Thank you for the prompt response. I have the option to convert to H4 under my wife’s approved I140. How feasible is it to switch from H1 to H4 and back to H1? Will my perm application be dropped if I switch to H4?
When will be a good time to switch to H4? Should I wait all 6 months before I make the decision?
I have an option to travel to India next month to stay outside the country and recapture that time when my company files for H-1 Extension. My current Visa expiration on passport is september 30 2018. The earlier date of Dec 5th was including the 65 days I have been outside the country since the onset of my H1. If I travel outside the country, I can extend my visa by 100 days with new expiration date being January 7th, 2019.
To be on the safe side, I can start the H4 COS application. My question is, can I travel when the H4 application is in process?
No, you cannot travel when your H4 change of status application is pending.
If you do travel outside USA, USCIS will automatically abandon your H4 COS application. This will be a waste of time and money.
It is much faster to convert to H4 by applying at US embassy in your home country than filing for H4 COS within US.
If you are thinking of travel and want to convert to H4, you can get a H4 visa stamp directly from embassy and then enter US.
Another question, changing to H4 takes about 6-7 months. If by then, my PERM is approved, can I cancel the H4? What if my H4 is approved before a decision on my perm is made? Do I have to resign my job?
If I got to India and get stamped as H4. Will my current H1 be terminated (and my current job)?
If you are outside USA, your status does NOT matter.
The status is STAMPED on your passport when you enter US at port of entry by immigration officer.
Your H1B is NOT cancelled automatically.
When you enter the US, it depends on what visa you use to enter US when asked by immigration officer.
If you use your H1B at that time, your status is H1B.
If you say H4, you are entering US on H4 visa. You cannot work. Simple.
Thank you so much Anil. Really helpful information.
At this time, I think it is best to travel to India to add more days to the “time to recapture” clause. Upon the end of my new visa expiration date of Jan 7th, 2019 and PERM is not approved yet, I can resign my current job and visit India once more to get H-4 visa stamped and re-enter with that status.
I am only hoping that my current employer does not cancel the existing PERM application once I resign and leave.