I’m currently in India, and my family is in US. I have a valid H4 visa, also got H1B stamped recenlty which will be valid from Sept 21st. we have a situation that I need to travel to US by next week (August). I beleive, I need to re-enter US before Oct 1st to start the work. Is that correct? or can I get new I-94 for H1B from USCIS office in US? If I have to re-enter, what’s the best option to do? And do I need to apply for Canada or mexico visa to do re-enter? Note, I read online that canada visa processing time for visitor visa is 56 days. Please advise.
I am assuming you have both H4 and H1B visa stamped on your passport.
Option # 1 You can travel in August on H4 Visa and when you are in the USA, ask Employer to file an Amendment Chnage of Status
Option # 2 On or after Sep 21st, just travel out of the USA, say Canada/Mexico and re-enter on H1B.
I hope this helps!
Remember - unless you do either option 1 or 2, your status will remain H-4 and you cannot work. In other words, you can enter US earlier, but cannot start H-1 work until Oct 1 or later.
Thanks for your reply.
I missed to add a point in my question, I was in US (H4) when my new employer applied H1B in April 2013. And they had filed H1B along with COS. So when I got the approved petition while I’m in India, received new I94 as well which will be valid from Oct 1st.
Can that be used to start work on Oct 1st without traveling out of USA.
It is peculiar that they approved the COS even when you left US before it got approved. It may be an error on part of USCIS.
You should ask your attorney about this to know if that COS is really applicable or not. If it is applicable, then you can return on H-4 and will automatically be on H-1 from Oct 1. If that H-1 I-94 cannot be used, then you will have to do option 1 or 2 as outlined above.
The COS was filed while he/she was here, it may have been approved even though he/she left the country, it is quite normal as USCIS records take time to update.
In any case - You are maintaining H4 Status now, YOU MUST FILE FOR A CHANGE OF STATUS TO H1B.
The person left US on Mar 25 (even before H-1 was filed), and H-1 was approved in early June.
Seems like the employer forgot to change the filing from COS to consular processing, and USCIS officer failed to notice that I-94 has been closed for more than 2 months.