H4 Visa transfer for my family in india when H1B transfer for me with new employer in US

I have a situation, where am working in US on H1B and my family right now are on vacation to india on H4.

And, am planning to change my company. So, my questions are:

  1. Let’s say I get an offer from a new company and are ready to process my H1B transfer. If I need to avoid visa transfer expenses and interview process for my family who are currently in india, when can I call my family back to US safely without having negative impact in the future regarding visa history for me and my family. (I mean do I need to call them before H1B transfer is initiated/filed or do I have little tolerance like calling them after H1B transfer is filed within a week or so without going through the visa interview process for new employer.) FYI, Their Visa with current employer is valid till Aug 2015

  2. Second case is, if I get an offer and if I have to call my family back with visa transfer and interview process, can I start visa transfer process as soon as I have the petition number of H1B transfer with the new employer or do I need to wait for the original I-797 from the USCIS and then start the visa transfer process for my family in India. When do you think it is safe to start visa transfer process for my family.

And, also how much time it would approximately take for the visa transfer to complete for my family in India from the date the new employer in US initiated the H1B transfer process for me.

  1. And, what would be the approximate cost of visa transfer/stamping for my wife and 2 year old daughter.

Thanks a lot in advance,


Hi Jalli,

Your H-4 dependents do not need new stamping as it is movement within the same visa class. You are just changing employers and the stamped H-4 is simply a travel document which your wife and child already have. Your employer must be notified that you have dependents so that steps may be taken according to what they suggest. As far as I know, an H-4 is linked to H-1B and not to any employer per se.

Best wishes

Dr. Sandeep Shankar, Colorado Heights University, www.chu.edu

Hi Jalil,

I don’t agree to the answer below. H4 validity is directly related to H1 validity and depends on H1 of the primary visa holder. If you change your employer, your H1 will get a new I-94, as well as new expiry date. H4 is not just a travel document, its a status dependent on H1 visa holder.

Imagine your current H1 is expiring in Dec 2015 then H4s will also expire at the same time. If your new H1 is expiring on Oct 2015 then in what status your spouse and children will be between Oct 15 and Dec 15?.

It is required that you get new petition for your dependents and get them stamped before entering.