Apply for H4 Visa based on spouse's H1B I797 approval notice?

My scenario:

  1. Currently with Employer A under H1B, which is valid until Jul 2020. Family’s H4 is also valid until Jul 2020, but they do not have the H4 Visa stamping in their passport.
  2. Accepted an offer from Employer B (not joined yet), applied for Transfer/Extension of H1B Visa and received the H1B I797 approval notice. However, the H4 extension is still pending and I believe the H4 processing timeline is 6-8 months now (applied on May 2, 2019 and biometrics completed on May 20, 2019).

Question 1: Would travelling out of USA before receiving the I-539 approval (H4 approval for Employer B) cause any problems to their H4 transfer/extension?

Question 2: If we do travel out before receiving their H4 approval, we will have to get a Visa before coming back. Can we apply for their H4 visa based on my H1B I797 approval notice? Wouldn’t their H4 I-539 approval be necessary for the visa application?

I appreciate any thoughts on this.


H4 visa stamp can be obtained using the H1B approved i797 from US embassy.
There is no need of H4 approval or H4 i797.

If H4 travels outside US while H4 extension is pending, the USCIS will probably deny it as the person has already left the US and hence no extension is needed.