4 EAD, it will be processed like normal…expect the similar timelines that you see for current H4 and H4 EAD, which is few months. You can see USCIS for processing times as well.

  25. Hi Kumar,

    Applied for my H1 and my spouses H4 and H4 EAD extension in PP, back in May 2019. My H1 extension approved in a week and my spouses H4 and H4 EAD are still pending. Both our Visas are expired in July 2019. We now have to travel next week to India due to an emergency. We both will probably go to embassy and get our Visa stampings done based on my H1 approval. My wife might not be returning to US till January 2020. Can you please tell us what will happen to her existing H4 and H4 EAD applications if she is still in India, by the time they are finally processed? Is it advisable for her to not go for stamping based on my H1 approval until her H4 and H4 EAD gets approved here or will it not matter? Can you please advise?


  26. Hi Kumar,
    My H1b visa is going to expire on Dec 31st, 2019 and my company is going to file extension in premium processing by next week.
    Considering my H1b would be approved by mid of Oct 2019 I am planning to travel India during Dec 15th, 2019 to Jan 15th 2019.
    Question is, Should I also file my wife and daughter H4 extension and H4 EAD along with it as average time to get approval on H4 extension is 3-5 months (including Biomatrices) or wait until Jan 15th 2019 and apply once I will be back.
    If I won’t apply their H4 extension now and travel India for stamping, how long visa stamp they will get? And what would be complications. It’s not urgent to travel if it’s not safe, I can wait and may plan my travel plan next year.
    Please advice.

  27. Hi Kumar,

    My H4 extension is to be applied next month i.e. on November 2019, my visa is valid till 18 th December 2019. I have travel plans on November 2019 for 1 week and plan to come back before the date of expiry of my H4 visa. Will there be any problem in getting an extension if I travel?

    Thank you,

    • It is better to apply after you travel out and come back to avoid I-94 mismatch issues. No, there should not be any issues, carry all relevant documents, you will be fine.

  28. Hello,

    I have a question on my pending H4/H4 EAD Extension filed in Vermont (Early June 2019.
    Application is still pending approval, however we had to travel for person emergency purpose to Mexico last week. Went for H4 Visa Interview along with my spouse and got 3 years stamping (based on his new I797 approval). Came back to US yesterday with new I-94 number in passport.

    Question – Will my H4 EAD extension be denied? Current EAD expires in Jan 2020. Should I wait for approval or file a new EAD application? Little concerned here, but couldn’t avoid travel hence not sure what will happen to pending EAD?

    Thank you.

    • Hello,
      I am under similar situation. Did you figure out what happened to your EAD status ? You had to re-apply or was there no problem on your earlier filled case ?

      • Hello,

        I are in similar situation now. I got my H4 stamped based on approved H1B. Do I need to reapply EAD extension after entering US or just wait for the existing application to process?

        • Suman,
          What users have reported is that they will continue to be processed, if they were filed along with extension and not COS.
          You can call the customer service and validate the same. Do update here for community benefit.

  29. My husband’s h1 is approved recently when applied in premium. My h4 extension and h4 ead were filed concurrently and I am yet to give biometrics in 2weeks.
    We are not eligible for Dropbox option and we have to attend a visa interview for stamping.
    If we travel to India next month and return to USA in a month after getting my h4 visa stamped with my husband’s h1 approval, will my h4 extension applied be abandoned?(that is what our attorney said)
    Also does it impact h4 ead?(applying for the first time)

  30. Hi Kumar,

    I have recently changed my job and planning to travel India, could you please advise on my situation.

    Previous employer applied H1 and H4 in regular before expiry date(31 May 2019), Current employer applied H1 in PP and H4 in regular, both the H1 extensions approved but both H4 are still pending.

    Current employer filed H4 on June 18, 2019.
    Bio-metrics given on Aug 28, 2019.(delayed due to reschedule)

    is it okay to travel India get H4 stamped and come back? is there any risk involved? Please help.

  31. Hi,
    H4 extension for me and my kid was applied while I was in US , along with my spouse H1b extension. We had to go to our home country when H4 extension was still pending. Once we came back my spouse got H1b approved, but our H4 is still pending. I already had an approved I797 , and I am planning to go for H1b stamping. 1) Will this cause any concern during h1b stamping. 2) should i submit H4 withdrawal for me and my kid? my kid will now be my dependent not my spouse’s. Because H4 processing should not impact my status after i travel to US on H1b.
    Pls advise

    • Well, one of the ways to fix it is, you go for h1B stamping and take your kid for H4 stamping as your dependent and also in parallel submit the withdrawal letter to USCIS, so that it gets stopped. When you enter, you enter on H1B and your kid on H4. Discuss with an attorney on the timing to handle it right.

  32. My Spouse and mine visa got expired on June 30, i got my H1B Extension till June 2022 but my wife H4 extension is still in Progress. Case was registered with USCIS on May 2 and her biometrics has been done on May 24. She has travel plans in Oct second week and tickets are booked already. Can you please suggest do we need to reschedule the travel plan

  33. Hi,

    Please advice,
    Filed H1 and H4 extension (H4 – biometrics completed) and crossed the visa expiry date June 15. Staying in 240 days period. Spouse needs to be leave USA soon for academic work and currently visa status is in processing\pending. I hope if i didn’t withdraw our H4 may get denied. in this case (as already visa expired) How can my spouse return back and how to file H4 case back from India?
    Can you please advice.

      • Hi Kumar and SD,

        I have withdrawn my spouse H4 and got acknowledgement letter from USCIS. My H1 now approved and i’m in USA. Can my wife go for drop box stamping with approved H1 in India ?

        – Please let me know .

        • BK,
          Yes absolutely, you can ask her to go for stamping using your H1B approval. Regarding dropbox, if she fulfils the general requirements, she should be able to…In general, the system will detect that part and give you dropbox, if eligible.

  34. Hi Kumar,

    Here is my situation, need your advice.
    H1B filed in regular – 6/18/2019
    H1B + H4(with NPT) filed in PP – 7/22/2019
    H1B approved – 7/27/2019
    H4 status – Case was received. Waiting for biometrics appointment.

    My employer forgot to file H4 before expiry (6/18/2019) and filed again with H1B in premium processing after a month with nunc pro tunc process.

    Currently the processing time is around 3.5-5.5 months for H4 to be adjudicated. If my wife wait in US for USCIS decision and if it gets denied after 5-6 months, she may cross 180 days limit while leaving USA. If she leave USA now, her extension will be abondoned and then ultimately denied and also she had accrued unlawful presence in USA which she will have to explain to Visa Officer while Interview for visa stamping.

    What is the best option as per your experience now?


    • Yes, the delays are long and it can be risky, if it stretches..As of today, based on what I read, it is not too many days since the I-94 expiry maybe 30 days at max right…
      Traveling out may or may not get the H4 extension denied, we have seen few users go out for stamping, but still got h4 approved. It is the COS that will be denied.
      If your spouse is open to go out for stamping, you might as well go out and get H4 Stamping done at consulate. You can withdraw the H4 petition, once she gets stamping…
      I would suggest you speak to an attorney or your H1B attorney and take decision on this understanding all risks.

      • My Husband’s H 1 is approved last week through premium processing however my H4 status is still same ( case was received) I am traveling to India on 31st August,19 due to some unavoidable reasons. Is it okay? Can I travel when my h 4 extension is pending. How will I come back?

  35. Hello Kumar,
    My spouse and I are in F visa right now. I switched to H1B and it got approved in may. My spouse’s I539 petition was pending for a long time. We recently received an RFE (additional evidence) for that petition. I do not know what is asked in that RFE yet. I have planned to travel out of US in early september and have scheduled an appointment with the US consulate for visa stamping for the both of us.
    Question: can we go ahead with stamping when we have a pending RFE for I539 petition.
    Note: this is h4 cos (no EAD).
    Thanks in advance!

    • You may go ahead with the stamping. Nevertheless, you need to know what is asked in the RFE as background. You may respond to USCIS withdrawing her H4 COS petition as you are traveling out for stamping.

    • Hey, how long is the COS pending? Thanks in advance, I am also waiting for a COS from H1B to H4. Your answer would help.

      • Hello Kumar, thanks for your response. I got the rfe. We are requested to submit all previous I20s.

        Hello Sonali,
        This is a fresh H1 and H4 application. Pending since may.


  36. Is there a criteria or a period to recapture H1B. I have utilized 2 years of H1 B which was issued in 2007 and in 2009 and changed my status to H4 . This being the case can I recapture now and will I be exempted from the cap and lottery.

  37. Hi,

    By looking into above H4 EAD scenarios. It concludes that if your H4 EAD is pending USCIS and you go out of USA and come back with valid H4 you need to refile EAD. But one of user confirmed she got EAD approved.

    I am in the same case and my attorney from Murthy Law

    The existing H4 application is no longer needed since she got an I-94 upon reentry which should have been for the duration of your H1B approval. She doesn’t need to file another EAD application and it should still be processed.

    Are we getting confused with the change of status (COS) and H4 Ext

  38. Kumar,

    Can one travel to Canada for a short trip (<30days) by road and return with H4 Extension (I-539) and H4EAD Renewal (I-765) pending? It is my understanding that the I-94 will not be updated in this case. Current H4, H4EAD and I-94 are all valid till September but extension and renewal applications are pending with Nebraska center. Travel is planned for August. Please advise.

    • Yes, if your I-94 is valid, then you can use the Automatic Visa Revalidation (AVR) option to go to Canada and come back. Yes, that’s the idea, as your old same I-94 will be used for your re-entry with AVR. Discuss with your attorney as well to be sure.

  39. Hi,

    I’m in kind of same situation, we had our h1b & h4 approved till Sep 2019 and now, I got my H-1B approved till Dec 2021 through PP. H4 also filed along with that but bio metric alone done and still waiting for the H4 decision. Is it okay to travel as family and use my latest approved I797A to get entire family stamped and return by Aug last?

    Thanks in advance!


  40. Hi Kumar,

    I have worked on H1B for 4 years from 2012 to 2016 so there is only 2 year limit left on H1B. In 2016, i switched to H4 EAD and i had the approval from Jun 2016 to Jun 2019. Because of the H4 EAD bio metric delays now, applied for both H4 EAD renewal as well as H1B COS. I got approval on H4 EAD first from June 2019 to 2022 and then H1B approval from June 2019 to June 2021. Using automatic re validation, I am going to enter USA on H4 to make H4 active and valid.

    My Question is – Time on H4 does count towards the 2 years limit left on H1?

    In other words, Can i reuse this same 2 year limit on H1 in 2022 once my H4 EAD expires or by that time i must have initiated GC processing if i want to go for H1B extension or transfer? Please advise what is the best option for my situation.

    Also – for automatic re validation, can you suggest any city and also suggest is it good to go by cruise or air?


  41. Hi Kumar,

    I have a question related to my H4 extensions. I applied my Visa extension on June 6th in PP and i got my approval notice on 10 of june.My Wife and my son did the biometrics on June 20th.We are waiting for my wife and son’s approval.We are planning to travel in September end.Can we travel to India without the approval and can i do the drop box for my wife and son’s passport along with my passport and approval notice or what is the process??

  42. Hi Kumar,

    I have two questions

    1.I have filed My wife H4 extension along with H1 in premium processing.My h1 got approved and my wife H4 extension is in pending.If i file H4 EAD renewal for my wife separately now and if we go out of country in September and she gets H4 stamping in India and will come back to USA.What will happen to H4 EAD will it be denied along with H4 ?

    2. Question regarding passport renewal.My passport will expire in next year Oct 2020.If i request for passport re-issue for adding spouse name will they issue new passport with 10 years validity?

    • Well,they may issue RFE to send H4 approval notice to adjudicate H4 EAD or they may deny, if they do not hear back…
      Yes, usually they will give 10 year validity, if you do any changes to passport.

      • Hi
        My receipt date was May 7th
        For h4 extension and h4 EAD, I’m planning to travel to India next month and get stamping with my spouse h1extension,
        Once I get the stamping done what happens to the pending h4 extension and the h4 Ead please let me know , and I Filled both together ead and h4 but USCIS is eating that only h4 is filled they don’t see the ead application! Does this happen with everyone who is applying h4 extension and EAD together??
        Please let me know
        Thank you ,

  43. Hi Kumar,
    My H1b and visa stamping are valid until – Dec 2019
    My wife’s h4 and visa stamping are valid until – Dec 2019
    We are planning to visit India in Nov 2019. I am in the process of applying for my h1b extension in premium. Is it necessary that I file H4 extension for my wife with my H1b extension as we are planning to leave the country before her I-94 expiration date. Can she just go for H4 visa stamping with approved H1b extension. Does it affect her visa stamping.
    Appreciate your input. Thanks

  44. I have a question: I am in US on L1 and my spouse on L2. My client applied for H1 this year and it got selected. Can we travel out of country in December and return back even if my spouse’s H4 petition is pending approval? Will changing the petition from COS to consular help in getting H4 approved?

    • If H4 was filed as COS, then the application will be considered abandoned, if you leave the country. I do not think it will it get faster.

      • We have it answered in the top, read again. I suggest you make arrangements for your mail to be checked, because, if there are issues and you do not respond on time, it maybe in trouble. I suggest you collect the receipt and go, but if you have no choice, should be fine as long as someone can check mail and let you know, if any issues.

  45. Hi Kumar,

    What if family is already in India, and current H1B holder changing his employer, and new employer applying transfer of H1B along with H4. How does it work in this case. Can you please let me know.

  46. My h4 biometric scheduled at Minneapolis but am living in CA
    Can i go to nearby centre to do biometric???
    How many days after biometric for confirmation???

  47. Kumar,

    I am on H4 Visa and planning to apply for H4 EAD in a month.
    My travel plans are in the month of December.

    I need to appear for stamping as well. Does my travel and stamping impact my H4 EAD processing?

  48. I am in a similar situation. Have valid L2 till Oct 18th, spouse L1 extension is approved until October 2021, my L2 extension and L2 EAD are pending. We have travel plans in month of July. Our attorney has said since it is an extension and not “COS” EAD application will not be impacted.

    • That’s good to hear…Thanks for sharing. Please let the community know on the status, after your travel on what happened… Also, ask them how the I-94 would be updated on the L2 extension as it will be different.

  49. My attorney said it is perfectly fine to travel in my case. Here is my case.

    Today is 22-May-2019.
    Both mine and spouse visa (h1, h4 and visa stamps) valid till Sep 2019.
    Applied for my H4 ext with spouse H1 ext (premium) on Apr 2019.
    My spouse H1 extension is approved and valid for 3 years from Sep 2019.
    My current H4 is valid till 30-Sep-2019. I have valid visa stamp till 30-Sep-2019.
    My H4 extension (filled with H1 above) is under process – bio-metric done.
    Planning to go out of country in July 1st and returning on 31st July 2019 (while my visa stamp is still valid)

    Attorney says that my current H4 ext application will NOT be abandon and will continue to process.

    Did anyone on same boat with similar recommendation?

    • Me too. I am planning to go outside with my kid in Jun itself and returning on July. Same as your situation except my and kid visa stamp is valid till mid September. Got similar answer from attorney.

    • Well, our guidance is based on what USCIS says, you can see the screenshots, it is the same I-539 form you use for both COS and extension…Also, many other attorney’s agree with USCIS guidance on website…Nevertheless, do share your outcome once you decide…

      • Hi Kumar,

        My Lawyer had similar recommendation. He said H4 might be abandoned but H4 EAD will not be denied is what my lawyer said. From the screenshot it clearly mentioned that “change to H-4 status from different non-immigrant status” then it gets abandoned too. So, extension of same status might not fall under this rule.

        • Ram,
          Please go with your attorney as they know your situation better. Do let the community know, based on the outcome…The key issue is with the change in I-94 number, after you exit and re-enter…

    • Hi – what did you decide to do in your situation ? Are you going ahead with your travel plans when H4 extension is pending and knowing that you have a valid stamped H4 visa until September?

      Will appreciate your inputs. thanks!

      • Hi Kumar,

        I received an approval for my L1-B extension. My dependents I-539 is still pending with USCIS for extension. Also, all our visa stampings have expired. Can my dependents travel to India? Will their application be still valid, they have already completed their bio-metrics. Will they be able to return back without any issues?


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