H4 Travel with old employer stamp after H1 Transfer

I recently got my H1 transferred and joining my new employer next week. My new employer just got my approved H1 papers and he is ready to file a H4 extension for my wife which could take 2 - 3 months.

Both me and my wife have our visa stamped from my previous employer until July 2013.

Meanwhile, due to an emergency my wife needs to travel India Feb 1st week which means my new employer cannot file her H4 extension now as it will be deemed abandoned if she leaves the country after filing for her H4 extension.


	How soon should my new employer file for her H4 after I join him?

	If we decide not to do her H4 now and travel to India will she need to get her visa stamped.

	If she doesn't need stamping can she travel back to USA in March with the previous employer stamp which is approved until July 2013. What is the risk at POE assuming she has a valid stamp and my new I797 but NO H4 i.e. I-539 extension.

Any suggestions or people faced these situations are appreciable.
  1. It is not mandatory for them to file H-4 for her. Her status dependes upon you, and as long as you get your H-1 transferred and get paid, she should be fine. Employers file H-4 only to get extension for 3 years so that your and her I-94 become in sync. Otherwise she can continue to stay on the basis of current I-94.

  2. She is not required to get another visa stamp as long as the previous visa stamp is valid. When returning to US, she can use the old visa stamp (unexpired) and new approved H-1 petition along w/ rest of your documents.

  3. I don’t think there is a risk. They will look at the new 797 and issue an I-94 valid until your H-1 797. Once this is done, there is no need to file for H-4 extension as well.

Thank you Saurabh for the detailed info. I will post my comments back once I make a decision and if everything goes smooth.


Did your dependent travel back with old Visa. DID she faced any issue in POE.

She will be back in April…I will let you know…

Even I’m in same situation.
Is your family back.
Did they go for stamping in India?
Please let me know.

Yes, she is back. No stamping required since she still has one until July. However, at the port of entry she only had copy of my I797 so there was a delay but it seems they crosschecked my details and gave her I94 matching my new date and let her enter USA. You might want to consider carrying originals but either way they should allow you.

Thanks Saurabh for the info…

At POE they asked for my I797 original but she carried only a copy. They took her into a separate area verified my details and matched her I94 to my new date. Some panics but there were no issues…

Hi Sudhirk,
Nice to know that u had no issues in POE. In my case my dependent has never traveled to US(not even once) with the old Visa. When i checked with USCIS, they said since she has never travelled to US with the previous visa, she has to go for the interview.

Thanks for the info.
May I know at which POE.



Although stamping is not required, but if the employer/attorney is suggesting it, she can go for it. More peace of mind for everyone involved.

Hi vaish.sat,
I am also in similar situation. Is USCIS suggesting for new stamping ? or employer / attorney ?

Hi Sudhir,

I’m also in same situation. my wife is currently in India. She has H4 Visa stamping with Old employer which will expire in Oct 2023. Now I have H1 I797 approval with New Employer and it is valid up until 2025.

She will be travelling to US in month of June 2023

So my questions

  1. can she travel with old visa (it will expire in 5 months) ?
  2. is there any limitation that she should travel before date/month?
  3. what documents should be carried during POE?

Please suggest, I will wait for your response.
Thank you