H4 I-94 extended on arrival POE while H4 application is pending, impact on H4 EAD pending application


Could you please help with below situation and my questions? Thank you in advance.

H1b - I 797 Approval up to 2022.
H4 and H4 EAD - Extension application is pending with USCIS. BUT I-94 was extended on arrival from cruise ship port up to primary H1b’s I-797 approval date i.e. up to 2022.

Interesting thing is, if I see travel history, I do not see a record of departure from cruise ship port, I only see arrival record.


  1. Is it normal to have I-94 extended for almost 3 years while there is no decision on H4 extension?
  2. If yes, does it mean that H4 person is legally extended to stay until 2022 just on I-94 and not on I-797 approval notice?
  3. Do we have to do anything on pending H4 application now?
  4. Do we have to do anything on pending H4 EAD application?
  5. Any other considerations/thoughts/things to be aware of?

Thank you again.

H4 extension is specifically meant to extend your i94 while you do not plan to leave USA.

In your case, you did leave USA and got a new H4 i94. This is perfectly fine. No need to worry.

Your H4 EAD may receive an RFE to prove the H4 status and then you will be required to submit the most recent i94 that you have received. H4 extension may also receive an RFE if the USCIS officer feels that they need proof of H4’s physical presence in USA.

On the other hand, which cruise did you go to? Any references for us to use and any good cruise deals that you can share?

Thanks Anil. I did some more research since yesterday and looks like USCIS may deny the existing H4 and H4 EAD applications in such cases (reference below). I would hate to get a denial on the personal history (for whatever reason). Was wondering if I should just withdraw existing applications and do a new H4 EAD application only. Kindly let me know your thoughts.

It is your choice if you want to withdraw pending H4 and H4EAD Applications.

You can do it if you want and file a new H4 EAD application.

As per my information, H4 extension denial does not make any big difference since the denial reason would be leaving USA while application is pending.

You have not done anything un-lawful.

Hi Anil,

Will there be any issue to have existing H4 EAD and new H4 EAD both going on at the same time. Just thinking if I should apply fresh one also instead of waiting for RFE or denial on the 1st one to save time.


There is no issue in applying a new H4 EAD application while one is pending.

If you do not have any immediate or urgent need of H4 EAD, I suggest to wait for current pending application’s result. You may just get it approved without any RFE at all.