Employment terminated without notice, File H4 COS in H1B 60 day period?


I have been layed off on 13th of July with the employer(H1B until 2020). Since I have reached the 30 day mark and nothing has materialized as of yet. So looking at the alternate solutions. Appreciate your help on answering these questions.

  1. Moving onto H4 under my spouse by filing COS-
    -Does current 60 day timeline applicable only to H1B transfer or transfer to H4 also applies. This is to ensure I am not out of status.
    -Also when should I apply for H4, day before or USPS posted date on the last day is applicable?

  2. After applying for COS if I find a job, and H1B transfer is approved. I should withdraw my COS…but can I start working right away or should I leave the country and get it stamped before starting my new job?


Change of status to H4 in H1B 60 day grace period

Yes, you can file change of status till 60th day.

COS application filing is allowed by USCIS till the time you are “in status” and your i94 has not expired.

In this case, your H1B status is intact till 60th day after lay off.

H1B transfer approved after H4 COS filed in 60 day grace period

You can start working on H1B transfer receipt if it is filed on or before the 60th day.

If you receive the H1B recipes number on or after 61st day, it is recommended to go out of US and re-enter. This keeps the records clean as you get new i94 with status = H1B.

You should apply for H4 COS withdrawal using this USCIS application withdraw letter as soon as you start working on H1B.

I have covered more H1B 60 day grace period scenarios in this article:

Let me know if you need more information.

Thank you so much Sir!!

I am currently working on an H1b visa (valid through Sep 2022) and my role has been impacted at my current job with 9/18 as my last day with the firm. I wanted to request your guidance on how best to maintain lawful status and at the same time, remain eligible for a new employer to file an H1b petition once I find a job. (potential options below)

Option 1: Apply H4+EAD leveraging my wife’s H1b and approved I-140. She is already working/living in the US

Complication - It is taking significantly long to get H4+EAD approved. Additionally, even if I find an employer willing to sponsor an H1b visa for me, the employer cannot file an H1b petition (COS) for me as I will be in “period of authorized stay” while H4+EAD is pending post H1b grace period. I would have to travel to my home country to get an H1b, which I am not sure is allowed under the executive order

Questions -

  • Do you think option 1 is feasible?
  • Is there a way to expedite H4+EAD approval by filing a lawsuit? If yes, what is the approx. timeline from submitting the application to final approval?
  • In case an employer agrees to file H1b while H4+EAD is pending (after a 60 day H1b grace period), am I eligible to get h1b through a consulate given constraints of the executive order?
  • Are there risks we should be aware of?

Option 2: Apply for an H4 visa through the US consulate in India and enter the US on H4 visa. Then file for H1b COS as soon as I find an employer. Just fyi, I have never been on an H4 visa before.

Complication - I am not sure if I can apply for new H4 visa at consulate and enter the US on H4 visa, considering Executive Order published on Jun 22nd

Questions -

  • As my wife is working/living in the US, does that qualify me as an exception to the executive order?
  • Do you think option 2 is feasible?
  • Are there risks we should be aware of?
  • Are there other options that are better suited for my situation?