Can I travel to India and back on h4 when applied for h1b and not yet approved??

I am currently on h4. It had expired on March 2015, but got it extended till March 2016(but have not got it stamped yet). I have applied for h1b this april and still waiting to know the status of it. I need to travel to India in the month of august 2015. My question is:

Can I travel in August and come back in September 2015 on h4? Or if travelling back on the extended h4 in September isn’t safe (or not possible), can I travel back in October on h1b (provided I get selected in the lottery)? Please help, as it is really critical for me to travel to India. Please suggest the safest way to travel. I need to be in India Aug mid to end.

Thanks in advance.

No, you cannot travel out of the US until the H1-B visa is approved. If you do travel, the petition will be treated as abandoned.

However, once the H1-B is approved, you can travel to India and return prior to October 1 on your valid H-4, or, if returning after October 1, on the approved and stamped H1-b visa. If returning before Oct 1 on H-4, your status will automatically convert to H1-b on Oct 1.

If it is critical to travel in August, one solution would be to convert your H1-B application to premium processing ( I assume you have filed in regular processing). This can be done only after the petition is picked in the lottery and you are provided with a receipt number. This should help speed up the H1-B approval process in time for you to receive the approval before you travel in August.

thanks so much for the reply.
The company which filed my application says that if my petition is picked in lottery and I need to travel, I need to go for an amendment which will cost me extra $3000. Is that true and what does that mean?
And one more thing, are you sure of wht you suggested to me? Or is it just a possibility?

Hi there,
I’m not certain what amendment they are referring to - I haven’t heard of this before. Perhaps they are talking about the extra cost incurred to convert a regular processing petition to premium? If so, the cost for that is $1250 (you can refer to the USCIS website for cost details).
I am certain you can travel outside the US after the H1-B is approved and return on a valid H-4 before Oct 1, or on your valid H1-B after getting it stamped, if returning after Oct 1. I am in a similar situation as you - currently on H-4, my H1-B has been filed in premium processing - and i spoke to an immigration attorney from a reputed US law firm to confirm that I can exit the country after my H1-B is approved. The attorney told me I cannot travel before petition approval.
Hope this helps- good luck! If you need further clarification I suggest you make an appointment with an immigration attorney.


I am currently on H4 and want to convert it to H1B .Could you please tell me some company which can sponsor.

Thanks .

Well I cannot recommend you any specific. There are loads out there, consultancies I mean. You could search and contact them online. But please check if they are proper ones.
The one I contacted last year turned out to be a big fraud! All the best. :slight_smile: