H1/H4/H4EAD extension with Travel

I am confused as to an upcoming travel with my H1/H4/H4 EAD extension during the same time. Here is my situation.
W both have valid stamping until April 2022. We are planning to apply H1/H4/H4EAD extensions in October but we need to leave to India in Nov. Plan is to return in January. I am planning to hav my H1 extension in PP so I will get the new I-797 in hand before I leave. If we both get stamping date Bfore we return , it fine else we would like to return in Jan 2nd week (Before our VISA expires) with new valid I-797(until Apr 2025).

In this case what would happen to my wife H4/H4 EAD. Wouldn’t her H4 be extended at port of entry until April 2025? I see some say h4 extension would be abandoned and she might not get new I-94 at POE using the new I-94? Pls help in clarifying this


The H-4 extension of status and EAD application will keep processing while you travel and it’s not treated as abandoned. However it may get denied if the beneficiary is not present in the US at the time of adjudication.

Looking at your travel timeline, it seems like you will be back before H4/EAD is adjudicated so you should be good. Make sure you assign someone to keep checking your mailbox for any USCIS related communication like RFE etc while you are gone. Also it will be a good idea to keep checking the case status at the USCIS portal so you know if USCIS sent any RFE that you need to respond to.

No. CBP do not issue extension of status I-94 as this is something in the realm of USCIS as far as I know. You may want to double check with your immigration lawyer.
CBP issues I-94 as an arrival record based on already approved petition from USCIS or visa issued by consulate and will match it with either the I-797 or visa expiry.

So in your case, H1B I-94 may be issued based on the I-797 H1B extension approval notice however for your H4 dependents, if they do not have newly approved extension, I-94 issued by CBP will be valid till the current H4 I-797/H4visa expiry date. (April 2022)

Now once the H4 enters before the expiry of their current status (April 2022), and USCIS approves the H4 extension after their entry, the new I-94 issued with the I-797 approval notice will govern H4 status and this should match with the H1B expiry of the primary, which in your case will be April 2025.

Lastly make sure passport for all travelers have validity at least 6 months beyond the current I-94s expiry at the time of entering back to the US.

It is always a good idea to discuss your travel plan with your immigration lawyer so that they can advice/guide you based on your individual circumstances.

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Thank you. That pretty much clarifies my doubts. I will actually travel early, come back in November and then apply for all the extensions. I guess that’s the best course of action I can take right now.

Fyi, you will need to get NIE approval, from the consulate that issued the visa, per the current PP to travel back.

Yes we are traveling with our child who is a us citizen. We are carrying her birth certificate. I guess we do not need an nie as we are exempt

Yes in that case you don’t need NIE approval.


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