H1B/H4 Transfer - Apply for H4, H4 EAD before 6 months?

Me and my spouse have a H1B and H4 + H4 EAD respectively all valid until Aug 2020.

I had questions about H1B transfers to a new employer?

  • Does H1B and H4 get transferred at the same time (along with extension?) or does H4 need to be filed in separately once H1B transfer is successful?
  • What happens to H4 EAD? Say I transfer now, when can I begin the process to extend H4 EAD beyond the Aug 2020 date (assuming I can use my current employer filed and approved I-140 and my new employer hasn’t done that yet)

Would it be wise to switch jobs now or wait until Feb 2020 (6 months prior to deadline), get H1B, H4 and H4 EAD extended together and then look for a new job?

It would be really helpful if someone could help answer this in some detail.


It is usually filed at the same time so that you get H4 extended until the end date of H1B. It is not mandatory to do it at the same time, but highly encouraged and many do that to keep the dates in sync.

You can use H4 EAD after the transfer until the valid date on the H4 EAD. you need to make sure you get the H4 EAD renewal done before the expiration, so plan ahead and apply for it like 6 months before expiry…Talk to your employer’s attorney as well at new company…

It does not matter, you can do it now or later…the deadline of 6 months is for H1B extensions primarily and does not apply to others.

Thanks Kumar. Helpful as always.
So the timeline would be:

  1. Apply for H1B-H4 Transfer together
  2. Once transfer is done, apply for H4 EAD extension (6 months before expiry)


Yes, that’s the idea. There is no hard rule that tells you can only apply for H4 EAD up to 6 months before expiry, but just recommended. You can consider the current processing times for the location and then can even apply slightly earlier as well and put in a request letter indicating the reason to file early.