H4 Extension pending and H1B visa interview scheduled

I have an approved H1B petition from Company A (COS from H4 to H1B was rejected due to travel out of country) and intend to go for stamping in home country in Feb. 2016. My husband’s company (Company B) had filed my H4 extension in Aug. 2015 and is still pending for approval. My husband’s petition is approved as it was filed earlier. I assume my H4 extension might not get approved (pending) when I attend the H1B visa interview in Feb. 2016.

Must the H4 extension be withdrawn before the H1B interview?

If the H1B visa is denied, and H4 extension is not withdrawn, do I have to wait in India until the H4 extension is approved?

If the H1B visa is denied, and H4 extension withdrawal REQUEST is sent (Not withdrawn yet by USCIS), can I apply for a fresh H4 when in India?

Will travel out of the country during extension cancel the H4 extension automatically or does it amount to illegal presence?

Also, does having an H4 extension pending during H1B visa interview pose any risks?

What would you suggest in this scenario, please help?


  1. Not required to withdraw H-4 extension petition. It will be abandoned once you leave US

  2. If H-1 is denied and H-4 is abandoned (you cannot stop it), then you can return on stamped H-4 visa. If you have previously stamped unexpired H-4 visa, then use it; else appear for H-4 stamping. When entering US on this H-4 visa, you will receive extended I-94 which is exactly what your H-4 extension petition would have accomplished.

  3. See (2)

  4. It is automatically abandoned once you leave US

  5. See (4)

Thanks a lot Saurabh for your answers! This really helps! Just had one more query

If the H4 visa is considered abandoned (Travel to India on Feb 5th), how soon can I apply for the H4 visa from India (Returning back on March 7th)?

Also, does the abandonment amount to illegal presence in the USA?

She can appear for H-4 visa stamping soon after landing in India. There is no cooling-off period.

Thanks a lot for your response! One last query, If I travel out of India, since I am abandoning my H4 extension, does it amount to illegal presence between August 2015 when my visa expired to February 2016 when I travel to India. (Please note my husbands H1B petition based on which the H4 was applied is already approved)

Please help!

You are legally allowed to stay in US b/w I-94 expiration date and extension petition’s approval/denial/withdrawal date.

In addition, it won’t be an explicit withdrawal (you are not writing to USCIS to withdraw it). It is abandoning which will happen implicitly once you leave US.