Getting married in march end. his h1 expires may 1st. can i apply for h4 in april?

HI. My fiance’s h1 is due to expire in May 2016. His employers are going to file his extention at the end of february. Our wedding date is set for March 25. He will be flying to India between 18-30 March.

We have many questions. And thanks in advance to anyone who can answer any of these questions -

  1. If his approval comes to his workplace in his absence (when he is in india for the wedding) then will he be stuck here, since he needs the approval paperwork in hand to apply for visa hearing in India ?

  2. If I apply for H4 visa asap after our wedding, the visa IF approved will be until his h1 expiry date of may 1st. So first of all, if the expiry is within a month of me applying, will they even grant me an h4? And if i am granted an h4 that expires on 1st may, can i go to the US before expiry date and stay there, and apply for extention from within the us?

  3. If i wait for him to get the approval on his h1b extention, and then apply in india for h4, does his newly extended h1 need a stamping for me get an h4?

I’m sorry if i haven’t been able to clearly communicate our predicament. I will be happy to explain in better details to anyone who feels like they could help. Thanks.

First, Congrats on the wedding!

  1. The employer can FedEx the approval notice to him in India. Lot of employers do that, and is not unusual. Just ensure to send it through a service that can be tracked

2/3. The visa will be up until his 797 expiration date. If he gets it extended by the time of your H-4 interview, you will receive it for a longer duration else May 2016. Let’s say you get it for a shorter duration, you will have to enter US on that visa stamp (you can enter US as long as the visa stamp has not expired) and then soon file for extension.

Although you didn’t ask but you guys need to watch out for his extension. If he leaves US after filing extension, and it doesn’t get approved by the time he returns to US, then he will have to refile it after returning to US (as his I-94 EOS would be abandoned when leaving US). This would impact you as well.

So it important that he gets is extended by the time he returns to US (doesn’t matter if it gets approved before he leaves US or while he is in India). This way you both can get extended I-94 on returning to US and not worry about any extensions. He or his employer may have to go premium processing route for this. Although it costs 1225/- more, but it may still be worthwhile than filing two extensions (his and yours) after retuning to US.

Thanks Saurabh. This is what his lawyer came back with. They will be filing his extension by the end of this month in premium processing. He should get the approval before he comes to India on 18 March. For his India trip, since he will be flying out of India on March 30th, well before his stamping expires/h1 expires on May 1st, he does not need to get the extension stamped. So he will not be stuck here.
Just to confirm, our understanding of this is correct?

The lawyer said I can apply for my H4 on his new extension and I would be granted a visa upto 2017 I think (whatever that date might be, but it would be based on the new one for a longer duration as you said, not the one expiring in May 2016).

Thank you for your help!!

Yes, that is a correct understanding.

Even though he doesn’t need to appear for stamping, he will be eligible for dropbox facility (doesn’t need to appear in person for interview). This will give him an elongated visa and will avoid any future in-person visa stampings until 2017 or whatever his new 797 expiration date would be. It is your call.

Thank you! I will tell him about this dropbox facility.
We will both be flying back in November 2016 to attend his sister’s wedding. So he can also get it stamped then, correct? And ! would not need the stamping at that time, yes?

If you have to travel in Nov, then yes he can get it stamped then. He would still qualify for dropbox. He can avail that as long as his visa stamp has not expired more than 1 year in past. You won’t need visa stamp as your current visa would be issued on basis of extended petition.

wonderful. Thanks so much for your help. Will surely come back if I need any guidance when I file for my H4.