H1 to H4 COS pending, withdraw COS application and file H1B transfer

H1B, H4 COS and H4 EAD filed concurrently

Currently I am on H1B valid till 2019 Feb.
H1 to H4 COS, H4 EAD filed concurrently in premium along with spouse’s H1 transfer on 04/29.

H1 transfer for spouse approved on 05/08.
No update on H4 COS,H4 EAD application yet.I am still working on my current H1B even after filing H4 COS+EAD.

Can I withdraw H4 COS and file H1B transfer in premium?

In the mean time got a good offer from full time company ready to file H1 transfer.

Now wondering if I can withdraw and continue on h1 transferring to new employer.

After sending withdrawal there is no defined time limit for USCIS to acknowledge the Withdrawal and assuming H1 Transfer will be approved first since it’s in premium.

What happens if USCIS still approve H1 to H4 COS after H1B transfer has been approved?

What happens if USCIS still approve H1 to H4 COS, even after sending the withdrawal letter, (assuming H1 transfer is approved by that time), as we are not sure ,when the letter will be actually processed or will it reach the adjudicating officer in correct time.Already 38 days passed on my COS application.

  1. In this case, will I be under H4 and need to stop working? Does the H4 supersede the H1 transfer approval, due to the last action rule?

  2. Do we have to refile for H4 to H1 COS to start working again on H1B ?

  3. Otherwise can I continue work on H1B, even after H1 to H4 COS is approved, if we already sent withdrawal before cos approval?
    Is there a way to confirm this with USCIS to avoid unauthorized work issues?

  4. Does USCIS withdraw the H4 COS approval when it processes the withdrawal letter ? (in case if H4 COS is already approved befor ethey process withdrawal letter)

  5. In worst case, do I have to go to Consulate in India and to get H1 stamping?
    Looks like consular processing is risky now a days.
    I don’t have latest H1 stampin gin my passport since I didn’t traveled after my H1 extension.

USCIS withdrawal letter processing is after H1 to H4 COS approval

If USCIS processes the withdrawal letter late, and if H1 to H4 COS is already approved by that time, is it possible that they might actually withdraw the approved H1 TO H4 COS ? Will this potentially make me out of status ?

Appreciate if anyone can please suggest.

Hi @cloud7

Withdraw pending H4 COS and file H1B transfer in premium

Yes, you can file for H4 COS withdrawal and then file for H1B transfer application.

Make sure you send your H4 COS withdrawal letter by certified mail (preferably by USPS).
Keep a scanned copy of the letter as well as the certified mail receipt.

Since, there is no specific timeline published by USCIS for processing withdrawal letters, it is important to keep the paper work trail at your end pretty clean.

This would help your case if USCIS messes up withdrawals and approvals timeline.

What happens if USCIS still approve H1 to H4 COS after H1B transfer has been approved?

If you send the H4 COS withdrawal letter to USCIS before filing for H1B transfer, then you are good.

If any issue arises later or USCIS issues and RFE with respect to your status i.e. it is H4 or H1B, then you can reply with the proof that you did send a withdrawal letter before filing for H1B transfer.

All your other questions are dependent on what can happen if USCIS does not process your withdrawal letter on time.
But, once you send the ‘withdrawal request’ and if your application was pending on that date, you are safe and you can assume that your application has been withdrawn on the date USCIS receives your application.

Withdrawal letter Processing Time

As far as i know, USCIS will send a notification letter once they have processed your ‘Application withdrawal’ request.
It may take few weeks to arrive after you have sent the request.

If USCIS withdrawal is processed after H1 to H4 COS is already approved?

Well, if your withdrawal letter reaches USCIS after they have already approved your H1 to H4 COS application, then your status has automatically been changed to H4.

In this case, you will have to take actions based on your current status, which would be off course H4.

Let me know if you need more information.

Thanks for your response.
So you mean even if they approve the H1 to H4 COS, after we send withdrawal letter, I don’t need to stop working?
Can I continue working on my H1B?

Please confirm?

Double checking because this should not create any issues later we go for stamping/extension/transfer?

If USCIS processes the withdrawal letter late, and if H1 to H4 COS is already approved by that time,is it possible that they might actually withdraw the approved H1 TO H4 COS ? Will this potentially make me out of status ?

Does uscis withdraw already approved H1to h4 COS as well based on Withdrawal letter?
If that happens,I might go out of status,right?

If you send the H1 to H4 COS withdraw application before it is approved, USCIS will withdraw your application.
Normally, they will just cancel the application and will not approve it, if it still pending.

So, the scenario that you have mentioned is not possible.

But, even if it happens, you will have to contact USCIS to get things fixed by showing the paper work and proof of sending ‘Withdrawal letter’.

You can keep working on #usa:h1b as you would have done your part correctly.

The withdrawal letter is meant ONLY for withdrawing ‘pending’ applications.

If USCIS has already processed your H1 to H4 COS, they will not withdraw the approved H4 on their own.

Thanks Anil.Looks like in some cases they do withdraw approved petitions as well.Please refer Ext Urgent - COS to H4 and H4 EAD approved, but previously sent an Application Withdrawl - RedBus2US - Q&A
Please correct me if I am mistaken.

I read the link you shared but it does not really say clearly if USCIS cancelled the approved petition on it’s own. Did I miss anything there?

As per my opinion, if your H4 COS and H4 EAD is approved even when you have already filed for withdrawal letter, you can request for cancellation of the pending COS + EAD application by showing the proof that you submitted the withdraw application before it was approved.

You can still keep working on H1B as you are maintaining your status based on your filing timeline. USCIS will honor it.

Does it answer your question?

From vijay, “My h4 withdrawal got approved as I am on h1 so no issues.”
From Sri " I am on the same boat where my COS to H4 got approved and then withdrawn a week later."

I was thinking that they mean USCIS first approved the cos even after sending withdrawal and later withdrawn by USCIS after processing the withdrawal letter.

I was just focusing on what the original thread creator (Vijay) had written about his case. He has not mentioned anything clearly.

Anyway, the crux of the matter is that the withdrawal was indeed performed sooner or later.
In your case, your H1B status will not be affected with USCIS’s approvals and withdrawal timelines.

On top of it, you will have the proof that you applied for cancellation even though USCIS may have processed it late.

I do not think there is anything to worry here once you have sent the withdrawal letter.

Hi @Anil_Gupta,

In my case, I have pending H4 COS and at the same time, my H1B transfer (change of employer) is in progress and currently received an RFE (concerning my H4 COS) on H1B petition. In this case, can I still withdraw my H4 COS to unblock my H1B petition? So that my H1B petition will move to the next step.

You should be able to withdraw any application anytime as you wish.

Hi @Anil_Gupta
We are in the same boat now.
We have applied for H4 last yr but was never processed due to biometric appointment delay. Meanwhile my wife H1 got picked in lottery and they have applied for H1B in 2020 Aug and finally approved in Apr 2021 after RFE and we sent withdrawal little late on June 2nd but H4 got Approval on Jun 9th. Withdrawal was sent on Jun 3rd.
Now based on last action rule, she is on h4 as it is approved but the case is now reopened soon in a week so not sure if they will withdraw it to bring her back to h1B or give a notice of revocation effective date later than the approval date. If yes will she be out of status?
Can you help us with our options if that is the case?

Did you hear back from USCIS via the case status or is it still showing reopened. Please update this thread once USCIS takes a decision on your H4 COS approval.

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Yes the status changed yesterday to withdrawal notice was sent. We are waiting for the notice now.


Hi, any further update on your case?