Traveling to India H4 & H4 EAD


Mine and my spouses H1B and H4 extension is applied and pending with USCIS. We are planning to visit India once H1B extension is approved (using premium processing).

  1. Is it okay to travel while her H4 extension is pending and get the visa stamped in India using drop box for both of us ? If yes, then what would happen to the H4 extension which is already pending with USCIS.

  2. My spouse is eligible to apply for H4 EAD, Is it fine to apply H4 EAD with pending H1B and H4 extension?


Yes, this is absolutely fine. Ideally, USCIS will deny H4 EOS once the beneficiary opt for consular processing (visa stamping), however there have been instances where the beneficiary got visa stamping, reentered back into the US and H4 EOS was approved later on. If this happens, atmost the H4 holder will end up with two different I-94s, one issued by CBP at POE when entering back with the new visa stamp and the one attached to the I-797 approval notice. This is not an issue, doesn’t impact your legal status in the US and can be fixed by traveling to the Mexico/Canada border, use your I-797 approval notice and you will be issued the I-94 that will match the number on your I-94 attached to I-797.

While this is possible, the EAD will not be approved till H1B and H4 are approved. I would suggest to apply after you come back and use the new H4 I-94 issued by CBP for underlying H4 status for the EAD. This will speed up the EAD processing.

Thank you very much Kalpesh !!