COS - H1B to H4 EAD


I am on H1B with my current employer and also have an approved H4 EAD (through my spouse’s employer). I am pursuing another career opportunity that doesn’t provide visa sponsorship -

  1. If I am switching jobs and let go of my H1B status, do I need to file a COS with USCIS? Or does presenting the EAD to new employer at the time of joining is sufficient? Is COS approval a pre-req before taking a new job?

  2. If I am in-between jobs, am I legally eligible to stay in US? Or COS filing with USCIS is mandatory? If yes to latter, how much of lead time should I consider to file COS before giving up H1B status with my current employer?

  1. you need to apply for COS from H1 to H4, if you are currently on H1. You cannot use the EAD until the COS is approved. Onluy when COS is approved you would officially be on H4 status and then you can use the H4 EAD.

  2. I would suggest that if you have a valid H4 visa stamp on your passport, you can resign from H1 job, exit the country and re-enter the country on H4, which converts your H1 to H4 instantly as you enter, then you can start working on H4 EAD.

COS generally takes weeks or months to get approved.