h1 expired - extention pending - traveling india - travel back to us using h4

Hi all,

Please provide info on the below scenario:

Husband : on H1 visa valid till Sep/2016

Wife : H1 Visa expired sep/2015, H1 extension is in Process.

Scenario: Due to some personal reasons Wife has to travel to India in Mar 2016


  1. Can wife travel to India while H1 extension is still pending?

  2. If Wife travels to india and she looses the Status, Can Wife apply for H4 based on Husband’s H1. If so will there be any issue because Wife H1 extension is still pending. Will there be any complications?

  3. Before traveling to india, Can the wife apply for Change of Status to H4 while her H1 extension is pending? will the status gets updated before Mar 2016?

4 Is there an advisable way so that Wife can go to india and come back with out any issue?

Thanks in advance.

  1. Yes

  2. She can appear for H-4 stamping and return on H-4 visa. If her H-1 gets approved, that would be w/o I-94 attached. So her status would remain H-4 even after H-1 approval and she will have to apply for COS or re-enter US on stamped H-1 visa.

  3. Why do you want to do that? Does she want to stop working before leaving for India?

  4. What visa does she want to be after returning? If she wants to return and work on H-1, then you have 2 options - first is what I mentioned in (2); second is to upgrade her petition to PP and get the H-1 approval and return on stamped H-1 visa.

Hi Saurabh…Thanks for the response.

Due to some personal reason Wife wants to take a break for a year from work.

In India when the Wife attends the H4 interview, will there be any questions on her existing H1 extension? or any chance of H4 denial?

Once in US on H4 should the wife With Draw the earlier applied H1 extention? or can she just ignore it and be on H4?

Once again thanks for the valuable info.

They may ask about H-1 extension petition, but she can say that she wants to take a break for now and wants to return on H-4 visa. Most of the online experiences that I have read, I haven’t seen them enquiring about H-1 extension petition.

After returning on H-4, she can let H-1 extension proceed as it causes no harm and keeps the option open if she wants to move to H-1 during that petition validity period. Does H-1 employer know about her intent to move to H-4?

Thanks for the info saurabh