Can we apply and travel back on different visa while H1b admin processing is in progress?

My wife traveled to India in December . She was working in USA on h1b. She has an approved petition valid till 31 March 2016 and we filed for an extension which is in RFE. We were advised by her employers’ attorney to write the RFE petition number as the latest info on the DS 160 and not the approved petition number. This i believe was a mistake. My wife went for her h1b visa interview in the Delhi consulate on 4th Jan 2016The visa officer said the visa is approved. It’s however been 2 weeks and the status shows admin processing. They kept her passport and the approved I- 797 and did not get any slip. The latest response from the ceac help desk shows the same.She also got a call from embassy once that there is a mismatch in the petition submitted. And verified the petition numbers. I believe she will get the visa stamped on the basis of the old petition. But more importantly we want her back in the US.I need your thoughts on the following:1. How much time will it take for her to get the visa and passport back. She has already missed her flight and the client wants her back.2. She already has a stamped H4 . Do you think that will be cancelled?3. If she gets back the passport with the rejection we plan to get her back on h4 stamp. Hopefully they won’t cancel the H4.4. If we withdraw the passport back. How much time does it take? and will they cancel any existing visa H4?5. If we withdraw the passport and the H4 is cancelled … What is the best way for her to get back . Go back for a new H4 stamp. Can anyone travel to US in a different status when a different class of visa is in admin processing ?6. We were planning to respond to the RFE after her return. What is your advise on that?This is a very tricky situation and we need help.Please advise

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  1. Unfortunately, there is no set SLA for this. Lot of times, it gets resolved within few weeks but again it varies from case to case.

  2. Usually they cancel H-4 visa stamp w/o prejudice when approving H-1 visa stamp. But it is VO’s discretion

  3. If H-4 is not canceled, she can return on that visa stamp

  4. It may take 1-2 weeks. Not sure what will happen w/ H-4 visa stamp. How will this help? She will return on H-4 visa and cannot work for the employer unless she also has an EAD.

  5. She can appear for H-4 visa stamping

  6. RFEs have an end date mentioned. What’s her RFE response date?

The RFE deadline is March 02.
Also can you walk me through the process of withdrawing her passport and H1 application.

We want her back on H4 , I understand she won’t be able to work. But she can not stay in India for long. What should be the reason for withdrawal, and also in the DS 160 for h4 will this qualify as rejection / denial?


She should call the consulate and they can guide her with the process. I think they may ask for a letter asking for withdrawal of stamping. She can quote reason as a generic personal reasons or be more specific like need passport for travel.

Yes, this will be considered as rejection/denial w.r.t. related DS-160 question.

Thanks Saurabh,

What impact do you think it has if we say the Visa was denied and also what can be a plausible explanation. As we do not know for sure if the visa was denied we are just withdrawing it for personal reasons to ensure she comes back to join her spouse.


Also if the old H4 stamp is CWOP , will she still be eligible for Dropbox. I have not changed my employer and have an approved extension from the same employer

She can respond truthfully that 221g was issued, no documents were asked and she withdrew the petition to be together with family.

She may not be eligible for dropbox facility as 221g issuance is considered as refusal. Look at the criteria here: